How Doug Pederson keeps forgetting Miles Sanders and more in Roob's 10 random Eagles observations

Jordan Hall
·5 min read

How Pederson keeps forgetting Sanders and more in Roob's random Eagles observations originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

How Doug Pederson keeps forgetting about Miles Sanders, why a five-game losing streak might not even matter and Carson Wentz is on pace to make the wrong kind of NFL history.

It's a jam-packed bye-week edition of Roob's 10 random Eagles observations! 

1. When you look at the Eagles’ schedule, it’s easy to be intimidated by the five-game run against the Browns (5-3), Seahawks (6-2), Packers (6-2), Saints (6-2) and Cards (5-3). That’s five straight opponents with a combined 28-12 record. But the thing is … those games might not even mean anything.

If the Eagles win their three remaining division games, it probably won't matter what they do in their five non-division games. Because if they win their three remaining NFC East games and lose their five other games, they’d finish 6-9-1. And to get ahead of them, Washington would have to finish 5-3, Dallas would have to finish 5-2 and the Giants would have to finish 5-2.

None of those things are happening.

And the Eagles obviously won’t be fighting for a higher seed. If the Eagles can sweep their remaining division games and steal a win over the Browns or Saints or someone else? It’s over. But in this strangest of seasons, the Eagles could quite possibly lose five straight games without it hurting them.

2. The Eagles’ turnover ratio in each of the last three seasons: minus-6 in 2018, minus-3 in 2019, minus-7 so far this year. Last time they were minus-3 or worse three straight years was 1968 through 1970.  

3. The good news is the Eagles should have Sanders back for the Giants game on Sunday. But something has to change because before he got hurt, Sanders had just 26 second-half carries in five games (45 in the first half). He did leave the Ravens game in the middle of the third quarter, but he still had only seven 2H carries against the Bengals, four vs. the 49ers, four vs. the Steelers and two before he got hurt vs. the Ravens. All close games, too.

His 6.7 average after halftime is third best in the league, but he never gets the ball. Pederson just forgets about him and starts chucking the ball all the time. Pederson has to have a renewed commitment to sticking with Sanders late in games starting Sunday against the Giants. He’s such a weapon and he’s just not being used the way he should be.

4. The last interception by an Eagles cornerback? Sidney Jones.

5. After the starts they got, I thought maybe we were going to see some big things this year from Derek Barnett and Josh Sweat. Barnett had 2½ sacks in his first three games and Sweat had 3.0 sacks in his first four games. Since then? Sweat has gone four straight games without a sack and Barnett has one in his last four games. They’ve both been active, playing hard, getting occasional pressure, tough against the run. But these guys are getting paid to sack the quarterback, and after the quick start, it’s been like the last couple years. The only outside pressure the Eagles have gotten the last month has been from 32-year-old Brandon Graham. 

6. Wentz is on pace to become the first player in NFL history to throw 24 interceptions and get sacked 64 times in a season.

7. No coincidence the Eagles got their best linebacker play of the season in that Cowboys win. T.J. Edwards was back and Nate Gerry was out. It was the first game Edwards and Alex Singleton ever played together and it was like the Eagles actually had good linebackers for once. Didn’t hurt that they were facing an incompetent quarterback. But Edwards and Singleton are by far the Eagles’ two best linebackers, and they have to get the bulk of the snaps the rest of the season.

8. There are 11 NFL quarterbacks who are 32 or older who’ve thrown at least 150 passes this year, and all 11 have a passer rating over 91 … and 10 of them are over 95 and five are over 100! Those 11 QBs have combined for 172 TDs and 54 INTs. More than three times more touchdown passes! And they have a combined 51-30 record.   

9. A few months ago it seemed like a lock that Zach Ertz would break Hall of Famer Harold Carmichael’s hallowed franchise record of 589 receptions at some point late this year. Ertz came into the season with 525 catches and needed 65 to pass Carmichael. Based on his average of 5.8 catches per game since he became a full-time starter in 2015, it would have taken Ertz 12 games to break the record. Which would have been the Packers game on Dec. 6.

But Ertz had only 24 catches in six games before suffering a serious ankle injury. Even if he gets back on the earliest possible side of the projection and is back for the Browns, that would leave him 40 catches shy of Carmichael with seven games to go, which means he’d have to average close to six catches a game after a serious injury in a season in which he was averaging four catches a game before the injury. Considering Ertz’s future here is cloudy beyond this year, there’s a real possibility he’ll never catch Carmichael. 

10. But at his current pace, Travis Fulgham will catch Carmichael in Week 9 of 2026!

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