The Eagles turnover differential has gone from a strength to a clear weakness
Fresh off a disappointing defeat at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles sit at 13-2 and remain atop the standings in the NFC.
With the best record in football, it might seem pessimistic of me to try and point out flaws with this team. Even after losing to Dallas and accumulating a handful of massive injuries in the process, I still believe the Eagles are the best team in the NFL. It would take a lot for me to change my mind on that.
With that being said, Philly is trending in the wrong direction in the turnover department and it’s a major cause for concern.
It was on full display on Saturday night against Dallas, where Nick Sirianni’s offense coughed it up four times on the day, allowing 20 points off said turnovers. Philadelphia put points on the board on every single possession aside from the ones where they turned it over.
The offense was humming with a backup quarterback under center while facing one of the most talented defensive units in the sport. Ultimately, the Eagles beat themselves on Saturday.
Turnovers can be placed into two categories: takeaways and giveaways. On Saturday, the Birds gave the ball away on each of their four turnovers.
Let’s start from the top.
The first turnover of the day came in the first quarter, when Gardner Minshew targeted Quez Watkins on a quick curl route in the middle of the field. The throw was a bit off target, but it was certainly catchable. Watkins doesn’t move forward through the ball, allowing Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse to make a play on it.
The second turnover came in the second half with the Eagles holding a seven-point lead. On what seemed like a typical running play, Boston Scot muffed the exchange from Minshew. Dallas recovers and begins their drive from the Eagles 31-yard line.
Now onto the third turnover, Minshew once again targeted Watkins over the middle of the field. Watkins had both hands on the ball, but Daron Bland managed to rip it from him and come down with the INT. Watkins should have absolutely come down with this one.
Last but certainly not least, we have the final turnover of the day, Miles Sanders’ fumble in the fourth quarter. You could argue he got the ball ripped from his grasp, but a simple swipe of the arm shouldn’t cause a fumble like this. Sanders is better than this.
The Eagles lost the turnover battle, therefore, they lost the game. It’s a correlation that reigns true with almost any football game ever played. Whoever forces the most turnovers typically leaves victorious.
Not only have the Eagles gone backwards in terms of holding onto the football, they’ve become one of the worst teams in the league at it.
Through the first eight games of the season, the Eagles posted a positive turnover margin in every game. There were plenty of reasons for the Eagles 8-0 start. Their ability to create turnovers while not committing them is probably the number one contributing factor.
The Eagles led the league in turnover differential through the first nine weeks with a miraculous plus-15. Since then, the Eagles have the worst turnover differential in the NFL at minus-six.
Over the last seven games, the Eagles have had a positive turnover differential in just two matchups. In both of their losses this season, Philly surrendered four turnovers in each.
It’s not like opposing defenses are scheming up ways to force more turnovers from the Eagles. The offensive skill players have just been careless with the football as of late. At the end of the day, a self-inflicted mistake is much easier to correct.
We all want this team to go on another Super Bowl run this year. Everyone in that building wants to bring another Lombardi to Philly. But the truth is, they won’t achieve those aspirations if they continue turning it over at this rate.
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