Roob's 10 Instant Observations on a head-shaking loss to Rams originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
I’m sure the Eagles will talk this week about how the Cowboys and Giants are also 0-2 and the division is right there for the taking if they just fix a couple things here and there.
Couple tweaks. Couple adjustments.
I don’t want to hear it.
Because this is a baaaaaaaad football team and the fact that two division rivals are also winless doesn’t change that fact.
The quarterback looks lost. The defense looks shot. And the coach doesn’t seem to have any clue what to do about it.
The Eagles have lost their first two games by double digits for only the fifth time since 1936. And there’s no reason to think it’s going to get any better.
Here’s our 10 Instant Observations off another horrifying Eagles loss, this one 37-19 to the Rams at the Linc.
1. It’s only Week 2, and I’m already running out of ways to say Carson Wentz was terrible. He was. Again. He’s just not a good quarterback right now. The pivotal play this time was his 3rd-quarter interception, misfiring into double coverage to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in the end zone on a 1st-and-10 from the Rams’ 21-yard-line. Again, Wentz is in Year 5. He has to understand you don’t throw a high-risk tight-window pass like that on first down with the game on the line. The Eagles had a great chance to take the lead there, but Darious Williams picked him off, ending the threat. Wentz’s biggest problem so far this year has been poor decision making. Yeah, he's missing guys all over the place, but the scariest thing is he's just not playing smart football. He’s awful right now.
2. And I get that you want to try and neutralize Aaron Donald by getting rid of the ball quick, but how about SOMETHING down the field? The Eagles’ longest pass play was a 25-yarder to DeSean Jackson, and the only other real shot down the field was the Wentz INT. The whole theme of the offseason was bringing in all this speed, and then you never even try to use any of it.
3. The defense? They had a built-in excuse last weekend. Short drives and all that. We gave ‘em a pass. But no more passes. This was just brutal defense. This unit has now allowed 64 points in two games, and that’s the most they’ve allowed after two games since 1971. There’s not one guy on this defense that played well Sunday. Not one guy that earned his paycheck. They don’t get sacks. They don’t get turnovers. They don’t stop the run. They let guys run wide open all over the field. And just when the offense trimmed the lead to five early in the fourth quarter, on the FIRST play of the next drive, they give up a 40-yard run to a backup with a career 3.6 average that never had a run in his career longer than 22 yards. Inexcusable.
4. And maybe someday getting rid of Malcolm Jenkins will make sense, but right now? You just have to wonder what the Eagles were thinking cutting ties with their unquestioned leader and one of their best players. When a team is facing those critical moments in a game or a season, it looks to a guy like Malcolm for guidance and leadership and answers. They just don’t have that guy anymore.
5. And the heart of this defense is supposed to be the interior of the defensive line. This is the highest-paid d-line in the NFL, and they’re sure not playing like it. Fletcher Cox in particular has been big-time disappointing, certainly not playing like a five-time Pro Bowler. Has he made a notable play this year?
6. As bad as this was, have to mention how good Miles Sanders looked in his season debut. Makes you wonder if he should have been playing last week. Miles overcame a sluggish start and a bad fumble to finish 20-for-95 rushing with a TD and three catches for 36 yards.
7. Here's the scariest thing about where this team is right now: Sanders and Reagor are really the only young players you can get excited about. Maybe some of the young defensive guys will become stars, but right now this is a team in a youth movement whose best players are older. That's not a good place to be.
8. Five truly disturbing numbers:
- Rams rushing yards: 191
- Eagles interceptions in the last 12 games: 3
- Carson Wentz’s 2020 passer rating: 64.4
- Rams total yards: 452
- Carson Wentz now has four interceptions in two games. Last year he threw his 4th interception in the Eagles' 10th game.
9. I hate going for 2 after the second-quarter TD made it 21-9. Hate it. Don’t chase points with 39 minutes to play. Ever. Terrible, terrible decision by Doug.
10. There was a play with about 4 ½ minutes left where Goff found himself with some open field in the left flat and just kind of jogged 10 yards for a first down – his longest run since Week 6 of 2018. It was notable because he wasn’t even trying to gain yards, he was just looking for a place to go down and stop the clock and no defender was within like 30 yards of him. That’s just embarrassing. That play really symbolizes where this team is right now. Goff wasn't even TRYING to get positive yards, and he gained 10. That's bad.