The Philadelphia Eagles had their chances Sunday afternoon against the Patriots.
Trailing 10-17 with the ball on New England’s 26-yard line and fewer than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Philly had four downs to either tie the game or go for the win. On 1st-and-10, quarterback Carson Wentz missed an open Zach Ertz. On 2nd-and-10, Wentz couldn’t connect with wide receiver Nelson Agholor. On 3rd-and-10, Wentz once again missed an open Ertz. And on 4th-and-10, he and Agholor couldn’t connect — again.
The Patriots took over, only to punt and give Philadelphia one last opportunity to get on the board. But charging 88 yards down the field in 34 seconds proved to be too tall a task for Wentz and the Eagles.
“The guys are disappointed,” coach Doug Pederson said. “They’re frustrated. They understand we’re a better football team than what we played tonight.”
After racing out to a 10-0 lead, Philly punted seven times prior to turning the ball over on downs. Wentz also lost a fumble in the second quarter, giving way to one of Patriots kicker Nick Folk’s three field goals. The Eagles couldn’t seem to find a rhythm on offense: They converted just three of their 13 third downs, Wentz was sacked five times, and nine of their drives totaled fewer than 30 total yards. Perhaps complicating matters, the team was also without two of its main offensive weapons in running back Jordan Howard (shoulder) and wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey (ankle).
Pederson opted to wait to comment on individual performances until he watches film Monday, but credited New England’s defense for another strong performance. Wentz, too, praised the opposing coverages.
“Hats off to them,” Wentz said. “They had a really good game plan, especially late there. That’s frustrating, especially the way we were able to move the ball and get down there and then we were kind of just stagnant there at the end.”
Wentz called his misfires to Ertz on that fourth-quarter drive “definitely two [he wants] to have back.” Neither Pederson nor Wentz thought the Patriots made any notable adjustments in the second half, chalking up the lack of production to their own inability to execute. Wentz finished with 214 passing yards, completing 20 of his 40 attempts, including one for a touchdown.
“I don’t think they did anything kind of crazy,” Wentz said. “We just didn’t make our plays. It starts with me. I got to be better. I got to distribute the ball better and get rid of it.”
With the loss, the Eagles fall to 5-5 and sit behind the 6-4 Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East.