However you look at it, the Philadelphia Eagles put up their worst game of the season in their Week 10 defeat at the hands of the Washington Commanders. Sloppy ball control, a lack of offensive urgency, and a defense that failed to corral the few above-average pieces that the Commanders doomed Philly from the start.
The Commanders have excelled in a role that allows them to overachieve while still underachieving, seemingly a requirement for being a team in the NFC East division. Primetime TV darling Taylor Heinicke showed up again, and with it comes a new pair of Jordans to add to his closet, this time in a shade of green.
Plenty of things went wrong for this Eagles team on Monday Night Football, and blowing an easy shot at continuing their undefeated season on national TV certainly does things to the psych, even if the blame can be mainly pushed onto the shoulders of three individuals.
3. PHI assistant responsible for ball security
This is definitely low-hanging fruit, but oh well.
Three costly fumbles by members of the Philadelphia offense (Dallas Goedert, DeVonta Smith, and Quez Watkins) swung the momentum pendulum back in the favor of the Commanders far too many times for the Eagles to overcome.
Goedert’s fumble may be pushed under the rug a bit, seeing as how both a missed face mask penalty and a Goedert injury occurred on that same play. And while the last-second fumble by Smith on a failed lateral play to end the game can be seen as inconsequential to the outcome, the mistake by Watkins can not.
Connecting with Jalen Hurts on a beautiful deep ball over the middle, Watkins left his feet to haul in the pass – all fine and dandy, on the surface. When he got back to his feet (after not having been touched down by a defender), Watkins sort of forgot that holding onto the football was top prerogative, a lesson Washington’s Benjamin St. Juste quickly reminded him of.
A long play all for naught because of Watkins’ fumble, a possession that could have turned the tide of the game into Philly’s favor.
2. AJ Brown
Every once and a while a star player will go dark and put up minuscule numbers – it happens to the Cooper Kupps, Davante Adams’, and Justin Jefferson of the world. But to put up a one-catch outing like AJ Brown did to a bad secondary is almost inexcusable.
His four targets put him at second-most, tied with Watkins and behind Smith, which is a crime in itself and takes some blame off his shoulders. But a secondary that has now allowed the second-most TDs (18) through the air on the year did a solid job of keeping Brown in check.
Going from a 5/85/1 performance in their matchup with the Commanders to a 1/7 showing is an unfortunate outcome – granted, Brown played through an ankle injury he suffered mid-game, but his 78 percent of snaps certainly shows that he should have done more.
1. Jalen Hurts
Can a lack of offensive cohesion be used as a reason/excuse for a bad night from Hurts? Or is there finally a bonafide reason to have a bone to pick with Hurts this season?
Regardless of your school of thought, a 17/26, 175-yard performance is one that Hurts certainly needs to flush away – for good. Defensive pressure cannot be used as an excuse here, as only Montez Sweat got a hand on Hurts behind the line of scrimmage, so Hurts’ poor performance is based on other controllable elements.
His 28 yards on the ground (and 1 TD) helped make up for his lacking passing numbers, but the entire offense was routinely off its usual high pace, something that can be tied back to Hurts, though it is far from fully on his shoulders.
It is easy to look to Hurt as the reason the Philadelphia Eagles lost this game, but not everything from Monday’s loss should be placed on Hurts. There have only been three games of 250+ passing yards from Hurts on the year, so this team is used to having an average (or below average) passing output from their starter, so Monday was no real anomaly.