We're starting to feel like a broken record as the Eagles once again produced a poor performance in Week 12 against the Seahawks. Adding to the frustration is the fact that the defense played reasonably well and that the game was there for the taking if the Eagles had been able to muster anything offensively. Here are the studs and duds from the disappointing showing.
STUD: Alex Singleton
Singleton's line doesn't jump out at you: five tackles and a tackle for loss. But he made a big impact. He had a huge goalline tackle early in the game and had another big run-stuffing tackle a short time later. He was hitting with force, making key tackles, providing energy and setting the tone for a defense that did a pretty decent job overall Monday night.
DUD: Doug Pederson
Pederson seems in completely over his head at this point. The offense was embarrassingly bad and was playing against one of the weaker defenses in the NFL. Despite the game being close for long stretches, Miles Sanders had six carries. Six. That's inexcusable. Not only is Sanders arguably your most prolific playmaker on offense, but every aspect of the passing game, from blocking to receivers getting open/being in the right spots, to Carson Wentz's accuracy and decision-making, has been out of whack for weeks. Yet, Pederson decided to give his running backs a total of nine carries while dialing up 46 passes. Frankly, it's ridiculous.
That's not all. Pederson seems unwilling or unable to game plan in a way that highlights his player's strengths and mitigates their weaknesses. He's done nothing to mitigate the injuries on the offensive line, refuses to consistently go uptempo or get Wentz out of the pocket in spite of clear evidence that the offense works better when doing those things, and has failed to scheme his receivers open. The offense is bland and predictable.
But wait, there's more. There were several instances on Monday night where players weren't in the right spots, appeared to not know what their responsibilities were, or didn't know how to adjust to what the defense was doing. That's on coaching, and is particularly troubling both because it's Week 12 and because it seems that this is a recurring issue. Either Pederson isn't coaching these things or the team isn't listening, and either way it's a poor reflection on Pederson.
STUD: Derek Barnett
Barnett had three tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack on Monday night. Like Singleton, he didn't produce incredible numbers in terms of volume, but the plays he made were high-impact plays. He had a tackle on fourth and goal that kept the Seahawks out of the end zone and gave the offense a chance to steal some momentum. He followed that up with another fourth down tackle, forcing the Seahawks into consecutive turnovers on downs. The defense was very good in the first quarter, and Barnett was a big part of it.
DUD: Carson Wentz
One of the scariest parts of the Eagles' current situation is that it's impossible to know how to spread out blame between the quarterback, the offensive line, the receivers, and the coach. As such, it makes it much more difficult to figure out how to fix it. And all of those issues were once again on display Monday night. But Carson Wentz wasn't good enough, despite all the issues that are out of his control.
Wentz completed 56% of his passes and averaged just 4.8 yards per attempt. He badly underthrew two long passes that could have been huge plays for the Eagles, and his accuracy overall left a lot to be desired. Perhaps more concerning, there were multiple instances where he didn't make the correct read and missed wide-open receivers that he should be able to see. He's too far along in his career to be consistently making those kind of mistakes. Look, the offensive line was terrible, the receivers appear to not know where they're going far too often and can't get open consistently enough when they do know, and Doug has done a poor job getting people to know what they're supposed to be doing and an even worse job scheming players open and making adjustments to help Wentz with all that is going on around him. But Wentz hasn't been good enough either. The broadcast team Monday night nailed it when they said that despite all the issues around him, Wentz can't compound the issues. Far too often this season, he has.
DUD: Darius Slay
Darius Slay had the unenviable task of guarding D.K. Metcalf Monday night. It did not go well. Metcalf torched the Eagles for 10 catches for 177 yards, including a 52-yard bomb. Slay got toasted for a pair of long gains and could do nothing to slow Metcalf. There's no shame in struggling to contain Metcalf, but Slay was brought to Philadelphia for matchups like this and he didn't answer the bell on Monday night. He also had an absolutely inexcusable personal foul penalty on Seattle's first drive that extended the drive. He was ultimately bailed out by the great plays by Singleton and Barnett, but you simply cannot do things like that. Slay deserves a ton of credit for taking responsibility for his performance in the post game press conference, and he displayed the kind of accountability that this organization seems to be sorely lacking. But he simply didn't get it done Monday night.