PHILADELPHIA — The inability to capitalize on Malcolm Jenkins‘ blocked field goal attempt, and mistakes by players who needed to step up amid injuries, cost the Philadelphia Eagles in a 27-24 loss to the Detroit Lions, and has put the Super Bowl hopefuls in a precarious position heading into Thursday night’s game at the Green Bay Packers.
Jenkins set the Eagles (1-2) up at midfield with the block with under two minutes remaining, but the offense was unable to take advantage, their hopes dashed when QB Carson Wentz‘s deep ball to JJ Arcega-Whiteside resulted in an incompletion.
Philadelphia has loads of talent, but early injuries have hit the veteran-laden roster hard. And with DeSean Jackson (abdominal strain) expected to miss Thursday’s game in Green Bay, and Alshon Jeffery (quad) iffy, the Eagles enter a critical game against the Packers short-handed.
Jackson and Jeffery were both sidelined Sunday, limiting Wentz’s options. The top remaining receiver, Nelson Agholor, lost a fumble and also had a drop in the first half that factored into the 20-10 halftime deficit. He bounced back with a pair of second-half touchdowns, but overall, it was an uneven performance in a game that called for more from the five-year veteran.
Hollins, thrust into a starting receiver role, had a pair of costly offensive pass interference penalties, while Arcega-Whiteside, a rookie, was limited to one catch for 10 yards.
The Eagles were so banged up this week that they opted for a walk-through Wednesday instead of a traditional practice. And they suffered even more injuries Sunday, with tackle Andre Dillard (knee) and cornerback Ronald Darby (hamstring) getting knocked out of the game.
QB breakdown: Wentz went 19-of-36 for 259 yards with a pair of touchdowns and 94.6 QB rating. Perhaps his best pass of the day was wasted, as a wide-open Dallas Goedert, who was playing through a calf injury, dropped a perfect pass in the end zone. Wentz also found some success on the ground (four carries, 33 yards), but his fourth-down run late in the game ended short of the sticks, giving possession back to Detroit.
Troubling trend: Running back Miles Sanders had a pair of fumbles on the same drive in the first half — a particular concern given he had ball security issues at Penn State. The Eagles remain high on the rookie running back, but he has been dealing with some growing pains over the past two weeks in particular. It might be time to increase the role of veteran Jordan Howard.
Eye-popping stat: Wentz entered halftime as the team’s third-leading tackler. Both of the team’s turnovers — a result of fumbles by Agholor and Sanders — forced Wentz into action. And while he acquitted himself well, it’s not exactly the position you want to put your franchise quarterback in.