Eagles embarrassed by blowout loss to Saints
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The slow-starting Eagles will see their season end much quicker than they anticipated if their latest performance is any indication.
Another dismal first-quarter doomed Philadelphia in a 48-7 loss to the streaking New Orleans Saints on Sunday — the most-lopsided loss ever by a defending Super Bowl champion.
The Eagles (4-6) face a tough road just to make the playoffs. Although they trail NFC East-leading Washington by only two games, their latest showing was a particularly deflating one.
None of their first five losses was by more than seven points. This one approached the franchise-record 62-10 loss to the New York Giants in 1972.
“When you get kicked in the face like we did, it’s going to make you go back and look at yourself,” offensive tackle Lane Johnson said. “I hope it hurts everybody because I don’t want to be a part of this again.”
Carson Wentz, who had labeled it a must win, was 1 for 5 for 10 yards with an interception by the start of the second quarter. Philadelphia, which entered with an NFL-low 21 points in the first quarter, did not pick up a first down on its opening two series.
Wentz threw his first interception on the second play of the next possession — a deep ball into double coverage that cornerback Marshon Lattimore grabbed.
The Eagles trailed 17-0 after each team had the ball three times.
“I pride myself in coming out swinging early,” Wentz said. “We need to be locked in, but just haven’t made enough plays. It’s frustrating.”
Almost nothing went right for the Eagles, who had 196 yards of offense and were even worse defensively. The Saints scored on touchdown drives of 86, 84 and 84 yards to end the first half, reached the end zone on their first three possessions of the second half and finished with 546 yards.
New Orleans’ last touchdown came on 37-yard, fourth-down pass from Drew Brees to running back Alvin Kamara in the fourth quarter. A shot-play at that point seemed unnecessary, but several Eagles said they did not take offense at the continued aggressiveness.
“I’m not going to pick and choose plays,” defensive end Chris Long said. “We were disrespectful to ourselves to put that effort forward. I haven’t gotten my (butt) kicked like that in a long time.”
The Eagles had one brief ray of hope, cutting their deficit to 17-7 on rookie Josh Adams’ 28-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and forcing a three-and-out on the Saints’ next series. But New Orleans defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins burst up the middle and sacked Wentz on third down from the Saints’ 46, forcing a punt.
Philadelphia did not cross midfield again until its final drive.
“We were trying to be aggressive and take a shot down the field,” Wentz said. “They played a good coverage and I just didn’t get it out there.”
Making matters worse, Philadelphia’s injury-riddled secondary lost two more players. The Eagles already were playing without starting cornerbacks Ronald Darby, who was lost for the season with a torn ACL last week, and Jalen Mills, who was scratched Sunday with a foot injury.
Against the Saints, they lost safety Avonte Maddox to a knee injury in the first quarter. Cornerback Rasul Douglas then left with a knee injury in the third quarter.
“Every time you turn around, somebody’s on the ground,” Long said.
With successive divisional games against the Giants, Redskins and Cowboys coming up, the Eagles expressed hope they’d have time to turn around the season.
“The product we’re putting out there is not up to our standards,” said Wentz, who threw three interceptions and did not have a completion of more than 19 yards. “I’m not playing to my standards, but we know the talent we have and the chemistry we have.”
They exhibited none of those attributes Sunday.
“We can’t dwell on it for seven days and let it impact next Sunday’s performance,” tight end Zach Ertz said. “The only thing we can do right now is get on to the Giants and not let this single game lead to a spiral.”