Eagles won again, and moved to 3-1, so there are a lot of positives to be taken away from the game. But, there are also some things Eagles need to do a lot better. Here are the pluses, and minuses, from the Eagles week 4 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. Some things, like the running game, Jake Elliot, and the Eagles efficiency, were already mentioned in my instant observations so I will try not to repeat myself here.
+Run/ Pass Ratio
I mentioned how well the Eagles ran, but I didn’t give Doug (or Carson Wentz?) enough credit for sticking to the run, and to a gameplan. That is two weeks in a row where they went up against a team where the right gameplan was to run the ball and two weeks where they ran the ball a lot. This will eventually, help the passing game. I am not sure who deserves more credit, as in the link above says, Carson Wentz has been audibling into runs. For all we know Doug could still want to call all passes, but Wentz is changing it up. Either way, it is working, and whoever is responsible, deserves credit.
I sort of went into the big plays, but I didn’t particularly call out the secondary. I can’t put too much blame on them because there are multiple injuries, but the cornerbacks took a step back this week. We knew their play against Kansas City and New York wouldn’t hold up forever, and it didn’t. Rasul Douglass made some mistakes trying to jump the ball and make plays, and it cost the Eagles. But on the outside, Tyrell Williams and Keenan Allen gave them a lot of trouble.
The Eagles gave up only 58 rushing yards, 35 of which were on one run by Austin Eckler. They kept Melvin Gordon, who by the way is overrated, to only 22 yards on 10 carries. They have been playing well against the run all season. Giants couldn’t even get 50 yards on the ground. The Chiefs on paper ran well, but anyone who watched that game knows they bottled Kareem Hunt up all game until he finally broke a huge run. It is a part of the Eagles game that doesn’t get enough credit.
Smith caught one pass, for nine yards. Worse yet, he had another crucial drop. Smith has been a huge disappointment. He can clearly still run, but he and Wentz have failed to hook up this season. In week 1, it was Wentz’s fault for missing him deep. The last 3 weeks though, Smith has dropped multiple passes and failed to produce.
Wentz didn’t have a game that stuffs the box score, but he quietly had a very good game. When they needed him to make a pass, he did. He converted first downs, mad smart play calls on the field and didn’t turn the ball over. In a game where the Eagles gameplan was to control the clock, he did exactly what he had to do.
-Penalties at inopportune times
Eagles didn’t have a ton of penalties, but the ones they did have seemed to have bad timing. It wasn’t a huge problem, and overall they haven’t been a heavily penalized team, but it is something to work on.
All people talked about coming into the week was how good Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are. All that talk, they must have had a ton of sacks right? Nope. ) sacks. Those two combined for a total of 0 sacks. That is an average of 0 sacks between them. Jason Peters and Lane Johnson each had their best games of the season, The run blocking was superb, and Wentz had time all day to throw.
+Eagles fans travel well
I mentioned how pathetic the turnout for Chargers fans was, mostly because there aren’t many Chargers fans in LA. But I didn’t give the Eagles fans enough credits. Our fans took over. When the Eagles were penalized, boos rained down. At one point Wentz told the crowd to quiet down, and they listened. It was really quite amazing, that Eagles fans showed up like that and took over in a city across the country. This isn’t the 4-hour drive to Washington’s stadium, people took a long plane trip and stayed in LA, to see their Eagles play. Well done Philadelphia.