For one half in Washington, the Eagles looked like future NFC East champions, scoring on their first two possessions while quickly jumping out to a 17-7 lead. After the second quarter, things changed and the Eagles badly struggled on offense, garnering a total of seven first downs in eight possessions, as quarterback Carson Wentz was sacked four times and the defense gave up 27 straight points.
The Eagles are 0-1 with the Los Angeles Rams coming to town and here are five takeaways from the team’s season-opening loss to Washington.
Carson Wentz was headed for his first MVP during Sunday’s first quarter and a half against Washington, going 14-for-18 for 174 yards and two TDs with three minutes left in the first half. After taking some big hits and confidence crushing sacks, the wheels came off, as Wentz pressed and tried to make all the plays, resulting in a second half that saw the Eagles star go 8-for-21 for 71 yards with two INTs, a lost fumble, and zero points generated over the last 10 drives. Even without Miles Sanders and Lane Johnson, Wentz has to win this game himself and he’ll need to be better next week to keep the Eagles out of a 0-2 hole.
The Eagles refused to sign any veteran offensive linemen and after Lane Johnson was deactivated for the season opener, the Eagles leaned on Nate Herbig and Jack Driscoll to hold the fort down. The results were a career-high eight sacks on Carson Wentz, the most the Eagles have allowed in an opener since they gave up nine in a 38-0 loss to the Seahawks at the Vet in 1998.
The Eagles are 36-17 with Johnson in the lineup, while they are 6-12 when the All-Pro is absent.
The Eagles were 17-for-57 rushing Sunday, averaging just 3.4 yards a pop without their all-world running back. Sanders should play against the Rams and the Eagles can use his versatility as a runner and a pass-catcher.
Zach Ertz’s contract demands be damned, Dallas Goedert is ascending and he’s set to make the Eagles decision on extending Ertz that more difficult. Goedert had 8 catches of 101 yards and a touchdown and he made a really nice adjustment on the 38-yard touchdown after looking over the wrong shoulder for the ball.
When your offensive line is being dominated and your quarterback is pressing, the one thing you can’t do as the play-caller for the Eagles is called 5 and 7 step dropbacks. With the running game nonexistent, Pederson called for 42 pass attempts without the team’s starting right tackle Lane Johnson and Nate Herbig making his first start at right guard in place of Brandon Brooks. Washington sacked Wentz eight times, and Pederson will need to adjust quickly with Aaron Donald and company heading to town.
More quarterback rollouts and more west coast principles for Wentz in this one.