As in giving up the big play, not making it. Jim Schwartz's defense has been getting gashed for long run and pass plays all season, and Sunday was no exception.
They gave up five double-digit-yard runs and two 30-plus-yard pass plays to the Ravens, including that lead-changing, momentum-swinging, 34-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to 98-year-old Steve Smith near the end of the first half.
The Eagles gave up 151 rushing yards to the Ravens, who own one of the worst ground attacks in the NFL. One hundred twenty-one of those 151 yards came on five plays, including a 16-yard touchdown run by Kenneth Dixon on a toss play early in the fourth quarter that gave the Ravens a 10-point lead.
Defensive end Brandon Graham let Dixon get outside, linebacker Nigel Bradham got taken out by rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley, cornerback Jalen Mills was blocked by wide receiver Mike Wallace, and safety Rodney McLeod, well, McLeod wasn't blocked, but basically showed no interest in tackling Dixon.
He back-pedaled from the 10- to the 1-yard line before finally making an effort – a half-hearted and unsuccessful one – to tackle Dixon. Can't wait to hear what Schwartz has to say about that.
Flacco's touchdown pass to Smith was equally bizarre. Mills gave Smith a clean release on a six-man blitz, and the veteran receiver blew by him. Safety Jaylen Watkins came over to help, but far too late.
The Eagles are a middle-of-the-pack 17th in run defense, but have given up the fifth-most 10-plus-yard runs (48) in the league and the fourth-most 20-yard runs (12). They've allowed an NFL-high 24 pass plays of 30-plus yards.
THE ROAD THING
The loss to the Ravens was the Eagles' seventh road defeat in eight games. For the seventh time in those eight road games, they were outscored in the first quarter, 10-3, and for the sixth time, they were outscored in the first half, 20-14.
The Eagles have been outscored in the first quarter on the road this season, 68-12. They've been outscored in the first half on the road, 135-77. In a nutshell, they've been playing catch-up on the road all season.
On their first two possessions Sunday, the Eagles gained 10 yards on nine plays. The Ravens scored a touchdown on their first possession, taking advantage of a short field provided by a Carson Wentz interception.
The Eagles have averaged just 3.5 yards per play and have scored 13 points on their first two possessions on the road this season. Their opponents have averaged 6.9 yards and have scored 52 points on their first two possessions.
A week after converting just one of four red-zone opportunities in a five-point loss to the Redskins, the Eagles converted just two of five against the Ravens.
Their season-long red-zone struggles – they're 24th in the league in red-zone offense (50.0) -- have done wonders for Caleb Sturgis' Pro Bowl chances, but very little for helping them win games.
Against the Ravens, Wentz completed just two of nine passes for eight yards inside the 20, dropping his red-zone completion percentage for the season to 50.0 (40 for 80).
In the second quarter, the Eagles had a first down at the Baltimore 11. Then a poor block by tight end Zach Ertz allowed linebacker Albert McClellan to tackle running back Byron Marshall for a 4-yard loss. That was followed by a bad-looking screen to Marshall that lost another yard, yada, yada, yada, and Sturgis kicked a field goal.
The Eagles had a first and goal at the 7 with three minutes left in the fourth quarter. Then Ertz slipped making a cut, Terrell Suggs got inside on rookie right tackle Isaac Seumalo and decked Marshall for yet another 4-yard loss, and 6-5, 237-pound Dorial Green-Beckham couldn't get position and haul in a back-shoulder fade in the end zone over 5-9 cornerback Tavon Young. Paging Caleb Sturgis. Again.
Chip Kelly used to say time of possession was one of the most meaningless statistics in football. His critics would roll their eyes and suggest he was nuts.
But you know what? The 2016 Eagles are proving that maybe Chip's attitude toward TOP wasn't so crazy after all.
Through 14 games, the Eagles lead the NFL in time of possession (32:29). They've won the time-of-possession battle in 10 of those 14 games. That and a buck fifty will buy them a copy of the Daily News.
They controlled the clock against the Ravens on Sunday for 36 ½ minutes, which they also did the week before against the Redskins.They had five drives of eight plays or more, including a 17-play drive in the second quarter that was longer than the Peloponnesian War.
And yet, for the 11th straight game, they failed to score more than two offensive touchdowns. And yet, for the sixth time in the last seven games in which they've won the time-of-possession battle, they've lost on the scoreboard.
Slow and steady doesn't always win the race. Especially when you have a defense that allows opponents to score in the blink of an eye. Especially when too many of those double-digit-play drives end with Sturgis kicking a field goal.
The Cowboys are second in the league in time of possession, averaging just seven seconds less than the Eagles. But they've used their time a little more wisely. They've scored 15 more offensive touchdowns than the Eagles.
THE OUTSIDE RECEIVERS, AGAIN
Next verse same as the first.
Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham were targeted a total of seven times Sunday and caught a grand total of two passes for 20 yards.
Just when we finally had stopped talking about Agholor's penchant for dropping passes, he let a third-and-1 throw from Wentz in Baltimore territory slip through his hands in the second quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Doug Pederson used him on a jet sweep on a fourth and 2 at the Ravens' 34. The blocking wasn't very good on the play, but Agholor managed to get to the edge, only to step out of bounds before picking up the first down.
As for Green-Beckham, his lone contribution was an 11-yard catch on a slant earlier in the same drive in which Agholor failed to pick up the first down.