By Wednesday, you could tell the Eagles were tired of trying to explain what happened Sunday in that awful 37-19 loss to the Rams. That’s understandable; in the NFL, Wednesday is the day a team officially turns its attention to the coming game. But it seems players and coaches are even more eager for this after an embarrassing loss.
More along those lines in a moment, but first, if you like what you’re reading, tell your friends it’s free to sign up here. I want to know what you think, what we should add, and what you want to read, so send me feedback by email or on Twitter @lesbowen. (Twitter is a better bet; that email address gets spammed to death.)
— Les Bowen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
At the epicenter of the Eagles' defensive collapse against the Rams was a linebacking corps that got trampled by the run game and left in the dust by Jared Goff’s short passing game.
“Just as a whole, we all played inconsistent football,” linebacker Nate Gerry said Wednesday. “Defensively, we couldn’t put a good drive together.”
A team that prides itself on stopping the run gave up 191 rushing yards on 39 carries.
“Each series there were people here, people there [who made mistakes], but obviously, when they run the ball on you very well, it should go on the linebackers,” Gerry said. “We take pride in stopping the run here in Philadelphia, and that’s what we didn’t do.”
Gerry said that after discussing the breakdowns and watching the film, “you’ve just got to flush it.”
He said this is easier when you know the season is still salvageable.
“It’s easier for us to flush it knowing we still have the objectives and goals ahead of us that we still want to accomplish. … It’s just one of the bumps in the road. … I feel like we learned from it, and especially after today’s practice, I feel like we’ve definitely flushed it.”
What previous year does this remind you of? — @sanglamore, via Twitter.
Interesting question. Two weeks in is early for comparisons. I was only in my second year covering the team in 2003, and I’ve never forgotten all the conclusions that were jumped to when that team went to Buffalo in Week 3 carrying an 0-2 record. The Eagles won that week, despite crippling injuries, and finished 12-4.
I don’t think this team will go 12-4. I’m reluctant to say disaster looms, as weak as the NFC East again seems to be. But after back-to-back 9-7 seasons, we might see a fade back into 7-9, 6-10.
Maybe it feels a little like 2015, given that then, too, expectations were for a solid season, after back-to-back 10-6 years under Chip Kelly. An 0-2 start showed that many offseason assumptions were untrue, such as believing that Byron Maxwell was a shutdown corner, and that DeMarco Murray was better suited for Kelly’s system than LeSean McCoy. Despite never really looking like a contender, that team hung around at 4-4 until it hit a trio of ugly losses to the Dolphins, the Bucs and the Lions. Eventually, you could tell there was more wrong than a lack of talent. You could tell those guys were not playing for their coach.