Want to know why the Eagles are 0-2 in this 2020 regular season? The reasons are fairly obvious to see following a 37-19 loss to Los Angeles on Sunday in a game that opened the home schedule at Lincoln Financial Field …
1. Turnovers. The Eagles had three more of them on Sunday, giving them six in two games. It all began against the Rams when running back Miles Sanders fumbled on the third play of the game and continued with a crushing interception thrown by quarterback Carson Wentz, an attempt to wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside on a first-down throw from the Rams' 21-yard line that was picked off by cornerback Darious Williams with the Eagles down five points. Los Angeles took possession and drove 68 yards for a field goal, taking back momentum for the remainder of the game. Wentz, who threw only seven interceptions in each of the last three seasons, already has four in two games. He has five turnovers. He said he tried to "force one in there" to Arcega-Whiteside, and it was just not a good decision. Whatever it means, all four of Wentz's interceptions have come on first downs.
2. The defense has allowed 64 points in the last six quarters (and then some), dating back to late in the second quarter of the Washington game. This is troubling. Los Angeles went right after the second level of the Eagles' defense, running right up the gut for 191 yards, beating the defense with pre-snap motion and an up-tempo game plan, and isolating tight end Tyler Higbee on linebackers to the tune of five receptions, 54 yards, and three touchdowns on five targets. One week after allowing just 2.2 yards per rushing attempt at Washington, the Eagles broke down against Los Angeles, permitting an average of 4.9 yards per carry. Moreover, Philadelphia has yet to register a takeaway on defense – the lone Rams' turnover on Sunday came when punt returner Cooper Kupp coughed up the football on a return that the Eagles turned into a touchdown. There hasn't been a lot of pressure up front and the defense has failed in the red zone – Washington scored touchdowns on three of four trips inside the Philadelphia 20-yard line in Week 1 and the Rams scored on four of five red zone trips on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
3. A lack of consistency and taking momentum and keeping it is a prime reason the Eagles are 0-2. After falling behind 21-3 in the first quarter on Sunday, the Eagles clawed back. They were still in it even as Los Angeles quarterback Jared Goff completed his first 13 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns. He didn't throw an incomplete pass until there were 3 minutes, 6 seconds remaining in the second quarter. An array of bootlegs and misdirection plays bedeviled the Eagles' defense and there were no answers for Goff outside the pocket. He got rid of the ball quickly in the Rams' up-tempo offense and the defense struggled to catch up. Playing from behind after Sanders' fumble, the Eagles tried gamely to close in, and they trailed only 21-16 at halftime and the score was the same when Wentz threw the interception in the end zone, but right after that Los Angeles drove 68 yards on 16 plays to extend the lead to 24-16. Jake Elliott nailed a 38-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to narrow the gap again to 24-19, but Los Angeles struck quickly. A 40-yard Darrell Henderson run set up Los Angeles in Eagles' territory, and one penalty later (on defensive tackle Malik Jackson for a neutral zone infraction), Goff threw to Higbee in the left corner of the end zone for the tight end's third score of the game, a 28-yarder.
4. Wentz is off track, there is no question about it. The turnovers are alarming. The Eagles had some success on Sunday using tempo offensively, and there was a concerted effort to get him out of the pocket and get the football out of his hands quickly, but the numbers are the numbers – he completed 26 of 43 passes for 242 yards and two interceptions. For the season, Wentz has four interceptions and two touchdown passes. Those are not normal numbers for Carson Wentz. No. 2 quarterback Jalen Hurts came in for three snaps and lined up in various places in the formation – none at quarterback – as a decoy to try to spice up the offense and it had some positive impact, but not enough. Wentz didn't get the deep ball going at all against a Los Angeles soft zone that made a concerted effort to keep everything in front of it. The Eagles need their franchise quarterback to lead the way, to break into the win column. It certainly isn't all on him. But the offense has yet to create any kind of identity in two weeks. The blocking scheme did a good job against All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald – the Rams did not record a sack – but Wentz missed a few receivers and the offense didn't sustain success. It's a mystery, honestly.
5. Any other reasons for being 0-2? The Eagles can't get frustrated here. It's a long, long season. And the division is going to be there for the taking, even with Dallas's miracle comeback on Sunday to beat Atlanta. This team needs urgency, a spark, something. They certainly can't start pointing fingers. They can't start bickering. The offense needs to find its identity and the defense needs to get some stops. The Rams toyed with the Eagles, really, all game on Sunday. A 37-19 loss to open the home season? Every player and coach needs to look at himself in the mirror and come up with positive answers, because an 0-2 start by the combined score of 64-36 just isn't acceptable. This is a team with the highest of expectations. Right now, though, the Eagles just need a victory on Sunday against the Bengals. The Eagles need to bring energy and urgency, something they haven't had enough of in two losses to open this 2020 regular season.