The Philadelphia Eagles are now 3-4-1 after 23-9 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Philadelphia is now is sole possession of the NFC East crown. Of course, this victory wasn’t without a bit of adversity. But what would an Eagles game be without a little bit of a challenge. Let’s get into the good, the bad, and the ugly.
- The Eagles defense took advantage of a depleted Dallas offense led by rookie 7th-round pick, Ben DiNucci. The defense brought pressure all night and was consistently in the rookie’s face.The unit finished the night with 4 sacks, 7 QB hits, and 8 tackles for a loss. I tip my hat off to Jim Schwartz, who had a good gameplan.
- Brandon Graham had himself a night, notching 4 tackles and a strip sack that got the Eagles the ball back after an abysmal turnover by Carson Wentz (more on that later). Graham should be in the conversation for NFC defensive player of the year.
- Rodney McLeod had himself a nice game in coverage and he even returned a DiNucci fumbled 53 yards for a touchdown.
- The evolution of Travis Fulgham continued on Sunday night. Fulgham caught 6 passes for 78 yards and 1 touchdown. Fulgham is undoubtedly the team’s number one receiver. What a find he has been for this organization.
- Boston Scott was able to consistently find holes and get up the field for positive gains all game. Scott finished with 15 carries for 70 yards and a long gain of 19 yards on the Eagles first offensive drive.
- The Eagles linebackers were actually a positive (SHOCKER). T.J. Edwards returned to the lineup and made his presence felt, finishing with 13 total tackles and 1 sack. Edwards should be the Eagles starting MLB for the rest of the season. Elsewhere, Alex Singleton finished with 8 tackles and a QB hit. Singleton and Edwards are clearly the team’s best linebackers.
- Darius Slay continued his lockdown season, holding Amari Cooper to 0 catches when matched up on him. Slay has consistently been a positive for this Eagles defense.
- Jalen Reagor caught his first touchdown pass of his career in this game. The rookie returned to the lineup and caught 3 of 6 targets for 16 yards. This is a performance for Reagor to build off of moving forward.
- Other Reasons for optimism
- The Eagles offense appeared lifeless in the first half outside of a few runs and passes. In the second half, they were able to find some sort of rhythm and move the ball somewhat. In the end it wasn’t pretty but they came away with the victory.
- Jordan Mialata was able to rebound from a bad first play in which DeMarcus Lawrence beat him and sacked Carson Wentz.
- The duo of Fulgham-Reagor, showed some potential
- The Eagles usage of Jalen Hurts in or near the redzone continues to be mind numbing. Defenses know the play will likely be a zone read and they are continuously able to stop it. Why Doug Pederson continues to attempt to use Hurts in this fashion is extremely questionable.
- The offensive line as a whole struggled a bit allowing pressures and 4 sacks which resulted in a total loss of 29 yards. The unit has to play better and most importantly, give Carson Wentz time to throw.
The rest of this game can be summed up in the ugly category:
- Quarterback, Carson Wentz erratic play style returned as he threw 2 TERRIBLE interceptions and fumbled twice. I understand that Wentz’s mindset as a QB is that he can make every play and every throw, but how many times do we have to go through the exact same situation. For example, there was a play in the second quarter, in which Wentz rolled to his right to escape pressure and instead of throwing it away because there was nothing there, he launched it downfield to a double covered Jalen Reagor and the pass was picked off. It’s almost reminiscent of the play a week ago in which Wentz fired a pass to a double covered John Hightower that was intercepted by James Bradberry. I understand who Wentz is as a player and his mindset as a QB, but you have to be smarter. Wentz’s coaching also has to be smarter. Press Taylor is obviously not doing a good enough job of coaching Wentz because the same mistakes continue, week after week.
- The Eagles offense has problems. Whether it’s playcalling, QB play, injuries, or all of those combined, there are issues. The Eagles offense looked completely lifeless and sloppy against the 32nd ranked defense in the NFL. Doug Pederson and his multitude of assistants have work to do during the bye week.
Altogether, this wasn’t a pretty win, but it was a win. As stated, the Eagles are now in first place of the NFC East and are getting healthier. With Jalen Reagor now back, Travis Fulgham proving he truly belongs, Miles Sanders and Lane Johnson likely back after the bye week, there is reason for optimism regarding the Eagles offense. The trade deadline is this Tuesday and hopefully the Eagles can add a player (or two) to their defense to help improve them for a playoff run. After the bye week, the Eagles return November 15th to play the New York Giants.