DK Metcalf and Seattle defensive pressures just too much for Eagles, 23-17

DK Metcalf and Seattle defensive pressures just too much for Eagles, 23-17

Eagles

DK Metcalf and Seattle defensive pressures just too much for Eagles, 23-17

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It was an inspired effort by the Eagles’ defense and special teams coverage units, but not enough to offset the brilliance of the individual talent of a 6-3, 235 young receiver named Metcalf who happens to be one of the most fleet-footed players in the NFL.  Combine that with relentless schemed-up pressures from an improving Seattle defense, and Philly’s depressed response on offense, and you get a crushing defeat for the Eagles.  The writing is on the wall— the “new norm” for the Eagles franchise is yet another rebuild.

Coach Doug Pederson looked and sounded like a guy who just lost an election in a landslide in his post-game presser.  This season’s frustrations have finally got the best of Doug. Only a miracle win against Green Bay next Sunday could possibly save his season or even possibly his job.

Metcalf caught 10 passes for 177 yards, Russell Wilson threw for 230 yards and a touchdown and the Seattle Seahawks beat the Philadelphia Eagles 23-17 on Monday night.  It’s not like Metcalf wasn’t covered like a blanket—he was shadowed by Darius Slay Jr. all night. Metcalf just continuously made sensational grabs look routine.

Before the game, Metcalf said Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who coached Calvin Johnson in Detroit, compared him to the former Lions star.

“I’m getting a little respect, but you know I still got work to do. One of the defensive coaches came up to me and it kind of made me mad that he was like, ‘You know, I was in Detroit with Megatron but you’re not there yet,’” Metcalf said. “In my mind, I’m not trying to be Megatron. I’m trying to be me. So I had a little chip on my shoulder the whole game.”

The Seahawks (8-3) moved one game ahead of the Rams in the NFC West. The Eagles (3-7-1) fell a half-game behind the Giants and Washington in the woeful NFC East.

Carson Wentz didn’t cede many snaps to backup Jalen Hurts but had another rough game. He was 25 of 45 for 215 yards, two TDs — one in garbage time — and one interception.

Seattle’s defense entered the game allowing the most yards in the NFL and most yards passing but held Philadelphia’s inept offense to 250 yards.

Metcalf was on the board when the Eagles took J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in the second round with the 57th pick in 2019. Arcega-Whiteside has 12 career catches and was a healthy inactive before landing on the COVID-19 list. Metcalf, who was the final pick of the second round, had the best game of his rookie year in Seattle’s playoff win at Philadelphia last season and again showed why he’s one of the best receivers in the NFL.

Metcalf’s 52-yard catch on third-and-13 set up Wilson’s 1-yard TD pass to David Moore that gave the Seahawks a 7-0 lead.

“It’s kind of like coming home, a place that had a chance to draft me but they didn’t so I’ve got to make them pay,” Metcalf said.

Cornerback Darius Slay, who followed Metcalf in coverage, called it the worst game of his career.

“I lost every 50-50 ball. I let the team down. I gotta play better,” Slay said.

Chris Carson made it 14-0 when he bullied his way through Philadelphia’s defense on a 16-yard run.

“You know me, I saw that end zone so my game is physical so I wanted to get it in,” Carson said.

The Eagles didn’t get a first down until Wentz ran for 20 yards with under five minutes left in the first half. Wentz scrambled for 13 yards on third-and-5 to keep the drive going and tossed a 3-yard TD pass to Dallas Goedert to cut it to 14-6 at halftime. Jake Elliott missed the extra point wide left.

Elliott’s 42-yard field goal cut it to 14-9 in the third quarter. Jason Myers hit one from 44 yards to extend it to 17-9.

After a holding call on Cedric Ogbuehi negated a 17-yard TD run by Carlos Hyde, Myers connected from 33 yards. He hit another one from 39.

Richard Rodgers caught a tipped ball on a desperation heave by Wentz for a 33-yard TD in the final minute.

Trailing by 11, Eagles coach Doug Pederson passed up a field goal and went for it on fourth-and-4 from the Seahawks 15. Wentz’s pass went straight to Seattle’s Quandre Diggs as Goedert turned the other way on the route.

That play pretty much sums up the Eagles’ season so far— a miscalculation on many levels.

With a functional offense, the Eagles could have made some hay off their inspired defensive effort. The Eagles defense got a huge stop on Seattle’s opening series. After a pair of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties helped the Seahawks reach the 3, Derek Barnett stuffed Moore for a 5-yard loss on fourth down from the 2.

Barnett sacked Wilson on fourth-and-2 from Philadelphia’s 37 on Seattle’s second drive.

The Eagles had minus-4 yards in the first quarter, matching their worst first quarter in the past 30 seasons (also minus-4 vs Minnesota on Oct. 7, 2018). The last team to have negative yards in the first quarter was Chicago with minus-1 against Philadelphia on Nov. 3, 2019.

The Eagles went three-and-out on their first five drives.

You might have expected to see Jalen Hurts take over the offense at that point. Nope, didn’t happen.  Hurts took the snap on only two plays. He completed a 6-yard pass to Alshon Jeffery on one and handed off on the other. Wentz was split wide on the running play and on the sideline for the pass.

Both teams were missing their starting right tackles. Seattle’s Brandon Shell was inactive because of an ankle injury. Ogbuehi took his spot. Philadelphia’s Lane Johnson is sidelined for the rest of the season with an ankle injury. Matt Pryor started in his place. Pryor had a difficult time with it, as did Jordan Mailata on the left side, resulting in Wentz observing many plays after being planted into the turf.

Wentz found some mojo late in the first half, using his legs to extend a drive that ended with a touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Goedert, but that burst was short-lived.

Wilson improved to 10-2 on Monday Night Football, for an .833 winning percentage that also is best in MNF history.

Wilson completed 22 of 31 attempts for 230 yards, one touchdown and no turnovers. It was his second straight game without an interception or a lost fumble, after the worst turnover funk of his career.

The Seahawks’ defense, which was being gashed at a historic rate in the first half of the season, turned in its second straight strong performance. It forced three-and-outs on the Eagles’ first five possessions, sacked Wentz six times and held Philadelphia to nine points until that late Hail Mary that resulted in a score.

Metcalf sealed Seattle’s win by recovering the ensuing onside kick. He topped 1,000 receiving yards for the season on Monday and became the fastest in Seahawks history (11th game) to hit that milestone.

It’s going to be a rough media week for the Eagles as rumors of front office and coaching changes will continue to circulate. The feeling among writers and fans alike is someone has to pay for the shattered expectations for this team.

Matchup
1st Downs 20 18
Passing 1st downs 11 11
Rushing 1st downs 4 4
1st downs from penalties 5 3
3rd down efficiency 2-10 8-17
4th down efficiency 0-2 0-3
Total Plays 63 66
Total Yards 301 250
Total Drives 12 11
Yards per Play 4.8 3.8
Passing 225 180
Comp-Att 22-31 26-46
Yards per pass 6.8 3.5
Interceptions thrown 0 1
Sacks-Yards Lost 2-5 6-41
Rushing 76 70
Rushing Attempts 30 14
Yards per rush 2.5 5.0
Red Zone (Made-Att) 2-4 1-3
Penalties 8-83 9-79
Turnovers 0 1
Fumbles lost 0 0
Interceptions thrown 0 1
Defensive / Special Teams TDs 0 0
Possession 32:57 27:03

 

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