December 20, 2023   6 MIN READ

Lock Bottom

Can Birds Rebound From Drew Lock's Dagger, Three Straight Losses?


Operating from the shadows of their own goal line, with just under two minutes to play and trailing 17-13, a go-ahead scoring drive felt like an improbability for a Seattle Seahawks offense piloted by backup quarterback Drew Lock.

The game script had suddenly favored a renowned Eagles pass rush, which would be revving up the engine to get after the fifth-year quarterback making his 23rd career start.

A much-needed victory appeared well within the grasp for the Eagles, who were still seeking their first December win as just 1:52 remained.

On a 2nd-and-10, Lock rifled a short pass over the middle to wide receiver D.K. Metcalf for a gain of 18.

Two plays later, a video review revealed that Metcalf had secured a tough grab, advancing the ball to Seattle’s 37-yard line with a fresh set of downs as the clock ticked down to 1:24.

Two consecutive incompletions left the Seahawks facing a gotta-have-it 3rd-and-10 with under a minute to play.

Fielding the snap out from shotgun, Lock launched what initially looked like a desperation deep heave down the right sideline to the big-bodied Metcalf, who tracked and reeled in the pinpoint rainbow between cornerback James Bradberry and safety Sydney Brown for a 34-yard pickup.

The offense set up shop at the Philadelphia 29 with 40 seconds remaining.

Two more consecutive incompletions set up yet another climatic 3rd-and-10, this time with 33 seconds on the clock.

Bradberry, the apparent apple of Lock’s eye on the ensuing snap, had conceded three receptions for 58 yards to that point. He was providing a cushion in anticipation of guarding rookie wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

Running a go-route, Smith-Njigba blew past the veteran corner upon release, turning Bradberry’s back. A money deep shot from Lock dropped into the waiting arms of Smith-Njigba, who had multiple steps for the go-ahead 29-yard touchdown.

If you’re keeping score, Lock went 4-for-4 for 87 yards and a touchdown working against Bradberry on the final drive.

Jason Kelce

GETTY IMAGES: Eagles C Jason Kelce’s frustrations were apparent during the team’s 20-17 loss to the Seahawks.

Seattle went 92 yards to pay dirt without even using one of its two remaining timeouts.

After losing three straight games, the latest in gut-wrenching fashion, the Eagles appear to need some soul searching loss that teams with strong veteran leadership can supply.

The week had already been tumultuous for the Eagles, who lost team captain and top cornerback Darius Slay temporarily to arthroscopic knee surgery and had made a staggering pivot in defensive play-calling, with defensive coordiantor Sean Desai banished to the coaching booth in exchange for veteran play-caller Matt Patricia presiding over the defense from the sideline.

Even the status of quarterback Jalen Hurts, battling a nasty illness, was in question up to 36 hours before kickoff.

While Hurts played, the offensive output underwhelmed for the third consecutive week.

Puzzling situational decision-making, questionable play-calling and turnovers – Hurts tossed a pair of interceptions – persisted.

Five of the 10 drives resulted in punts. Two more were stalled by interceptions.

The unit floundered its way to a 56.3% conversion rate on third down.

The identity crisis that had plagued the offense for much of the season lingers after 14 games.

Even cerebral center Jason Kelce, a team captain and locker room pillar, committed a false start on a “tush push,” ultimately forcing the Eagles to settle for a 27-yard Jake Elliott field goal.

But in times of turmoil, players like Kelce reinforce the standard, while ensuring the messaging remains clear so the locker room can remain united.

“Obviously, your job as a veteran is to continue to just push and work and get guys focused on preparing and getting better and blocking out a lot of the outside stuff,” said Kelce after the game. “We had our opportunities [Monday]. This was a very tough game to lose, a lot of playoff implications involved in it. So, frustrating day to say the least, but all you can do is move forward and play the next one.”

The remaining three games against the Giants – twice – and Cardinals should present a get-right slate for the Eagles, who have already punched their ticket to the postseason thanks to their 10-1 start.

While the offense warrants more scrutiny after failing to fulfill lofty expectations, the new-look defense is sure to garner its share of intrigue as Patricia works to put his stamp on it.

At the very least, Patricia is being tasked with leaving no stone unturned.

The next three games – against teams with a collective record of 8-20 – will allow the former Patriots defensive coordinator and Super Bowl champion to experiment with personnel groupings.

A playoff team undergoing defensive changes of this magnitude isn’t common, but the Eagles are among the teams most equipped to withstand any turbulence thanks to veteran defensive leaders Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham.

And while Cox noted that he had hoped his unit would’ve come up with a stop when the Seahawks were backed up to their own 8, the six-time Pro Bowler said he’s determined to help keep the team together and rally back.

“That’s the things that we talk about – keeping them against the back line,” he said. “Obviously, as a defense, we didn’t do a good enough job of keeping them back there. They made some plays and it was just one of them games.

“Now it’s three games in a row. So, it’s the same stuff. We didn’t close the game … we didn’t do a good enough job on defense. Obviously, we didn’t do a good enough job as a team.

“But I think the biggest thing is we gotta focus on us and stay together. It’s been a rough three weeks for this team. And just like all good teams, they face a little adversity, no matter how good you are. And right now, I feel we’re still a really good team and we’re facing a lot of adversity. So, I think the biggest thing is, ‘So what, now what?'”

– Andrew DiCecco (@AndrewDiCecco) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for

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