By Mike Bringhurst
Well that didn’t take very long. The Eagles Super Bowl honeymoon celebration is officially over. On Sept. 29th, the Philadelphia Eagles traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to take on the Titans in a matchup that was favored to go in Philadelphia’s direction. When the NFL schedule came out in the spring many Eagles faithful decided that this was a great game for a road trip. Eagles’ fans could be heard throughout Nissan Stadium at various points during the game, unfortunately their trip ended in defeat.
The Week 4 matchup between the two teams was highly anticipated due to it being Eagles’ Quarterback Carson Wentz’s first road game since his ACL injury last December. Wentz had a solid afternoon going 33-50 for 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Sunday’s game also marked the return of Eagles’ Wide Receiver Alshon Jeffrey, who had been out of action since March; Jeffery caught 8 passes for 105 yards and 1 touchdown. Jeffrey had been recovering from a torn rotator cuff injury suffered last season.
The Eagles’ struggles came down to 3 main points during this game.
- The defense struggled with creating pressure on Marcus Mariota, which led to poor pass coverage.
- Multiple dropped passes
- Offensive line pass protection
The 2018 Eagles have not gotten off to a great start. At 2-2, they seem to specifically struggle on the road. The dropped passes and offensive line issues can be fixed with proper coaching and adjustments. The biggest concern with this Eagles team is their pass defense.
Losing Safety Rodney Mcleod (torn MCL) in Week 3 did this team no favors, as this team struggled tremendously with getting off the field during this game, especially on 4th down in overtime.
The two biggest plays that stand out to me from Sunday’s game have to be with 7:54 seconds remaining in the 4th Quarter; Jalen Mills bit on a deep post route to Titans’ Wide Receiver Corey Davis setting them up in the Eagles’ red zone.
The second biggest play was on 4th and 15 in overtime when Corey Graham missed his assignment within the Eagles’ sticks pass coverage. All Graham had to do was to drop into his zone and read the field.
On this play, Titans’ quarterback Marcus Mariota was able to connect with a 19-yard pass to Taywan Taylor.
This play extended the drive for the Titans, which ultimately led to a 10-yard game winning touchdown within the red zone (Marcus Mariota to Corey Davis).
Adjustments will have to be made to keep this team relevant for the 2018 season. One possible suggestion could see a shake up within the Eagles Secondary possibly by moving Sidney Jones to the outside position and Jalen Mills to the inside slot.
The offense will need to be better as well. The Eagles should be getting back some of their weapons in Corey Clement (quad) and Darren Sproles (hamstring) within the next week or two. The return of these two running backs should bolster the morale of the team and lead to great production on the field.
Coach Doug Pederson will need to be more creative in his play calling. Doug needs to continue to get the 12 personnel (1 running back, 2 tight ends) on the field to allow tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert the opportunity to create mismatches in their opponents’ pass coverage.
Next week, the Philadelphia Eagles will host the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field in an NFC Championship Rematch.
Kickoff is at 4:25 PM.