Missing starters on offense no excuse for Eagles' miserable performance


The Eagles were missing a lot of offensive starters on Sunday against the Seahawks. 

Not even including DeSean Jackson, who is on IR, the Eagles came into Sunday’s game without Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Jordan Howard and Lane Johnson. And then early in the game, they lost Brandon Brooks, who exited with an illness. 

Still, there’s still no excuse for the Eagles’ pitiful offensive performance in their 17-9 loss to the Seahawks at the Linc on Sunday. 

There was plenty of blame to go around after the loss that dropped the Eagles to 5-6 on the season, but a good portion of it will end up on the starting quarterback. Head coach Doug Pederson pushed back against that. 

“Our issues on offense today were not about Carson Wentz,” Pederson said. “Obviously, he’s a part of it. This is an offensive issue. I’ve got to look at it. I gotta make my own assessment of my performance, then we’ll coach the players this week and we’ll get better.”

On one hand, Pederson is right. There’s plenty of blame to go around. But Wentz deserves a lot of it. Sunday was arguably the worst performance in Wentz’s four-year career. 

But on top of that, the Eagles suffered from bad and predictable play-calling, lousy line play and awful execution. 

The Eagles turned the ball over five times on Sunday. It was their first five-turnover game since Sept, 19, 2013. Wentz lost one fumble on his own, they flubbed a handoff to Miles Sanders on a questionable play call, Wentz threw two INTs and Dallas Goedert fumbled. 

Three of the Eagles’ five turnovers came in Seattle territory and the other two came past their own 40-yard line. 

Trying to win a game against a good team without five starters is hard enough. The Eagles tried to do it without holding on to the football. 

“The turnovers are inexcusable,” Zach Ertz said. “You’ve got no chance of winning a football game when you have five turnovers. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing a college team. If you have five turnovers, you’re not going to win. Just gotta find a way to protect the football. That’s the most important thing.”

The Eagles’ play-calling in this game was certainly questionable too. We can pick out certain plays like that delayed handoff to Sanders that resulted in a fumble, but overall, Pederson wasn’t able to gain an advantage for his short-handed team. 

It certainly seems like nothing the Eagles did on Sunday fooled the Seahawks: 

That seems pretty damning. 

With the missing starters, is Pederson limited as a play-caller? 

“I think I’m more aware of certain things that we can or can’t do,” Pederson said. “But for the most part, as we game plan and put things together, we’re still thinking of the same guys, even in the run game. Once you get into the game too, you have to make adjustments as you see fit.” 

Ertz said the players around Wentz need to find a way to be more productive. He again said the Eagles simply didn’t execute well enough. That has become a recurring theme for these postgame media sessions. 

And now that we’re moving on to Week 13, it’s hard to imagine a switch flipping. 

What if this just is the Eagles’ offense? 

“I feel like we’re better than what we’re putting out,” Ertz said. That’s just the bottom line. I’ve gotta believe that. The leaders on offense have to put it on ourselves and find a way to improve. It starts this week against the Dolphins.”

Maybe the Eagles will get Alshon and Nelly and Brooks and Lane back next week in Miami. Or maybe they won’t. 

Either way, the offense needs to play better. No excuses.

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