Observations on Week 3 Tie to Bengals
Photo By: Lori M. Nichols | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
That’s all that can be said about the Eagles’ performance today that resulted in a 23-23 tie to the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Eagles are still winless at 0-2-1
Here are my observations:
Carson Wentz: Carson has looked like a subpar NFL quarterback in the first 3 weeks of the season. He threw 2 more picks today and looked out of sync yet again. He finished the game going for 29-47, 225 YDS, 1 Passing TD, 1 Rushing TD, 2 INT, and a 62.8 QB Rating. There is no excuse for this type of performance against a poor Bengals defense.
Wentz missed open receivers down the field with inaccurate passes. He exhibited a showcase of poor decision making, resulting in multiple turnovers.
Yes he did lead a drive at the end of regulation that resulted in his game tying touchdown scramble but the team was in that position because his mistakes throughout the game.
A benching does not seem to be beneficial at this time but Carson needs to find a way to right the ship. We all know he has the talent to do so.
Defense: The defense was impressive today, keeping the Eagles in the game. They recorded 8 sacks.
The defensive line was dominant. Led by Derek Barnett and Brandon Graham each with 2 sacks.
Jim Schwartz implemented a more aggressive approach with blitzes from S Jalen Mills, and it was effective. Mills finished with 1.5 sacks.
The Eagles couldn’t ask for a better effort from their defense, especially late in the 4th Quarter and the entire OT.
Offensive Line: Jason Peters struggled today. He gave up 2 sacks to Bengals DE Carl Lawson and was beat on many plays. There were instances when Wentz was looking over his shoulder to see if there was a pass rusher from Peter’s side before he looked for a receiver downfield.
Matt Pryor’s false start on the field goal attempt at the end of OT might have been the biggest mistake of the day, pushing the Eagles out of field goal range A huge mental error. The false start pushed a 59 yard field goal attempt into a 64 yarder. Forcing Doug Pederson to punt the ball.
Overall, the entire team committed 11 penalties. Another example of the lack of fundamental football, this team has put on display so far this season.
Receivers and Running Backs: RB Miles Sanders rushed for 95 yards on 18 carries.
This is not enough carries when the passing game is struggling. HC Doug Pederson has to give him more carries when the passing game is ineffective as it was for much of this game.
WR Greg Ward caught 8 passes for 72 yards and a TD, on a 29 Yard pass at the end of the first half.
TE Zach Ertz had 7 receptions for 70 yards.
Injuries: Another game with multiple injuries. Both TE Dallas Goedert (ankle) and WR Desean Jackson (hamstring) both left the game in the first half and were ruled out for the rest of the game.
CB Avonte Maddox left the game in the 3rd quarter with what looked like a knee injury. CB Darius Slay also left the game in the third quarter with an elbow injury but came back to play.
Finish to the game: After Matt Pryor’s false start on the 59 yard field goal attempt at the end of OT, Doug Pederson decided to play it safe and punt to end in a tie.
This was the correct decision. If the 64 yard field goal was missed, the Bengals would’ve gotten the ball in great field position with a chance to win.
Doug decided to look at the big picture of the season and go for the tie instead of taking a huge risk.
A lot of fans may have not liked his decision but Andy Reid also decided to go for the tie in overtime against the Bengals in 2008. Playing it safe and going for the tie instead of risking a loss, played big dividends at the end of that year. That tie ended up being a reason the Eagles got into the playoffs on the last week of the season. A playoff run that ended in a NFC Championship game loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Hopefully this team can start to figure things out next week in San Francisco as they look to pick up their first win of the season.