Good morning, Eagles fans, and happy Monday. Hope the hangover from the Eagles’ 17-10 loss to the New England Patriots has subsided. The Eagles now drop to 5-5, while the 9-1 Patriots’ sole blemish remains a pre-bye-week loss to Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. The Super Bowl LII rematch started with a 10-0 Eagles lead and ended with spectators booing a Birds team that just couldn’t hang on. The game was an aesthetically unappealing one for both teams, neither of which could get anything going on offense. The Eagles’ passing game was awful. The offensive line did a poor job protecting Carson Wentz after right tackle Lane Johnson was sidelined with a head injury. The running game has seen much better days. So yeah, not a lot to be optimistic about on the offensive side of the ball. But the defense showed up to play, and kept pressure on Tom Brady. The defense will be tested next week when it faces off against the 8-2 Seattle Seahawks. We’ll get to that more in a minute.
— Erin McCarthy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Had the Eagles been able to rally after the Patriots’ go-ahead trick-play touchdown, conversations across the region today would include two words: “signature win." But of course, the injury-maligned offense wasn’t up to the task.
They still have a chance to salvage some playoff hope next week. Is it a must-win? I’d say so. Especially given the fact that the Eagles’ offensive showing on Sunday doesn’t provide much confidence that they’ll easily win all of the “easy” games on the remainder of their schedule.
In the locker room after the game, players were already looking ahead to next week.
Safety Rodney McLeod put it simply: "Looking forward to next week vs. Seattle. It’s going to be another tough opponent. They’re playing well. We got to get a win.”
Easier said than done, especially when you’re talking about the Seahawks (8-2), who have one of the league’s most explosive offenses and a quarterback who’s much more elusive than Tom Brady.
Russell Wilson is the NFL’s highest-paid player this year for good reason. The 31-year-old currently leads the league with a 114.9 QB rating. In Seattle’s last game before their bye this week, they took down their NFC West rivals, the previously unbeaten San Francisco 49ers, in an 27-24 overtime thriller. Wilson was exceptional, going 24-of-34 for 232 yards and a touchdown, and adding another 53 yards on the ground.
Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox said the line has to continue to up their game as they prepare for Seattle.
“I think the main thing for us is to go in, correct the mistakes," Cox said, "and get ready because we have another good football team coming to town next week.”
The good news for the Eagles’ lackluster offense is that the Seahawks haven’t been as defensively sound. They rank 23rd in total defense, and have allowed 372 yards per game. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Carson Wentz and any of his receivers or running backs can make plays.
The Eagles are one game back in the NFC East, with Dallas beating Detroit on Sunday and moving to 6-4. The Eagle will face off with the Cowboys again right before Christmas, but they have to win some games in the meantime for that matchup to mean something.
The Eagles don’t seem to have enough weapons and firepower at wide receiver to back Carson Wentz. Is that something they can fix by next season or are they doomed to be undermanned in that area for years to come? — @dannmaal via Twitter
Hi there, Dan. Thanks for asking. I’m sure this is something that’s been on the minds of many Eagles’ fans, especially as they watched the passing game sputter on Sunday.
I don’t know if the Eagles can “fix” this problem entirely, but they can certainly improve. I mean, it’d be difficult for them to have fewer offensive playmakers than they do right now. Of course, Alshon Jeffrey is out with an ankle injury, and perhaps the veteran could miraculously return as his dynamic former self. Same goes for DeSean Jackson after the injury-prone 32-year-old recovers from regular-season-ending abdomen surgery.