NFC East Week 7 Review
Phillies to Hire Josh Bonifay as Director of Player Development

Eagles Evaluation: Change In Game Plan Leads To Fourth-Quarter Collapse

By Gia Lanci, Sports Talk Philly Staff

The Eagles were coming off of a big win going into this game against the Panthers. It was a pivotal game for the team going into the rest of their season. There was a big improvement for the offensive line and secondary against the Giants and we continue to expect that level of play in week 7.

Below are my drive by drive analyses:

First Quarter

Drive One (Offense)

  • After the touchback, the offense was unable to get a first down. Wentz came out firing to Agholor. It looked like an exciting start, however it was not and had no gain.
  • Carson Wentz fumbled the ball right out of his hand which he then fell on top of. This caused them to need 20 yards for a first down. Carson intended to pass to Alshon Jeffery. The pass was too high, which forced a three and out.

Drive Two (Defense)

  • Cameron Johnston had a short punt compared to how he has been punting. Most likely, this was because of the wind. This put the Panthers on their 42-yard line.
  • Christian McCaffrey ran down a path through our defenders. It was a well thought play for their offense having all of the defensive line occupied. Jalen Mills pushed McCaffrey out of bounds.
  • Brandon Graham shut down the runner very quickly as they ran up the middle. He had great coverage to only allow a gain of one yard.
  • A pass was thrown, but incomplete because of impressive coverage by Ronald Darby. This proved the secondary has improved early on in the game.
  • The quarterback was unable to complete a pass because of the great coverage by Nigel Bradham. This forced the punt.

Drive Three (Offense)

  • After a touchback, the offensive line had excellent protection that allowed Carson to throw to Zach Ertz for a first down. Then there was a short pass to Corey Clement for another first down with good blocks by Jason Kelce and Brandon Brooks.
  • Josh Adams showed his place with a decent run of four yards. He is a much needed offensive player to makeup for Darren Sproles being injured.
  • Corey Clement carried the ball to force it to fourth down with one yard to go. Luke Kuechly stopped Clement to force Doug Pederson to decide if they should go for it or not.
  • He decided to go for it and it was a successful QB sneak by Carson Wentz. It was a great call by Doug Pederson, back to his confident self.
  • Josh Adams carried the ball and drove Kuechly for four yards. A personal foul was called on Reid, who seems to have some personal issues. He tackled Wentz late, causing a confrontation.
  • A pass was thrown to Jeffrey with an amazing catch just keeping his feet in. It was a “Michael Jackson” type position. Wendell Smallwood blocked Luke Kuechly to give Carson the time to execute the pass.
  • A penalty that was unliked by the fans was called on Jason Peters. Jason Peters has gotten a penalty almost every game. Being a veteran, you would assume he would make smart plays and minimize these little mistakes.
  • The offense gained the yards right back with a screen pass to Goedert. Carson had the run/pass option and made a great decision to pass it to Goedert, who had excellent blockers in front of him; Jason Kelce, Jason Peters, and Isaac Seumalo. With their assistance, Goedert pushed the Eagles up 21 yards.
  • On third down, Wentz got crushed by Grant. It was nearly an interception. This forced an attempt at a field goal that was no good, by Jake Elliott.

Drive Four (Defense)

  • The first pass of the drive was shut down immediately by Malcolm Jenkins.
  • Two carries by Christian McCaffrey: one he ran right by the defense and the second run was shut down very quickly as he ran up the middle. He was stopped by Malcolm Jenkins. It is absurd that McCaffrey isn’t covered every single play, since he is their best offensive weapon.
  • Michael Bennett got his third sack of the season, which forced a punt. He got right past the offensive line and got to Newton very quickly. This is essential to beat the Panthers, to get to Cam Newton and make him upset early on.

Drive Five (Offense)

  • DeAndre Carter was ready to receive for the Eagles, and took it out to the 27-yard line. The special teams has not made any impressive plays this season yet. They need to start making bigger plays to give the offense a better starting position.
  • Josh Adams had a good run right up the middle. He is someone that the offense needs to use more. Doug Pederson seems to not want to run the ball as often as he should. It is understood that he has a great QB, however it is essential for the offense to run, especially when there are good offensive weapons like Josh Adams.

Second Quarter

  • An energetic pass was thrown to a wide open Ertz who got past the defensive line and had no one on him. This gave the offense more momentum for this drive.
  • Jeffery shrugged off two defenders to bring the Birds inside the 10-yard line. Kuechly ended it by pushing Jeffery out of bounds. It was a 20-yard catch and run for Jeffrey. Kuechly is someone we need to stay away from.
  • Carson Wentz had plenty of time to throw, thanks to the offensive line, to Jeffery for their first touchdown.

Drive Six (Defense)

  • There was continuous pressure being put on Cam Newton by the defense. Brandon Graham and Jordan Hicks were going right for Newton, forcing the Panthers to punt. He is getting shook up, which affects not only him, but the attitude of his whole team.

Drive Seven (Offense)

  • Carter caught the ball at the 11-yard line and was brought down immediately.
  • Jeffery had the first play of the drive to break away from being covered to have an amazing catch. He knew right where the ball was and the defender did not see it at all, giving Jeffery a great opportunity.
  • Another amazing catch by Ertz, who had good pressure on him. He caught the ball breaking away from his man. Really impressive control by Ertz and Jeffrey.
  • A short pass was thrown to Agholor with a gain of 13-yards. He spinned off of defenders and had a great run.
  • Jason Peters failed to protect Carson Wentz, causing him to get sacked. Peters also caused another penalty on this drive. His injury may be affecting his performance. He may need to rest for a few weeks and come back. It would be beneficial for the team.
  • Jake Elliott attempted a field goal on a very windy day in Philly. The kick was good, which makes it 10-0 birds.

Drive Eight (Defense)

  • Malcolm Jenkins had very good coverage on the first pass.
  • There was a reverse play by the offense which forced Cam Newton to block for his receiver and Ronald Darby should’ve went through Newton but he attempted to go around him. Cam Newton went way further down the field because of it.
  • Brandon Graham initiated the second sack on Newton that was assisted by Bruce Hector and Derek Barnett to get him down. Brandon Graham came from behind him to attack him. It was a loss of 11 yards for the Panthers.
  • The defense allowed Newton to scramble for 12 yards. The defenders had to flee from their men to try and get to Cam up the middle. Nigel Bradham was finally able to get the tackle.
  • The offense attempted a 39-yard field goal. On the attempt there was a penalty on the offense pushing them back five yards. There was another penalty on their next attempt, so they decided to punt the ball. Those penalties killed them on this drive.

Drive Nine (Offense)

  • The Panthers punter had a great punt regarding the circumstances, giving the Eagles a starting position inside the 10-yard line.
  • Corey Clement had a decent run. He is a reliable player for the offense.
  • Wendell Smallwood had a good carry to gain a first down. He then had an excellent run for 51 yards. It was then taken back when there was a holding penalty called on Brandon Brooks.
  • The offense was unable to execute as the time ran out to end the first half.

Third Quarter

Drive 10 (Defense)

  • The Eagles coming into this half pretty confident leading Carolina by 10 points.
  • In the first half, the Panthers did not seem to be able to even get past the frontline, but they started off the second half getting to the secondary. Cam Newton saw an opportunity and he ran while the blitz was coming for him. He is so mobile so when they blitz him, they need to make sure he is forced to stay in the pocket. He ran for 14 yards to the secondary, and McDougle was unable to get the tackle.
  • A pass was thrown to the receiver Jalen Mills was covering and the pass was completed for a first down. Opposing offenses constantly looks for who Mills is covering because of his performance this season. This should not happen. Something needs to change with Jim Schwartz and the secondary to ensure this is not the case.
  • Christian McCaffrey carried the ball and had good coverage on him, but he made a mistake and caused a penalty.
  • A 16-yard pass was thrown and completed once again toward Mills. He cannot execute his coverage on his man and gets beaten every time.
  • Michael Bennett forced McCaffrey to run a different route instead of going into the gap. In doing so, Jordan Hicks was right there to get the tackle.
  • Michael Bennett and the defensive line put heavy pressure on Newton. As he went to throw, Bennett tackled him to force him to intentionally ground the ball. This forced the Panthers to punt.

Drive 11 (Offense)

  • The punt put the Eagles at their six-yard line. Not a great place to start in the first drive of the second half.
  • Agholor carried the ball for a decent run for five yards. There was then a false start penalty called on Jeffery, pushing them back five yards.
  • Smallwood carried the ball for a first down. Isaac Seumalo assisted Smallwood by basically carrying him to pick up a few yards. Whatever you must do to get the first down, I guess.
  • A pass was thrown to his favorite target, Zach Ertz. The offensive line gave Carson plenty of time to read the field. Zach ran it through defenders to gain more yards.
  • Corey Clement carried the ball and was hit by Kuechly and fumbled the ball. Carson Wentz came from behind to recover the ball.
  • A pass was thrown to Dallas Goedert for a 17-yard gain. This was a big first down that put the Eagles on the Panthers 23-yard line.
  • Wentz started to scramble trying to find someone to throw to and, at the last second, threw to Ertz who made an amazing catch just keep his feet in. It was great by Ertz to realize Carson needed an open target and to get open for his quarterback. It was dangerous by Carson Wentz to throw that risky of a pass to Ertz.
  • Wentz is doing a really good job of finding targets in a short time. He wouldn’t be able to do it without the offensive line giving him time to find those targets.
  • They were at Carolina’s one-yard line, and they got a first down by doing a QB sneak. It was successful thanks to Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks and Isaac Seumalo pushing their defensive line back.
  • A touchdown pass was thrown to Dallas Goedert with decent coverage on him. This was his second touchdown pass of the season. The extra point was good.

Drive 12 (Defense)

  • Again there were several passes targeted at Mills’ man. He needs to get in between his man and the quarterback. He is always behind them and he may get the tackle, but he needs to prevent the completed pass.
  • There were then five completed passes with a gain of senen yards or more. This brought the Panthers down the field. There was a loss of energy from the defense as they allowed the Panthers to do this.

Fourth Quarter

  • Newton passed the ball on this drive, causing the secondary to be more involved. That was the issue with this drive and why they got so far down the field.
  • The defense did a great job putting pressure on Cam Newton forcing him to throw short, quick passes. Cam threw a pass to McCaffrey who was tackled by Nigel Bradham.
  • A pass was thrown to Moore who ran for 16 yards. Malcolm Jenkins was able to execute the tackle.
  • Samuel ran the ball in for the Panthers first touchdown of the game. It was a 14-yard rush. The mis-tackles were by Darby and Grugier-Hill.

Drive 13 (Offense)

  • Carter ran the ball out to the 31-yard line. This was the best starting position so far this game.
  • The offense seems a little slower to get the ball rolling. Every play on this drive was a throw. This shows how Doug Pederson really needs to run the ball more. They were unable to execute, forcing the punt.

Drive 14 (Defense)

  • A 14-yard pass was thrown really quickly by Cam Newton. It was something they adjusted at halftime. Once again to the man that Mills was covering. He came from behind him to get the tackle. He needed to be in front of him and prevent the pass.
  • The defense let the receivers be open to be a target for Cam. A pass was thrown to Wright with absolutely no coverage on him.
  • Another complete pass was thrown to a wide open receiver. Tre Sullivan and Dexter McDougle were standing there not covering anyone and watched the receiver catch the ball.
  • An 18-yard pass to Funchess was complete for a touchdown. Ronald Darby was unable to cover Funchess which allowed him to catch the pass. He bit on the inside move, and was beat out. They then attempted a two-point conversion, which was completed from Newton to Wright. Maddox was unable to cover Wright who ran right in for the extra point conversion.

Drive 15 (Offense)

  • Something changed in the offense and really had trouble with this drive. The Birds had a quick three and out.They were unable to execute.

Drive 16 (Defense)

  • Ronald Darby had good coverage on Panthers offensive target Greg Olsen causing an incomplete pass. Then, Mills also had good coverage on Moore which was another incomplete pass. This is what both of them need to do every play.
  • The Panthers decide to attempt a fourth down with 10 yards to go. A pass was completed to former Eagle Torrey Smith, who then ran for a total of 35 yards.
  • When they had under two minutes to go, a pass was thrown to McCaffrey with a gain of 22 yards. Jordan Hicks came on ready to attack him. It is confusing how McCaffrey was wide open and he is obviously their biggest target.
  • They attempted to get into the endzone and were unsuccessful with coverage by Darby. Then Cam Newton ran it up to the one yard line.
  • Greg Olsen caught a short pass for a touchdown. He was wide open. The Panthers lead the Eagles by four points with under a minute and half to play.

Drive 17 (Offense)

  • A pass was thrown to Jeffery all the way down the field that was not caught. However, there was a passive interference call made putting them at the Panthers 22-yard line.
  • Carson Wentz threw a silly throw right to a defender. It was originally ruled an interception that was then reversed because the defender did not have control of the ball. Carson Wentz was lucky he did not have possession of the ball.
  • A pass was intended for a well-covered Alshon Jeffery. Carson did not see Wendell Smallwood, who was wide open. He should use all of his options instead of the ones he’s most comfortable with. If he threw it to Smallwood, the outcome of the game could’ve been different.
  • On fourth down, Carson Wentz had pressure on him and fumbled the ball. Jason Peters tried to fall on it but it was recovered by the Panthers to end the game.

Offensive MVP

Alshon Jeffery had a great game. He had a touchdown reception and made some really crucial plays. He kept the momentum going in the beginning of the game to help them move down the field. He had that amazing catch where he just kept both of his feet in to complete the catch. He also had another amazing catch when the defender did not even see the ball coming and he was able to break away to catch the ball.

Defensive MVP

Malcolm Jenkinsis a leader for the entire team on and off the field. Especially in this game, he made some impressive plays for the positive part of this game. Every play, he is ready to perform. He was ready to shut down the pass in the beginning of a drive. He was one of the only players who was able to cover their best offensive weapon, Christian McCaffrey. Also, he played until the end of the game which showed great perseverance when the downhill motion starts to move faster.

Game Notes

  • Jason Peters is injured and a veteran. He should sit for a few games and rest his injury and his body. He makes good plays, however he makes minor mistakes that causes penalties that hurts the team as a whole.
  • Doug Pederson has issues to continuously pass the ball. It is understandable to do this when you have such a great quarterback. He needs to learn to be more versatile in his play calling and to use all of his weapons. Especially since there is such great talent on the offense to use.
  • The secondary has improved. They lost it in the end of the game though. The Panthers offense was unable to reach the secondary which is why they did not have issues for a part of the game. Once they started to reach the secondary it was really bad. They cannot cover and had so many bad plays. Something needs to change in the secondary in order for the entire team to have good games in the upcoming weeks.
  • The outcome of that game was ridiculous. They completely lost their energy and drive in the second half. They were a totally different team in the first and the second half. This game shows that there needs to be big changes coming up with players, coaches and the overall mindset of the team.
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