As discussed earlier in a different post, we here at FPF network will do a weekly breakdown of film from each of the Philadelphia Eagles games. Boy, do we have a lot to discuss after this disastrous Week 3 game against the Dallas Cowboys. So let's jump right in.
1. Undisciplined does not even begin to describe this team.
So we will not dive too deep into the penalties this team is accruing at an alarming rate. When I say undisciplined, I am describing the area of responsibility from this defense. First-year defensive coordinator, Jonathan Gannon, has put a lot of different schemes for this Philly defense. The two significant changes are the SAM linebacker position and their hybrid zone scheme.
This type of scheme revolves around two things—a linebacker who can be in coverage and communication between all of the defensive backs. The Eagles have neither. The major blown coverages during this Week 3 train wreck all came from miscommunication from passing off assignments. Not a good look considering most of the Eagles' secondary is veterans. As far as the linebacking core, it is what it is. Gannon might want to look to change up his scheme a bit.
2. Jalen Hurts looked like a rookie.
Something that could be alarming is that quarterback Jalen Hurts, through the last two weeks, has been trending in the wrong direction. His footing is still a mess, and his pocket awareness is even worse. The missed opportunities are crippling from his ability to throw with anticipation. One that comes to mind is in the third quarter, where he missed a wide-open Dallas Goedert that had nothing but green in front of him.
Another was his first interception. That is an easy touchdown if he stepped into that throw and led Jalen Reagor into the endzone. This is a reoccurring theme with Hurts. In the last two weeks, there were many points where the ball wasn't underthrown; Hurts threw it late, so the receivers have had to stop and come back for the ball, putting it at risk of a pick. He needs to get significantly back to the basics, speaking of basics.
3. Nick Sirianni may what to give up play-calling.
The Eagles' first-year head coach, Nick Sirianni, has had a rough couple of weeks of play calling. I could write an entire article on the bad play-calls just from this game alone. To be frank, he looked lost. He could come up with anything to get this team into a rhythm. He started to put Hurts on track by giving him some over-the-middle looks but quickly stopped calling those plays. The screen game was a mess, the run was abandoned altogether, and most of all, he put his offense in a position to fail and fail they did.
At this point, he needs to be a coach, not a play-caller. I would suggest letting someone else do the play calling and design while he works to regain this team's confidence. Side note: It's not only Hurts that he is putting in dire situations; he is not calling any plays to his receiver's strengths.
4. Quez Watkins is the best receiver on this team.
You may argue with me on this, but as of now, it is true. Jalen Reagor, who primarily was known for contested catches, is put into routes that he can't seem to handle. If he is met with contact at the line, he is all but eliminated from the field of play. Don't get this twisted; Devonta Smith is good, but he has not been great. The 'Slim Reaper' is consistently getting much attention from the opposing team's secondary and has struggled to fight through contested catches. His route running is still excellent, but he has to fight through the contact and the double teams, which he has not worked greatly with in the last two weeks.
Quiz Watkins has just been the better player out of the three. He has consistently been able to get separated and fight his way through any contact. He has also been good at blocking out the defender, so he has the best opportunity to come down with the catch.
5. Miles Sanders should be furious.
This, for some reason, gets danced around a lot, but Miles Sanders is arguably one of the best weapons they have on that offense and the absolute ignorance and misuse of him over the past two seasons is ridiculous. Honestly, Sanders could've had a 150+ yard game the way the Cowboys' defense was lining up. He had some good catch and runs, but his ability to draw a defense in because of his big-play ability is just wasted.
6. Landon Dickerson is not ready.
I do not have much else to say on this. The highly regarded center cannot seem to anchor himself to be effective. Hopefully, he improves quickly.
7. The final touchdown to Greg Ward was beautiful.
Where the world was this all game long? From the vision to the throw to the catch, this was a thing of beauty. Seriously, check out the video below. This is why some of the things Hurts does infuriate fans!
A lot of work to do. We as fans have to remember that this season was mainly going to be a wash and possibly put too much stock into that Week 1 victory.
Onto Week 4.