3 Takeaways from Eagles' Week 7 Loss
The Philadelphia Eagles suffered their fifth loss of the 2021 season Sunday, and they did so in blowout fashion. After going up 7-0 on the game's opening drive, they essentially stumbled through the rest of the game.
Derek Carr threw an interception on the Las Vegas Raiders' first drive, but his team took control after that. The Eagles defense disappeared, and Las Vegas scored 17 unanswered points before halftime and two more touchdowns to open the third quarter.
The Eagles managed to make things a little more interesting late, but make no mistake, despite the 33-22 score this was an extremely lopsided loss—the second time in two weeks an Eagles game has played out as such.
While Philadelphia showed early promise with a 32-6 Week 1 drubbing of the Atlanta Falcons, the Eagles have since shown they are simply not a playoff contender in 2021. Here are three takeaways from the team's latest loss.
The Eagles Continue to Put the Offense on Jalen Hurts
Whether Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni believes that his quarterback is his greatest weapon or is simply trying to evaluate Jalen Hurts as much as possible, this continues to be a Hurts-centric offense in every possible sense.
This was apparent once again against the Raiders, as Hurts attempted 34 passes and rushed 13 times—other players combined for 19 rushing attempts.
Hurts played well for the most part, finishing with 297 combined passing and rushing yards, two touchdown throws and a 94.7 rating. However, the Raiders were able to key in on stopping the second-year dual threat, and the Eagles failed to adjust.
"It wasn't good enough execution. It wasn't good enough play calling on both sides of the ball. We just weren't good enough, and that starts with me," Sirianni told reporters after the game.
On the season, the Eagles rank fourth in yards per rushing attempt and only 28th in attempts. The offensive imbalance isn't likely to end anytime soon, especially if running back Miles Sanders is forced to miss extended time.
For better or worse, Hurts is the Eagles offense right now.
Kenneth Gainwell Can Be an Offensive Asset
While the Eagles weren't exactly committed to running the ball Sunday, they were forced to lean even harder on Hurts when Sanders was carted off with an ankle injury. The Eagles officially listed him as questionable to return, but the running back finished the game with only six rushing attempts.
On a positive note, Philadelphia got some solid production out of backup Kenneth Gainwell. The fifth-round rookie out of Memphis finished with 20 yards on four carries, four receptions, 41 receiving yards and a touchdown on Sunday.
Gainwell was targeted eight times in the passing game.
It was the most extensive action Gaintwell has seen this season, as he ended up playing 51 percent of the offensive snaps. The rookie showed he can be an asset, and he deserves to see more snaps moving forward—regardless of Sanders' injury outlook.
This Run Defense Is a Real Problem
The Eagles defense had few answers for stopping Carr and the passing game. It was equally bad against the run.
The Raiders finished with a modest 119 rushing yards, but they averaged 4.1 yards per carry and scored twice on the ground. Las Vegas, it's worth noting, has averaged only 3.5 yards per carry on the season.
This continued a trend of poor run defense by the Eagles. Philadelphia ranks 29th in rushing yards surrendered, and no team has had the ball run on it more (227 attempts) than the Eagles.
It's an issue that must be addressed immediately if the Eagles hope to get back into the playoff conversation. Philadelphia's next two games are against the Detroit Lions and the Los Angeles Chargers—which means that talented running backs D'Andre Swift and Austin Ekeler are next on the schedule.
If Philadelphia cannot do a better job of containing the run, it could be staring down a 2-7 record.
Advanced statistics from Pro Football Reference.