Well, Philly fans, not exactly the outcome we all had hoped for. The Philadelphia Eagles drop to 3-6 on the season after a 27 to 24 loss against the Los Angeles Chargers. After a back and forth game between these two teams, the Chargers were eventually able to move down the field and bleed out the clock to kick a field goal to seal the Birds' fate.
There should be frustration from this fan base on the outcome of this game, primarily on defense. After such a building performance against the Lions, this team left Lincoln Finacial Field as losers. This was not the way many, including myself, saw this game going. However, the Eagles put up a fight (on offense) to keep themselves in this game. Let's get into some of the biggest takeaways from this Week 9 loss.
1. Sirianni called his best game.
Pound for pound, this was probably one the best game plans that the Eagles head coach had since the Week 1 win over the Atlanta Falcons. He did a good job of getting his offense into a rhythm, exploiting the Chargers' defensive weaknesses, and stuck to what works for his younger offense.
Sirianni was able to cook up a few solid plays to keep some drives alive and get his team into the endzone. It seems that the Eagles' offensive may have figured out a winning recipe for success that has now continued for two weeks straight. If anything, this should give fans some hope for the future.
2. Jalen Hurts' stock rose in this game.
Okay, let's get this out of the way early. Yes, he has two throws that he would like to have back, and ultimately those are throws that Hurts has to hit. However, it was really important for the fans to realize that at no point in time did he check out of this game. His mobility kept many drivers alive and with his arm heating up in the second half of the game, Hurts was able to keep pace with the Chargers.
As stated earlier, those missed throws are ones he has to hit, but because he remained calm and collective he was able to answer a few questions that fans had about him. This loss was not on Hurts and if you think it was, stop. In fact, Hurts was one of the main reasons the Eagles were still in this fight. Still a long way from proving he is the franchise quarterback, but finally moved the needle in the right direction.
3. Howie drafting DeVonta Smith has silenced some of his other boneheaded draft picks.
Hey, that Smith kid is pretty good. Just kidding, we know DeVonta Smith is good. In fact, Smith's ability on the field has quite one of the possibly worst drafts picks by this team and has made another bad draft pick almost an entire afterthought.
Smith had a quiet day with 5 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown. He is on pace to break the Eagles' rookie receiving record, held by DeSean Jackson and is proving to be the right choice every game. After a few questionable games by the young rookie, he silenced any concern in Week 9 with his dominating performance.
4. How in the world was Jordan Howard on the practice squad for seven weeks?
We know this organization has a bad habit of ignoring certain players on the practice squad. Running back Jordan Howard seems to have found his youth and his looking like his former pro-bowl self. Howard had 17 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown. He continued to make linebackers pay with his aggressive downhill running. Sign him to the team Howie!
5. The Gannon experience needs to come to an end.
So, I will be honest with everyone. I have defended defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon for a long time. He has the mind and ability to be a great defensive coordinator and yet week in and week out he is continuously proving otherwise. The Eagles' Week 9 performance was probably one of the worst I have seen in many years of covering this team. Forget the defensive backs playing in a different zip code and how that literally cancels out its own defensive line.
Let's take a look at one particular drive in this game, the last drive by the Chargers offense. With a tick above six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the game is tied, and you have obviously let the opposing team drive down the field, you would think that the "progressive" DC would send some form of blitz package or show a different type of coverage, right? Well, apparently not. Gannon called his defense as passive as one could and let the Chargers march down the field, using all six minutes of the clock.
This is probably the most frustrating part of this season. It's not like he doesn't know how to adjust. We all saw the different packages that this team could be used in just SEVEN DAYS AGO. Well, as hard as it is to say, this team still has 8 more games to play and it is possible it may be without Gannon.