Monday, October 31, 2016

Eagles' offense provides some Halloween frights

And now for the prescient pigskin prognosticator award.

The final score from last night's, late-night, prime time, heart-breaking loss for the Eagles in Dallas:

Dallas 29, Eagles 24.

Your Heron's Nest Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick prediction:

Dallas 29, Eagles 24.

No, I didn’t have it going to overtime. Don't expect me to feel any better about it.

That's now how this works, especially when you're back in the office after getting about three hours sleep.

At the same time I was crafting that 'Dak's All, Folks!' front page just after midnight, I was already torturing myself, as I'm sure lots of Birds' faithful are this early a.m.

The truth is this is a game the Eagles easily could have won. They had a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.

They were driving toward a killer score, maybe driving a final dagger into the Cowboys' hearts, with a little more than seen minutes left in regulation. They had the ball at the Dallas 30. Then an odd thing happened, something that happened more than once last night.

Doug Pederson dialed up a pass play that actually lost yardage.

A swing pass to Darren Sproles was sniffed out by the 'Boys' defense. He was spilled for a six-yard loss. Then Doug Pederson, who has been very good so far this year, and who actually had a pretty good night last night for much of the evening, decided to get conservative. It may have cost him the game.

Instead of letting red-hot kicker Caleb Sturgis attempt a 53-yard field goal (remember he closed out the first half with not one but two perfect 55-yarders after the Cowboys iced him with a timeout), Pederson opted to punt and pin Dallas deep in their own end.

Instead of putting points on the board, Pederson opened the door to the Cowboys. They promptly barged through it and went on to win in overtime.

If there is one overriding thought that you will hear again and again today it is the complete lack of weapons in Carson Wentz's arsenal.

He was again very good last night, but threw almost everything in the 10-yard and under range. The Eagles simply don't have a playmaker at wide receiver, anyone who can put the least bit of a scare into defenses, Halloween or no Halloween.

Jordan Mathews? He had 11 catches last night. You would think that was a pretty good night. On those 11 catches he managed to gain all of 65 yards.

Nelson Agholor continues to be a nightmare for the Birds. Halloween came a day early as he started the game by missing a key block, then dropping another pass.

Dropped passes are the trademark of this receiving corps.

That and the sudden disappearance of the Eagles tight ends, including Zach Ertz. No, it does not appear that this is going to be the year Ertz breaks out. Keep waiting, fans. It's going to happen one of these years. Isn't it?

All of which hearkens back to something Pederson said last week, when rumors were swirling that Howie Roseman and the Birds might be in the market for a wide receiver.

Pederson took pains to downplay those reports, saying he was "thrilled" with his receiving corps.

That makes one of us.

Carson Wentz deserves better than this.

Last night he again showed he can be very accurate. He was 32 of 43 with a handful of dropped balls. But for all that work he only amassed 202 yards. It is now a pattern. Unfortunately it's not a deep one. The Eagles don't have a receiver who goes long.


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