They made it close and they made it exciting, but in the end it was just another Sunday afternoon disappointment for Eagles fans.
They’re just not very good.
The Eagles fell to 1-4-1 Sunday with a 30-28 loss to the Ravens. They battled back and made it close after falling into a quick 17-point hole, but in the end just another loss for a team that’s won one game in a month and a half.
Here’s our 10 Instant Observations from the Linc:
1. I don’t care what his stats say, this was one of the most gallant performances I’ve ever seen from Carson Wentz. When the game began, the Eagles were without six of their top seven offensive linemen, their projected top three WRs and their TE2. Then they lose Miles Sanders and Zach Ertz … and another offensive lineman. Wentz was under siege all afternoon, took shot after brutal shot, and still battled and made whatever plays he could make to whatever practice squad alumni were out there. I don’t know what else he could have done. He even willed himself to a career-long 40-yard run to set up a touchdown in the fourth quarter. John Hightower dropped a 50-yard gain in his hands in the first quarter, Sanders dropped a touchdown in the second quarter, an overmatched o-line just couldn’t handle the Ravens’ pass rush. Wentz has looked a little bit better each of the last few weeks, and this was vintage Carson doing the best he could with what he had. Which wasn’t very much.
2. Yeah, the Eagles made it close and battled and fought and all that stuff, but they’re now six games into the 2020 season, and they’ve played exactly two halves where both the offense and defense played well – the first half of the Washington game and the second half of the 49ers game. Teams like the Ravens are able to win when they don’t play that well because they play complimentary football. The defense gets the offense a short field or the offense keeps the defense off the field. The Eagles just can’t get both sides of the ball playing well at the same time, and it’s impossible to beat good teams that way. Twelve halves. Two good ones.
3. I don’t know what else to say about the injuries. The Eagles can’t take a team photograph without getting someone hurt. They had Brett Toth out there playing right tackle at the end of the game, and he just got here last week. Brett Toth? They should start getting some guys back soon, but it’s insane to see this many injuries on one team. I know the Eagles have changed trainers and doctors and everything else, but they’ve got to figure out why this keeps happening and find a way to keep the nucleus of this football team healthy. Because it hasn’t been in a few years.
4. The defense did a nice job regrouping after an ugly start. But you can’t ignore that ugly start. It was 17-0 early in the second quarter before they really started to get a feel for Lamar Jackson and figure out ways to slow him down. And they still couldn’t do it consistently. Hey, Jackson does this to a lot of people. He’s lost four regular-season games in his career. He’s an MVP. And 30 points is 30 points. This defense plays hard, but they just don’t have very many good players, and they really haven’t stopped anybody yet this year.
5. I still don’t like the Jalen Hurts draft pick. When you draft someone in the second round he’s got to be a starter for you. But he clearly adds some juice to the offense when he’s in there and makes this team harder to defend, and there just aren’t very many people like that on this team. I like seeing him out there. But Sunday, Pederson waited until the Eagles were down 17-0 before we even saw Hurts. How about springing him on people before the game is out of hand?
6. Was nice to see John Hightower bounce back after dropping a 50-yarder to catch a 50-yarder. Good for Doug dialing up his number again and good for Wentz trusting him again and good for the rookie 5th-round pick for catching it. The Eagles now have three different young receivers who’ve caught a 40-yard pass this year. Jalen Reagor in his first career game, Travis Fulgham in his fourth career game and Hightower in his sixth career game. And you know what? Good for J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who recovered Sanders’ fumble for his first career touchdown and then caught a two-point conversion. Hey, it’s something.
7. Hopefully, Sanders’s knee is OK because that kid is so much fun to watch. With his 74-yard run Sunday, he now has two of the 10-longest runs in franchise history in the span of eight days. He’s not only the first Eagle with a run of 70 yards or more in consecutive games, he’s the first with two in the same season. Wilbert Montgomery is the only other Eagle with two in his career. And he’s got all of 33 carries in the Eagles’ last three games.
8. I think we can put to rest the Travis Fulgham/fluke narrative. He followed up his 10-for-152-1 with a 6-for-75-1 Sunday against one of the NFL’s best pass defenses, and his soaring 18-yard TD in the fourth quarter with three Ravens around him was a thing of beauty. So was his work against all-pro Marcus Peters to draw a 49-yard DPI in the game’s final minutes. Dude can PLAY. He’s already the Eagles’ best WR since Jeremy Maclin. Really.
9. Nice comeback at the end. The Eagles were within an ill-fated two-point conversion of tying the game in the final couple minutes after trailing by 17. But let’s put the season into perspective. This is only the third time in the last 45 years they’ve had just one win after six games. It also happened in 1982, Dick Vermeil’s last season, and 1998, Ray Rhodes’ last season. The last time the Eagles had one win after six games and it wasn’t the head coach’s first or last season was 1962. Give them credit for fighting. They’re just not good enough.
10. Getting a little concerned with Jake Elliott, who missed a 53-yard field in the Washington game and a 52-yarder at the end of the first half Sunday. You never know how it will all play out, but if he makes that kick, the Eagles just may have won this game. You can’t miss 52-yarders in good conditions. That’s a lay-up these days. Elliott is now 1-for-4 from 50 yards this year and going back to the start of the 2018 season he’s only 5-for-13 from 50 yards and out, which is 39 percent and second-worst in the NFL during that span. The NFL average from 50-yards-plus is 61 percent. Not good enough.