Good morning, Eagles fans! Welcome to a short week here at the NovaCare Complex. The Eagles lost their second game of the season on Sunday afternoon, 27-24, to the Detroit Lions. As mistakes set the tone for the outcome, the Eagles are moving on and focused on their next challenge which is the Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football. Before we completely move beyond yesterday, let's recap the game in this edition of Morning Roundup presented by Microsoft. We will cover all the highs and lows from the matchup. Let's get right to it.
1. Defense tries to find answers for pass rush
The defense allowed just 20 points Sunday, and six of those were after turnovers. That's a good aspect of the defense's performance.
The defense allowed just 201 passing yards to Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Also good.
However, the Eagles posted no sacks and just three hits on Stafford all game long. The Eagles have two sacks in three games this season.
"We're not getting to the quarterback – especially me," defensive tackle Fletcher Cox said. "I'm not getting there quick enough. We have to do a better job as a group, as a defensive line, and as a defense."
The players in the locker room acknowledge opponents are using a lot of max protection schemes to slow down the pass rush. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz countered by utilizing the blitz with mixed results. A third-quarter blitz by safety Malcolm Jenkins forced Stafford into a back-foot throw that Nigel Bradham could have intercepted. Later in the quarter, Bradham blitzed and Jenkins nearly had the pick. But late in the quarter, on a third-and-4, the Eagles rushed up the middle and Stafford hit Marvin Jones for a 27-yard gain.
Teams have to take the good and the bad with the blitz. The Eagles are trying to find ways to disrupt the quarterback.
"I know how the sacks go. Right now, we just let people say what they're going to say. We just have to keep working. It's a long season and you never know how stuff ends," defensive end Brandon Graham said.
"There's going to be some funny stuff that will be happening and I'm hoping we're on the good side of it. The only thing I'm worried about is to make sure that we don't separate from each other, which I doubt we'll do. But right now, nobody believes in us – that's cool – we just have to fix some stuff. We know we're right in it. We know what we've got. We've got injuries, we've got a lot of stuff, but I like the fight that we have until the end. We just haven't made enough plays to win the game."
2. Snap count analysis
On offense, tight end Zach Ertz played 100 percent of the snaps (76) for a second week in a row. Wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Mack Hollins each played 75 of the 76 offensive snaps.
At running back, the workload from a snap count standpoint was evenly distributed with Darren Sproles (27) leading the way just ahead of Miles Sanders (26) and Jordan Howard (25).
How's this for efficiency. Tight end Alex Ellis, called up from the practice squad, played one snap. And he provided the lead block on Howard's 1-yard touchdown run.
Defensively, safeties Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod played 100 percent of the snaps (64 plays). Linebacker Nigel Bradham missed one snap, his first of the season. Rasul Douglas led the cornerbacks with 50 snaps, just one ahead of Sidney Jones. Ronald Darby left the game early with a hamstring injury.
3. Some notable numbers from Sunday's game
• With 454 career receptions, Zach Ertz surpassed Pete Retzlaff (452) for sole possession of second place on the Eagles' all-time receptions list, trailing only Harold Carmichael (589).
• Ertz eclipsed 5,000+ career receiving yards (5,017), becoming just the fourth tight end in NFL history to accomplish the feat in their first 94 career games, joining Travis Kelce (75 games), Rob Gronkowski (81 games), and Antonio Gates (90 games). Ertz also climbed past Brent Celek (4,998) for the eighth-most receiving yards in franchise history.
• Jake Elliott is a perfect 4-for-4 in field goal attempts in 2019.
• Miles Sanders contributed a career-long 40-yard reception on the Eagles' opening drive, marking the longest catch by an Eagles rookie running back since LeSean McCoy posted a 45-yard reception on November 9, 2009 vs. Dallas.
• The Eagles rushed for a season-high 127 yards and averaged 4.2 yards per attempt.
4. Spadaro: Eagles make just enough miscues to lose to Lions
In his post-game On the Inside column, Dave Spadaro tries to unpack what happened on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
"The Eagles aren't going to wallow in the loss because, simply, they don't have time with a Thursday night game at Green Bay ahead. The Eagles lost on Sunday because they did a poor job taking care of the football – losing the turnover battle 2-0 – because they dropped all of those passes, including what would have been an easy touchdown for tight end Dallas Goedert and later one that would have given the Eagles a first down inside the Detroit 10-yard line that wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside couldn't bring in, and because they didn't sustain the moments in the game where they had momentum, like when they allowed a Jamal Agnew 100-yard kickoff return after taking a 3-0 lead, then in the second quarter when Detroit used 13 plays to drive 75 yards for a touchdown after the Eagles took a 10-7 advantage, and then on the first play of the fourth quarter when a Matthew Stafford 12-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Jones put the finishing touches a nine-play, 75-yard drive immediately after the Eagles scored a touchdown to reduce Detroit's lead to 20-17.
"Until the Eagles reduce, significantly, the self-inflicted wounds and gain a killer instinct, it's going to be a struggle to win games and get on a hot streak." – Dave Spadaro
5. Game Recap: Eagles fall to Lions in mistake-filled performance, 27-24
The Eagles could not secure the win at home as fumbles and penalties decided the outcome. Chris McPherson gives a comprehensive recap of the game from start to finish, good and bad. Check out the full story of how the Eagles lost this game, here.
"Unlike the first two games, the Eagles got off to a good start, scoring 10 points and leading after the first quarter thanks to Howard's 1-yard run. But the Eagles trailed by double digits in the second half for the third time in three games. Unlike the first two games, the Eagles never regained the lead." – Chris McPherson
6. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside unable to create last-play heroics
On a fourth-and-15 play with 49 seconds to go, quarterback Carson Wentz heaved a throw deep down the middle of the field for Arcega-Whiteside, who was covered by Lions cornerback Rashaan Melvin. Arcega-Whiteside leaped and had a clean chance to make the grab, but did not come down with the ball and, for a second straight week, a last-minute Eagles rally was thwarted. For a Arcega-Whiteside's full reaction to the missed opportunity, click here.
7. Miles Sanders is focused on 'getting better every day'
The rookie running back saw an increased role in yesterday's matchup. Sanders showed promise and poise, but also struggled with ball security. He had two fumbles in the game, one for a loss that led to a Lions field goal. Check out his reaction and head coach Doug Pederson's reaction to his performance here.
"I just have to put it behind me and keep going," Sanders said. "It's a long season, continue to grow. I can't dwell on this. Everybody makes mistakes. I'm in the NFL for a reason. I have a job to do. I'm going to keep working and get better every day."
Check out the best photos from the Eagles' game against the Lions at Lincoln Financial Field!