Eagles overreactions: Gardner Minshew lost this game vs. Saints

The Jalen Hurts-less Eagles experience isn’t exactly a fun success.

The Byrds suffered their third loss of the season to the New Orleans Saints, losing a first-round draft pick in the process. In the NFC, he had the worst afternoon ever for a team that holds on to the No. 1 spot, and a tough start to 2023.

People will certainly have a few takes after two consecutive losses, so let’s overreact:

1. Overestimating Gardner Minshew

Many consider the Eagles’ backup quarterback situation to be the best in the league since Howie Roseman traded Gardner Minshew for last season, and Minshew could start with a handful of teams across the league. Sports fans and analysts are often fans of the unknown and the benefits, nothing to shout “what if”. Like a backup quarterback.

Now we have the answer, and it’s overwhelming.

Minshew was able to put up big numbers against the Cowboys on Christmas Eve, but all the positive plays felt a lot harder than they should have if you watched the game in person. He was backpedaling madly out of his pocket and his accuracy was erratic at best.

Against the Saints on Sunday, we didn’t have a lot of positives, and we had a lot of negatives as well. Minshew missed the high and he missed often. He finished 18-for-32 for 274 yards in touchdowns and picks.

The 26-year-old has made 63% of his passes in 20 games for the Jaguars, not a bad number. In his two starts this season, Minshew leaves much to be desired when it comes to making easy plays look easy and harder plays look possible: he has completed 58% of his passes. Did. He held the ball for too long and on Sunday he was sacked six times.

Not a particularly fun watch.

For a backup quarterback, he’s still perfectly fine.

Oh, Jalen Hurts is clearly the MVP.

2. Miles Sanders needs more work

The Eagles entered Sunday’s game at backup quarterback and missed the starting right tackle. The Saints entered Sunday’s game as he sports one of the NFL’s less rushed defenses.

Inexplicably, Nick Siriani and Shane Steichen only ran the ball twice in the first half, giving Myles Sanders just 12 carries.

I am far from a fanatical supporter of Miles Sanders. I think he’s a good enough running back and probably a very replaceable player after this season. It doesn’t seem to be

The Eagles received the ball with 13 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, down three points, and threw the ball five times in a row. At the time, Miles Saunders had nine carries for 55 yards. It’s inexcusably bad.

It’s possible Sanders was doing some kind of snap count, but if he’s healthy enough to be there, he’s healthy enough to be there.

The run game wouldn’t be the same without Jalen Hurts, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely destroy one of your strengths. The Saints dominated the first half for a reason. They held the ball for his 22 minutes. I know it’s not sexy, but running the ball lowers your opponent’s defense and gives your own defense a breather. It also keeps the ball from hitting the ground when Minshew is as out of shape as he was on Sunday, making it easier to avoid a 45-second 3-and-out.

It is incomprehensible to me why the birds are so reluctant to run in clear running situations. No, but you don’t know.

3. No, this is not the time to panic

It feels especially strange for the Eagles to lose twice in a row after losing only once in their first 14 games, but the Eagles haven’t been in hot-start season territory for the Cardinals and Steelers in recent years.

The Eagles are missing one of the most valuable players in football and the last two weeks have highlighted Jalen Hurts who is key to what this offense has been doing all season. It wasn’t the mythical system that was the target, but it was directly due to the scars.

Hearts are out this year and will be available in Week 18. The defense played enough to win on Sunday. The skill position the player played when Minshew put the ball in a winning position. But the quarterback is the only one who touches the ball every play, and Sunday’s quarterback was pretty bad.

This team is perfectly fine and should return to elite status when Hearts returns. Take a breather, prepare for next week and win goodbye.

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