The Eagles defense was ripped apart by the Los Angeles Rams in Week 2 on Sunday afternoon — a headlining concern for a team that is now 0-2 to start a season in which they were tabbed by many to win the NFC East.
While the organization’s problems run well beyond the defense — including the curious struggles of quarterback Carson Wentz — allowing 449 yards and 39 points to the Rams is a glaring stat that had to be addressed.
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz fell on that sword Tuesday morning (h/t NBC Sports Philadelphia).
“Make no bones about where I’m pointing the finger on this one,” Schwartz said, referring to himself. “What happened on the field was that I had a poor game plan. We had a very simple game plan. You guys know the Rams use a lot of tempos out of their huddle and a lot of different motions and things like that. And the whole sort of theme was to try to make it as simple as we could.”
Easy doesn’t always mean good, and that was the case on Sunday. The Rams ran for 191 yards while Jared Goff had a stellar day, completing 20-of-27 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns while facing little resistance from the Eagles’ pass rush.
“What I thought would make it easier, didn’t make it easier. It made it harder. And looking back on it, I came right in after the game and watched the tape,” Scwhartz said. “I really should have had a more complex game plan. It sounds kind of funny to talk about but a more complex game plan would have narrowed the focus of each individual player. It would have made it more difficult to execute but it would have narrowed the focus and I think that we could have done that.”
While Schwartz tried to take the blame, veteran defensive end Brandon Graham was quick to point out the ineffectiveness of he and his teammates — particularly the defensive line and pass rush.
“We hold ourselves accountable. We are the engine of this defense. We have to make sure we step it up,” he said. “We can be more dominant. We just have to get it done and I think we will. I know we will. I’m not worried. We’re going to make sure we get it right.”
With it came a guarantee of sorts, as Graham promised some better football in the very near future.
“And I’m not worried. I’m excited actually because when a lot of adversity hits, a lot of people definitely give up on you, but that’s not this team,” he said. “We’re still going to fight and we still have a lot of greatness ahead of us. And we believe, and that’s all that matters. We’re going to make sure we get it right.”
They have an opportunity to right the ship against the Cincinnati Bengals and rookie quarterback, Joe Burrow, who has shown plenty of promise since being taken No. 1 overall at this year’s NFL Draft. However, they are expected to be one of the worst teams in football, which should see the Eagles get their first victory of the season.
If not, then the panic button needs to be pressed.