Eagles Defense Refuses to Point Fingers at Offense

Ed Kracz

Tom Brady and Russell Wilson did not do much against the Eagles defense these past two weeks.

Trouble is, Carson Wentz didn’t do much against either Brady’s or Wilson’s defense. The Eagles quarterback has directed a grand total of two touchdown drives in the last two games and the Eagles lost both.

The most recent setback came against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, 17-9, which left the Eagles sitting at 5-6 with just five games left in the season.

The offense has looked much different during this two-game home losing streak than it did in the season’s first nine games. In getting to 5-4, the Eagles averaged 24.8 points per game.

The last two games they have scored 10 and 9 points.

“We’re frustrated because we understand where we’re at in our season and what every game means to us and that’s going to determine whether or not we reach the postseason, which is our goal,” said Eagles safety Rodney McLeod. “It’s frustrating to come up with losses like this, particularly at home where we play well and we’re not doing that.

“We’re not playing as a complete team, all three phases. We have to go back to work, man, we have to figure it out. We don’t have much time. We have Miami coming up (nest Sunday). It’s another opportunity for us. We have five (games) left. That’s all we’re guaranteed.”

This was the fourth straight game the defense held an opponent under 17 points and the Eagles are just 2-2 in those games.

There’s no way to point to the defense and say, yeah, it’s their fault.

It’s far easier to point to the offense, and say, yeah, it’s on them.

Nobody is going to do that, though.

“We don’t point fingers like that,” said Eagles head coach Doug Pederson. “We’re a team. When we win, we win as a team. When we lose we lose as a team. (Sunday) we lost as a team.”

It’s true.

Several defensive players after the game when asked if there was any frustration that the offense wasn’t holding up its end of the bargain, nobody said yes.

“Complementary football is when all your units are playing together,” said safety Malcolm Jenkins. “We (the offense) had five turnovers, but I think we only gave up three points off it, so really they didn’t count, so I think we did play complementary at times.

“I don’t think we ever flipped the field, which we needed to do, give our offense a short field and capitalize on it. Obviously turnovers hurt but there were definitely a few plays here or there we could’ve had that the field flipped or had we gotten off the field, so we’re just looking for some small things here and there.”

Last week, the defense held New England’s Brady to just 216 yards and no touchdowns.

This week, the defense held quarterback Russell Wilson in check. He had just 200 yards passing. McLeod had an interception, which was just the third Wilson has thrown all season.

The defense piled up six sacks, two from Jenkins.

The defense allowed 17 points, which was the second fewest Seattle scored this season. The Baltimore Ravens held the Seahawks to 16 in handing them their one of their two losses this season.

If there’s one thing you can pin on the defense it’s that they have been beaten on consecutive games by a trick play.

Last week, Julian Edelman accounted for New England’s only touchdown of the game with a touchdown pass.

Against the Seahawks, the Eagles thought Chris Carson was going to run the ball when he took a handoff. Instead, Carson threw the ball backward to Wilson, who threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Malik Turner.

The other Seattle score came on a 58-yard touchdown run by Rashaad Penny early in the fourth quarter.

Still, it was a defensive effort that deserved better.

“You can’t win many games with five turnovers,” said Wentz. “Our defense played great again, gave us a fighting chance again, and offensively we let them down.”

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