Slow starts and offensive struggles finally caught up with the Eagles in Week 4. It wasn’t a clean game for either side, but when it came down to the wire, the Eagles simply weren’t good enough to beat the 49ers, not this week.
There are still plenty of things for the Eagles to work on and correct as they head into the final two weeks before the bye week. Based on the way Week 4 went, the preparation for Week 5 should start with improving in all areas before honing in on certain aspects.
Here is this week’s report card.
Pass offense: Against the Redskins, things started to look like they were back to form. Against the 49ers, the offense as a whole was in shambles. Nick Foles didn’t have a good series until the fourth quarter, and when it came down to the end, the Eagles tried two passing plays to get into the endzone from one yard out. They fumbled the ball twice after catches, they were all out of sorts. And they still nearly executed the game-winning drive. But they didn’t. D
Run offense: Week 4 proved to be another week where LeSean McCoy really failed to show up. In addition, the lack of use for Darren Sproles and Chris Polk, when McCoy is off his game, is alarming. The run offense finished with 22 total yards and yet they could have improved their grade with one more yard. The Eagles didn’t get it. F
Pass defense: The defense played a solid game – hold for the 55-yard touchdown from Colin Kaepernick to Frank Gore. That said, the 49ers offense made big plays by making perfect plays. When it mattered most, Kaepernick would come up with the perfect throw or a receiver would make the perfect catch. Not much can stop that. On the plays that could be stopped, the defense was there. B
Run defense: Gore had himself a game, but the defense didn’t give him as much room to run in the second half, and that’s what put the ball in Foles hands with 1:20 to play and a chance to drive for the lead. It’s a shame they couldn’t pull it out when the defense really stepped up at key moments, especially after being on the field for so much of the game. B+
Special teams: You can’t ask for a more dominant performance from special teams. They provided two of the three touchdowns on the day. Forget about kick coverage, they made tons of plays in so many places. A blocked punt. A punt return for a touchdown. A field goal that was slightly blocked – but still successful. You can’t fault this special teams unit for anything in this game. It was a nearly perfect game from them. A
Overall: Every week, we seem to put so much focus on whether the defense is going to perform. In every week, the defense has performed similar to where they were at the end of last season. They make the plays when it matters but do still allow chunks of yards and miss tackles. That said, this is as bad as the offense has looked since the very beginning last season when Chip Kelly was going back and forth between quarterbacks. Those struggles cost the Eagles a win and a 4-0 start. It could get a lot worse if they don’t fix that. C
Kevin Durso is a contributor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.