• December 9, 2022

The NFL Had Better Take Notice Of These Birds

The NFL must definitely take notice of this year’s Philadelphia Eagles squad.  They wear the same uniforms as the squad that played a year ago, but this football team is clearly different. The team is 2-0, but they really haven’t come close to playing their best football on either side of the ball. 

We look at the Eagles offense which is led by quarterback Jalen Hurts, who has played well in both games, but there’s no question that the Birds haven’t played a full game. Hurts has used his arm and legs in the first two games, but I think he’s going to do even better when it comes to getting the ball out of his hands to his weapons.  He seems to be growing into the role and his teammates are growing with him.

The bevy of Eagles weapons, starting with the multi-talented Hurts; then the beast wide receiver A.J. Brown; skilled route runner DeVonte Smith; all around tight end Dallas Goedert; speedy and developing Quez Watkins; game breaking Miles Sanders and his backups; forces defenses to either stay in a simple zone or bring the house. The defenses also find themselves in a bind because they can’t double team everybody, when they’re playing man-to-man.

For much of the night, the Vikings defense played double-zone, which is two-safeties deep and five underneath. They were afraid of playing man-to-man after watching Hurts kill the Lions by scrambling with the secondary having their backs to him. Hurts and company embarrassed Minnesota in the first half in front of a national television audience.

The Birds offensive line played better than game one, but they didn’t play their best football on Monday night.  I think of Jordan Mailata getting a good play called back because he was holding.  Yes, they scored 24 points in the first half, but the entire offense didn’t get the job done in the second half.  They scored a grand total of zero points in the second half.  

Think about the Birds offensive line, which is one of the key strengths of the football team.  They didn’t play their best football against the Lions in week one and they didn’t play their best football against the Vikings.   Despite that, the Birds are still 2-0.  How good will this offense be when their dominating offensive line plays best?

We did see quarterback Jalen Hurts get the ball to many of his weapons.  He got DaVante Smith involved early and often.  You saw Hurts with the deep throw to the speedster, Quez Watkins for a 53-yard touchdown.   A.J. Brown and Dallas Goedert made usual contributions and Miles Sanders showed again that he’s got all the talent in the world.  Still that equaled zero points in the second half.  What would the score have been if Nick Sirianni and company had kept the foot on the gas pedal the entire game. 

Defensively, you’ve got the same situation.  This team is 2-0, but we haven’t seen a consistent pass rush.  We did see Jonathan Gannon dial up some blitzes in key situations and the pressure forced Kirk Cousins into some games sealing mistakes. The defensive front did a good job against Dalvin Cook and the Vikings running game by holding them to 62 yards rushing.

Cornerback Darius Slay put the blanket on the overhyped wide out, Justin Jefferson, so maybe we will stop seeing all the videos and pictures of him everywhere now.   I haven’t seen many NFL cornerbacks have a game as dominant as Slay had.  Still Slay had two interceptions, but he could have had four or five.  He dropped a couple of pass attempts that were right in his hands. 

I said all of that to let the rest of the NFL know that this Eagles team is going to be some serious trouble. Plus, they’ve got plenty of room to get better.


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