For a third straight week, the Philadelphia Eagles lost a game. After starting the year 10-1 and best record in the NFL, they are now 10-4 and need help if they even want to win the NFC East. Philly is currently tied record-wise with the Dallas Cowboys for the division lead, but Dallas has the tiebreaker. Monday's dissapointing loss to the Seattle Seahawks presented a lot of concern on both offense and defense.
While the offense was overall inefffective as there were two turnovers and only 17 points scored, let's focus on the defense. It was the first game of the season in which head coach Nick Sirianni's defensive playcaller was changed. Defensive coordinator Sean Desai was sent up to the coach's box, while Matt Patricia, the defensive assistant, came down to the sideline to call the plays.
The Eagles D Started Off Hot.
Seattle came into the game with their backup quarterback Drew Lock starting in place of Geno Smith. This presented the perfect opportunity to generate pressure on a QB who has bounced around a couple of teams and has a sub .500 record as a starter. Early on, the Eagles defense got the job done. On four Seattle drives in the first half, Philly forced a total of three punts with two of the drives resulting in three and outs. The Seahawks lone score was only a field goal.
The Eagles generating only 10 points on offense in the first half is a topic for another story, but Philly's defense deserves credit for only allowing three points.
However, Things Unraveled In The Second Half.
The Eagles 10-3 halftime lead was erased rather quickly. Seattle made second half adjustments against Patricia's defense and capitalized. They only faced one third down on the opening drive of the second half to even the score at 10 apiece. The run game and Drew Lock's passing game did whatever they wanted against the Eagles D.
The defense did bounce back by forcing a punt, followed by a field goal, and then another punt. However, the Eagles were only holding onto a four point lead with less than two minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Could Philly's defense hold onto a slim lead like they did in several games earlier this year?
Seattle got the ball back on their own eight yard line, so they had 92 yards to go with just one timeout and had to do it in less than two minutes. Drew Lock and the offense moved the ball with ease. Wide receiver DK Metcalf recorded an 18-yard catch and a 34-yard catch to get Seattle into Eagles territory. It seemed like Philadelphia could have stopped Seattle when they faced a third and ten from the 29, but Lock's was able to find Jaxon Smith-Njigba for the game-winning touchdown. The Eagles got lucky on several other occasions this year at the end of games, but Seattle was able to take advantage this time.
Overall, even with a new playcaller on defense, the same issues from throughout the season were evident. Quarterback Drew Lock finished the night completing 22 of 33 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles did not generate any turnovers, but did record two sacks. The one positive was that Philadelphia only allowed 297 yards, but allowing a backup QB to have it his way on the final 92-yard drive of the game was inexcusable.
It's tough to put all the blame on Matt Patricia's playcalling, but it was not a great debut. It will be interesting to see if he remains the playcaller going forward. Additionally, Philly's two turnovers and ineffecitve passing game were extremely dissapointing as well.
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