Eagles Learn Valuable Lessons In Ugly Loss
SEATTLE – There is no such thing as a good loss. However, if the Philadelphia Eagles learned some valuable lessons in a loss then perhaps this could be viewed as something close to it.
For the first time since the middle of September, the Eagles left the locker room following a loss. They appeared to be frustrated and angry, but not panicked.
The offense lacked rhythm and created their own problems due to penalties and a fumble by Carson Wentz just short of the goal line. The defense got pressure on Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson, but failed to keep him from buying time and ultimately moving the ball downfield.
This was not the start the Eagles wanted to have on their two-game west coast swing. However, it does sound like they can benefit from the experience in Seattle.
“This is a good humbling point,” Center Jason Kelce said after the 24-10 loss. “Look at last week, we fumbled the ball four or five times and ended up getting away with a win. Obviously you have mistakes like that against good teams and you are going to lose games. You are not going to win against good teams if you do things like that and we need to get that corrected.”
“Each guy has got to answer to themselves, did they prepare as well as they needed to,” Safety Malcolm Jenkins stated. “If the answer is yes, than you can live with the result. At the end of the day we have lived or died with our preparation. If you feel good about how you prepared and what you have done leading up to this than you can’t get upset with the result.”
The Eagles hurt themselves with numerous penalties on all three sides of the ball. The offense killed itself with holding penalties. The defense committed several holding penalties that helped the Seahawks move down the field. Special teams also had penalties that negated two decent kickoff returns.
The players realize they have nobody to blame but themselves for those mistakes.
“Nobody likes this feeling,” Guard Brandon Brooks explained. “You have to understand what this feeling is and how this feeling came to be. You have to understand the mistakes we made and the things we didn’t do. We have to get those corrected now so this same feeling doesn’t happen again.”
“We have to make sure we don’t beat ourselves,” Defensive End Brandon Graham said. “There were too many penalties and too many little things that caught up with us. We have to get off the field on third down. We have some plays out there that we wish we could have back. We gave a bunch of free things today and Seattle took advantage of it.”
Now the big question is how the Eagles will respond to this adversity following the end of their nine-game winning streak. They said afterwards they are not looking in the rear-view mirror and are instead focused on a good week of practice in Anaheim prior to their game in Los Angeles against the Rams.
“I expect us to bounce back and go out here Tuesday and work our butt off,” Graham stated. “We are 10-2 and everything is still out in front of us. We can’t have a melt down. We have to go out here and trust and believe that if we don’t beat ourselves, we go out and win the game. Once we clean up our stuff and figure out what we need to do, I think everything will be just fine and we will get back on track.”
“I think the thing we were looking forward to with both of these games is that we were seeing two of the best teams in the NFC,” Kelce said. “We have been a really good team up until now, but we see how we have to perform against the best. Unfortunately we didn’t take care of that with this team today. Now we get another test this week and this is a really good team in LA. We are going to have to not make mistakes and kill ourselves and as long as we do that we can compete with anybody.”
This will be a huge week in the NFC. The Eagles are currently tied with the Minnesota Vikings for the best record in the Conference, but the Vikings hold the tiebreaker over the Eagles. The Rams are one game behind both of them. The Eagles visit the Rams while the Vikings visit the Carolina Panthers who are also fighting for a playoff spot. One thing is clear. After this week, the playoff picture will either clear up a little bit or become one big mess that requires a fight to the finish if the Eagles hope to gain a first-round bye or home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.