The Eagles may still be in first place in the dismal NFC East but fans are jumping off the bandwagon, including one NFL legend. Howie Long picked Philadelphia to beat New York prior to Sunday’s divisional showdown but he’s done with making “emotional picks.”
The Eagles (3-5-1) fell to the Giants 27-17 in Week 10 in another lackluster effort. Everyone is losing patience with a team that carried Super Bowl aspirations into the regular season. Nine weeks into it, things have gone south in a hurry.
Long, the well-known and respected commentator for FOX Sports, has legitimate ties to the Philly area and has long championed the Eagles. He played his college football at nearby Villanova and his son, Chris Long, was helped the franchise raise its first-ever Lombardi Trophy in 2018.
The goodwill is over. Done. Long declared “that’s the last time I’ll pick the Eagles” on the FOX Postgame Show as Michael Strahan rubbed his nose in it. Strahan, of course, spent 15 years as a member of the New York Giants and always sides with Big Blue. He finished his career with 141.5 sacks, with 21.5 of them coming against Philadelphia.
Doug Pederson took the blame for the loss while pinning the dismal performance on too many penalties (11 for 74 yards) and failure to convert on third down (0-for-9). The Eagles travel to Cleveland next week to take on a red-hot Browns (6-3) team. The head coach didn’t have any excuses for Sunday, especially coming off a bye.
“I felt like the guys were ready to go, I’m obviously disappointed, that’s on me the way we played today,” Pederson said. “We’ve got to stop shooting ourselves in the foot, that’s the bottom line. All three phases had a hand in this loss today, with penalties and that isn’t good enough. There were too many third-and-longs to overcome.”
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Wentz: ‘I Hate Losing and It Frustrates Me’
The Eagles weren’t taking the defeat lightly. Carson Wentz got animated at his post-game press conference when a reporter asked him how he felt. The quarterback is usually calm, cool and collected on the field but he looked visibly upset about several play-calls, especially when Jalen Hurts subbed in for a failed run-pass option.
“It is frustrating. We’re not where we want to be,” Wentz told reporters. “Personally, I hate losing and it frustrates me. I go back and look at the tape as hard as anybody and go through with a fine-tooth comb and see, ‘Where can I get better?’ As a team, we all do the same thing. It is frustrating to be where we’re at, but at the same time, we’ve got no choice.”
Wentz finished 21-of-37 for 208 yards in what was arguably one of his better outings this year. The Eagles quarterback didn’t commit a single giveaway — no interceptions or fumbles — although he was erratic on several throws and failed to connect with open receivers. Wentz was also sacked three times and couldn’t get on the same page with Jason Kelce who botched three snaps.
“We’ve got no choice but to bounce back,” Wentz said. “We’ve got another good football team ahead of us next week. We’re going to learn from this one. We’re frustrated. We’re going to learn from it and we’re going to come back and attack next week.”
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