Now let's get to the actual game. 98 Plays to 43 Plays. 45.33 Minutes to 22.32 Minutes. 576 Total Yards to 256 Total Yards. 434 Passing Yards to 222 Passing Yards. 142 Rushing Yards to 34 Rushing Yards. 10/19 3rd Down Conversions to 1/9 3rd Down Conversions. 32 First Downs to 16 First Downs. These are the game stats and they paint an easy picture. This was TOTAL DOMINATION by the Dallas Cowboys over the Philadelphia Eagles. Dallas beat the Eagles handedly in this game despite the 6 point difference. 29-23 final score in overtime. The fact that the Eagles were even in this game and that they took the game to overtime is a miracle. Dallas is no doubt the better team this season and the results prove that.
This season has been excruciating for the Eagles team as well as fans alike. First of all the injuries. The Eagles have 10 Players on Injured Reserve and that number could grow to 12 after the injuries to Corey Clement (RB) and Josh Sweat (DE) yesterday. Here is the list: Jay Ajayi(RB)-Torn ACL, Derek Barnett(DE)-Shoulder, Elle Bouka(CB)-Torn ACL, Ronald Darby(CB)-Torn ACL, Mack Hollins(WR)-Sports Hernia, Mike Wallace(WR)-Broken Fibula, Rodney McLeod(SS)-Torn MCL, Jalen Mills(CB)-Foot Injury, Josh Perkins(TE)-Torn ACL, Paul Worilow(LB)-Torn ACL. That is just the injured reserve list. Other players that have missed significant time include: Carson Wentz(QB), Alshon Jefery(WR), Tim Jernigan(DT), Sidney Jones(CB), Darren Sproles(RB), Jordan Hicks(MLB), Lane Johnson(RT), Jason Peters(LT), Corey Clement(RB), and Haloti Nhagta(DT). That's 20 players from a 53 man roster that has saw significant injury time.
Both sides of the ball have been decimated by injury, but the defensive side has truly been whacked, mainly the defensive backfield. So that unit is missing its starting Safety (Rodney McLeod), both starting Cornerbacks (Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills) and also its slot Cornerback (Sidney Jones). Yes injuries are apart of the game and successful teams rise above them (just look at the 2017 Eagles); however; this team has been ravaged and you can only take so much before you crack. The starting Defensive backfield yesterday was De'vante Bausby, Cre'veon LeBlanc, Tre Sullivan, Corey Graham and Rasul Douglas. The only remaining starter the entire season has been safety Malcolm Jenkins. As mentioned, the injuries are not an excuse but you have to account for them when judging the performance of the team.
Now on to the game results and what went wrong. Well first of all, of course your defense will struggle when they are on the field for over half the game. The Eagles offense has been a huge disappointment and that has directly impacted the defense. Carson Wentz is not the same Quarterback. If you only look at his stats, the numbers say that he is having a better year: 21TDS/7INT, 3,074 Yards, 102.2QBR Rating, 69.6%Completion Percentage. All of these numbers are on better pace than last year. However; its the eye test that shows that Carson Wentz is not right. Slow starts every game. Lack of execution. Lack of confidence. Lack of accuracy. Totally missing wide receivers that are wide open. Three and outs every possession. The offense has been totally inept and this falls on Carson Wentz. Yes the other players on offense are not performing either, but it all goes back to Carson.
True, Wentz is less than a year removed from his torn ACL. This has to have some impact on his confidence and this may be the issue that he is having. He is still not totally healthy and he is not driving off of the knee. But he is slow on his reads. He is inconsistent. And he has had very poor starts. Carson has not been playing his best football. There is plenty of blame to go around on this roster. However; the person that I blame the most for the Eagles ineptitude is coach Doug Pederson. How do you only give Josh Adams the ball 7 times?!! How do you only rush the football 10 times with your running backs?!! Where was the confidence at the end of the game when you kicked an extra point instead of going for 2 and the win. Doug, you have definitely regressed.
The fact of the matter is that the Eagles season is now hanging in the balance. The team is injury riddled. The Quarterback is playing scared. The coach is making bone head mistakes on a weekly basis. The Eagles have three games left and have to win out to even have a shot at the playoffs. They are a 6-7 team and they have a 5% chance of making the playoffs. There are many questions that remain unanswered. The main thing to look at down the stretch is for Carson Wentz to get his game in gear and improve on the inconsistent play that he has displayed thus far. The other thing to keep an eye on is Doug Pederson and whether he can get this team to finally play well from the first quarter until the final play of the game. Only time will tell the fate of this Eagles team. One thing that remains more clear than the recovery of that fumble is the fact that the Eagles need to get healthy to truly move forward. More to come on Corey Clement and Josh Sweat In the near future. Eagle Nation, please try to take a deep breath and truly understand what has went wrong with this team. After all, they are still the reigning Super Bowl Champs!