December 4, 2022
Trending Tags

Eagles overreactions: That was the best win of the year

Read Time:7 Minute, 5 Second

The Eagles took a pair of punches to the mouth early Sunday afternoon and things looked, for a moment, dire down in South Philly.

Then they ripped off 29 straight points and won their fourth game of the season in impressive fashion.

It was a wet, gross roller coaster of a game for the Birds but you have to like a lot of what you saw from this team that continues to impress.

Let’s overreact to a 4-0 start:

1. That’s the Eagles’ best win of the year

Handling the Vikings in primetime was impressive. Smoking the Commanders was enjoyable. But Sunday’s win against the Jaguars’ was the Eagles’ best victory so far.

The first quarter was basically a tire fire, with Jalen Hurts throwing his worst ball of the season and the defense struggling to find its footing against James Robinson and Jamal Agnew. A two-touchdown deficit in bad weather? That’s a dangerous game. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little concerned. 

Instead, I emerged from this game feeling as good about this Eagles team as I have all season long.

The team-wide confidence and ability to look that deficit in the face and then bounce back in all three phases was really inspiring.

Jalen Hurts overcame that awful INT and looked like the QB we saw through three weeks, making decisive throws that were largely on-point and completely flushing the bad play from his mind. You need a QB with a short memory when it comes to turnovers, and Hurts looked entirely unbothered after that pick.

 

The defense also bounced back after an ugly second drive in which they couldn’t plant their feet, buckling down with great play from the D-line straight through the secondary. There were PBUs aplenty, clutch X-plays from their stars like James Bradberry’s red zone interception and Haason Reddick’s forced fumbles, and generally good tackling from all involved. 

There’s still room for improvement – I saw way too many wide-open Jaguars wide receivers – but Jonathan Gannon has clearly righted the ship from Week 1.

Oh, and the Eagles actually scored points in the second half. What a concept! After completely whiffing after halftime against the Vikings and Commanders, they actually delivered to keep the Jags at an arm’s reach. That’s a good sign.

It feels odd to say a win over the Jaguars is a big one, but this Jacksonville team is not what we’re used to. Doug Pederson has the Jags looking like a threat on any Sunday, and Eagles fans should feel really good about this win.

2. Nick Sirianni is one of the NFL’s best head coaches

Sean McVay is a media darling, Brandon Staley gets a lot of attention, and mainstays like Andy Reid, Bill Belichick, Mike Tomlin, and John Harbaugh are all fantastic at their jobs.

But I really love what I’ve seen from Nick Sirianni through 22 regular season and postseason games, and I think it’s time he starts getting more recognition for the job he’s done through 1.25 seasons.

Sunday’s game really typified the job he’s done coaching this team up, both during the week and on gameday.

To start, the Eagles looked awful out of the gate but Sirianni stayed level-headed and so did his team. It’s the coaching during the week, the tone-setting, that lets his players know they’re okay even when they go down two scores in the first quarter of a potentially sloppy game. 

It’s about more than just mindset, though: Sirianni also made winning decisions on Sunday. He was unafraid to go for it multiple times in crucial junctures in the first half, going three-for-four on fourth down attempts – two of which led to touchdowns. He’s grown both in his willingness to go for it, and his play calling on those fourth down plays.

He listened to the numbers on the fourth downs…

…and the numbers rewarded him.

And Sirianni is also getting a real knack for situational coaching, like his timeout at the end of the third quarter to give Jake Elliott an opportunity to kick with the wind instead of against it. It’s the kind of thing a coach can miss during the chaos of a game, but Sirianni remembered and made the call. Despite a roughing the kicker penalty, Elliott knocked the kick through – it didn’t count after the penalty, but the decision worked. Good process, good results, good everything.

Sirianni is making that hire feel better and better with every game.

3. I have no idea what to do with Miles Sanders

Miles Sanders truly confounds me. You’ll look at the box score and you’ll say he had a great game on the ground, which is true: 27 carries, 134 yards, and two touchdowns (plus two catches for 22 yards) is indeed a great line. He had four rushes of 10+ yards including a 35-yarder on a drive that ended in three points. That’s a good day for a running back!

 

But Sanders also had seven carries that either went for no gain or lost yards, and he once again found ways to run laterally for what felt like an eternity instead of just hitting up the field for a three-yard gain and moving on to the next play.

It’s the dichotomy that has defined Sanders’ NFL career so far, and it’s why despite his huge big play ability and the numbers that often look good at the end of the game I am still having a hard time committing to him for the future.

Sanders’ rookie contract is up after this season, and you’ll hear plenty of Eagles fans who want to bring him back as a dynamic home run hitter who can also contribute in the passing game. 

You’ll also hear fans worried about committing a second contract to a running back who seems to do everything well enough, but also can probably be replaced at a position that sees a ton of turnover – and also is famous for steep drop-offs in production during the second contract.

I’ve always skewed towards replacing Sanders rather than keeping him around, and I still feel that way. I just think the Eagles’ offensive line is so good, so well-coached and well-schemed, that basically any serviceable running back can be productive as long as the offense as a whole is humming. 

But Sanders keeps putting up solid stat lines and always finds a way to break that big one, which admittedly has me hanging around and not closing the door entirely. He found more yards out of thin air on Sunday than he normally does, grinding out six-yard scampers like he was Jay Ajayi of yesteryear. It was refreshing, and encouraging.

If Howie can finagle a good deal at the end of the season I’d consider bringing him back, but it has to be a very good deal. The Eagles are about to pay Jalen Hurts big bucks and they need to find value as often as they can. Running back is usually a good place to start, and Sanders might simply be a victim of circumstance.

Of course, he has the rest of the year to change those circumstances.

 





Source link

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %
Previous post Technology crucial in building resilience – FBC News
Next post China’s Xiaomi says it will protect its business interests after India freezes its assets