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Week 16 2020: Studs and Duds

The Philadelphia Eagles have been eliminated from playoff contention after a brutal 37-17 loss to the rival Dallas Cowboys. The most frustrating part is that the Eagles got off to a great start and were winning the game 14-3. They were outscored 34-3 the rest of the way and were shut out in the second half. There's no way around it, this was another inexcusable performance and a final missed opportunity in what has been a disastrous 2020 season for this football team. We have plenty of duds and we'll try to scrounge up a stud or two from this dumpster fire.

STUD: Darius Slay

Slay had two tackles and a pass defensed in addition to a huge interception that gave the Eagles the change to swing the momentum back in their favor. Unfortunately, the offense promptly committed three penalties, went backwards, and failed to get points off of Slay's play. Still, the Eagles were desperate for a big play and Slay provided one. In addition, as the Eagles' secondary was getting picked apart by Andy Dalton, it was Slay who was at least making sure it wasn't his man doing the damage.

DUD: Doug Pederson

Pederson was horrible on Sunday. After building a 14-3 lead, Pederson, again, completely abandoned the things that allowed his team to go right down the field and build that lead. Miles Sanders was once again grossly underused. DeSean Jackson scored an 81-yard touchdown and didn't receive a single target the rest of the game. There appears to be no actual plan or any continuity in terms of play calling, but instead Pederson making it up as he goes along. The fact that the Eagles were shutout in the second half against one of the worst defenses in the league is an embarrassment. The fact that this team continually shoots itself in the foot with penalties is a discipline, and by extension, a coaching problem.

STUD: Vinny Curry

Curry had two tackles, a tackle for loss, a sack, and three QB hits on Sunday. He made a big play early that helped the Eagles build their early lead and momentum that they should have been able to hold on to. One of the biggest issues regarding the wild swing in momentum was the fact that the Eagles were no longer able to get pressure on Dalton (and Fletcher Cox going out early with injury played a big role here), but Curry did his part to help generate some pressure.

DUD: Matt Pryor

Pryor single-handedly torpedoed several Eagles drives as he committed penalty after penalty. Add in the fact that he wasn't great at blocking either and you have a recipe for disaster. On Sunday, Pryor served as a microcosm of the Eagles' offensive line problems this season.

DUD: Jalen Hurts

We don't want to be too hard on Hurts, especially as he was cooking early in the game. He finished 21/39 for 342 yards and a touchdown. He added nine carries for 69 yards. But he also tossed two interceptions and lost a fumble, and he was never able to recover the rhythm he and the offense had early in the game.

This brings us to the question that has haunted the Eagles all season and will be the crux of their issues in the offseason. How much of Hurts' struggles can be attributed to him not playing well and how much of it is the result of other things like poor line play, poor coaching and play calling, and sub-par wide receiver play? It's virtually impossible to figure out and doing so correctly will be key in determining how quickly the Eagles can turn things around. Regardless, Hurts struggled Sunday and made too many mistakes with the way the rest of the team was struggling.

DUD: Michael Jacquet

Jacquet was an absolute disaster on Sunday. He routinely got toasted and it was painfully obvious that the Cowboys were finding Jacquet and going to whoever he was covering. Jacquet had no answers and was eventually pulled, but by that time the damage was done.


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