Eagles fans are a fickle bunch. After a loss, many aren’t willing to talk about the pluses from the team. Our passion gets in our own way, and we can’t overreact to losses and wins. Truth is, there is a lot to be happy about even after the loss. There is also a lot to be really concerned about.
+ Carson Wentz- Wentz has not been perfect through 2 weeks by any means. But I can’t expect perfection from a sophomore QB with no help from the running game and an O-line leaking from the left side. Wentz is making due with the situation that has been given to him. He is being asked to throw way too much. He threw a couple nice deep passes to Torrey Smith that were dropped. He also managed to drive down the field and get a late touchdown to give the Eagles a chance to win. Alas, there wasn’t enough time left. Still, Eagles fans should be very happy with their young QB. Imagine what he would look like if given time to throw, and had a running game to take pressure off him.
– Running Game- What running game? Eagles can not, and do not, run the ball. Is it the lack of talent in the backfield? Partly. Is it the left side of the line being dismal at run blocking? Partly that as well. There isn’t much they can do. One thing they can, and should do though, is to give Corey Clement a chance. I have called Clement an average running back. But an average running back is better than what they have now. At worst, he is as bad as Smallwood. It literally can’t get worse, so why not, give the kid a chance. Hopefully, he proves me wrong.
+Secondary- The secondary, and more specifically the cornerbacks, were by far the Eagles biggest concern coming into the season. Even with the addition of Ronald Darby, it looked bleak. If you had told fans that in week 2, Eagles would be without Darby, Rodney Mcleod, and Jaylen Watkins, fans would have given up. But the secondary held up. They didn’t play lights out, but given the situation, they did damn good. The rookie Rasul Douglas came in and played pretty great. He only allowed 4 catches, none for more than 10 yards. They held Tyreek Hill under 50 yards. The only player they struggled against was Travis Kelce. You know, the best TE in the league. For now, the defensive backfield is holding up, despite the injuries and the preseason concerns.
– Offensive Line- Whereas the secondary was an area of concern that is morphing into a strength, the O-line was an area of strength that has become a major concern. Issac Seumalo has been awful. If his play continues into week 3, they have to pull him for Warmack or Wisnewski. Jason Kelce has also struggled. This was supposed to be their best position, but they have been bad. The Right side is still strong, and the issue is fixable. But they have to find the fix fast because Wentz can’t keep taking hits like that.
+Defensive Line- This one is obvious, and I have talked about it enough before, but I can’t say enough good things about this group. 4 more sacks and they shut down Kareem Hunt for most of the game before he broke past them and got a big 53 yard TD. I can’t really blame the D-Line for that because the players behind the D-Line need to make plays when the running back breaks through. They continue to get consistent pressure, and both Fletcher Cox and Brandom Graham look like elite players so far.
– Mistakes- As I said in my instant observations, mistakes cost the Eagles this game. Fumbles, and an interception, penalties, dropped passes, and a missed field goal. The sloppier team usually loses. Eagles need to cut down on the mistakes in future games.
+Zach Ertz- Ertz reached the 3000-yard career mark in the game against the Chiefs, making him the ninth fastest TE to reach that mark. He has been as reliable as they come early in the season for the Eagles. It seems he has taken over the role of Wentz’s favorite target with Jordan Matthews in Buffalo. Ertz is one of the best weapons on the Eagles offense. Any past concerns of him not living up to his potential, or being inconsistent, should be disregarded.
– Injuries- It is something you cant really control, but injuries continue to plague the Eagles. If players in the secondary keep getting injured, they will run out of players to run out. Luckily none of them seem to be major injuries, with Ronald Darby’s 4-6 injury being the worst. But still, an already thin position is getting thinner.
+Wide Recievers- Torrey Smith drops aside, this group has looked good. Alshon Jeffery stepped up in week 2. Torrey Smith continues to get open deep downfield, and one has to think that eventually, Wentz and Smith will hook up on one of those. The biggest plus though has been the emergence of Mack Hollins in a limited role. Hollins caught only 3 passes, but they all seemed to come at big moments that extended a drive. Nelson Agholor wasn’t quite as present in week 2, but he did have a TD catch that brought them within 7 points.
– Run/Pass Ratio- As bad as the run game is, you can’t just stop running the ball. Doug Pederson gave up on the run and went with an all-pass offense. You can’t be that limited. They have to find balance someway.
+ Mychal Kendricks- Kendricks was bad last year. He seemed out of place, small, and it looked like his Eagles career was nearing his end. Kendricks wanted to be traded, and so did Eagles fans. But man has he stepped up this year. Mostly, because they are using him right now. They are letting him rush the passer, and use his speed. But even his play in coverage has improved, whereas last year he was miserable. He is tackling better on top of that.
+ Rest of Division Looks Awful- Perhaps the best result of the first two weeks has been how bad the Giants, Cowboys, and Washington have looked. Cowboys got embarrassed in Denver. Giants were embarrassed by the Cowboys, and the Eagles themselves embarrassed Washington. Even with their struggles, the Eagles could win this division.