If there’s one thing we can all agree on after the debacle against Seattle, it’s Eagles Center Jason Kelce’s assessment of the play by his offense:
Jason Kelce: "I woudn't necessarily call this one ‘competing’ on offense. We sh-t the bed pretty much as much as you could."
— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherCSN) December 8, 2014
After investing several milliseconds of time and research into analyzing the game yesterday, I’ve drawn the same conclusion. Yes, the offense absolutely shit the bed.
139 total yards, three yards per play, 2.6 yards per rush, 3.6 yards per pass, 2 for 11 on third down, only nine first downs, 18 minutes time of possession, four 3-and-outs, not a single drive lasted longer than six plays, and two crucial turnovers.
Receivers weren’t open often and when they were, Sanchez couldn’t find them. The ground game could never get going and Sanchez proved he’s not the kind of player who can put a team on his back.
It was just an all around abysmal performance by the offense. Yes, Seattle’s defense is good but supposed worse offensive teams than the Eagles have put up more yards and points against them.
Again, just as we saw against Green Bay, the Eagles simply cannot compete with the upper-echelon teams right now. Whether it’s the defense getting smoked by a good QB or the offense being stifled by a good defense, this team just doesn’t have the overall talent to compete.
Many people may want to point to the refs as a big reason why the Eagles lost yesterday. There may have been some shoddy calls and non-calls, but the refs didn’t matter. The Eagles lost the game because they were overmatched, period.
The defense played well given that they were on the field most of the game since the offense couldn’t do anything. However, I have to say I was a little miffed when Seattle kept converting third and longs.
In my preview of the game, I had Wilson as the player that I was most worried about and those concerns came to fruition. He killed the defense with his legs by scrambling to keep plays alive and giving the receivers enough time to break free and by selectively running.
I think we were into the third quarter before someone reminded Trent Cole that Wilson is capable of keeping the ball and running with it. Cole redeemed himself by the end, but he was made to look like a fool on some read-option plays early on.
In the second half, Malcolm Jenkins dropped what would have been a pick-6 and could have completely changed the complexion of the game. Opportunity missed.
Bradley Fletcher was called for a killer pass interference penalty on the drive right after the Eagles closed the gap to 17-14. Many folks complained about that and apparently the receiver admitted to trying to draw the penalty.
But, at the end of the day, Fletcher contacted the receiver before he turned around for the ball…which is a penalty. Refs will call that more times than not…well, most refs anyway (yesterday’s crew not withstanding).
There are other things I could complain about but overall, this loss falls squarely on the shoulders of the offense. Hell, Oakland’s offense performed better against Seattle’s defense and they played the game in Seattle.
I will still be excited at the prospects of playoff football for this team, but my rational mind knows that this team cannot legitimately contend for a championship until they add some more talent to the roster.
So, with three games left, here are the possible scenarios regarding the Eagles and the playoffs:
Winning the division –
They still control their own destiny within the division. If they beat Dallas this week, they will clinch by winning one of their final two games or with another Dallas loss.
If they lose to Dallas this week, they will no longer control their own destiny. Dallas would be one game ahead with two left. The Eagles would need to win their last two and hope Dallas drops one.
This only comes into play if they lose out on the division. If that’s the case, that would mean the Eagles would be no better than 11-5. This is where things look really hairy right now…
Arizona got a big win on Sunday and would only need to win one more game to bump the Eagles out. Both them and Seattle would bump the Eagles out if they both reach 11 wins.
The other team we have to watch in a wildcard race is Detroit. If we assume the Packers win the division, there’s still a decent chance that the Lions finish 11-5 as well. Detroit plays Minnesota and Chicago before their final showdown with Green Bay.
Hell, the Lions could win the division if they win their next two and then beat the Packers. But, we’re just going to assume Green Bay wins. So, what happens if Detroit and the Eagles are both 11-5?
If the tie-breaker is just between them two, Detroit would get in because they’d have a better conference record.
Things get a little more convoluted in a three-way tie. So, let’s say the Eagles, Lions and Cardinals end with an 11-5 record, does anything change? I don’t think so based on the NFL’s three-way tie-breaking procedures, which you can read right here.
Since the Eagles have lost every single important conference game outside of their division, they’ve put themselves in a position where they pretty much have to win the division in order to make the playoffs.