Five takeaways from the Eagles’ 24-20 loss to the Falcons on Sunday night.
Next man up? How about next 12 men up? The bodies started falling early and often Sunday night. The Eagles lost No. 2 tight end Dallas Goedert to a calf injury before the game even started.
Since they have only two tight ends, that effectively eliminated the possibility of using any 12 personnel packages against the Falcons
But it would get worse, They lost their two top wide receivers – Alshon Jeffery (calf) and DeSean Jackson (groin) -- to injuries. That forced their fourth and fifth wide receivers -- J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Mack Hollins -- to play almost every snap.
Goedert, Jeffery, and Jackson all could be out a few weeks, which isn’t a good thing, considering the Eagles have a Thursday night game on the road against the 2-0 Packers after they play Detroit at the Linc next Sunday
For the 12th time in their last 18 regular-season games, the Eagles failed to score in the first quarter. They had one first down on their first possession, one on their second possession, and one on their third. They finally scored on their third possession on a 34-yard Jake Elliott field goal. The Eagles had just seven first downs in the first half, and two of them came on penalties.
Eagles running backs averaged 5.3 yards per carry in the second half of their come-from-behind win over Washington in Week 1. The Falcons gave up 172 yards on 38 carries in their lopsided loss to the Vikings. Despite all of the injuries to their receivers, the Eagles ran the ball just 11 times in the first half for 32 yards and averaged 2.3 yards per carry for the night.
The Eagles, who didn’t have any interceptions in their Week 1 win over Washington, picked off Matt Ryan three times. It was only the fifth time in the last six seasons that Ryan has thrown three interceptions in a game, the last time on Dec. 7, 2017 in a 20-17 win over the Saints.
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz doesn’t like to blitz much. The Eagles gave up a long touchdown in Week 1 when he blitzed. But two of Ryan’s interceptions were precipitated by pass rush pressure from blitzes.
Unfortunately, he blitzed again when the Falcons had a fourth-and-3 with a little over two minutes left in the game and the Eagles up by three. Ryan hit Julio Jones with a short pass on the play and he ran 54 yards for the go-ahead touchdown.
After recording a 122.1 passer rating and throwing three touchdown passes last week against Washington, Carson Wentz had his ups and downs against the Falcons. He completed just 6 of 16 passes for 47 yards and two interceptions in the first half. He had a 6.3 first-half passer rating. At one point, he was pulled from the game and taken into the medical tent to get checked for a possible concussion after a couple of big hits that also seemed to injure his ribs.
But he came up big in the second half, throwing a 4-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor in the third quarter, then engineering a go-ahead 13-play, 73-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter that included a third-and-9 pass to Mack Hollins that he threw with a defensive tackle dragging him to the ground.