Jalen Mills didn’t flinch when asked to describe the mood in the Eagles’ locker room. Guys are mad, per Mills, and “pissed off” following the team’s 27-17 loss to New York. Since reporters are banned from walking around the locker room due to COVID-19 safety protocols, we’ll have to take the veteran safety at his word. One thing is for sure, the Eagles have underachieved through nine games.
“Pissed off. Pissed off because we put the work in throughout the week, so it should reflect,” Mills told reporters after the game. “That’s just how it works. That’s how sports work. That’s how football work. You practice how you play. We haven’t put it all together, but at the end of the day, we’re one week at a time.”
Everything went wrong against the Giants on Sunday. The Eagles committed 11 penalties that cost them 74 yards. They went 0-for-9 on third down, marking the first time they hadn’t converted a single third down in a game since Nov. 7, 2004. They gave up 151 rushing yards, including 64 yards and two touchdowns off the “speedy” legs of Daniel Jones. And the patchwork offensive line surrendered three sacks and 13 quarterback hits.
“I saw an offense that just wasn’t disciplined, including myself,” running back Miles Sanders said. “We’re beating ourselves.”
Doug Pederson pinned the blame on himself, per usual, and vowed to watch the tape and get things corrected. Good luck. The head coach admitted guys are upset, but he doesn’t feel he has lost the locker room.
“There’s still a lot of pride left in that locker room, and guys are mad,” Pederson said. “Guys are upset. I’m mad that we lost this game today, but we got a great opportunity next week to get it fixed.”
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Intensity Level, Effort Not the Problem
Looking for positives to take away from Sunday’s embarrassing loss? Start with Carson Wentz. The franchise quarterback didn’t turn the ball over for the first time all year, although he did fumble it twice. Luckily, Wentz recovered both of those would-be giveaways off bad snaps from center Jason Kelce.
He finished 21-of-37 for 208 yards with no passing touchdowns (72.8 QB rating). The Eagles’ two scores came on the ground, courtesy of a 56-yard Boston Scott scamper and 5-yard Corey Clement run. (For the record, Scott now has six out of his seven career touchdowns versus New York).
“Listen, it came down to execution. It came down to some decision-making on my part,” Pederson said. “We all had a hand in this one. It had nothing to do with effort, intensity. It had nothing to do with that.”
Wait, how could it not? The Eagles didn’t even play a game last week since it was their bye and still looked rusty.
It’s extra troubling because players and coaches had preached all week on how they had used the downtime to improve, including Wentz and Pederson reviewing the “turnover reel.” It didn’t show in Week 10. Maybe it never will.
“We’re not where we want to be,” Wentz said. “Personally, I hate losing. It’s frustrating to be where we’re at but we have no choice but to bounce back.”
Giants Shut Down Travis Fulgham
The Giants were able to do something no other team has been able to figure out for five straight weeks. They shut down practice-squad sensation Travis Fulgham, holding the stud receiver to one catch for eight yards. Tight end Richard Rodgers was the team’s leading pass-catcher in Week 10 as hauled in four receptions for 60 yards. Jalen Reagor grabbed four balls for 47 yards.
The Eagles’ offense sputtered for most of the afternoon despite racking up 346 yards of total offense. Pederson’s curious decision to go for a two-point conversion late in the third quarter (trailing 21-17) did them no favors. Neither did Wentz tripping over his offensive lineman (Sua Opeta) on a crucial 3rd-and-1 in the second quarter. Still, the Eagles were in a position to win the game up until the final three minutes when Graham Gano’s 44-yard field goal finally shut the door.
“We’ve gotta stop shooting ourselves in the foot,” Pederson said. “That’s the bottom line.”
Perhaps even more miraculously, the team remains in first place in the NFC East following Washington’s 30-27 loss to Detroit. Nobody wants to win the NFL’s worst division.
“It’s irrelevant at this point,” Mills said about being in first place. “We haven’t put a full game together.”
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