The Philadelphia Eagles are all talk right now.
Coach Doug Pederson said he and his players were “pissed off” after a loss to the New York Giants and ready to fight back. Carson Wentz addressed the team after practice in an attempt to close ranks while expressing optimism about the closing stretch of the season. Defensive end Brandon Graham said that the “elephant in the room” — the fact that poor practice habits were spilling over to games — was addressed by the senior leaders and would be cleaned up.
Wentz was again slow to get rid of the ball and erratic in his decision- making for much of the day. He threw two interceptions, including a pick-six, and took one of his five sacks in the end zone for a pivotal third-quarter sack.
First-half penalties (four for 28 yards) remained an issue, as did inefficiency on third down (2-of-12) and turnovers (three). All of the signature marks of a bad team continue to surface.
Pederson’s Eagles have a well-earned reputation for answering the bell when adversity hits. They rebounded from slow starts the previous two seasons to make the postseason. The Eagles actually remain in first place in the abysmal NFC East despite the loss and have time to get their act together, but this team feels different from the ones that preceded them, as if they are in a free-fall that won’t stop until they hit rock bottom.
QB breakdown: Wentz finished 21-of-35 for 235 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions and absorbed 10 QB hits. Tackles Lane Johnson and Jason Peters and center Jason Kelce were in and out of the lineup because of injuries, which didn’t help matters. But Wentz continues to be hesitant with his decisions and has regressed significantly. Sunday’s performance will only heighten the calls for backup Jalen Hurts to get a shot as the starting QB.
Troubling trend: Travis Fulgham finished with one catch for eight yards — the exact same stat line as the week before against New York. He didn’t receive his first target until midway through the third quarter, which is unacceptable given that he averaged 87 yards over his first five games.
Eye-popping NextGen Stat: Eagles-Browns was the first matchup this season to feature no offensive points in the first half. The last such game was 49ers-Washington in Week 7 last season.