Bookends are nice, but most games are won and lost in the middle of the story.
The Eagles offense went missing after an opening-drive touchdown, accruing just 110 yards on their next six possessions — featuring a multitude of mistakes and the loss of No. 1 running back Miles Sanders to an ankle injury — while the Las Vegas Raiders sped away to relegate Philadelphia to a second-straight loss, 33-22 on Sunday evening in Sin City.
Derek Carr carved the Eagles defense apart as the Raiders’ quarterback completed 31-of-34 passes for 323 yards and two touchdowns.
The loss heaps further pressure on first-year head coach Nick Sirianni as the Eagles dropped to 2-5 this season — tied for last place in the NFC East after the New York Giants defeated the Carolina Panthers earlier on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Jalen Hurts completed just 18-of-34 passes for 236 yards and a pair of touchdowns — though he lost an invaluable fumble deep in Raiders territory during the second half that delayed the Eagles’ comeback.
Sirianni immediately didn’t do much to ease the mounting worries of his coaching capabilities that have been building during his first season.
After the Eagles took a 7-0 lead on the game’s opening drive — capped off by a Kenneth Gainwell 13-yard touchdown reception — Sirianni accepted a holding penalty on the Raiders on a play that saw them pick up just two yards on a 3rd-&-5. It would have likely led to a Las Vegas punt as they were near midfield.
Instead, on the ensuing 3rd-&-15, Carr hit Zay Jones down the right sideline for a 43-yard gain down to the Eagles’ 14-yard-line.
Avonte Maddux bailed Sirianni out, though, as he picked Carr off at the 5-yard-line to preserve the Eagles’ early lead.
The Eagles were punched in the mouth by the injury bug late in the first quarter when Sanders went down with an ankle injury on a three-yard loss that forced him to be carted off to the locker room after he tried limping off under his own power.
Things got worse for the Eagles when their lead disappeared four minutes into the second quarter after Carr hit Foster Moreau for an 18-yard touchdown down the right sideline after forcing an Eagles punt.
Then the wheels fell off altogether as Philadelphia’s offense simply turned off.
Following their second punt of the day, the Raiders took the lead with 1:38 left in the first half when Josh Jacobs scampered in from eight yards out.
The Eagles gift-wrapped another three points before the break after Gainwell fumbled on the 29-yard-line, resulting in a field goal with seven seconds to go.
Las Vegas proceeded to get the ball back to start the second half with great field position when an attempted onside kick from the Eagles backfired as it was recovered by the Raiders.
It took six plays to go 41 yards, ending with a Kenyon Drake four-yard score.
An extended Eagles three-and-out that featured three penalties was an embarrassing answer amidst the Raiders’ barrage, another punt led to another Raiders touchdown to make it 30-7 with 6:15 to go in the third quarter.
Already facing an insurmountable game of catch-up, Eagles mistakes continued sabotaging their Sunday as Hurts fumbled the snap at the Raiders’ 6-yard-line, resulting in a demoralizing turnover.
The Eagles would finally find a response in the fourth quarter when they scored a pair of touchdowns — the first a one-yard rush from Boston Scott with 11:40 to go.
After a Raiders field goal, Hurts was bailed out by Jalen Reagor, who made a leaping catch in triple coverage to score a 17-yard touchdown. A successful two-point conversion to Dallas Goedert with 3:50 to go moved the Eagles to within 11 — providing the mere consolation of making the final score not seem as lopsided as most of the day really was.