The Eagles’ loss to the Chiefs shows who their indispensable player is


Philadelphia – As it turns out, the rookie who has played barely a third of the defensive snaps is the Eagles’ most indispensable player.

Or so it seems.

That’s how much the Eagles need Jordan Davis. The 6-foot-6, 336-pound giant defensive tackle missed his second consecutive game with an ankle injury. Davis is on injured reserve, which means he must miss at least two more games.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, or even Joe Montana, to figure out how to beat the Eagles without Davis.

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And Taylor Hynecke, quarterback for the Washington Chiefs, is not from Montana. However, the Chiefs sent the Eagles to a 32-21 loss Monday Night, ending the Eagles’ undefeated season after an 8-game winning streak to start the season.

There wasn’t much to it. The captains ran the ball straight at the Eagles, over and over. They held the ball for 40 minutes 24 seconds. It didn’t matter that the Chiefs averaged just 3.1 yards per carry when they ran the ball 49 times for 152 yards.

It wasn’t anything Heinicke did. He was 17 of 29 passing for 211 yards and an interception. But he didn’t have to do much.

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“What they did was a good job of not making him a real midfielder and also making him not have to make a lot of decisions,” said Eagles fullback Darius Slay. “That’s good work on their part. They came up with a good game plan. They executed well.”

This was evident in third downs especially as the leaders converted 12 of their first 16 chances, mainly because most of those chances were third and short.

“You know how hard it is to play defense at 3Research and development-and 1, 3Research and development-and 2, 3Research and development– And 3? Slaughter said.

But in fact, the scheme was set in the previous week, when Davis missed his first game. The Eagles struggled to beat the Houston Texans 29-17. Texas is 1-17-1. However, they ran the ball for 168 yards, with rookie Damon Pierce gaining 139 yards.

Up next for the Eagles: Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, who led the NFL in rushing last season with 1,811 yards. He had 147 receiving yards on Sunday in the Colts’ 25-20 victory over the Raiders in Game 1 under new head coach Jeff Saturday.

Saturday may have never coached a game at the college or pro level, but it doesn’t take Vince Lombardi to figure out Taylor will have the ball for the Eagles to show they can stop him.

The following week, the Eagles would face Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones, who has 738 rushing yards, seventh in the NFL. And if the Eagles can figure out a way to stop Jones, they’ll have to deal with a good quarterback named Aaron Rodgers.

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Davis is eligible to return the following week against the Tennessee Titans on December 4. But it is too early to tell if this is the case. If not, the Eagles will take on Titans running back Derrick Henry, who is second in the NFL with 923 receiving yards.

If Davis is still far from it, there’s Saquon Barkley from the Giants on Dec. 11. Next up was the Chicago Bears on December 18 with quarterback Justin Fields, who leads all quarterbacks in the NFL with 749 yards rushing.

Well, the Eagles know what’s going to happen.

“It’s definitely going to happen until we stop it,” Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham said. “I’m ready. I’m ready. Come on. Bring it on. That’s just the kind of attitude you have to have. You’re not going to be perfect every game, but I know that’s one thing and that’s style.

“We have to keep building that attitude, not worrying about what we can’t control, fixing what we can control and being ready for the next situation.”

The Eagles will have no choice but to fix it. If they couldn’t, there would be other losses.

After all, it’s hard for Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ powerful offense to score when they can’t make it to the field.

Hurts played well enough, completing 17 of 26 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. He just didn’t play much.

Midway through the third quarter, the Leaders had the ball for 32 minutes and 12 seconds, and the Eagles for just 7:35.

However, the Eagles trailed by just nine points despite the massive disparity. But this left the offense with little room for error.

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Of course, the offense committed several errors, especially in the fourth quarter.

Dallas Goedert fumbled the Eagles with a two-point lead early in the quarter, giving Washington the ball at the Eagles’ 34-yard line. The Eagles escaped by allowing a field goal.

Then Quis Watkins went down behind cornerback Benjamin St. Just and made a nice diving drive 50 yards down the field at the Washington 23-yard line. He didn’t touch Watkins when he was diving, so he got up and tried to run for extra yards. But Saint-Just knocked the ball down and Darrick Forest recovered.

The Eagles still had a chance after that, getting the ball back with 3:26 to go down by 5 points. But the Eagles went 3-out and ran the ball back after Hurts sacked on third down.

Even then, the Eagles were on the verge of one last chance with 1:38 remaining, as Heinicke, facing third and long, knelt just as Haason Reddick was about to sack him. That would have set up a fourth down, and thus a penalty.

But Graham hit Hennek when he was down. He was reported for unnecessary roughness, giving Washington their first down at midfield.

Sure, it might have been a bad call. But as Eagles coach Nick Siriani puts it: “You make your own luck and we played like shit… Those scenarios that happen when you play like that get magnified, whether it’s the right call or the wrong call.”

“So we made our luck today, and that was bad.”

And that may not change until Davis returns.

Contact Martin Frank at [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter @Mfranknfl.

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