To borrow an old saying and modify it slightly, Philadelphia we have a problem.
The Week 1 loss to Atlanta could be explained away as a slow start, some questionable play calling that would be fixed up, missed opportunities and some ill discipline that led to drive and game killing penalties. A win in Week 2 over Dallas was expected.
Well the 20-10 Week 2 loss to the Dallas Cowboys delivered none of those excuses. Against their most bitter rival who were without their best play making receiver for the whole game and their quarterback for a sizeable chunk of the game, the Eagles offence failed to fire a shot when it counted.
You need look no further to gauge the absolute shock in the Eagles fan base than my friends on the Philadelphia Sports Table Podcast for this optimism. Listening to their weekly podcast recorded before the game they were full of optimism that this would be the week the team would deliver on the hype.
Their post-game show was the complete opposite. It was hard to listen to the pain in hosts Jeff Warren and Len Hunsicker’s voices.
It was a devastating loss leaving most pre-season predictors with egg on their face and huge question marks on head coach Chip Kelly and his new look team.
Where it was lost
- The running game – for the second straight week the running game was almost non existent. 17 rushing plays for 7 yards is an indictment on a running back trio that was supposed to be the best in the league.
- The offensive line – to be fair to the running backs, the offensive line looks horrible at the moment.
- Turnovers – another week, another two Sam Bradford interceptions. Bradford needs to pick up his game quickly or else he will be benched, which he probably should have been in this game. The blocked punt for Dallas’ first touchdown should never have been allowed to happen.
- Time of possession – due to the up tempo nature of the Eagles offence they often won’t win the time of possession. But only having the ball for 19.35, less than a third of the game, is ridiculous. Subtle changes are needed to address this, while making some first downs would also help.
- Bad play calling – still too many pass plays for a quarterback clearly lacking in confidence. Chip Kelly’s goodwill in Philadelphia is running out quickly. His General Manager moves all appear to be busts after two weeks.
- The defensive line – gave up just 109 yards rushing at just 3.3 yards per play. Probably the only part of the team that could walk off the field with their head held somewhat high.
- There’s still 14 games to go and Dallas is injured, Washington are Washington and the Giants are terrible.
A must win game away to the New York Jets in Week 3. A loss in that game will all but end any playoff hopes. Only 12% of teams have made the playoffs from 0-2 in the current playoff format.
To add to the woe, Kiko Alonso has injured his knee again and may miss the rest of the season. DeMarco Murray tweaked his hamstring at training and is in doubt for the trip to Met Life Stadium.
0-3 team’s chances must be even less than that, especially for a team with a spluttering offence coming up against one of the best defences going around.