Will the Eagles be able to overcome the loss of future Hall of Famer Jason Peters? Photo credit: Wayne Terry, TPL.

Week 1 was a disaster, not just for the Eagles, but also for every NFC East team who didn’t play the Eagles.  A lot went wrong and not a lot went right.  So it is time to play a little game that I like to call, The Blame Game.

That’s right, come on down! Pop some popcorn and get ready to point the finger at anyone and everyone.

Today on The Blame Game, we are going to take a look at the 8 (yes, you read that right) sacks that the Eagles surrendered on Sunday.

Sack #1

The Eagles allow a defensive end to have a free run at Carson Wentz. Blame for this sack can go a couple of places. Candidate #1 is the right guard Nate Herbig. Herbig slides to the left to perform a double team rather than identifying the incoming blitzer. That could be on Herbig or even on Jason Kelce for calling an incorrect slide protection. But the more likely culprit for this sack is RT Jack Driscoll. Driscoll should have ignored the blitzing defensive back and blocked the defensive end, leaving the defensive back for Boston Scott. While it is possible that Scott was supposed to take the defensive end, that is highly unlikely.

Who is to blame? Jack Driscoll

Sack #2

Sack #2 is on the ever creative and totally not predictable TE screen to Dallas Goedert. Unimaginative play-calling aside, there is no arguing who is at fault here. When the screen pass is blown up, Carson Wentz should do what literally every other quarterback in the NFL would do and just throw the ball into the ground. Wentz is far too valuable to take a stupid hit trying to make something out of this play, not to mention that he lost 2 yards for his trouble. Bonus points if you noticed DeSean Jackson wide open at the top of the screen; Carson sure didn’t.

Who is to blame? Carson Wentz

Sack #3

There is a little bit of bad luck in this play, as Corey Clement throws a chip block on the defensive end who rides that momentum into a beautiful spin move around Jason Peters. Wentz manages to stay on his feet just long enough to fumble the ball, but fortunately, Jason Kelce makes a heads up play to dive on it. As an offensive tackle, you only have 1 rule when you have a chip block coming to help you: don’t get beat inside.  Jason Peters is at fault here for allowing Chase Young inside of him when he knew he had help coming from the outside. On the other hand, Carson Wentz has got to learn when to let a play die. There is no reason to be stumbling around, waving the ball in one hand like he was.  Sometimes the best play is just to go down.

Who is to blame? Jason Peters

Sack #4

I can’t quite make out the offenders number in this play, but it goes on the player who failed to force the defensive end inside. On a bootleg play like this, the chip block has to force the defensive end to the inside, giving the quarterback a path to roll out. The unnamed offender here doesn’t do that and Carson Wentz takes the sack. Carson also needs to stop ducking his head every time a defender runs at him.

Who is to blame? Unnamed player

Sack #5

Carson Wentz has got to get rid of the ball faster. Things start to go south when Wentz has to step up into the pocket. Nate Herbig is pushed back into Wentz’s lap and it is all downhill from there as Wentz shuffles backwards for 5 yards before trying yet another head duck and taking a sack. This is another play that Wentz has to get out of without taking the big negative play. Had Wentz thrown the ball away Jake Elliott would have been attempting a 39 yard field goal instead of the 53 yarder that he missed short.

Who is to blame? Carson Wentz

Sack #6

I won’t get into the decision to go for it on 4th and 4 here, but rest assured it was a bad one regardless of the results. Boston Scott hesitates before going out on his route, indicating that his primary responsibility for the play is pass protection, leading into a check and release route if there is no one for him to block. Scott blows this assignment and gives a linebacker a free path to the quarterback, who once again ducks his head.

Who is to blame? Boston Scott

Sack #7

This is a play-action power play that tasks Isaac Seumalo to pull across the formation and seal the edge. This is a very difficult block and one that Seumalo fails in a major way. Corey Clement also contributes to by not getting a good hit in on the defender to give Seumalo time to reset.

Who is to blame? Seumalo and Clement can share the blame on this one

Sack #8

Nate Herbig gives up a pressure but Carson is able to evade the initial threat. At this point, Wentz has to know that he has moved his launch point closer to the left tackle/guard than they are anticipating. As such, Wentz has to either create space between them or get the ball out quickly. Wentz does neither, bouncing forward into the back of the left guard while pump faking wildly and ultimately fumbling the ball. This is a first down play. If it is 3rd down and you are down 10 with 3 minutes left then this is a bad break. But on first down it is bad pocket management and even worse ball security, both issues that have plagued Wentz throughout his entire career.

Who is to blame? Carson Wentz

The offensive line didn’t have a good day on Sunday, but their issues were compounded by a quarterback who refuses to ever give up on a play. That mentality can result in highlight reel type plays, but more often it results in demoralizing sacks or fumbles. There is a time to be aggressive and there is a time to just live to fight another down. Carson Wentz appears to have never heard the 2nd half of that saying. 

A lot of the issues that we saw in week 1 can be easily corrected. Lane Johnson is coming back. Miles Sanders is coming back and is far better at pass protection than Boston Scott or Corey Clement. With those 2 players on the field at least 3 of those sacks never happen.  

Unfortunately, the most glaring issue isn’t as easily correctable. In year 5, Carson Wentz’s biggest struggles from his rookie season still plague him. For all of his great moments, he still has a below average pocket awareness and is simply too careless with the football.

Click below for Shane’s in-depth game review of the Eagles loss to the Washington Football Team.

Philadelphia Eagles vs Washington Football Team Game Review