LAS VEGAS - For about four minutes of game time it looked like the Eagles' coaching staff had made good use of its so-called mini-bye but that was a mirage in the desert as the far more powerful Las Vegas Raiders pulled away with 30 unanswered points before settling for an easy 33-22 win.
What has become a theme too often during a 2-5 start was Philadelphia accumulating some hollow offensive numbers once the game was already decided and the 5-2 Raiders were hardly playing with a sense of urgency.
Nick Sirianni often talks about Frank Reich's difficult start in Indianapolis and how everyone was looking at the Colts coach for answers. Sirianni finds himself in a similar situation as the whispers around the coach start to pick up steam.
Dallas Goedert: Back from the COVID-19 list with Zach Ertz in Arizona, where he was scoring a TD by the way, Goedert looked every bit like a TE1 even if you have to peel back the onion due to the hesitancy and inconsistency of the quarterback. Goedert finished with three receptions for 70 yards and a 2-point conversation. As Howie Roseman said: there will be no discounts with Dallas Goedert.
Miles Sanders: Sanders looked like what everyone in Philadelphia seems to think he is on the first drive, a bell-cow back. Unfortunately, Sanders was injured and crated off with what was called an ankle injury. His reaction wasn't great when leaving with a towel over his head but that's not a diagnosis. What can be said if that Sanders was effective when finally getting an opportunity, albeit a small one.
Nick Sirianni's mini-bye adjustments: The scripted stuff, a traditional dish of the QB under center with direct handoffs to Miles Sanders, and play-action to Dallas Goedert which was capped off by an angle-pass out of the backfield to Kenny Gainwell in the middle of the field for a 13-yard TD was great.
From there it was back to not great and once this coaching staff gets behind it tends to panic and forget about any kind of patience, instead playing into the areas where Jalen Hurts is at his most ineffective.
Jordan Mailata: The big man was back on the left side but that wasn't a good thing on Sunday. When Mailata does struggle it's with speed and Yannick Ngakoue has plenty of that. The well-traveled Ngakoue raced around the edge too often and Mailata was also called for a facemask personal foul. Late, the Eagles took out Lane Johnson and moved Mailata over to the right side while inserting Andre Dillard.
Eagles linebackers: Jonathan Gannon has tried every conceivable duo starting with T.J. Edwards and Davion Taylor to bolster the run support and moving to Eric Wilson and Alex Singleton to "help" the pass. Genard Avery was mixed in with Wilson in a five-man front look but look at the names. It's not death by 1,000 cuts, it's assured morbidity with the cause being signed off as lack of personnel.
Jalen Hurts: The apologists are quickly being overwhelmed by what they have to apologize for. The Eagles grade their quarterbacks on a four-point checklist and the two most important attributes they want are accuracy and decision-making. From there, it's off-schedule offense and arm strength.
Hurts clearly checks Box 3 and the team believes his arm strength is acceptable with the issue there being more about getting the football out on time. As for the more important categories, the less said the better.
Self-Realization: The Eagles again put up some numbers in garbage time when the game is long decided. Once that context turns into black and white numbers moving forward, too many claim the Eagles are close. Sirianni needs to understand just how bad some of these losses have been.
-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.