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Eagles clinch NFC East, but Wentz hurt: The Morning After


Good morning campers,


As of the writing of TMA, we still do not know the severity of Carson Wentz's injury. Hopefully by now, we have the full picture and he is not out for the season.


As I’m writing this, however, I got a bad feeling.


UPDATE: Steve O's worst fears were confirmed. Carson Wentz is officially out for the season with a torn ACL.


Let's just get to getting...


*Let's just get this out of the way RIGHT NOW: Doug Pederson is Andy Reid Part II. If you can truly sit there and tell me that he is not, I have several bridges I would like to sell you. You are fooling yourself. Am I saying that he will make EVERY mistake Big Red did? No. But yesterday's game was a microcosm of precisely why I steadfastly hold true to the belief that he is, in many ways, Doug Reid. For the record, the Rams entered the game with one of the worst rush defenses in the entire NFL. Did someone forget to tell Dougie Fresh that?


*I don't know the final stats- Yes, I can easily get them, but I don't need them to tell me what my eyes painfully saw: The Eagles simply passed the ball far too many times. Which, of course, means they ran the ball far too little. See how that works? BTW- what exactly was the fascination with Torrey Smith yesterday? Starting with the very first offensive play (which went nowhere), Pederson seemed intent on getting him the ball. Why? Because Zach Ertz was out? Did anyone else see the game Trey Burton had besides me? So yeah, don't hand me the "Ertz Excuse."


*Oh wait, this is the part where I'm supposed to say “WE WON!” and break out my Wang Chung LP so everyone can Wang Chung tonight, but only if your friends dance—because if they don't dance, well, they're no friend of mine (that’s a whole other band and album). As we all know, I am the living embodiment of Negadelphia. 


"But Steve, we won the game. Doesn't that count for something?"


Of course it does, Skippy. Of course it does. Winning the game and clinching the NFC East is a major accomplishment and nothing to be sneezed at. After last year's disappointing season, to come back and win the division is a big feather in everyone's cap.


*Ok, all the eternal optimists and Mary Poppins out there (and you know who you are) happy? I gave the Eagles credit where credit is rightfully due. If you follow me on Facebook, I also have credit to the aforementioned Doug Reid for going for it on 4th and Goal. Gutsy move, and I was fully on board with it and would give him credit for it—even if it failed.


*Want more positivity? Ok, Mr. Burton had himself a whale of a game. The kid stepped up when called on. 'Nuff said. As did Nicky Six. Nick Foles came into the game stone cold and proceeded to lead the team to the win—including making a sensational key third down pass to Nelson Agholor, who made a helluva catch in his own right. As did Alshon Jeffery on the previously mentioned 4th and Goal. The entire offense (save for one position) played very well and showed a lot of fight, unlike the other two units….more on that in a second.


*Did anyone else notice that A) Stefen Wisniewski was not playing as of the 2Q and B) the dopes at FOX completely missed it? No one, not in the booth, in the truck or that brilliant sideline reporter Erin Andrews caught it. Catch my sarcasm there? Good, because she's a nitwit.


*And did anyone else notice that Chance(s are you suck) Warmack came in to replace Wisniewski, only to be tossed aside by the likes of Aaron Donald et al one too many times that the Eagles finally had to replace with Isaac Seumalo? Moreover, did you notice how the Rams (after Wisniewski left the game) started stacking that side of the line with their best rushers?


*Ok on to the Defense for which there is no defense- That, boys and girls, was as bad a performance I've seen in a big game by what was supposedly a very good Eagles defense in a long time. Led by Malcolm Jenkins, the unit played at a very poor level, save for a few key plays (most notably Chris Long's strip sack leading to the game-winning FG). But on more than one occasion, they had a chance to make a statement by making a big stop and they failed.

"But Steve they made the plays they needed to when they needed to, right?"

Yes, they did, Sparky. However, my point is, they should have never been in that position in the first place (and yes, I know the blocked punt TD does not count against them). So spare me that logic. 

*Then there is the Not So Special Teams- Ok, help a brother out. The Eagles ALMOST had a punt blocked at one point in the game. Ok, you dodged a bullet. Won't let that happen again. Well... hold that thought. What exactly was Corey Clement thinking, letting the inside man run free while blocking a man who was to the outside, thus having a longer path to the punter? There is simply no excuse for that. None. Zero. End of story. 

*Has there ever been a more egregiously bad spot of a ball than what was made by the Ref near the end of the 1st Half? Facing a 3rd and 3 at their own 25 with a little more than two minutes left in the 2Q, Rams QB Jared Goff completed a short pass. In real time, it was painfully obvious the runner was short of the first down marker. Yet, for some reason, the Ref, who clearly was not in any position to make the call, decided to spot the ball further up the field, thereby giving the Rams the first down.

Fortunately, DP got the right advice and challenged the spot—and Upon Further Review, it was shown that the ball was clearly at least a half yard shorter than originally spotted. It eventually led to the Rams punting, and in turn, an Eagles FG. But to me, the outrageously bad spot was the story. I know officials get graded after each game. I think I can guess what grade that knuckleheaded Official got. 

*Where did the fight go? Did you get that "Philly fighting spirit" from the Birds early on? I surely did and I loved it. But where did it go? It vanished and never seemed to return. Why? 

*Yes boys and girls, the Eagles won. Yippee!

But at what price?

'Til next time.

Time's yours.

Food's mine.


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Contact Steve Olenski at solenski@philly2philly.com

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Wang Chung photo: www.discogs.com