The Eagles lost their second straight game on Sunday, 17-9, to the Seattle Seahawks.
Here are five takeaways:
Last week against the Patriots, franchise quarterback Carson Wentz had a 74.4 passer rating, the worst of his 50 career starts in which he didn’t throw an interception and, according to profootballfocus.com, his worst overall game of the season. At least, it was until Sunday’s four-turnover abomination against the Seahawks, which left the Eagles at 5-6.
Wentz lost two fumbles, threw two interceptions, took three sacks and finished with a 75.8 passer rating, inflated by a toothless, last-minute touchdown drive.
He was bad all day long. He ended every Eagles drive with a misplay, except for the fourth-quarter drive on which Dallas Geodert fumbled and the TD drive with 20 seconds to play. He ended the first three drives, bad throw, bad throw, then strip-sack by Rasheem Green.
He threw an interception off his back foot to end the next drive, then ended the next possession when he took a sack after looking at, then ignoring, an open receiver in the flat. The next drive died when he threw low and behind Greg Ward. He took another bad sack with 33 seconds to play in the second quarter, effectively ending any chance at scoring before halftime.
He and Miles Sanders botched a handoff on the first drive of the second half at the Seahawks’ 38 and fumbled away that possession, the play on which Wentz appeared to injure his right (throwing) hand while making the tackle. He put a glove on that hand between possessions and tried to throw with it, but he played the next series without the glove. At the end of that series Wentz left the field, ostensibly for x-rays on his hand. He returned to the game and seemed serviceable, but misfired (again) to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside on fourth-and-2 from the Seahawks’ 22. He threw his second pick on the next drive.
For the fourth straight week the Eagles defense allowed two touchdowns or fewer, and two of the last three TDs were trick-play passes. Not coincidentally, cornerback Jalen Mills returned four games ago; corner Ronald Darby, three games ago; corner Avante Maddox and defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, two games ago; and linebacker Nigel Bradham returned Sunday. They sacked MVP candidate Russell Wilson six times, the most he’s been sacked this season. They also picked him off once, forced him to fumble, and held him to a 75.4 passer rating, his second-worst outing of the season.
Greg Ward, who spent nine of the first 10 games on the Eagles’ practice squad and had played just two NFL snaps since going undrafted out of Houston in 2017, was activated Friday and immediately produced. He caught five passes in the first half, and they alone were the most receptions in a single game in five games, since Alshon Jeffery caught 10 passes in Game Six in Minnesota. His total of six catches in the game were four more than J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Mack Hollins collected in the previous seven games combined.
Right tackle Lane Johnson missed the game with a concussion, but his replacement, rookie backup left tackle Andre Dillard, played so poorly in his first lifetime start at right tackle that veteran Halapoulavaati Vaitai started the second half at right tackle. One problem: Vaitai, who also is the backup right guard, had replaced Brandon Brooks, who left in the first half with an unspecified illness. Second-year sixth-round pick Matt Pryor started the second half at right guard, his first offensive snaps as a pro. The absences continued a theme. The Eagles played without fully half of their top 12 offensive players from Games One and Two. That included all three top receivers — Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Nelson Agholor; the top two running backs, Jordan Howard and Darren Sproles; and Johnson, their most important offensive lineman.
For the second time in as many weeks the Eagles defense was duped by a trick play. Nine minutes into the first quarter Russell Wilson pitched to running back Chris Carson, who threw it back to Wilson on the left side, who then found Malik Turner for a 33-yard touchdown.