Finish a season at 4-11-1 like the Eagles did and highlights are hard to find, so here are the top 10 lowlights from the season that was:
10. Washington’s comeback in season opener. All signs of the frustrating season to come were right here, especially for Carson Wentz, whose two interceptions helped the Football Team come back from a 17-0 deficit to win 27-17. It was Washington’s first win over the Eagles since 2016.
Already, injuries were a factor, with both Lane Johnson and Miles Sanders missing the game.
9. Failed two-point try vs. Baltimore. The Eagles rallied from a 24-6 deficit against the Ravens, pulling to within 30-28 on a Carson Wentz 1-yard touchdown with 1:55 to go in the game. Trying to tie the score with a two-point conversion, the Eagles called for a run that never had a chance. It was their fourth two-point try of the game, with two being successful, and head coach Doug Pederson admitted afterward that they probably had run out of two-point plays.
8. Beating backups. It’s a lowlight when three of your wins come against Nick Mullens, Ben DiNucci, and Taysom Hill, all reserve signal-callers. The other win was against Daniel Jones. The Eagles had their chances to beat some of the game’s best in Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, and Russell Wilson, but couldn’t get it done, nor could they figure out how to beat rookie Joe Burrow.
7. Cowboys damage. Dallas’ offense was a juggernaut in a Week 16 loss, with three of their players topping 100 yards. Receivers Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper each had 121 yards through the air while running back Ezekiel Elliott ran for 105 yards. As an offense, the Cowboys plundered the Eagles for more than 500 yards of total offense, which came on the heels of the Arizona Cardinals putting up more than 500 a week earlier.
6. Chase Claypool’s four touchdowns. Pittsburgh’s rookie receiver from Notre Dame did something former Steelers receivers and Hall of Famers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth did not do, and that is score four touchdowns in one game in their first NFL seasons.
One of Claypool’s scores was a two-yard run. The last of his three receiving TDs was an embarrassingly easy pitch-and-catch when he lined up in the slot against linebacker Nate Gerry (remember him?) and ran right by him. Claypool had 110 yards receiving on seven catches.
5. Jim Schwartz motivating D.K. Metcalf. On the morning of the game, the Eagles defensive coordinator told Seahawks WR D.K. Metcalf, “I was in Detroit with Megatron (Calvin Johnson) but you’re not there yet.” It wasn’t an intentional jab, Schwartz would say later, but Metcalf took it as one. As if he needed any more fuel in his motivational tank since the Eagles were one of the teams that let him slide late into the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft and took J.J. Arcega-Whiteside over him.
Metcalf chopped up the Eagles’ secondary, specifically CB Darius Slay, for a career-high 177 yards receiving on 10 catches in Seattle’s 23-17 win.
4. Seven players earned Player of the Week honors against the Eagles.
- Washington’s Ryan Kerrigan. Had two sacks, two QB hits, and a fumble recovery.
- Los Angeles’ Micah Kiser. Had 15 tackles, one forced fumble.
- Pittsburgh’s Chase Claypool. (See above).
- Baltimore’s Calais Campbell. Had five tackles, four QB hits, four tackles for loss, and three sacks.
- Cleveland’s Olivier Vernon. Had five tackles, four QB hits, and three sacks.
- Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers. Had just nine incomplete passes in 35 attempts for 295 yards and three touchdowns.
- Arizona’s Kyler Murray threw for career-high 406 yards and three touchdowns.
3. Daniel Jones’ 80-yard run. What a terrible look it was for the Eagles’ defense to allow Jones to scoot right and go 80 yards untouched. He would’ve scored had he not tripped over his own feet. It was the fifth-longest run by a quarterback in 25 years and the longest run since Marcus Mariota went 87 yards in 2015.
2. Punting away the game to the Bengals. The Eagles wanted to try a 58-yard field goal with 19 seconds left in overtime to beat Cincinnati, but Matt Pryor was called for a false start (and wasn’t that pre-snap penalty in Week 3 a sign of things to come on both the offensive and defensive lines). Rather than try for a first down on fourth-and-12 from midfield, and with the Bengals out of timeouts, Doug Pederson chose to punt the ball away, surrendering any chance the Eagles had of winning.
1. Controversial Week 17 loss. With the game still in the balance, and an NFC East title that would’ve gone to the six-win New York Giants, Pederson replaced starting quarterback Jalen Hurts with third-string Nate Sudfeld, who had been inactive since the season opener. The QB switch after three quarters caught some Eagles off guard and came with Washington holding on to just a 17-14 lead.
The Football Team won 20-14 to win the division, and the uproar over the Eagles’ perceived tanking continues to hang over them as they head into the offseason.
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