- Alex Hand
Eagles Injuries Far Outweigh Performance Issues
It was an ugly sight to go with an ugly Sunday afternoon. The team from the drizzling, Pacific Northwest held its own against Philadelphia for the third consecutive matchup since the inception of the Legion of Boom. The Eagles lost four players to injury in their 26-15 loss against the Seahawks, and the sight of the word ‘project’ is appearing to rear its ugly head once again.
The Eagles lost running backs Ryan Mathews to a knee injury, Darren Sproles to a rib injury, and right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai to what appeared to be an ankle injury. Mathews and Sproles were instrumental in their team’s victory against the Atlanta Falcons the week prior (215 offensive yards combined); and Vaitai had been filling the void left by Lane Johnson who is currently serving the remainder of his suspension for violation of the NFL’s PED policy.
On the defensive side of the ball, cornerback Leodis McKelvin had been taken into the locker room and examined for a head injury. The status of all four players is unknown, but bleak. McKelvin’s potential injury could be the least threatening in regards to time spend absent, but could still shake the foundation of a secondary that is still getting on its feet.
While the defense collapsed due to the same reason it always collapses on game day – inability to win at the line that inevitably exposes holes in secondary – the offense is an entirely different story. The defense is about 1-2 starters away from being consistently in the top 10. The offense should be ready to go through one of the biggest overhauls of the modern-era NFL.
Carson Wentz (23/45, 218 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs) is on thin ice in the eyes of the fans, and while the coaches have not lost hope, his performance was noted with appropriate criticism.
“I thought he did some good things today. Outside of the one timeout early in the game, I thought handling the crown noise was good”, said Doug Pederson after the game. “Ball security, obviously we have to make sure we do a better job and taking care of the football.”
The wide receivers again had their cases of the butterfingers and were virtually invisible until the final quarter of the game. Up until the fourth quarter, Eagles receivers only accounted for 15 yards of offense. Each receiver had their own specific woes (i.e. routes, drops, overall effectiveness), but it was really an atrocity for all four wideouts suited in Midnight green.
Like stated above, that word ‘project’ is not a word football fans enjoy hearing. It is a word that evokes poor performance for no other reason than not being good enough to compete; and it is a reality that Eagles fans in particular were not looking forward to after a 3-0 start to the season.
Prior to their dismal defeat at Century Link Field, the Eagles were already casted as underdogs; only sneaking into the playoffs through the wildcard and in the hopes that their offense decided begin acting right. With these newfound injuries plaguing the roster, obstacles have been created where there was once stability, and issues that were problematic before the loss of Mathews, Sproles, Vaitai, and potentially McKelvin have only been amplified.