Eagles secondary continues to struggle in loss to Titans

Secondary woes doom Eagles

At this point its time to stop sugar coating things. The Eagles secondary has some major issues. Yesterday in Nashville those secondary woes cost the Eagles a win that was within sight. A 26-23 loss in overtime when the Birds had numerous chances to put the game away is just tough to accept. Both Eagles losses this year have come on the road so far and things have to change in a hurry. With Earl Thomas breaking his leg it looks like this Eagles secondary will just have to figure it out on their own.

Mariota has his way

Coming into this game Marcus Mariota had been struggling this year to say the least. He’d been dealing with a hand injury and actually had been backing up Blaine Gabbert the last few weeks. Dealing with a hand injury it was reported he couldn’t grip the ball and make all the throws. The most yards Mariota had thrown for this season was 103 yards.

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But Sunday you wouldn’t have been able to tell. Mariota had a field day throwing for 344 yards completing 30 of 43 passes. He also added two touchdowns and one interception. The script was flipped as normally the Titans are a power run team but yesterday they choose to air it out. This was Mariota’s first 300-yard passing game since week 11 last year against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Defensive breakdowns

As stated earlier the Eagles defense had numerous chances and just couldn’t finish. Let’s start with 4th and 15 in overtime. The Eagles playing a picket line defense and somehow safety Corey Graham just doesn’t see Taywan Taylor and he picks up 19 yards to keep the drive alive.

When you miss chances like this things never end well. A few players later the Eagles defense would be faced with yet another opportunity to win the game and could not get the job done.

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Despite the issues with the offense, the Eagles built a 17-3 lead they had the Titans exactly where they wanted and let them off the hook.

The final dagger

With the Titans now in the red zone the Eagles were helpless. In his career, Mariota has never turned it over in the red zone and that streak would continue. With 11 seconds left Corey Davis was matched up with Avonte Maddox. While Maddox recorded his first career interception earlier in the game the things weren’t as lucky this time. This time the matchup was advantage Davis as the Titans delivered the final dagger.

This capped a frustrating day for Eagles fans everywhere. Missed assignments, Poor tackling etc this just can’t continue.

What now?

The Eagles secondary woes are obvious. Everyone has struggled. Jalen Mills who had a strong game last week struggled mightily again yesterday. Sidney Jones got beat a few times including giving up a touchdown, Maddox got beat and so did Ronald Darby. The only bright spot was Malcolm Jenkins. Next week this secondary will have to deal with the dangerous duo of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs so an answer needs to be found ASAP. Rodney Mcleod is a major loss but things go deeper than that.

The Eagles have the 20th ranked pass defense. Through four games they’ve already allowed 1,161 yards. There was hope of maybe a trade for Earl Thomas but he suffered a broken leg so that is now out of the question. At this point, the team just has to somehow figure it out.

Searching for answers

This defense just has to be better. While the front four is the strength of the team they can’t continue to cover up this secondary forever. Doug Pederson stated the obvious today in that teams are targeting Mills each week. Things were so bad that yesterday Maddox who never played safety before was back playing safety. Moving Mills to safety would seem like the logical choice but it doesn’t appear that will happen.

Thielen and Diggs

Against the Rams, both Thielen and Diggs went for over 100 yards receiving. Through the first four games, Thielen has recorded over 100 yards in each game. He joins Randy Moss and Isaac Bruce as the only receivers since the merger to do this. At this point, it seems only God can help this secondary. With the corners playing so far off and just a group that is struggling Jim Schwartz is going to have to evaluate things and make some changes to solve these secondary woes.

All stats via NFL.com and ESPN.com
Featured image via Fabulous TV