I’m still on Cloud 9 over last night’s nearly miraculous, come from behind win against the Giants. If for nothing more than I am a Wentz truther and he pulled this dead team right out of the grasp of the Grim Reaper. People say he isn’t clutch, people say a lot of asinine things. That depleted Eagles team had no business winning with about five minutes left, but we woke up today without that miserable feeling in the pit of our stomachs. That can in large part be attributed to Carson’s heroics.
As for his counterpart in this era, wow was that bad. I wanted to start with the positive because I am a positive person who is enjoying a W that’s been hard to come by. But I would be remiss not to at least touch on the glaring negative: Doug Pederson.
Let’s list them out. Feel free to add some in your head as you read because it was so bad I probably missed some.
DESEAN JACKSON, THE PUNT RETURNER –
I’m starting with this one because the other complaints may be more obvious. What was the point of putting Desean back there on the final punt return? Were you hoping for a Miracle in the Meadowlands 3, but where he fields the punt 30 yards further Back than he did the last one a decade ago? How often do punt returners even get a chance to run one back when they are fielding inside their own 10 yard line. The punter’s obvious goal is to put it up high, let the coverage team get under it, and pin them deep. Which is exactly what the Giants did. But instead of Greg Ward fair catching it, like he had been all night, you send Desean back. In a sick and twisted way it actually helped the Eagles in the short term. But, in the long term, Desean is hurt again and the blame for the newest injury woe falls squarely on Doug’s shoulders.
HAKEEM BUTLER, FOURTH AND GOAL –
I’m just really happy that I went to sleep knowing my season didn’t end in Week 7 on a 4th & Goal fade to Hakeem Butler.
THE UTILIZATION OF JALEN HURTS –
I’ve now come full circle on the Jalen Hurts pick. Wellllll, “full circle” might be a stretch. That pick in the 2nd round is still an outright disaster. But Hurts could have a significant role on this team! Unfortunately his utilization, much like the rest of the offense, has become boring and predictable. Every NFL team, even the bad ones, watch tape. The Giants clearly caught on that if this Jalen Hurts guy is coming in, he’s not throwing it. The element of surprise is gone. I didn’t hate the design of the Jalen Hurts 2 point conversion attempt (it works 120% of the time on NCAA 14). But everything else with the Jalen Hurts package needs spiced up.
THE TWO POINT CONVERSION FAILURES –
Amazing that this team brought in this supposed core of offensive geniuses in the offseason to surround Doug, and not one of these guys can come up with a creative two-point conversion try. They ran a QB sweep play where Wentz fumbles one of them. They again took the ball of out Wentz’s hands to make a throw, just like last week. On the Hakeem Butler goal to go series, they ran the simple option play with Jalen Hurts/ Boston Scott. I’m envisioning the coaches meetings this week being: “what if we just ran the offense Auburn ran with Cam Newton?”
Even Joe Buck was shocked at how unimaginative the play calling was on the two point conversion tries and within the 10 yard line.
Look, Doug is doing a thankless job right now. He’s expected to get a depleted roster to thrive like some of his previous offenses. The offensive line gets shellacked every week and throws off the rhythm. It can’t be easy calling plays like that. But when your team lacks talent like this, you have to be good at the little things. You have to make the smart play, and sometimes the smart play isn’t always the aggressive one. Early in the season, it was Carson Wentz who needed to bounce back. Judging by that throw to Boston Scott that was reminiscent of the throw to Corey Clement on MNF, I’d wholeheartedly say he has. It’s Doug’s turn to do the same.