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Eagles Evaluation: Turnovers Cost Birds Dearly

By Gia Lanci, Sports Talk Philly Staff

The Eagles had a weak defense, poor offensive line play and a lack of passion. We have seen the Eagles with passion last season and I’m unsure where the passion is this season. They have the talent, but don’t have the drive.

Below are my drive by drive analyses:

First Quarter

Drive One (Defense)

  • The Eagles won the toss so they let the Vikings receive the ball. The defense had great coverage on the first throw of the VIkings drive.
  • Mills had blown coverage on the receiver, allowing the Vikings to drive down the field. The defensive line put good pressure on Cousins, which caused him to scramble.
  • Cousins and the offense were looking to throw. Cousin pitched it, which brought them inside the Eagles 20-yard line. Not terrible coverage from the defense, but the tackle was just not quick enough.
  • A pass to Diggs was met by great coverage from Ronald Darby and Brandon Graham which made it third down with two yards to go.
  • Brandon Graham made a great stop defensively by knocking a pass out of the air. This forced the Vikings to attempt a field goal which hit the post and was no good.

Drive Two (Offense)

  • The offensive line could not block and the defense came right after Wentz, pushing them back 12 yards. This forced a quick punt.

Drive Three (Defense)

  • Maddox had a great tackle on the kickoff. He was being double teamed and still executed the tackle.
  • Within the first two plays, the Vikings offense flew right by the defense. Stefon Diggs ran through Nigel Bradham, Ronald Darby and Avonte Maddox.
  • Jalen Mills blocked a pass from Cousins to force the punt. That seems to have been Jalen Mills’ first good play in the last two games.

Drive Four (Offense)

  • After the touchback, a quick pass was thrown to Carson’s most reliable weapon, Zach Ertz. It only picked up a few yards.
  • The first running play of the drive was taken by Smallwood, who brought it to third and inches. It was then handed off to Josh Adams who failed to get the first down.

Drive Five (Defense)

  • The first play of this drive was a run play by the offense which was quickly rejected by the defense.They attempted another run, which was also shot down by Brandon Graham.
  • A good pass was thrown to Treadwell, who was wide open. Jordan Hicks should’ve been covering him. Sidney Jones helped him out and executed the tackle.
  • Brandon Graham stepped up and sacked Kirk Cousins. He was unblocked and Cousins had nowhere to go.

Second Quarter

Drive Six (Offense)

  • Carson threw a huge pass for 45 yards to Shelton Gibson with good coverage by the defense. This gave the Eagles a big first down.
  • The Eagles were in the Vikings 20-yard line and a pass was thrown to Zach Ertz. Carson took way too long to throw the ball. He then threw a crucial pass to Smallwood who dropped the ball to force the Eagles to attempt a field goal. Jake Elliott’s field goal was good.

Drive Seven (Defense)

  • Jordan Hicks had excellent coverage on Ham. The line was putting great pressure on Cousins to force him to throw that quickly.
  • Stefon Diggs ran through Sidney Jones and Ronald Darby, faking them both out. This gave the Vikings a first down. It could’ve easily been stopped if they did not miss their tackles.
  • Two first down carries in a row were made by the Vikings offense. The defense is off their game. They are unable to hold the offense from getting a first down.
  • A quick pass to Thomas was stopped with great coverage by Ronald Darby. Cousins threw a deep incompletion since he had a lot of pressure on him from Chris Long. This forced the Vikings to attempt a field goal which they missed for the second time today.

Drive Eight (Offense)

  • A 31-yard pass to Agholor with pressure building up on Wentz was a good way to start off the drive. Another pass was completed to Jay Ajayi.
  • Ajayi carried the ball through defenders to give the Eagles anther first down. The Eagles are trying out different weapons.
  • Carson Wentz took too long to throw and got hit by Weatherly, who Lane Johnson failed to cover. This caused Wentz to fumble the ball into Linval Joseph’s hands and allowed him to run it in for a 63-yard touchdown.

Drive Nine (Offense)

  • Carson Wentz had pressure on him again, forcing him to throw the ball out of bounds. Carson is getting hit way too much and it isn’t even the second half yet.
  • Unable to complete a pass intended for Jeffrey because of the pressure that was on Carson, the Eagles were forced to punt.

Drive Ten (Defense)

  • Kirk Cousins continued throwing the ball with short, quick passes which seem to be working for his offense against the Eagles defense.
  • Kirk Cousins avoided Chris Long’s block to get a first down. The defense can not stop the Vikings throwing game. Their coverage isn’t terrible, but they need to get there just a little bit quicker and read Cousins before he throws the ball.
  • Michael Bennett sacked Cousins, which was called for roughing the passer. This moved the Vikings inside the 15-yard line.
  • The call led to a pass thrown to Thielen for a touchdown. Darby had good coverage, but the pass was perfectly thrown by Cousins.

Third Quarter

Drive Eleven (Offense)

  • The Eagles trailed the Vikings to start the third quarter.
  • The drive was started off with a few good runs by Ajayi, who was looking to get the run game started.
  • A pass to Smallwood was well executed by the offense. The line gave Carson enough time to throw and he threw a nice pass. The offense kept it moving, driving down the field with no stops by the defense.
  • A pass to Ertz pushed them forward for an easy first down. The Eagles had a promising drive until Jay Ajayi was running and fumbled the ball. This turned it over to the Vikings.

Drive Twelve (Defense)

  • A throw to Adam Thielen with blown coverage by Jalen Mills went for 68 yards. He obviously cannot contain Thielen. Someone else should be covering him. He ran it after Mills missed the tackle and Maddox stopped him in the open field.
  • A short pass to Stefon Diggs, who carries the ball and almost scores, was stopped in thw red zone with a great low tackle by Sidney Jones.
  • It was second down and goal, and Mills rejected the pass to Treadwell, and then again to Thielen, forcing a field goal try which was good. This gave an even bigger lead for the Vikings because of Jay Ajayi’s fumble and blown coverage by Mills.

Drive Thirteen (Offense)

  • A good pass is thrown to tight-end Zach Ertz with a solid run after the catch for a first down. The offensive line gave Carson enough time to execute the pass.
  • A gain of 31 yards was made by Alshon Jeffery. The pressure was coming onto Wentz, but he got it out just in time. Jason Peters limped off and Vaitai came in to take his place.
  • A big pass to Agholor kept the momentum going and put the Eagles inside the 20-yard line.
  • Vaitai got beat out, letting Hunter sack Wentz and lose 8 yards. The offense could not execute on third down, causing a field goal attempt. Jake Elliot’s field goal was good once again.

Drive Fourteen (Defense)

  • A quick three and out was made by the Eagles defense. It was close when on the last play of the drive Murray was running the ball and Douglas had a mis-tackle.

Drive Fifteen (Offense)

  • Carson Wentz ran through the defensive line with a lot of pressure. It was a good read on the play by Wentz.
  • A pass to the ever reliable Zach Ertz earned a first down. Then Smallwood carried for another first down, giving the Eagles a good position on the field.

Fourth Quarter

Drive Fifteen (Continued - Offense)

  • Carson Wentz was mobile again and slid for the first down. He had no other choice with the pressure building up.
  • A short pass to Agholor, with a great run, was almost enough for a first down. The defense brought pressure on him and he spun out of it.
  • Doug Pederson decided to go for it on fourth down. A great catch by Alshon Jeffery, who was well covered, put the Eagles on the Vikings 11-yard line. It was impressive body control by Jeffery.
  • A pass to Wendell Smallwood from Carson Wentz scored a touchdown. Smallwood beat out Eric Kendricks for the catch. Doug Pederson decided to go for a two-point conversion. It isn’t surprising for him to make a gutsy call. Smallwood ran it in for two points, giving the Eagles a better scoring position.

Drive Sixteen (Defense)

  • The Vikings started off with a run, which was quickly rejected by the Eagles defense.
  • Diggs out ran Ronald Darby and juked him out. The secondary did not have much of an improvement from last week. Darby and Mills still cannot cover their men.
  • The offense attempted a run play again, but Jordan Hicks stopped the run immediately.
  • Cousins threw a backward lateral that was dropped by Thomas and Nigel Bradham got on top of it to cause a turnover.

Drive Seventeen (Offense)

  • The whole defensive line came after Wentz. With absolutely no protection for Wentz, he intentionally grounded the ball. This pushed the Eagles back another 10-yards.
  • A pass intended for Jeffery was incomplete. It was a great pass, but he just could not hold onto the ball. Doug Pederson made the call to try and draw the Vikings offsides. That attempt failed, forcing a punt.

Drive Eighteen (Defense)

  • Brandon Graham had great anticipation on the play and put great pressure on Cousins, but he was still able to pass.
  • Sidney Jones had a missed tackle on Murray with the ball and Fletcher Cox ran him down to reject him of the first down. Then a pass was thrown to Rudolph and Grugier-Hill had a mis-tackle. Rudolph was pushed out of bounds by Maddox.
  • Malcolm Jenkins had a great tackle in the open field which forced a third down. Diggs was tackled by Darby, pushing the Vikings to a field goal attempt that it was good.

Drive Nineteen (Offense)

  • The Eagles are trailing by nine points. Carson ran it for a first down since the defense was closing in on him.
  • With under two minutes left, Carson made a big pass to wide open Zach Ertz. The Vikings got a penalty, putting the Eagles in an even better position to score.
  • A touchdown pass was complete to the most reliable weapon on the offense, Zach Ertz. This made it a two point game.

Drive Twenty (Defense)

  • Jake Elliott kicked an onside kick that was recovered by Adam Thielen. This ended the fight for the Birds.

Offensive MVP

Carson Wentz has been making the best out of what his situation is. The offensive line was not giving Carson any protection. So he has been mobile to gain yards for his offense. This was the first week he was back that he was mobile. This helped him get hit less times. He also threw all of the touchdowns. He did what he needed to do.

Defensive MVP

Brandon Graham made some crucial plays against the Vikings. He had a great stop blocking the quarterback’s pass in the first quarter. He had consistent coverage on his men as well. Graham is a key player that needs to be a leader for the defense to stay consistent from week to week. He doesn’t make many mistakes and he is a good example for the rest of the defense.

Game Notes

  • There needs to be monumental change in their passion in the next few weeks. Football is not all about the physical part of the game, it is mental as well. They need motivation when they step out on the field on game days. They need more communication from player to player.
  • The secondary have not gotten any better from week to week. They need to grow every single week. Jalen Mills is a problem for the secondary. He blew so many coverages that helped the Vikings offense.
  • The offensive line needs to change. Lane Johnson has been unable to protect their quarterback. Carson has taken too long to throw the ball on some plays, however he has gotten hit way too many times. If this continues, Carson will get hurt and our chances to have a good season will decrease.
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