The Philadelphia Eagles’ self-inflicted wounds are costing them football games — and quickly dispelling any faint chance that this team can contend for the NFC East in 2021.
Under first-year head coach Nick Sirianni, the Eagles are the most discomposed team in the NFL.
After getting flagged nine times during Sunday’s 42-30 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Eagles have now been called for 45 infractions this season — 12 more than the second-most penalized team in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“We’re clearly not there as a football team,” quarterback Jalen Hurts said. “We’re not a finished product. No player on this team is a finished product. We’ve got to put it together.”
Three of the Eagles’ penalties against the Chiefs wiped touchdowns off the board, which played a major part in losing a game that was decided by 12 points.
“We’re upset. We’re furious that we’re 1-3,” Sirianni said. “The self-inflicted wounds have to stop. We keep putting ourselves in holes with penalties. We have to use this tape and get better from it.”
Hurts’ six-yard touchdown to tight end Dallas Goedert was wiped away in the second quarter when offensive lineman Andre Dillard was flagged as an ineligible receiver downfield.
“We have to adjust how we’re blocking… how we’re teaching the blocking schemes,” Sirianni said. “That’s what we’re going to have to do because we obviously can’t shoot ourselves in the foot.”
In the third quarter, Hurts’ scoring connection with tight end Zach Ertz was called back when JJ Arcega-Whiteside was called for offensive pass interference.
The call enraged Sirianni on the sideline as he tried to flag the officials down for some sort of explanation, though he dialed it back after the game.
“They thought Arcega-Whiteside pushed him downfield. They thought it was offensive pass interference,” Sirianni said. “They have a tough job. I know they’re trying to get it right. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don’t. Whether or not they got that right, I’ll keep my opinion to myself. But they have a tough job, just like all of us.”
Finally, in the fourth quarter, rookie DeVonta Smith looked as though he hauled in a 34-yard touchdown, but he was the first player to touch the ball after running out of bounds, making it an illegal touch.
“He ran out of room,” Sirianni said of Smith. “He’s got to work a better release at the line of scrimmage. DeVonta will be the first one to tell you that… It’s a technique thing.”
With the Eagles having now lost three straight games, they’ll travel south to face a Carolina Panthers team that is fostering the resurgence of quarterback Sam Darnold — who admirably kept up with the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
Should the Eagles continue inflicting damage upon themselves, the skid isn’t going to end any time soon.