You can’t lose to Drew Lock.
Seahawks 20, Eagles 17, and here’s our 10 Observations off a nightmare evening for the Eagles in Seattle.
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Philadelphia sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
1. The Eagles led 10-0 in the second quarter. They led 17-10 early in the fourth quarter. They led 17-13 with a minute left. They just never did enough to put away a bad team. They had so many opportunities. So many chances. A deep ball they didn’t need turned into an interception. One touchdown on their last seven drives against a team that had lost four straight games. Allowing 17 second-half points against the NFL’s 20th-ranked offense. Another interception on a deep ball they didn’t need when your best chance to win is picking up another 12 yards and taking your chance with Jake Elliott and a 61-yard field goal. For most of the year the Eagles found ways to win. Monday night in Seattle they found a bunch of ways to lose.
2. We’ve talked a ton about the coordinators and they haven’t been good – and that includes Matt Patricia – but you’ve got to point your finger squarely at Nick Sirianni after this one. Sirianni has taken his bows and he’s deserved to, but everything this team does is on him, and you can explain away the 49ers and Cowboys losses – very good teams on extra rest against a team that seemed gassed – but this? The Seahawks had lost four straight games, they started a backup quarterback with eight career wins in six seasons, they were down 10 points at halftime … and this? If you’re the head coach, you just can’t let this happen. Your offense managed seven points after their second possession. Your hand-picked new defensive coordinator just allowed a 92-yard game-winning drive in the last two minutes to Drew Lock for crying out loud. You’ve lost three straight games after a 10-1 start. You’re no longer an elite team. You’re no longer a Super Bowl contender. Sirianni has always responded when there’s been adversity, and this is adversity like he hasn’t experienced here. This is on him. Let’s see how he responds.
3. If Jalen Hurts was so sick that he couldn’t function as a passer, he should not have been playing. Period. Hurts is a gamer. He’s incredibly tough. Nobody is questioning that. But we saw him miss open guys like he rarely does. He passed for 143 yards against the NFL’s 26th-ranked pass defense. In the second half, he was 8-for-14 for 64 yards and two interceptions. He didn’t complete a pass longer than 18 yards. Hey, I saw every training camp practice and Marcus Mariota did not have a good summer. But he’s a functional NFL quarterback and he’s healthy and if Hurts was so compromised that he was just a shell of his usual self, Mariota should have been out there. Look at what the Seahawks did. They started Lock over Geno Smith because Geno wasn’t 100 percent, and he got them a win. I’ll take Hurts at 60 percent over Mariota. But it sure didn’t look like Hurts was 60 percent.
4. I hated the deep ball to Quez Watkins, and not even because Quez has been ineffective for about the past two seasons and most deep shots his way wind up as turnovers, but just because the offense was grinding there, the running game was cranking, there was 8:15 left in the game and it sure seemed like the Eagles had some momentum there. Keep moving the sticks, keep running the ball, run out the clock, get in the end zone and put the ball away. Yeah, Julian Love was grabbing Watkins’ jersey all the way down the field, which of course wasn’t called. But that’s not the point. It was really the play call and not the execution that bothered me. The Eagles didn’t need a deep shot there. They needed to run the clock. But, yeah, since his last big play, Watkins has been a part of three fumbles, a Super Bowl drop and a bad fumble. That’s about a 5 percent play.
5. We can break this whole game down, but think about this: The Eagles were up 17-13 with 1:52 left. Braden Mann punted the Seahawks down to their own 8-yard-line. At that point, Lock had thrown for 116 yards. On the final drive, he threw for 92 yards in 10 plays, with Lock throwing for all 92 yards. So 44 percent of his yards came in the final 1:52. And where was the Eagles’ d-line on that drive? Where was the vaunted Eagles’ pass pressure? Did any pass rusher get close to Lock on that last drive? The d-line is where the Eagles’ highest-paid players are. That’s where their Pro Bowlers are. That’s where their money players are. But Lock just stood there and picked the Eagles apart. Longest game-winning drive against the Eagles in 16 years, since the Bears beat the Eagles 19-16 on a 15-yard Brian Griese touchdown pass to Muhsin Muhammad at the Linc in 2007. Inexcusable. There were some good things the first 58 minutes. Those last two minutes wiped them all out.
6. James Bradberry. Second-team all-pro last year. Second-ranked corner in the league last year in terms of opposing passer rating. Big, tough, physical playmaker. That was last year. This year? Just not the same guy and honestly it’s not even close. Statistically, one of the worst corners in the league. You see this with corners. They lose it overnight. When you lose just a little bit of speed you lose your game. Bradberry is a stand-up guy and a class act. He’s just not remotely the player he was. Lock targeted Bradberry four times on that game-winning drive. He knew where to go with the ball. If Darius Slay was healthy I’d consider benching Bradberry. But right now he’s got to play. And quarterbacks are just going to continue going after him.
7. Let’s talk about the Eagles’ last drive. They got the ball down three with 28 seconds left on their own 25-yard-line. A 20-yard Hurts scramble got the ball to the 45, and the Eagles called their first timeout with 13 seconds left. Now the conditions weren’t great, but we’ve seen Jake Elliott make long field goals in difficult conditions. So from the 45, another 15 yards gets you to the Seahawks’ 40-yard-line, which is a 58-yard field goal. That’s when Hurts threw that deep ball to A.J. Brown that Love picked off at the Seahawks’ 17-yard-line. Hurts was having trouble all night throwing the deep ball. Understandable in his diminished physical state. The Eagles’ best chance to win this game was give Elliott a chance at a long field goal – and he’s made the 4th-most 59-yard field goals in NFL history – and try to win a game in overtime. Fifteen yards. Two timeouts. That was the way to go.
8. It wasn’t perfect, but it was very encouraging to see rookie defensive backs Sydney Brown and Kelee Ringo running around and making plays and just looking confident and comfortable and physical. Brown is 23, Ringo is 21 and they really injected some life into a secondary that’s been a wreck lately. What they lack in experience – especially Ringo – they make up for in effort, athleticism and speed. Brown is a heat-seeking missile out there, just looking for people to lay out. Brown did miss that a couple tackles and they were costly, and he’s got to clean that up, but in the big picture to have two young defensive backs show up in a huge game on the big Monday Night Football stage is really impressive. Didn’t seem like the moment was too big for either one.
9. Braden Mann has really developed into one heck of a weapon. Averaged 49.6 on five punts last night, with three inside the 20 and no touchbacks. And that clutch boot down to the 8-yard-line that wound up not doing the Eagles any good. It’s only been part of one season, but Mann now has the highest punting average in Eagles history. So far this year, he’s got 14 inside the 20 and just one touchback. Terrific under-rated pickup.
10. Maybe I’m crazy, but I still think the Eagles win out.