It is arduous to seek out the suitable phrases to sum up the newest version of Eagles vs. Cowboys. Do you begin with the officiating that appeared prefer it was paid for by a bunch of cynical mobsters? The battle between two quarterbacks of who might suck much less that inexplicably become a shootout? Or the unbelivable remaining play, the place Rasul Douglas had good protection just for a tipped ball to drop into Amari Cooper’s palms.
Nevertheless you need to describe it, it is a 29-23 loss in additional time. So this is what I noticed.
• Corey Graham, towards all odds, was one among Philadelphia’s standout performers on Sunday. He got here up with multiple touchdown-saving deal with within the first half, and when Dak Prescott had a customary misfire halfway by means of the third quarter, he was there to take benefit.
Earlier than this play, it appeared the Eagles have been utterly lifeless. Carson Wentz seemed like a multitude, lacking throws so simple as a primary display. They might not transfer the ball, and with Philadelphia struggling to cease the run Dallas simply might have used the ground-and-pound recreation to kill the clock.
However because of Graham, the Eagles have been capable of punch it in on the primary play of the following possession. It was about rattling time.
• Michael Bennett has provide you with huge performs for the Eagles all recreation lengthy. He got here up together with his largest of the season towards Dallas, stripping Dak Prescott round midfield to drive Philadelphia’s third turnover of the sport.
Credit score to Brandon Graham for arising with the restoration, by the best way, which is not the best scoop you will ever see.
Bennett got here up with one other monster play in extra time, shedding his blocker to cease Ezekiel Elliott in need of a first-down deep in Eaggles territory.
The protection has been a punching bag all through the season, however they have been the one cause the Eagles have been capable of cling round lengthy sufficient for the offense to do something of consequence. Jim Schwartz deserves at the least every week’s reprieve from slander after this efficiency. I am going to even get on board with him enjoying sticks protection.
(Okay, I lied, I can’t get on board with sticks protection.)
• Carson Wentz was not good for many of Sunday’s recreation, which you will learn some extra about under, however he got here up massive when the stakes have been highest. And of all of the gamers he might have turned to in crunch time, it was the rookie, Dallas Goedert, who rewarded Wentz’s religion with some big-time performs.
After choosing up a primary down on an earlier reception, Goedert received open in the long run zone because of some good work from Wentz, who seemed off his tight finish earlier than firing it in there.
Goedert ought to have had one other huge landing if not for one of the crucial egregious cross interference calls you are ever going to see. This offense has greater than sufficient weapons and must be rather a lot higher.
• He hasn’t been a featured participant even when he has been wholesome, however a bit of Darren Sproles magic was what everyone wanted within the fourth quarter.
• Credit score to Mr. Kempski on this one:
Eagles might kinda use an enormous play right here from 91.
— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) December 10, 2018
After a botched snap from the Cowboys pressured them to take their ultimate timeout, Cox got here up with a monster sack on the following third-down play, ending the menace and forcing an additional time interval that might have appeared unimaginable 10 minutes beforehand. Cox got here up with one other sack in additional time, which finally did not matter after the Eagles accepted a holding penalty on the play, however he definitely went down swinging.
• Does anybody apart from Zach Ertz exist in Carson Wentz’s mind on third down? I perceive the man will get open always and perhaps this can be a “Chicken or the egg?” query, however the diploma to which he is locked in on that learn appears excessive. It shouldn’t take till halfway by way of the third quarter for Alshon Jeffery to get the ball.
• Finally the secret is scoring touchdowns. However earlier than you will get there, your offense wants to truly begin constructing one thing, and the Eagles went three-and-out over, and over, and over, and over, and over once more on Sunday.
This circles again to the issues with Wentz proper now, nevertheless it’s the complete unit’s duty to be higher right here. Once they try runs, they’re both a poor use of personnel or poorly blocked. Once they throw, the road does not maintain, receivers do not get open, or Wentz misses a possible massive play on a throw he ought to make. Blame is deserved for everybody, and that is the mark of a below-average or dangerous soccer workforce.
Doug Pederson earned himself fairly a grace interval with a Tremendous Bowl win, rightfully so, however the workforce can solely come out with an uninspired gameplan so many weeks in a row earlier than one thing has to provide. Barring an incredible rally within the group’s previous couple of video games, I do not understand how you convey again the identical coordinators on offense and assume issues will enhance. Pederson wants extra useful voices round him and failing that he must make higher use of no matter is at his disposal.
• However let’s give attention to Wentz for a second. Quarterback play is the most important driver of sustained success in in the present day’s NFL. If you aren’t getting elite play from the quarterback place, you’re principally drawing lifeless towards the league’s greatest groups. Guidelines have made it harder than ever to play bodily protection, and you need to exploit that as a way to win.
The Eagles have the man they consider to be their franchise QB, and sure, it’s his first season post-ACL tear. However the regarding factor is that Wentz has his play previous to the bye week was fairly rattling good, and he has been worse the additional he will get from the damage.
Outdoors of his restricted utility as a rusher, I additionally do not assume you’ve got seen many indicators that his points might be bodily. He is getting time within the pocket and never feeling a lot strain, solely to overlook guys excessive. He is holding onto the ball too lengthy and both taking sacks or worse, fumbling the ball. He is throwing hospital balls to Alshon Jeffery, who acquired smoked on successful that ought to have by no means occurred within the third quarter. He is lacking home windows, throwing balls too late or too far behind wideouts.
Give the man credit score for rallying when it appeared like he had nothing. These fourth-quarter drives featured some nice work from Wentz, and shouldn’t be thrown out altogether. However we have seen this for an prolonged stretch now — the Eagles do completely nothing on offense for over half the sport, solely to lastly get rolling late. That may’t occur.
He shall be given loads of time to determine issues out. However Wentz needs to be higher, finish of story.
• Why is Wendell Smallwood getting red-zone carries late within the ballgame? Why is not Josh Adams getting the work there, or a lot work normally? I do not get it. Smallwood hadn’t gotten a lot as a contact since Week 11, and also you’re making an attempt to get him concerned with the season on the road?
It is astounding how typically we’ve to ask primary logic questions like these. Each week, there’s some new head-scratcher from the Eagles’ offense. Thoughts-numbing.
• Boy has Sidney Jones confirmed an entire lot of nothing. The Cowboys abused him on the drive that put them forward 16-9 halfway by way of the fourth, beating him regardless of the place they attacked him in protection.
If not for a nasty overthrow from Prescott, the Cowboys would have had one other landing on Jones’ sideline on the very subsequent drive. They hunted him, and that claims all of it.
(It must be famous that Jones was coping with a problem within the first half and didn’t look near 100 %. The Eagles are rattling close to out of choices and credit score to him for preventing by means of it, however you must know when to name it a day, even in case you’re a coach making the decision. The Eagles lastly did, however the injury was accomplished at that time.)
• Positive looks like that third-round decide for Golden Tate was an entire waste of assets.
• Onerous to be upset when a secondary filled with nobodies cannot cease the opponent.
• Pederson principally has to name a timeout in additional time when the Eagles pressured a third-and-long for Dallas with about 2:37 left. In the event that they convert it, you are principally screwed it doesn’t matter what, as a result of Dallas can kneel and run the clock down earlier than kicking a chip shot. If they do not you will have 30+ extra seconds of time with which to attain in your possession.
It did not find yourself mattering, however nonetheless.
• That Amari Cooper man seems to be fairly good.
• There’s nothing like studying Corey Clement is completed for the day proper because the Eagles come out of halftime. An actual pick-me-up after the best way the primary half ended.
• I am usually a agency believer in having as a lot enjoyable as potential when you’re enjoying sports activities. However I occur to consider you must in all probability save the group landing celebration for a state of affairs the place you are not trailing after being shut out for the primary two and a half quarters of the sport.
It irritated the Cowboys, so truthful sufficient, however attempt wanting competent earlier than you go on the market and strut.
• The offensive move interference name on Dallas Goedert was solely rivaled by the botched fumble name to start out the sport.
It was like watching an NBA recreation officiated by Tony Brothers and Scott Foster, who’re infamous for giving one workforce all of the impactful calls, whereas piling up sufficient nonsense flags to make the full foul rely look even. Philly received unbelievably screwed by this crew, and the sport may need seemed completely totally different if not for that preposterous name to start out the sport.
Even a picked-up flag on Dallas within the remaining minute had an impression, stopping the clock and permitting the Cowboys to get the subsequent play off whereas solely dropping 5 seconds of time. Ridiculous!
Take each final member of this officiating crew and hearth them into the solar, as a result of that was a fairly enjoyable soccer recreation apart from their B.S.
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