Despite struggles, Eagles coach says there's 'no panic'
PHILADELPHIA — Suddenly the Philadelphia Eagles are a sloppy, undisciplined and flawed football team.
Carson Wentz and the offense are not in sync, the defense can’t stop the run, and the team is committing penalties at an alarming rate.
A 24-23 loss at Detroit last week exposed some weaknesses. Still, the Eagles would’ve won that game if Ryan Mathews didn’t fumble in the final minutes — or if the play was overturned after a video review.
But the Redskins dominated Philadelphia on Sunday in a 27-20 win that wasn’t that close.
“There’s no panic, no panic whatsoever,” coach Doug Pederson said Monday.
The offense had no chance to get in a rhythm against Washington. Rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai made his NFL debut filling in for suspended right tackle Lane Johnson and allowed 2 1/2 sacks and several pressures. He wasn’t completely responsible for the sacks because he was supposed to get help on certain plays.
Pederson is sticking with Vaitai despite the fifth-round pick’s struggles in his first game.
Overall, Wentz was sacked five times . But he held the ball too long on a couple of those in the second half, showing he’s still a rookie. He accepted blame like a veteran.
“(Sacks) hurt us early and it was one of those things where it was no one’s fault. I should’ve made the right protection call and could’ve got the ball out in time better,” Wentz said.
As for two sacks late in the game, Wentz said: “I’ve got to get the ball out. I can’t take those sacks and that’s definitely on me. The line gave me time on both of them. Those are things I just have to learn.”
The biggest concern is the defense, the team’s strength the first three games. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s group was flying high after holding Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers to a field goal in a 34-3 rout in Week 3.
Now the Eagles allowed 21 points in the first half in consecutive games. They’ve played much better in the second half both weeks, but couldn’t make key stops in the fourth quarter.
“You can’t just be out of control and I think right now we are,” safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “The last two games, that’s been the story. Collectively, we haven’t been doing our job. One play after another and you get beaten.”
The schedule isn’t going to help Philadelphia. The Eagles host the Vikings (5-0) this week before going back on the road for division games at Dallas (5-1) and the Giants (3-3). All three opponents will be playing Philadelphia after their bye, so they’ll have an extra week to prepare.
Notes: DT Bennie Logan has a left groin strain. Pederson said he’s week to week, so he likely won’t play vs. the Vikings. … CB Ron Brooks (left calf contusion), C Jason Kelce (plantar fasciitis), Mychal Kendricks (rib contusion) and DE Marcus Smith (right groin strain) aren’t expected to practice Wednesday.