Big win for the Eagles yesterday!
It was like watching two different games. In one of them, we couldn’t get a stop to save our lives but in the other one, nobody could stop us on offense.
The Eagles got off to a pretty slow start as they were outscored 20-7 heading into half time. It seemed like the team needed to shake off a lot of rust as most of the starters didn’t play any preseason snaps, especially quarterback Carson Wentz.
The defense played particularly bad in the first half. The defensive line was unable to establish any sort of pass rush on Redskins quarterback Case Keenum.
Missed tackles have been an Achilles heel to this team for a while now. The Vernon Davis touchdown left a bad taste in every fans mouth as he broke multiple tackles and hurled over defenders. To add further insult to injury, the deep ball connection from Keenum to Ohio State product Terry McLaurin happens, putting the Redskins up 17-0. The lone bright spot to the first half was the Carson-DeSean connection. The 51-yard touchdown put the Eagles within reaching distance of the Skins.
The second half of the game was a completely different story. Doug Pederson made some great halftime adjustments and the Eagles looked unstoppable. A 12-play drive capped off by a 5-yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery set the tone. Carson Wentz showed glimpses of his old 2017 self with off balance, rolling out left throws that were right on the money. His next deep ball to DeSean Jackson also went for a big touchdown, this time for 53 yards.
Jackson had an amazing game with 8 catches for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns. I think it’s safe to say he likes being back in Philly.
Alshon Jeffery then scored again on a 2 yard “run” which was just a pass behind Carson which looked really good, pushing the score to 29-20. The Eagles would ultimately win the game 32-27.
Overall in the 2nd half, the defense looked a lot better. The line managed to put more pressure on Keenum, limit the run game, and ultimately help the team make a 32-3 run to clinch the game.
The offensive line looked solid the entire game. Vaitai did a solid job filling in for Brandon Brooks, not letting any pressure get too Carson. The key for the Eagles to keep winning is to protect Carson Wentz. Overall, I can’t complain about the way the offensive line played.
There are a lot of things to take away from this game. First off, if they play to their potential, the Eagles can be a very scary team to play against. If the defense can get pressure on Matt Ryan next week, fans will be in for another good game. Julio Jones will obviously be a lot to handle as he is arguably the best receiver in the NFL. Our run defense looked very good, holding Derrius Guice to only 18 yards on the ground.
My next point is that Carson Wentz is spreading out the ball a lot, finding a total of 8 different receivers this game. One of Carson’s biggest knocks last year was that he only targeted Ertz, especially on big plays which made it a lot easier to defend this offense. Now, opposing defenses have to cover not just Ertz but Jackson, Jeffrey, and Agholor and chances are, Wentz is going to find the open man.
Derek Barnett, Fletcher Cox, and Brandon Graham are lethal as group. All three of them recorded top 5 numbers in quarterback pressures (Barnett 8, Cox 7, Graham 6). Unfortunately, the Eagles have lost defensive tackle Malik Jackson for an indefinite period of time as a result of an undisclosed foot injury. Tim Jernigan will have to step up and fill his role as the tackle next to Fletcher Cox.
In the other divisional game, the Cowboys routed the Giants 35-17. Dak Prescott had a great game unfortunately, throwing for over 400 yards. Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper proved to be reliable targets for the Cowboys offense. Jason Witten also had his first touchdown since coming out of retirement. The Giants look more like Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram and 9 random other guys on offense while the defense didn’t look much better, letting up 494 yards of total offense. Daniel Jones got into the game, dumped the ball off a few times before fumbling on his first NFL run.