Result: Eagles – 28, Panthers – 23 Frustrating game to say the least. I knew it was going to be a physically gritty game, but I did not expect the referees to get in on it, too. Anyone who watches and understands football knows that this Thursday night’s game was unfairly called.
I mean, the Philadelphia Eagles were called on what were (mostly questionable) 10 fouls for 126 yards, while the Carolina Panthers had ONE penalty for ONE yard, with multiple obvious missed calls. Carolina had the advantage by not only having home field on their side, but the refs as well. It’s discouraging when the officiating crew is not fair to both teams; it sends the wrong message. Players lose confidence because they’re not being allowed to play and fear that any more penalties called could cost them the game.
Five games down, 11 more to go. Sunday’s win over the Arizona Cardinals was definitely one of the easiest, most anxiety-free games I’ve seen in a long time. The Philadelphia Eagles looked flawless.
After a win like this I would usually celebrate pretty much all week until Thursday, when the new week starts and then my focus turns to our next opponent. But seeing as this is a short week for Philadelphia, the high off this win came down early Sunday evening and I hope the Eagles aren’t letting these wins get to their head. It’s only Week 6, there’s a lot of football still to play and this is not the time to underestimate any team.
Well, they’re #1 in the NFC East. And only as of right now. But I’ll take what I can get—the good with the bad. For example, they have allowed the fewest points in the first three quarters of games so far this season, however, they have allowed the second-MOST in fourth quarters. Meaning, they don’t know how to finish a game and that’s not what wins Super Bowls.
Fortunately, head coach Doug Pederson has been calling more run plays, and according to an article on NFL.com, the Eagles ran the football 39 times on Sunday, the most in three years. THREE YEARS?! But it is only Week 4 and as long as they take advantage of running back LaGarrette Blount, the playoffs will definitely be a certainty.
Anyway, I originally wanted to write this entire article about Philadelphia’s stats against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, but because I actually attended the game, I decided to pen something a bit more personal.
Head coach Doug Pederson must have seen the pictures floating around social media this past week because fans were not happy with the lack of running plays that Pederson has been using. We have, arguably, two of the best running backs in LeGarette Blount and Darren Sproles, but they hadn’t touched much of the ball the first two games and Eagles fans were understandably upset so they picketed outside the practice field with signs that read “Run the Ball” and somehow word must have gotten through to the coaches because we finally saw a lot of the running game…but the Eagles wouldn’t be the Eagles without some (very avoidable) mistakes.
Nothing against the New York Giants, but there was no way the Eagles should have let them catch up, only to then take the lead after a lost fumble by tight end Zach Ertz. The appearances by the RBs proved that they are a force to reckoned with. Blount bulldozed through the Giants’ defense and racked up 67 yards, behind smaller RB Wendell Smallwood helped bringing in 71 yards. Speaking of small RBs, veteran player Darren Sproles suffered a couple nasty injuries during Sunday’s game; he tore his ACL and broke his arm resulting in him being out for the remainder of the year. His presence on the field will definitely be missed.
Some losses are not pretty and other losses are just ugly. Sunday’s loss to Kansas City falls somewhere in the middle. Playing against a team that had 11 days of rest was no easy task but I think the Eagles, and second year quarterback Carson Wentz, played a very decent game despite two huge turnovers and an offensive line that failed to protect him during key plays.
I can’t blame the o-line, though, because they actually have improved and more often than not gave quarterback Wentz a lot of time to throw the ball. I would have loved for him to get rid of it instead of holding on to it for as long as he did, which caused him to get sacked or fumble the ball.
Overall, Wentz showed NFL fans he is able to put the game on his back and run with the ball if needed and he threw for a total of 333 yards, completing almost half of his attempts at 25 of 46. I am not a big of that those numbers but I am happy that we were able to utilize wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith who both had better games than the last, with 92 and 66 receiving yards respectively.
Eagles veteran tight end Zach Ertz has been a great option, being able to finish big plays and added 97 receiving yards as well. Admittedly, I am getting a little impatient with the lack of use for our running backs. Darren Sproles has been nothing short of amazing, always a dependable back and great for special teams, but we need to start using our big guy, LaGarrett Blount. I don’t want another DeMarco Murray on our hands…we all know how great that turned out.
I have a bad habit of overthinking everything. I tend to over-analyze essentially every portion of my life. It can be unhealthy and it rises my anxiety level to an ultimate high. I’ve noticed that it gets worse during fall. Gee, I wonder why…
My Philadelphia Eagles never fail to make their football games interesting. There always has to be added drama of some sort. Sure, Doug Pederson, let’s throw in a fancy play in the middle of the game and shake things up by going off the normal playbook and into your “Risky Plays” playbook and give all Eagles fans a heart attack feeling by making questionable play calls Week 1 right when your players are driving down the field effectively and calmly. I’m sure it’s just a tactic of yours, Coach Pederson, to keep us fans on our toes as you test out these questionable calls that put our players at risk only to reel it back in and come out with a win.
Which is why I have vowed to not focus on the negatives this year and remain optimistic, regardless of wins or losses. I mean, I’m always an optimistic fan. I will always defend my team, and sometimes emotions get the better of me and all logic goes out the window.
Let me preface this by saying I don’t follow college football closely at all. I watch a few games every year, but I don’t know any players other than the ones continuously mentioned on TV or social media. This grade is based solely on my knowledge of the game, the Philadelphia Eagles roster pre-draft and my personal opinions on what I think we need to make us a better team… and hopefully a Super Bowl winning team.
I wasn’t as anxious about the 2017 NFL draft as I was in previous years. In fact, this is probably the most calm I’ve felt watching the draft since becoming a football fan. One reason is obviously because we finally have a quarterback in Carson Wentz who is packed with potential and the skills to back up his strong desire to win it all with the Eagles. But also because this is the first time in a long time where I trust the front office and the coach and it was like a huge weight lifted off me when the 14th pick came along and we drafted a defensive end. My thought was Yes! We are finally focusing on defense.
A lot of people on my Twitter feed didn’t really share that same sentiment. They wanted someone that Wentz can throw to or hand off to, something that I agree with but I don’t think running backs or wide receivers are an emergency like having threats in the back field on defense. We have a beastly front four, but corners and safeties we have been inconsistent in and I, for one, thought we were off to a great start in the draft.
FINALLY: Football season is just around the corner!!
Okay, so more like it’s on the other side of town, but with the release of the NFL schedule, we are one step closer to the best time of the year!
Even with the start of the 2017 NFL season being months away, and after literally staring at the Philadelphia Eagles‘ schedule for hours after its release, I think I have a pretty good idea on how it will turn out. I can be totally wrong at the end of the year or I can be a total psychic and be 100% correct. Either way, it won’t matter because every year is our year and I will die before ever admitting, at any given moment, that we are not Super Bowl contenders.
The Philadelphia Eagles start off the season on the road. They head to Washington to play the Redskins and then fly to Kansas City a week later. I’ll be (slightly) realistic and say we go 1-1. It’s always tough to play two straight road games no matter what time of the season, plus with a seasoned head coach in Andy Reid, it can be a grueling game for Doug Pederson coaching against his former boss.