ATLANTA — Carson Wentz dove across the goal line for a touchdown on Sunday night, and in a show of emotion, ran deeper into the end zone and spiked the football like he was Rob Gronkowski. As the ball powerfully struck the field, Wentz stumbled and nearly fell.
That moment wouldn’t even make the Top-10 on a list of the weirdest things that happened on Sunday night.
There were injuries — a lot of injuries — and a whole lot of mistakes, bad plays and strange coaching decisions.
This was truly one of the strangest nights in Eagles history.
Here’s a quick look at everything they dealt with injury-wise …
– Wentz (head): Evaluated for concussion in first half, left briefly, returned before halftime
– TE Dallas Goedert (calf): Hurt during pregame warm-ups, never played.
– WR Alshon Jeffery (calf): Left in the first half, never returned
– WR DeSean Jackson (quad): Left in first half, never returned
– RB Corey Clement (shoulder): Left in second half, never returned
– DT Tim Jernigan (foot): Left at halftime, never returned
– C Jason Kelce (unclear): Left momentarily in first half, returned quickly
– WR Nelson Agholor (head): Left before halftime, was evaluated for a concussion, returned in the second half
– CB Sidney Jones (head): Left during the third quarter, was evaluated for a concussion and then returned
In the end, the Eagles lost to the Falcons 24-20 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium to fall to 1-1.
Other than the health issues, who is to blame for Sunday night’s loss?
Here are eight people who deserve at least some of the responsibility …
1. Carson Wentz: He was evaluated for a concussion in the first half and took a shot to the ribs on one interception that seemed to impact his ability to make throws for a stretch, but overall he didn’t do enough to put the Eagles in position to win.
His first half numbers were ghastly: completing 6 of 16 passes for 47 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions.
Wentz led the Eagles on a couple of second half scoring drives, and he was often stellar in the fourth quarter in particular, but it wasn’t enough.
Of course, he can’t be entirely blamed for the first half mishaps — the Eagles lost three of their most important weapons to injury in Dallas Goedert, Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson — but he was not himself.
There was some stuff to build on in the second half, at least.
His final stats: 25 of 43 for 231 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions with one rushing touchdown.
2. Nelson Agholor: This talk of blame wouldn’t be happening if Agholor didn’t drop a pass down the sideline, perfectly placed, that likely would’ve gone for a 60-yard touchdown on the final drive of the game. Instead, it hit his hands and then the floor.
He had a bad drop early in the game too, though he did score a touchdown.
Ultimately, that fourth quarter drop will be the play that’s looked at as the most difficult pill to swallow.
He bounced back with an impressive 44-yard catch on fourth-and-14 to keep the game alive, but the drop prevented an almost certain touchdown.
3. Zach Ertz: On the final play of the game, the Eagles’ star tight end didn’t get far enough down the field to convert on fourth down, falling just short. The play was reviewed, and ultimately the Eagles turned it over on downs.
Ertz was emotional in the locker room after the game, saying “I feel like I let the team down.”
It was a tough moment, but certainly not the only reason the Eagles lost this game.
4. Ronald Darby: The Eagles’ No. 1 cornerback doesn’t appear to be fully back from last season’s torn ACL, and the Falcons knew it. In one first half stretch, he was targeted on three consecutive deep passes and, with a little better accuracy, all three would’ve been touchdowns.
One of them was, a 34-yarder to Calvin Ridley, and later Darby allowed Julio Joens
5, 6, 7, 8, 9. The Offensive Line: The Eagles’ offensive line had an awful night, capped by a sack on the Eagles’ final drive from Vic Beasley where the defensive end got around Lane Johnson without much difficulty. Wentz was pressured or hit on what seemed like most plays throughout the night.
Overall, the Falcons had nine hits and three sacks, and three of the hits came from Beasley alone.
10. Jim Schwartz: In a lot of ways, the Eagles were only in the game at all because of Schwartz. He deserves a lot of credit for the way he changed things up and blitzed more. The Eagles forced three interceptions off quarterback Matt Ryan, too.
The blitzing went a bit too far in the fourth quarter when, on an all-out blitz, Ryan connected with Julio Jones on a short pass that the superstar took 54 yards for a touchdown.
11. Corey Clement: The Eagles running back fumbled away a kick return in the third quarter, and the Falcons turned around and scored a four-yard touchdown. He also injured his shoulder on the play and was in a sling after the game.