Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) throws a touchdown pass against the Minnesota Vikings during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Article By Peter Visalli – What a difference a week makes. It would seem that Jonathan Gannon, the Eagles defense, Jalen Hurts, and DeVonta Smith all heard what the masses were saying all week. I had my own concerns with the defense and Hurts making better decisions. I know going into last Monday night, I was concerned about the defense’s ability to stop the Vikings offense. I was also concerned about Hurts making better decisions to protect himself, so he could avoid getting injured or turning the ball over. The last question on my mind was, were we going to see the return of Kirk Cousins and his primetime struggles.
Let’s start with the defensive game plan. Jonathan Gannon was slightly more aggressive with calling blitzes. Fortunately for us, when he did turned up the pressure the Birds defense got right results. Cousins was hit seven times, sacked twice, fumbled once, threw three INTs and was left with an abysmal 17.5 QBR.
The entire defense was all over the field. Linebacker T.J. Edwards led the way with ten tackles, seven of themwere solo and one for a loss. We saw the return of “Big Play Slay”, who wouldn’t allow Justin Jefferson to breath all night, snagging two INTs. This defense was having fun, by playing aggressive and loose while creating havoc.
Offensively I’m certain it was by design that the first play of the game went to DeVonta Smith. Smith silenced the concerns about his own week one performance of no catches and hauled in seven receptions which led the team.
I saved the best for last here. Jalen Hurts was stupendous in that game in every aspect. He was more selective running the ball and limited his carries to eleven. He was as accurate as we’ve ever seen him especially on the 53 yard TD pass to Quez Watkins. He never tried to force anything and was just outright a general on the field leading his troops into the end zone. He’s now the only player in NFL history to pass for over 300 yards, complete more than 80 percent of his passes and rush for multiple TDs in the same game. In a league that has had so many talented QBs with the strong ability to run over the years, this is a stat not to be taken lightly.
This was a statement game and the statement I got out of it was “watch out for us because we’re coming”. If this is the Eagles team we’re going to see more consistently this season, you all better start figuring out your travel plans to Arizona. I know I took a peek at flights.
I do think they have more of a test this week coming with Carson Wentz returning. He’s going to want some revenge on the city he demanded his way out of. He should proceed with caution though. I’m certain that Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox have some scores of their own to settle. All in all though, he’s having a better season than Kirk Cousins and Jared Goff so let’s not pretend that he’s a wet noodle and will just roll over and die. I’m looking for an Eagles win 34-24 in this one, Go Birds! – Article By Peter Visalli