Somehow, the Eagles inexcusably lost Sunday to the now 3-9 Miami Dolphins to fall to 5-7 on the season.
The Eagles came into Sunday with a perfect opportunity to gain some ground on the Dallas Cowboys who had lost on Thursday to the Buffalo Bills. They did not come through.
While Carson Wentz had a solid game, completing 28/46 passes for 310 yards, three touchdowns, and just one interception, the defense played horribly costing Philly the game. The final score was 37-31, with Miami on top.
Who is most to blame for the loss?
1. Doug Pederson:
Anytime a team loses to such a horrible team like the Miami Dolphins. The head coach has to take the blame. The Eagles’ defense came in unprepared. It’s honestly that simple. However, the two mistakes by Pederson that irritated me the most were not on the defensive side of the ball.
Mistake number one was on the trick play touchdown. The Dolphins came out in a wacky-looking formation in which Miami’s punter threw a touchdown to their kicker. Doug, you have to call timeout there. He had three timeouts remaining with the lead in the first half, what’s the worst thing that can happen? The Eagles special teams looked confused and allowed an easy touchdown. Come on, Doug!
His second mistake was going away from the run. This has been a problem for Pederson all season. The Eagles’ best offensive games this season has been their wins in Green Bay and Buffalo. During both of those games, the Eagles stayed committed to the run all game. After taking a 28-14 lead in the third quarter, the Eagles only ran the ball three more times the rest of the game. That’s inexcusable, and Pederson deserves the blame for it.
While I’m not for firing Doug Pederson after this season, Sunday was an abysmal performance from him.
After the Eagles’ defense looked much better against New England and Seattle in weeks 11 and 12, they looked horrendous Sunday against Miami. It didn’t start horribly; in the first quarter, the Eagles began the game by getting an interception and forcing two punts. The reason they did so well on these possessions is that they were blitzing Ryan Fitzpatrick, and creating pressure. For whatever reason, Jim Schwartz then stopped bringing the heat, and the defense got torched. All three of the Eagles’ sacked came in the first quarter.
After Sunday’s performance, I’m all on board for Schwartz to get the ax. Ron Rivera, who got canned by the Panthers Tuesday, could be an intriguing defensive coordinator candidate if he doesn’t get a head coaching opportunity.
3.Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills:
Mills had looked great coming back from a season-ending injury he suffered last year up until Sunday. Darby, who has been awful all season, had another terrible performance. The two corners got chewed up by Fitzpatrick, and Devante Parker. Parker was getting whatever he wanted, catching seven balls for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Sidney Jones is a total bust, too; he was a healthy scratch. The Eagles’ cornerbacks have been some of the worst in the NFL, and that continued against the Dolphins.
This one was unexpected because Zach Ertz has always been Mr.Reliable for the Eagles, but he had a terrible performance on Sunday with two horrendous drops. The first one came with the team leading 28-20 late in the third quarter. Carson Wentz escaped pressure and fired a dart into Ertz’s chest, which he promptly dropped. The Eagles ultimately came away with nothing on the drive, as Jake Elliott missed a 49-yard field goal. Ertz would have been able to score if he made the catch, or at least gotten down within the five-yard line.
The second came in the fourth quarter with the team down 37-28. Wentz had Ertz opened and fired a bullet that went in and out of Ertz’s hands. Sure, the throw was a little behind him, but he should have been able to reel that one in. The Eagles had to settle for a field goal on the drive, and they did not score after that. You can argue that Ertz left 11 points on the board in this game with those drops. In total, Ertz had just three catches for 24 yards on six targets. That’s Inexcusable for someone who has always been so dependable as a pass-catcher.
There you have it, the Eagles somehow lose to a terrible football team and are now likely going to miss the playoffs. Philadelphia will look to get back on track against the 2-10 New York Giants next Monday night.
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