Eagles Drop Game Over Lowly Saints

Eric Hartline, USA TODAY Sports

The Birds are coming off a brutal loss to the Cowboys in which they had every opportunity to win the game and threw it all away of their own will. They entered this game not only with the first-round bye on the line, but the value of the first-round pick they are owed by the Saints on the line, as well.

Apparently, neither of those things were important to the players or coaches as they might as well have not even shown up to the game let alone to practice the whole week. Maybe practice this week was playing Madden for 8 hours each day, but then they might have had some level of football awareness that clearly wasn’t present.

In honesty, though, the reports from practice were that the offense was having Jalen Hurts run first-team reps. If the Birds weren’t going to play him and instead play the offense designed for Minshew, there should be no surprise the offense wasn’t prepared to play – the coaches had them prepare for a different offense. That’s some of the worst coaching you could possibly have.

Gardner Minshew looked good last week, but did not look great to start this week – that was not necessarily his fault, however, as the offensive line blocked apparently nobody with multiple players running free almost immediately on each play to start the game.

The defense made it seem as thought Andy Dalton is some elite quarterback, allowing the lowly Saints to complete a drive that was nearly nine minutes long and went 75-yards for a touchdown. That was certainly an excellent way to setup the swiss cheese offensive line.

Nothing changed until the half when the Eagles offense was able to get something going in the third. Of course, the referees once again reared their ugly heads then, with a holding call that pulled a touchdown off the board. It was just pure domination by Landon Dickerson and there was nothing even resembling a hold. That call was so bad, an NFL representative should have walked out on the field and fired this crew on the spot.

Instead of playing from ahead then, the Eagles played from behind the whole game. Gannon chose at half time to make some adjustments that anyone with eyes had been asking for since the first quarter of last week’s game, and that gave the offense a chance.

Unfortunately, Gardner Minshew failed to convert on a fourth and one sneak and then threw a pick-six to end the game.

It was a brutal game to watch and the players and coaches were rightfully booed for their “performance” this week. At least the Eagles won’t lose any of their coaching staff after this pitiful “preparation” that took until halftime to get anything going on either side of the ball.

Maybe the Eagles could try man next week. Or perhaps run the ball. Only things that have been obvious for weeks and the coaching staff still thinks are non-issues after dropping two easily winnable games in a row.

Offensive MVPs: DeVonta Smith

Once again, Smith seemed to be the lone bright spot. 115 yards in this one, being the constant outlet for Minshew. Watkins and Brown both allowed their routes to be jumped for picks or near picks, something that Smith did not allow.

Defensive MVP: Haason Reddick

Reddick has a good game in rushing (two sacks) and even did admirably in coverage, despite the fact there is no reason to be in coverage besides Jonathan Gannon still being a moron. He totaled five tackles in this game.

Game Notes

  • Brandon Graham, with his sack in the second quarter, set a career high with 10 sacks in a season.
  • That same sack also made the Eagles the first team in NFL to have four players with 10+ sacks in the same season as well as set a franchise record of 63 sacks on the season by the team.
  • Know any Gannon supporters? Show them these last two games. Any halfway competent DC is able to shut out the Saints or at least not leave gaping holes all over the field that any fan could throw into.
  • AJ Brown once again showed his being a diva again today. That is why DeVonta Smith is WR1 for the Eagles. You don’t build teams around players who get upset when they don’t get the ball.
  • Miles Sanders looked really good in this game. Of course, they only ran the ball on two drives and then the play calling went back to Minshew drop backs for god knows what reason. Maybe the coaches think they aren’t allowed to call the simple plays, who knows at this point.
  • The fact that both the offense and defense both came out with zero preparation is an incredible concern. This was NOT “them missing Lane Johnson”. It wasn’t them “needing Maddox back”. It was every player being unprepared for what they were facing. We saw simple changes made at halftime that put the Eagles in place to succeed and perhaps come back to win, but the fact that it took until halftime for the Eagles to figure out they were playing the Saints is an embarrassment to the entire coaching profession.

Injury Notes

  • Josh Sweat went down with what appeared to be a severe injury on the first drive of the game. He was carted off the field and taken to a hospital as a precaution for a neck injury. Any injury with Sweat is a concern given that he has almost died as a result of two separate leg injuries. Luckily, reports from the team indicate he has movement in all extremities.

New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles – January 1, 2023