Leading up to Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles (4-6) knew that they were about to play one of the toughest games on their schedule against the New Orleans Saints (9-1). Earlier in the week, Eagles tight end Zach Ertz mentioned that the team would need to start fast and establish dominance in the first quarter if they were going to pull out a victory.
Scoring in the first quarter hasn’t been that easy for the Eagles this season, and that carried over into Sunday’s game as the Saints led the Eagles 17-0 after one quarter.
“That’s the disappointing thing, that we didn’t do a better job offensively scoring more points,” Doug Pederson said. “Listen, they’re a good football team, let’s not kid ourselves there. That’s a good football team, and we knew we were going to have to score points.”
The Saints topped the Eagles 48-7 on Sunday night in the biggest loss ever by a defending Super Bowl champion.
The Eagles’ only score of the game came in the second quarter on a six-play, 75-yard drive that was capped off with a 28-yard run by Josh Adams. Unfortunately, for Zach and the rest of the Eagles offense, they couldn’t get much else going the rest of the day. Carson Wentz threw zero touchdowns and three interceptions for the first time in his career, while completing 19-of-33 passes for 156 yards.
Adams led the ground game for the Eagles, gaining 53 yards and a touchdown, but he was limited to just seven carries in the game because they fell behind early. Through the air, newly acquired Golden Tate hauled in five receptions on eight targets for 48 yards, leading the Eagles in receiving.
No. 86 was only targeted three times throughout the game and had two catches for just 15 yards. Just one week ago, Ertz caught 14 passes for 145 yards a touchdown, but the Saints defense did a good job of taking him out of the game on Sunday.
Ultimately, the Eagles just left too many plays on the field to compete with a talented Saints team. The Eagles needed to play their best, and they just weren’t clicking in New Orleans.
“When guys get their number called, we’ve got to make plays,” Ertz said. “Looking at myself, I probably should’ve found a way to catch that ball on third down in the third quarter.”
Ertz mentioned after the game that he understands more doubt is going to be cast on the Eagles especially after this game, but they aren’t done fighting yet.
Although the Eagles’ record dropped to 4-6, many other NFC teams in the playoff hunt also suffered losses this week, including the NFC East-leading Washington Redskins, who fell to 6-4. The Eagles’ next three games will be against division opponents, and they still have two games left on the schedule against Washington, so if the Eagles can finish strong, they can maybe replicate some of last year’s success.
But their run to playoffs will start next week back at home against the New York Giants. The Giants are coming off of two-straight wins, but the Eagles have already defeated them 34-13 earlier in the season. The Eagles have dug themselves into a hole, but this could be the game the Eagles need to catapult them forward to make a push in the division.
“I know I’m not never going to give up, fight till the end, going to give everything I have,” Ertz said. “I thoroughly believe everyone else is going to do the same thing.”
Kickoff against the Giants is slated for 1:00 p.m. ET on Fox this Sunday.