Extra Points: Eagles Loss Trumps Personal Embarrassing Week
This week was full of embarrassing incidents.
The top of the list occurred last Saturday, when I went to pluck a wayward Titleist out of the pond on the fourth hole at Cape May National. I turned around to see my push cart rolling down the embankment and into the murky, muddy water, soaking my bag and almost everything in it. I spent the next 20 minutes using my ball retriever to fish out my 9-iron, Arizona State head cover - my son is an alum - and travel coffee mug.
Thankfully, my buddy Tom Shagren was laughing too hard to take a video. And my cell phone was in my bag, though luckily it didn't get wet.
Sunday morning was spent climbing into the cubby hole/attic that been used to store Christmas decorations since we bought our home in November of 1992. Somehow, the opening shrank since last year. I wedged myself through, only to smack my head on a beam. Still, it wasn't as bad as two years ago, when I reenacted a scene from "Christmas Vacation" by stepping on a patch of insulation and sinking through the floor, thus sending clumps of insulation and pieces of dry wall into our living room.
The Eagles topped - or rather bottomed - my predicaments on Monday night.
About the only thing they accomplished in the 23-17 loss to Seattle was covering the 6.5-point spread, which they did only because of a two-point conversion that followed a meaningless late touchdown. Those of us who picked the Seahawks to win by 7 were not happy.
Regardless of the final score, it was another embarrassing performance. Owner Jeffrey Lurie's face covering didn't do a very good job of masking his disgust over what has happened to his franchise.
Quarterback Carson Wentz wasn't quite as bad this time - his league-high 15th interception was caused by tight end Dallas Goedert breaking the wrong way - but he also missed several open receivers and seemed to struggle recognizing coverages. That was especially true early in the game, when the Eagles failed to register a single first down on their first five possessions against the league's worst pass defense.
Pregame reports that rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts would get more playing time proved incorrect. Hurts was on the field for two plays, including the first time he was out there without Wentz serving as an ineffective decoy, and did complete a 6-yard pass before returning to the sideline.
"The plan was to use him when we could," Pederson said. "The way the game started, we just didn't have many opportunities, too many three and outs. It just wasn't in the cards, I guess, so to speak, early in the football game."
A revamped (again) offensive line was terrible. Jason Peters was as bad at right guard as he was at left tackle. Wentz endured six sacks and was under constant duress.
Defensively, the Eagles got off to an encouraging start with a goal-line stand and another fourth-down stoppage, but Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf was unstoppable.
Metcalf had 10 receptions for 177 yards, most of which came against cornerback Darius Slay. If anyone had a worse day, it might have been wife Jennifer, who was fighting off trolls on Twitter during the game while supporting her husband.
"I would say this was by far the worst game I've ever played in the league," said Slay, who is in his eighth NFL season. "I let the team down. I told the defense, that game was on me."
Actually, it was on everyone, from the general manager, to the coaching staff, to the players.
Unless the Eagles find a way to turn the season around, changes could be coming. General manager Howie Roseman and Pederson are reportedly on thin ice and the ice is melting.
Personally, I think Pederson deserves one more year, given the chaos surrounding Covid-19, plus the rash of injuries on the offensive line, tight end and wide receiver. The Eagles have made the playoffs three straight years under his leadership and still have a chance at making it four in a row by winning the dreadful NFC East.
"We're definitely not where we want to be, that's for sure," Pederson said. "But (job security) is not my concern. It's out of my hands. What's in my hands is getting ready for Green Bay. There is no magic football play, no magic defense or special teams. It's a matter of climbing yourself out of it and everybody has to take ownership of it. It's the only way I know how to fix it."
They have five more games to fix it.
If not, they might all through that thin ice and wind up as wet as my golf cart.