**********Written by @alychmist75****************
Sunday Night Football was a huge letdown for Eagle fans, because we had to cope with a 29-23 overtime loss to our arch-nemesis, Dallas Cowboys. We were also forced to admit that the Boys outplayed the Birds thanks to Zeke Elliot, the human wrecking ball (cue Miley Cyrus’s softcore music video) and their behemoth offensive line. The saving grace was that fans did get to see Dak Prescott fall from his high horse to common ground, and look like a rookie QB, kudos to Jim Schwartz’s scheme. Doug Peterson was out-coached, plain and simple.
Being an Eagle fan last night was downright painful, but at least the 5 Irish Car Bombs I drank made the loss a little easier to deal with. The loss burned a little more intensely than that first shot of Jameson, mostly because this game was one that the Eagles dominated. Through four quarters, the Cowboys and Eagles went to war, and we watched Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Fletcher Cox and Beau Allen get a taste of a legitimate NFL caliber offensive line. Time and time again we saw them get a taste of the dirt at AT&T Stadium, thanks to three-time Pro-Bowl left tackle, Tyron Smith. Smith singlehandedly made one of the best defensive lines in the NFL this season, look like high-school kids on a grown man’s field, rag-dolling opponents with a quick punch redirecting them into the turf.
The most troublesome aspects of this game (and the Eagles’ season) so far is that Eagles head coach Doug Pederson mismanaged the clock, refusing to call a timeout with 23 seconds left in the game, run the ball through the middle, and let kicker Caleb Sturgis attempt a 53-yard field goal, after he put a 55 yarder through the uprights just an hour prior to the game’s end. Good thing Pederson didn’t learn from the worst clock manager in all of coaching… Andy Reid… oh wait… he did. Never mind.
The Eagles receivers were offensive… but not in a good way:
What happened off the field with the Eagles Wide Receivers is even more embarrassing than what occurred between the lines on the field, as the Cowboys out-classed the Eagles thanks to a childish Nelson Agholar, a second year first round draft pick draft bust who suggested that dropping passes, including a touchdown, (worth 6 points) had no bearing on the loss.
“No one’s perfect. I don’t look at no drops, that type of [stuff]. I’m tired of hearing it. It’s stupid. We play football. I dropped the first one. I ain’t dropped one after that. What does it matter? Because if we lose now we’re going to place blame on this person did this.”
But the point is simple. He’s tired of being blamed for dropping passes. I get that, since I’m tired of watching him drop passes; but there is plenty of blame to go around. The drops are nothing more than bad football fundamentals, and Agholar’s analysis of the importance of bad football is just not encouraging for fans who seem to care more than some players draft busts do.
The Offensive Line was a bit less offensive this week:
Halapoulavaati Vaitai, otherwise known as “Big V” for his 6’4” 320-pound frame actually showed up to the game this week, unlike the previous two. Sure he was a rookie, 5th round draft pick this season, but Jason Kelce, Kelvin Beachum, Alejandro Villanueva, J.R. Sweezy and Sentreal Henderson are also late round picks that hit it big in the NFL! Jason Kelce played well, aside from two low snaps (consecutively) in the dirt. These didn’t seem to affect Carson Wentz though, and his blocking was much improved. I’d be remiss to not write up Stephen Wizenewski as the best lineman of the evening though. He came off the bench in place of an injured Allen Barbre, and continually provided solid run and pass blocking, after he made clear his insatiable itch for a chance to play in prior weeks.
Battle of the Rookie QB’s wasn’t a QB Battle at all:
All in all, the game simply didn’t boil down to the competition between two highly achieving rookie QB’s like it probably should have (although they both performed solidly). The game came down to Dallas’s stronger supporting cast and ultimately, their better coaching and play-calling. Keep doing what you’re doing, Cowboys… and stop throwing screens behind the line of scrimmage on third down an 8 yards to go, Doug Pederson!
Hope you enjoyed a dose of an armchair GM in action. Lets go Eagles!