Wow, that was a bad game. I mean that was really, really bad. The only touchdown for the Eagles came off a muffed snap on a punt late in the fourth quarter when the game was pretty much over anyway. I actually attended the game myself hoping that they would crush the lowly Giants, but I was met with a very unpleasant surprise. What happened to the Eagles’ “amazing” offense? It sure didn’t show up in this game. And what’s even worse, the loss was against the division-rival Giants. And what’s even worse than that, the Giants were 1-6 coming into the game. Ouch.
The sad part about this game was how well the Eagles defense actually played. They’ve seemingly gotten better every week in the past few weeks even though they’ve lost the last couple. In fact, since giving up 52 to the Broncos in week 4, they’ve given up less and less points in each of the past four weeks. They even prevented the Giants from scoring a TD, something that should guarantee a team a win. But the lack of offensive production killed them.
The offense has scored 10 points total in the past two weeks, both of which were key games at home against division rivals. They’re now 3-5, but somehow in 2nd place and just one game behind the Cowboys, who are currently in first. And the Eagles have the Raiders next week, so that should be an easy game, right? Right? Well, I’m starting to doubt that now. It’s not that the Raiders are looking particularly good, but the Eagles are looking particularly bad. Back to back losses in games that they should have won is just not acceptable.
And it’s not like the Eagles are just failing to convert inside the red zone and ending up with field goals; they’re just not getting anywhere near points anymore. At just 200 total offensive yards, they’re reaching Jacksonville Jaguars territory. That gave me the shivers just writing that. Anyway, 200 yards on just 58 offensive plays is never going to win a team a game unless they manage to produce multiple defensive and special teams touchdowns. And they actually did get a special teams TD, but it wasn’t enough to stop the field goal machine Josh Brown, who single-handedly defeated the Eagles. The Giants held the ball for more than a quarter more than the Eagles, which in itself suggests that the Eagles either scored quickly or didn’t score at all. Unfortunately, the latter is true.
LeSean McCoy had another poor outing, averaging only 3.2 YPC on 15 rushes. What happened to the run game? It seems like it has died off since the first few weeks where McCoy couldn’t be stopped. Is it the offensive line? Is it just game situations? It’s not like he’s not getting the carries…I think he’s just being less productive. Who’s fault is that? I don’t know exactly, but I think it’s a combination of McCoy, the blockers, and the play-calling. A lot of McCoy’s runs came when they should’ve and probably would’ve been passing, but Matt Barkley was in the game, so they had to keep it simple. Also, DeSean Jackson was shut down for the most part, totaling only 63 receiving yards on 8 catches. And Riley Cooper went back to his regular self and had his usual 2 catches for 13 yards performance. And what ever happened to the TE being Chip Kelly’s favorite position? Well, the tight ends combined for 4 catches for 33 yards…clearly nothing special.
But I think there is one major reason why the offense is all of a sudden faltering: their quarterbacks. All three of them have shown some good moments (some more than others), but none of them has been consistent throughout the season. Michael Vick has had a couple great games, but he’s had a couple terrible games where it looks like he has no idea what he’s doing. He’s also had a couple games where he got hurt in the middle, including this one. In fact, that’s a major reason why the Eagles are struggling on offense: the QB keeps changing. Every QB has different favorite targets and a slightly different playing style, so the players around him have to get used to it. But having three different QBs play in the past two weeks is just confusing and frustrating, especially considering that they’ve all played poorly.
Despite Barkley’s yard total, he is still a turnover machine and cannot be trusted to win games at this point in his career. He makes too many rookie mistakes and puts the Eagles in an overall situation where they can’t do much. The defenses are confident against this rookie since they know he’s very mistake-prone, and they know the offense is going to be relatively simple. Vick is just too hurt and too old to play at this point, and based on what he said after the game, he probably will be out a little while (hopefully the rest of the season). Nick Foles has been the best out of the three in my opinion, but he looked lost against the Cowboys two weeks ago.
If I were the Eagles, I would just sit Vick the rest of the season and let Foles and Barkley play. Foles is probably the better option at this point, but Barkley just needs some time to get used to playing in the NFL before he can be fully judged. I think he has some potential, but Foles definitely has more. But the big problem here is that Foles is still hurt and so is Vick, so Barkley is the only other option. Here’s wishing Foles a speedy recovery…please Foles, come back soon…