Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles Struggle Yet Again in Loss to Las Vegas Raiders

Don't let the box score fool you - the Eagles were embarrassed in Las Vegas in a game that was entirely winnable, Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia says.

Despite garbage time, a pathetic loss in Roob's Observations originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles must be the best garbage-time team in NFL history.

They specialize in falling behind by three touchdowns and then once the game is out of hand doing some serious stat padding.

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I’m not buying it.

Forget the final score. This was a 30-7 game going into the 4th quarter. And that’s who the Eagles really are.

Here’s our 10 Observations from the Eagles sixth loss in their last seven games. The scoreboard says 33-22 Raiders, but we all know it was truly a blowout. 

1. This is when you figured maybe things will start getting better. Coming off a mini-bye against a Raiders team playing with an interim head coach that lost two of its last three games in a stadium packed with Eagles fans. Yeah, about that…. This wasn’t just a loss, it was an organization-wide embarrassment. Every scout, player and coach in the NovaCare Complex ought to be flat-out embarrassed to be a part of a franchise that could play such a pitiful brand of football. If you want to blame Howie or the coaching staff or the players, you’re missing the point. It’s all of them. It’s everybody. When you reach this level of ineptitude, nobody involved should be able to look at themselves in the mirror and not feel like they played a role in this disaster. They can’t score. They can’t call plays. They can’t stop anybody. When they finally do something right, somebody ruins it with a turnover, mistake or penalty. Top to bottom, a catastrophe.

2. I didn’t expect the Eagles to be a great team this year. I didn’t expect the offense to be a finished product, I didn’t expect Jalen Hurts to play consistently week in and week out, I didn’t expect the linebackers to rack up a bunch of Pro Bowl votes. One thing I DID expect was for the defensive line to be elite and help keep this team in games. Boy, was I wrong. They’ve been the biggest disappointment on the team, and on Sunday they got manhandled – they got embarrassed – by an unheralded Raiders front. The Raiders came in ranked LAST in the NFL in rushing at 3.3 yards per carry and they just hammered the ball on the ground, even after they lost leading rusher Josh Jacobs. And they also came in allowing the 8th-most sacks in the league, but this vaunted d-line couldn’t get close to Derek Carr, who dropped back 34 times, completed 31 passes and did not get sacked. Yes, they miss Brandon Graham, but Fletcher Cox is a 6-time Pro Bowler, Josh Sweat just got a huge new contract and Derek Barnett was the 14th pick in the draft. And I’m not even going to get into Ryan Kerrigan, but this defensive line has been just brutal. Through seven games they have just 11 sacks and they’ve allowed 932 rushing yards. That’s NEVER happened before in Eagles history. Horrible.

3. The combination of terrible 3rd-down conversion success on offense and constant long scoring drives by the opposing offense means the Eagles just don’t get to run many plays. They never have the ball. They came into the game 31st in the league in time of possession at just 25:53 and averaging just 59 plays per game, their fewest after six games since 1999 (and second-fewest in the last 50 years). There was a point Sunday – from 6:11 left in the second quarter to 6:15 left in the third quarter – where the Raiders ran 38 plays and scored 30 points, and the Eagles ran SEVEN PLAYS. How is that even possible? We talk a lot about complimentary football. Whatever the opposite of that is – uncomplimentary football? – that’s what the Eagles are running. You're not going to win many games if you never have the ball. 

4. That might have been the worst game I’ve ever seen Jordan Mailata play. It can’t be easy going from left tackle to right tackle and back to left tackle – with a knee injury in between. But if he’s not healthy, he shouldn’t be out there. Maybe all the moving has been harder than he expected or maybe the knee is still bothering him, but he had a very tough time Sunday trying to block Yannick Ngakoue. We’re not used to seeing Mailata get beat like that, and it’s concerning. The o-line in general played poorly. They’re supposed to be a strength of this team and they were awful.

5. I’m not even sure what to say about Jalen Hurts. His final stats looked pretty (18-for-34 for 236 yards, two TDs, no INTS), but most of that was after the game got out of hand. It’s not that he struggled early, the Eagles just really never had the ball, and he never had a chance. When he did drop back, he was under instant siege. He took off and ran 13 times, which is too many, but it beats a sack. The o-line struggled, DeVonta Smith had three drops, Sanders missed most of the game. One thing I do know about Hurts is that he's a tough SOB and I'll never question his attitude, his grit or his toughness.

6. How about that Derek Barnett? Seven games, no sacks. Has he even gotten close? If he has, I missed it. He’s now gone 10 games since his last sack. He was the 14th pick in the 2017 draft. I didn’t understand why the Eagles brought him back this year, and it’s even more of a mystery now. What exactly does he do well?

7. Here’s an absolutely insane stat: The Eagles have allowed four of the last five quarterbacks they’ve faced to complete at least 80 percent of their passes. Dak Prescott completed 81 percent, Pat Mahomes 80 percent, Tom Brady 81 percent and Carr 91 percent. Only one other team in NFL history has allowed four QBs to complete 80 percent of their passes in AN ENTIRE SEASON. That was the 2015 Buccaneers, who allowed five. The last five QBs the Eagles have faced threw 169 passes. Only 38 of them were incomplete. How is that even possible? From 1933 through 2020, only eight QBs completed 80 percent of their passes against the Eagles. In the last 27 days five have.

8. What a shame seeing Miles Sanders go down with an ankle injury after finally getting some work and looking great on that first drive – 5-for-30 rushing. If Sanders is out for any length of time, there’s only one option that makes sense to replace him. Not Kenny Gainwell, who’s best used as a receiver and occasional runner, or Boston Scott, who’s ideally a role player. No, it’s one-time Pro Bowler and two-time 1,000-yard rusher Jordan Howard, who’s been on the Eagles’ practice squad all year. He’s a workhorse, he’s healthy, he’s rested and you know he’s only 26? He probably won’t get any carries, but the Eagles need to get him in the mix.

9. One thing I didn’t mind was the onside kick to open the second half. Heck, at that point he had to try something. The Raiders were going to score either way, may as well at least try to get the football back. And Jake Elliott hit a perfect kick and had a chance for the recovery but just missed it. Might have been Sirianni’s best play call of the year.

10. The Eagles need to do everything possible to re-sign Dallas Goedert. In his first game after the Zach Ertz trade, he caught three balls for 70 yards and looked every bit like a No. 1 tight end. He’s the Eagles’ most reliable target, and he really should be getting at least 10 targets a game. And how about Ertz in his first game with Arizona. After never catching a touchdown pass longer than 35 yards in 130 games as an Eagle, he caught a 47-yarder from Kyler Murray in his first game with the Cards. He finished 3-for-66 in Arizona’s win over the Texans. I hated to see Ertz go, but it’s clearly better for both of them to be on different teams.

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