The Eagles' offensive line has seen better days than this past Sunday afternoon in Washington.
The unit, which has been a steadying force throughout the Doug Pederson era, was anything but in Week 1, as injuries, last-minute shuffling, youth, and inexperience were the ingredients of an eight-sack meal that the Washington Football Team feasted upon during its 27-17 win over the Eagles at FedEx Field.
"Any time you disrupt your offensive line and lose some continuity there, it's going to affect you a little bit, but the one thing I like about our guys is it's a resilient group," the head coach said following his first defeat in a season opener.
The lack of continuity is a result of a litany of injuries that already had the Eagles searching for answers. Then on Sunday, Lane Johnson was inactive for the season opener due to a nagging ankle injury, making an already dire situation worse.
The results: 14 hits on quarterback Carson Wentz and only 57 yards on the ground. Regardless of the circumstances, it was not a banner day for the group.
"I felt like we were never really able to establish the run game very well," center Jason Kelce said after the game. "That's a combination of guys not executing. Credit to Washington of throwing some well-timed blitzes, but we got to be better. We got to be better up front. No excuses."
"I think I've had plenty of work with the guys who were out there today and I don't think anybody in particular played an individually terrible game," he added. "That's probably not what you guys want to hear, but I think everybody kind of had their chances to screw this one up. I think myself included. I could have played better, and I think everybody across the board had their moments where they could have got the job done better."
Most Eagles fans will not take anything good away from Week 1's performance. But, if there is one thing to take, it is that youngsters like Jack Driscoll (who started at right tackle in his NFL debut), Nate Herbig (who made his first start at right guard), and Jordan Mailata (who made his NFL regular-season debut after Driscoll was injured in the third quarter) gained some valuable experience against one of the most formidable front sevens in the NFL.
The road will not get a whole lot easier for the offensive line, as the one-man wrecking crew known as Aaron Donald will pay a visit to Lincoln Financial Field for the Eagles' home opener next week when the Los Angeles Rams come to town.
Until then, there will be a lot to work on this week at the NovaCare Complex. First on the agenda is to get healthy, which will hopefully happen for Johnson sooner rather than later. The next will be to take what happened in Washington, learn from it, and become better because of it moving forward.