Eagles-Seahawks Instant Observations
SEATTLE — The Eagles fell to the Seahawks, 26-15, and are now 5-5 — including a 1-5 mark on the road. Here’s what we saw:
*Zach Ertz scored his first touchdown of the season on a well-designed play by Doug Pederson. Ertz’s route is very tough to defend, and the tight end is big enough to fight his way into the end zone. Here’s the play:
*Ertz also had a nice 57-yard touchdown catch on a screen pass, but Nelson Agholor cost the Eagles seven points by committing an illegal formation penalty and not lining up on the line of scrimmage. On the next drive, Agholor dropped an easy catch deep down the middle of the field. If the 2015 first-round pick would’ve held onto the ball, he could’ve easily had at least 30 yards, if not much more. After Agholor’s drop, the Eagles had to punt a couple of plays later.
*Agholor’s confidence is clearly shot, and he’s really hurting the Birds just by being on the field. The problem with Agholor isn’t skill — it’s mental. On his drop, he actually ran a nice route and created several yards of separation against Richard Sherman, but then he let the ball fall to the ground. Doug Pederson mentioned Agholor was having trouble blocking out the noise a few weeks ago, and it appears the second-year-receiver hasn’t made any strides since then. Agholor even showed his improved route running early in the season, so it’s clear he’s capable of getting open enough to warrant playing time, but his mental mistakes show why Pederson should give more snaps to other receivers.
*The Eagles had some surprising success running the ball against the Seahawks. They totaled 113 yards on 26 carries as every running back recorded multiple carries. Wendell Smallwood led the team with 13 carries for 38 yards, while Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles both left the game early due to injury.
*Carson Wentz threw a bad interception near the end of the second quarter as the Eagles were at midfield trying to score late points before the end of the first half. Kam Chancellor undercut Dorial Green-Beckham’s route over the middle and returned the pick for five yards. Wentz had a tough first half as he completed just 10 of his 18 pass attempts for 82 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a 62.7 passer rating.
Wentz didn't see him…@Kam_Chancellor jumps in front of the pass for the INTERCEPTION! #PHIvsSEA https://t.co/gGP9qSywAp
— NFL (@NFL) November 20, 2016
*Wentz’s second pick came in the Eagles’ opening drive of the second half, and although it acted as a punt as it moved the ball 60 yards down the field, it was a bad decision on second-and-6. He threw the ball into double coverage as Bryce Treggs didn’t have any separation at all, but it also looked like Treggs gave up on the play or lost track of the ball. Wentz’s final stat line: 23-of-45 for 218 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and a 61.2 passer rating.
*One small note: It appeared Sherman shadowed Jordan Matthews a bit in the slot in the first half. Matthews isn’t necessarily good enough to where you’d expect him to be shadowed, but when the Eagles’ outside receivers are as unproductive as they are, it makes a lot of sense.
*Jim Schwartz may lose his mind when he goes back and watches film of the Seahawks’ 92-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter. Philadelphia had Seattle in a second-and-20 and a third-and-16 during the drive, but they still allowed first downs. On the second-and-20, Nolan Carroll gave up a huge cushion to Jermaine Kearse, who picked up an easy 17 yards on a curl route. On the third-and-16, Brandon Graham jumped offsides.
*Jalen Mills had a very rough first half, as he struggled both against the run and the pass. He badly missed C.J. Prosise in the open field on the Seattle running back’s 72-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and he gave up back-to-back big gains in the second quarter through the air. Doug Baldwin beat Mills (and Malcolm Jenkins) deep for 44 yards, before Tyler Lockett outran Mills across the field for a 30-yard gain on the next play. Mills’ lack of speed was on full display on both plays as the Seahawks kicked an easy field goal soon thereafter, and it’s a stark reminder of the rookie’s ceiling.
*It looked like Nigel Bradham was the Eagle at fault when the Birds gave up a 15-yard touchdown on a trick play when Doug Baldwin hit Russell Wilson for the score. Here’s the play:
*Bennie Logan blocked his second kick of the season as he got a hand on Seattle’s first extra-point attempt.