This week, Eagles fans didn’t even make it to halftime with their good vibes and optimism intact. Philadelphia received the ball to start the game — and that was where the positivity ended on Sunday.
Here are three big takeaways from Sunday’s 37-19 loss at home to the Los Angeles Rams.
1) TURNOVERS PROVE COSTLY
For the second week in a row, the Eagles lost the turnover battle and Carson Wentz had multiple interceptions. Overall, they lost the turnover battle, 3-to-1. This team is simply not talented enough to be regularly giving the opponent extra possessions.
The first Eagles turnover was on Miles Sanders’ second carry of the game, giving the Rams the ball at the 45-yard line; a few plays later, L.A. turned it into seven points. A gut-wrenching way to start the game for a team looking to start fast and move on from last week’s debacle.
After getting themselves in a huge 21-3 hole, the Eagles worked themselves back into the game and cut the score to 21-16 at halftime.
Philadelphia forced the Rams into a three-and-out to start the second half, and on the next possession, Carson Wentz was driving the ball down the field and had the Eagles in the red zone.
Then, Wentz did something Eagles fans are all-too familiar with: he tried to force a throw that just wasn’t there. Rams CB Darious Williams made a great play on the ball for the interception, but Wentz can’t make that mistake in the red zone. This is the kind of momentum-swing the Eagles couldn’t afford when they had been playing from behind all day.
2) EAGLES RAMMED BY L.A. RUN GAME
The Eagles are known throughout the league as a team that doesn’t value inside linebackers. Many thought this would be the year they would invest a first-round pick in a linebacker; but instead, they went with rookie WR Jalen Reagor — who has looked good through two games, for what it’s worth.
But, after today’s game, you have to wonder if it was a mistake to treat the ILB position with such ambivalence. The Rams broke the will of the Eagles’ defense, as they racked up 191 yards on the ground. The Rams’ running backs were gashing Philadelphia all day, especially in the second half, when the Eagles needed to get stops to keep the game close.
The film session with the defense on Tuesday is not going to be a family-friendly affair. When you can’t stop the other team from running the football, it slowly sucks the life out of the whole team. The Eagles experienced this on Sunday. The question still remains whether they have the talent at linebacker to keep this from being a regular occurrence.
3) MILES SANDERS IS THE REAL DEAL
One of the few positive takeaways from Sunday’s game was RB Miles Sanders.
The fumble on the first drive notwithstanding, Sanders looked very sharp for the Eagles. They missed him immensely last week, and today, he showed how important a factor he will be this season.
For one, he played an active role in the passing game, ending the day with three catches for 36 yards on an impressive seven targets.
In addition, the Eagles kept the talented Rams pass-rush at bay, in large part because of the threat of Miles Sanders running the ball. In Week 1, Carson Wentz was sacked eight times; this week, the Rams were held without a sack.
But, Sanders wasn’t just a threat; he actually delivered and finished the game with 20 carries and 95 yards. Most importantly, Sanders looked good doing so — his vision was sharp, his cutbacks were great, and he hit the hole with authority.
This is great news for the Eagles; the better that Sanders plays, the more the game will open up, giving Carson Wentz the opportunity to play well.
The jury is still out on whether Wentz can actually seize the opportunity, but I am fully confident Miles Sanders is going to have a big season.
So, what are your takeaways from another Eagles loss?
Let me know what you saw, and be on the look out later this week for my “Right, Wrong, and WTF” article, taking a deep dive into all that happened on Sunday.
(Featured Image Credit: Philadelphia Eagles)