THE EAGLES have lost their last two games mainly because they were outplayed early; they fell behind, 14-0, at Detroit and at Washington. In both games, they took a ridiculous amount of penalties and were mistake-ridden enough that, had they managed to pull out a win in the final minutes, it would have felt like thievery.
IT'S A TRICKY process, explaining how what had been the NFL's third-ranked run defense managed to give up 230 yards rushing last week in the Eagles' 27-20 loss at Washington, to a team that previously hadn't run the ball very well.
- Poll How will Jim Schwartz’s defense fare this week? (2674 votes)
THIS EAGLES coaching staff seems to want to err on the side of youth, whenever possible. Right now, much of the Delaware Valley is thinking that Doug Pederson and offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland are erring just a tad too much to that side. Some fans might opt for even more pungent wording.
THE EAGLES play an aggressive style of defense. Sunday, they encountered a Detroit team that found first-half success using that aggressiveness against them, with screens, traps and draws, though the Birds closed most of that down in the second half; in fact, they still haven't given up a second-half touchdown this season.
SO, THE OTHER SHOE, or testing vial, has finally dropped. The Eagles will begin preparations Wednesday for this weekend's game at Washington without right tackle Lane Johnson. He was banned from the team practice facility effective at 4 p.m. Tuesday, and is not eligible to return until Dec. 19, a scant three days before the next-to-last game of the season, Dec. 22 against the visiting Giants.
EAGLES QUARTERBACKS Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez combined for 18 interceptions last season, and if Chip Kelly had been forced to delve into each of them in the detail that questioners demanded of Doug Pederson Monday, following Carson Wentz's first career pick, Kelly probably would have saved Jeffrey Lurie the trouble and just resigned.
DETROIT - This wasn't exactly the note Lane Johnson wanted to go out on. He'd rather not go out at all, of course, and it's still possible he won't, but Johnson knows the odds are against him in his appeal of a 10-game NFL suspension, as a second-time performance-enhancing drug offender. Johnson spoke with reporters for the first time in several weeks, in the visiting locker room at Ford Field Sunday in the wake of the Eagles' 24-23 loss to the Lions.
- Poll Why did the Eagles defense slip up? (886 votes)
THE EAGLES get a lot of praise nationally for having two former NFL quarterbacks overseeing Carson Wentz, in head coach Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Frank Reich, along with a well-regarded quarterbacks coach in John DeFilippo. But the guy you see Wentz talking to the most on the sideline during games is backup QB Chase Daniel.
LANE JOHNSON'S appeal of his 10-game NFL suspension for ingesting a performance-enhancing substance lasted nearly 8 hours Tuesday at the NFL offices in New York. Attorney Steve Zashin said the Eagles' right tackle will play this weekend at Detroit, as expected, before a decision is announced, typically in a week to 10 days.