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Eagles outpace Colts: The Morning After

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Good morning campers,


I had planned on today being my first "start to finish" Birds game after being at the first game and in transit to the airport last week. But as they say "the best laid plans often go awry." However, I had no problem whatsoever with the awry-ness if you will as the reason for my missing the bulk of the 1Q was I was taking my daughter (along with her roommate) back to college.

TMA


Getting to spend time with my freshman is worth any time away from the Eagles. Besides, Joe was watching the game, too, so he’ll kick it off and then you will have my full, undivided attention with my um…”expertise.”


Ok let's get to getting…




Run of the Mills


This may become a weekly TMA feature (re: The Exploits of Eagles CB Jalen Mills). One word to describe Mills could be polarizing— as he can do things that make you root for the guy, and conversely, he can do things that make you want to cut him on the spot. I'm sure he has his legion of fans and plenty of detractors as well. Yesterday's game was a microcosm of his entire career as an Eagle in some ways.


On one hand, he played a solid all-around game, defending passes and making tackles. On the other hand, he committed penalties and was beaten in coverage—including one in the end zone which was dropped by the Colts' Eric Ebron. The finger wag has got to go, Jalen. Just play the game.


A False Wentz of Security?


Who else fell into that false sense of security believing that just because #11 was back,  this game would be a cakewalk or relatively easy? While Carson Wentz looked like, well Carson Wentz on many plays, it was clear he was out sync on others, particularly his decision making on certain reads on certain plays. The interception is Exhibit A. It was obviously a very poor decision. The good news is, with more game speed-type play, the better he will get.

Carson Wentz?

Joe: Steve, totally on board with this 100%. Just because Carson’s back doesn’t mean he can snap his fingers and he’s back to his 2017 form again just yet.  His primary weapons are out, and he was finding Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert with regularity in the first half. However, look what happened when the Colts D focused on those two in the second half. Teams studying the Birds will catch on real quick. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice what was going on. This team is vulnerable now, but it would be best for everybody involved if Howie was able to pull the trigger on a deal for more offense by the deadline, and not this Jordan Matthews retread nonsense.

 

Yes, it’s easier said than done, and chances are a deal would likely cost the Birds some players on their defense, but if Howie really wants to make a name for himself...

 

Speaking of Carson, I know it’s been almost a year since he’s been on the field, but look to the upper right. Man, does Carson look “different” or what?


The T.M.P. Issue


Turnovers. Mistakes. Penalties. Through 3 games, we have seen far too many of all these, many at very inopportune times. There is plenty of blame to go around with all three facets - offense, defense and special teams getting into the act.


Fact: The Eagles had 7 penalties for 78 yards... in the first half alone yesterday. Fortunately for the Eagles, their opponent yesterday took the T.M.P. Issue to a new level.


Joe: These turnovers are getting ridiculous. Granted, no team is exempt from making them. They even get called when they don’t commit them, but it seems the Birds are getting penalized often this season, and at the worst possible times (not that any time is right for a penalty, but you know what I mean). The Birds are among the worst in the NFL in Take-aways and Give-aways. If this doesn’t change, it could be a long year.


A Necessary Evel?

photo: tvtropes.org

Was it truly necessary for Fox play-by-play man Chris Myers to inform the viewing audience that Colts placekicker Adam Vinatieri is a distant relative of legendary daredevil Evel Knievel?

 

Since I know you're dying to know the exact connection, Adam and Evel are third cousins. And yes, I understand all about having to fill dead air during broadcasts with these types of anecdotal tidbits, but are we reaching here with this one?


The T.M.P. Antidote


Fortunately for the Eagles offense, who are guilty of many of the T.M.P. Issues (see Kelce, Jason and Peters, Jason) the Eagles defense has been able to stem the tide and hold opposing teams to field goals for the most part following another T.M. or P.


Blitzkrieg Bop


Remember the Ramones song by the same name? Part of the lyrics went like this:


They're forming in straight line.

They're going through a tight wind.

The kids are losing their minds.

The blitzkrieg bop.

 

Well it's time for Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to initiate his own Blitzkrieg Bop and start dialing up some blitz packages. If we learned anything yesterday, it was that there will be times when the Birds front four is not enough to get sustained pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Yes, I know Schwartz is anti-blitz, but he's also smart enough to make in-game adjustments accordingly. At least I think he's smart enough— for I haven't seen many of these type of adjustments, yet. The Colts went 2 for 12 on 3rd down possessions, and the defense did bail the offense out again, but that might not work all season.


A Final Word:

 

I know, a win is a win, but this was ugly, kids. The weather conditions, combined with Wentz's return after nine months didn't exactly solidify this as a classic, but 2-1 is better than 1-2. Yes, to a degree, the makeup of this Eagles team is not the same as it was in February 2018. Injuries have had a hand in this, as well as player and coach turnover. Moreover, Frank Reich is obviously familiar with many (currently healthy) pieces of that Eagles offense. Like Wentz, Andrew Luck is also on the mend, so maybe that factored into Sunday's final score as well.

 

It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. I get it. That being said, Dougie P. and co. need to eventually start establishing some consistency when their core gets healthy, because, as we’ve said, every game an opponent plays against the Eagles this year could be that team’s Super Bowl. Except maybe the Rams, because damn, they look remarkably scary in this young season. The Birds can only go up from here, and let's hope they do.

 

 

 

 

photo 
Steve Olenski
ContributorForbes

Contact Steve Olenski at  solenski@philly2philly.com

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Knievel photo: tvtropes.org