Sunday was brutal as the Eagles failed to hold on to a 17-0 lead in the fourth quarter and fell to the Carolina Panthers by a score of 21-17. Doug Pederson will speak to the media at noon and we will carry his press conference live. Here's what you need to know in today's Morning Roundup presented by Microsoft starting with what this loss means going forward.
1. Searching For Answers
The Eagles had the Panthers where they wanted them with a 17-0 lead in the fourth quarter yesterday. But after gut-wrenching collapse, the 2018 Eagles are stuck with more questions than answers. Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro wrote about the key moments that turned the game and explains what's next for the Eagles as they aim to dig out of a hole that is getting deeper:
"I don't know what happened," defensive tackle Fletcher Cox said. "They won the game. You've got to go back and watch it and see what happened, but we lost the game and it's time to get back to the drawing board. This is the worst loss I've ever had. We were up 17-0 and they came back and kicked our (butt)."
"We blew it on defense," defensive end Chris Long said. "Offense held up their end of the bargain, possessed the football the whole game, and we blew it at the end."
2. Carson Wentz Reflects
While the defense allowed three touchdown drives in the fourth quarter, the offense is also to blame for not putting the Panthers away. Carson Wentz finished the game 30-of-37 for 310 yards and two touchdowns but the offense couldn't get more than two first downs in the fourth quarters and lost out on opportunities to put the victory on ice. Alex Smith writes that after the game, Wentz reflected on the shell-shocking loss and where the team can go from here:
"Very disappointing," Wentz said after the game. "We had chances to win it there at the end. Offensively, we had a chance to seal the deal the drive before, the two drives before, and we just didn't do it. When you're on the field at the end like that with a shot, ball's in your hand and you don't win, it's frustrating."
"It's a culmination of things. I've got to go back and watch the tape, but that's just not the way for us to finish the game. I thought we were moving the ball well early and we kind of did some things well that we know we're capable of, and then it just seemed like we let off the gas as an offense and just stopped making plays."
3. Two Stars Not Enough
Lost in the defeat is the fact that tight end Zach Ertz and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery had outstanding days as they dominated the Carolina defense for the first three quarters. Ertz had 138 yards on nine receptions, while Jeffery had seven receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown. In the end, they were not enough to carry the team to victory:
"I am very disappointed," Ertz said. "It is not the ending of the game that I envisioned. We have to keep our foot on the gas and can't have mental mistakes. Little things at the end of the game come back to bite you. Even little mistakes that you are doing at the beginning of the game come back to bite you. Tough, tough loss and no other way to put it."
4. Vote For The Toyota Player Of The Week
Dominant performances by Eagles players appeared the be the storyline of the game until the fourth quarter. Now, those performances will be mostly forgotten. Vaughn Johnson selected three players who stood out in the loss to the Panthers and almost did enough to get a win. You can vote for one to be the Toyota Player of the Week:
TE Zach Ertz
If the Eagles had won this game, Ertz's performance would be fondly remembered as not only the best games of his career, but arguably one of the best from a pass catcher in Eagles history.
Ertz caught nine passes for 138 yards, as he continued to tear up opposing defenses. The Eagles may be 3-4, but it isn't because of a lack of production from Ertz.