Philadelphia – As it turns out, a rookie player who has played barely a third of their defensive shots is the Eagles’ most indispensable player.
Or so it seems.
That’s how much the Eagles need Jordan Davis. The 6-foot-6, 336-pound defensive tackle giant missed his second game in a row with an ankle injury. Davis is in the injured reserve position, which means he must miss at least two more games.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, or even Joe Montana, to figure out how to beat the Eagles without Davis.
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And Taylor Hynek, the quarterback for Washington leaders, is not from Montana. However, the leaders sent the Eagles to a 32-21 loss on Monday night, ending the Eagles’ undefeated season after 8 consecutive wins to start the season.
There wasn’t much to it. The leaders ran the ball straight toward the Eagles, over and over. They held the ball for 40 minutes and 24 seconds. It didn’t matter that the leaders only averaged 3.1 yards per carry when they ran the ball 49 times for 152 yards.
It wasn’t anything Heinicke did. It was 17 of 29 passes for 211 yards and an interception. But he didn’t have to do much.
“What they did was a good job by not making him a real midfielder, and also making him not have to make a lot of decisions,” said Eagles back Dariusz Sly. “That’s a good job on their part. They came up with a good plan for the game. They executed well.”
This was evident in the third defeats especially as the leaders converted 12 out of the first 16, mainly because most of those chances were third and short.
“You know how hard it is to play defense at 3research and development-f 1, 3research and development-f 2, 3research and development– And 3? Slaughter said.
But in fact, the chart was laid out the previous week, when Davis missed his first game. The Eagles struggled to beat the Houston Texans 29-17. Texas is 1-17-1. However, they ran the ball for 168 yards, with rookie Damon Pierce gaining 139 yards.
Next up for the Eagles: Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, who led the NFL in a rush last season with 1,811 yards. He had 147 yards on Sunday in the Colts’ 25-20 win over the Raiders in the first game under new coach Jeff on Saturday.
Saturday may not have coached a college or pro game before, but it doesn’t take Vince Lombardi to figure out that Taylor will get the ball until the Eagles show they can stop him.
The following week, the Eagles would face Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones, who has a 738 rushing yard, for seventh in the NFL. And if the Eagles can figure out a way to stop Jones, they’ll have to deal with a good quarterback named Aaron Rodgers.
Davis is eligible to return the following week against the Tennessee Titans on December 4. But it is too early to tell if this is the case. If not, the Eagles will face the Titans running back Derek Henry, who is second in the NFL with 923 yards.
If Davis is still far from that, there’s Saquon Barkley of the Giants on December 11th. Next was the Chicago Bears on December 18 with quarterback Justin Fields, who leads all NFL quarterbacks with a 749-yard dash.
Well, the Eagles know what’s going to happen.
“That will definitely happen until we stop him,” Brandon Graham said at the end of the Eagles defense. “I’m ready. I’m ready. Come on. Bring it on. That’s just the kind of attitude you have to have. You’re not going to be perfect in every game, but I know that’s one thing and it’s style.”
“We have to keep building this situation, not worrying about what we can’t control, fix what we can control and be ready for the next situation.”
The Eagles will have no choice but to fix it. If they can’t, there will be further losses.
After all, it’s tough for Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ powerful attacker to score when they can’t make it onto the field.
Hurts played well enough, completing 17 of 26 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. He just didn’t play much.
In the middle of the third quarter, the Leaders held the ball for 32 minutes and 12 seconds, and the Eagles for only 7:35.
However, the Eagles were only nine points behind despite the huge disparity. But this left the offense with little room for error.
And of course the violation committed several mistakes, especially in the fourth quarter.
Dallas Guedert flopped with the Eagles trailing by two points at the start of the quarter, giving Washington the ball at the Eagles’ 34-yard line. The Eagles survived this by allowing a field goal.
Then Ques Watkins came behind the cornerback of captain Benjamin St. Just and made a nice diving trip 50 yards down the field at the 23-yard Washington line. Watkins didn’t touch when he was diving, so he got up and tried to run the extra yards. But Saint-Just knocked the ball down and Darek Forrest recovered.
The Eagles still had a chance after that, reclaiming the ball with 3:26 to drop by 5 points. But the Eagles went 3-out and ran the ball back after Hurts was sent off in third.
Even then, the Eagles were about to have one last chance with 1:38 remaining, as Heinicke, facing third and tallest, got to his knees just as Haason Reddick was about to be fired. This would establish a fourth down, and thus a penalty.
But Graham hit Hennik when he was falling. Reported for unnecessary roughness, giving Washington their first midfield defeat.
Sure, it was probably a bad call. But as Eagles coach Nick Siriani put it: “You make your own luck and we played like crap… Those scenarios that happen when you play that way are magnified, whether it’s the right call or the wrong call.
“So we made our luck today, and that was bad.”
And that may not change until Davis returns.
Contact Martin Frank at [email protected] Follow us on Twitter @Mfranknfl.
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