Good morning, Eagles fans. The suspense is over. After three straight years of playoffs, there will be no postseason this season for the Eagles. That was cemented Sunday after a 37-17 loss to the host Dallas Cowboys.
The Eagles and quarterback Jalen Hurts looked like world beaters in the first quarter and then tailed off. Now there is just one more game left, Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field against the Washington Football Team. After that, it’s on to the draft, free agency, and to see if all the key decision makers will be back for another go next season.
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Teams appear to be making in-game adjustments against Hurts
After one relief appearance against Green Bay and starts against New Orleans and Arizona, Jalen Hurts became one of Philadelphia’s favorite athletes. More reality came during the loss to Dallas.
Hurts has played well since replacing Carson Wentz, but people might want to hold up the talk about his being the Eagles’ future starter. During his three starts, a solid pattern has emerged: Hurts would have strong first halves and not be as productive in the second half.
Here is the breakdown:
Dec. 13: Eagles 24, New Orleans 21
First half: 12-for-21 passing, 129 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT; 7 carries, 75 yards
Second half: 5-for-9 passing, 38 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT; 11 carries, 31 yards
Dec. 20: Arizona 33, Eagles 26
First half: 12-for-18 passing, 177 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT; 3 carries, 21 yards
Second half: 12-for-26 passing, 166 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INT; 8 carries, 44 yards, 1 TD
Dec. 27: Dallas 37, Eagles 17
First half: 9-for-14 passing, 178 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT; 5 carries, 53 yards
Second half: 12-for-25 passing, 164 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT; 4 carries, 16 yards
First half: 33-for-53 passing, 484 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT; 15 carries, 149 yards
Second half: 29-for-60 passing, 368 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INT; 23 carries, 91 yards, 1 TD
Here is the most significant stat:
Points scored in Hurts’ three starts
First half: 54
Second half: 13
This might indicate that since Hurts is a rookie with just three starts, teams need time to adjust to him. It looks like they have in the second halves of games.
Just like Hurts shouldn’t be handed the starting job next season based on a few games, he also shouldn’t be labeled just a first-half quarterback, but that is what he has been basically in his three starts. It also shows that if the Eagles were to put their faith in Hurts, he is no sure thing.
What you need to know about the Eagles
Les Bowen recaps the Eagles loss to Dallas, one that eliminated any chance of the postseason.
Mike Sielski writes that there could be some good with losing to Dallas because it shows the Eagles that they are far from a playoff team.
In Jeff McLane’s Up-Down Drill, he rated not only the Cowboys game, but also the season.
McLane wonders if the loss to the Cowboys was the final nail in Doug Pederson’s coaching tenure with the Eagles.
Marcus Hayes writes that after Jalen Hurts’ uneven performance against Dallas, there should be a true quarterback competition next season.
The criticism for the Eagles not only in Sunday’s loss, but also for the season came in full force in the social media reaction.
After the game, Doug Pederson talked about not only his disappointment with the loss to Dallas, but in the season in general, too.
In his Eagles notes, Bowen begins by writing about how much the loss of Fletcher Cox to a stinger hurt the team.
In Paul Domowitch’s game grades, the Eagles pass defense got the lowest mark, not surprising since Andy Dalton threw for 377 yards and three touchdowns.
Domowitch writes about the collapse of the Eagles offense after a strong start against the Cowboys.
EJ Smith writes that there were plenty of secondary concerns in the loss to Dallas.
Smith and Damichael Cole provide all the details of the game as it happened, including video clips.
David Maialetti and Tim Tai provide a photo gallery of the game.
From the mailbag
This is how the Eagles season had to end. If they had slipped into the playoffs, Lurie would bring everyone back again. Time to blow this team up. — Drew Olanoff, @Yoda, on Twitter
Answer: Thanks for the comment, Drew. I am not sure they’ll blow it up as far as getting rid of Pederson or GM Howie Roseman. Owner Jeffrey Lurie might attribute this to a COVID season and bring both back.
If you look objectively, Pederson has qualified for the playoffs in three of his five seasons, and he has won a Super Bowl and a playoff game the next season, all with a backup quarterback. Anything could happen, but I don’t think they would blow up management, but I would not be surprised if Lurie hired a strong personnel person to help Roseman with the draft, where he has struggled.
There will be big changes on the roster, though, with several veterans they will likely trade or release.