That's the word Eagles head coach Chip Kelly used when asked to describe what he was looking for in his search for a defensive coordinator. It's now clear that Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis is capable of such a feat. On Sunday night Philadelphia shut out an opponent for the first time since December 1st, 1996. Funny enough, it was the New York Giants that the Eagles last pitched a shutout against. Give Bill Davis a lot of credit for a great game-plan and even better execution.
2) The Eagles have one of the best pass rushes in the NFL
Crazy, right? Philadelphia's supposedly lackluster pass rush was a significant concern heading into the season. The Eagles finished 20th overall in sacks in 2013 and the team did not do a whole lot to change their pass rushing personnel. A number of Eagles fans criticized Philadelphia for not making enough changes on defense in this regard. Well, perhaps the Eagles knew better in this case because the team ranks second overall in sacks with 19. Philadelphia has recorded 16 of those sacks in the past three weeks after going through a two-week dry spell without recording a single one. Eight of those sacks came against the Giants and three were by outside linebacker Connor Barwin, who played heck of a game. Once again, credit to Davis for scheming pressure and the players for executing.
3) LeSean McCoy is back
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy rebounded in a major way on Sunday night. The 2013 leading rusher totaled 149 yards on just 22 carries (6.8 average). His blocking appeared to be better than it has been in recent weeks but it was also evident he was running with more confidence. He didn't look overly hesitant or reluctant to hit the running lanes hard. The return of McCoy to top form is obviously great news for Philadelphia's run-heavy offense.
With 5,895 career rushing yards, McCoy moved past Steve Van Buren and into third on the Eagles all-time rushing yards list. Despite his struggles to start the 2014 season, McCoy actually ranks 4th overall among NFL rushers.
4) #BlackSunday was a success
The Eagles did a pretty good job with their #BlackSunday campaign. The fans bought in to the idea and the crowd was wearing a lot of black. Further, Philadelphia's all-black uniforms looked pretty good in my book. The Eagles should stick with those over the previous alternate black jersey and white pants combination.
On another note, the Eagles once again displayed a giant fan banner in the crowd right before kickoff. (The two edge pieces actually got messed up, but that's besides the point.) They used one before the Washington game and will apparently do one more for the Dallas Cowboys game. It's a cool touch.
Lastly, Boyz II Men put on a show at halftime that really kept the Philadelphia faithful buzzing through halftime.
5) James Casey is proving his worth
Much has been made about how Casey is overpaid for the role he serves on the team. Casey was never utilized as much as people thought he was going to be when the Eagles first signed him to a free agent contract in 2013. While this much is true, it is not as if Casey is completely worthless. He has proved to be a major contributor on special teams and he even caught his first touchdown pass as a member of the Eagles on Sunday night.
6) 60 minutes
No, not the CBS news magazine. 60 minutes as in the complete game effort the Eagles turned in against the Giants. It was clearly a big game and the Eagles came up huge. Following last week's win over the St. Louis the question was if the Eagles even deserved to be 4-1. Philadelphia ended those doubts with a thoroughly dominating performance against New York.
7) Offensive line improvement
The Eagles offensive line turned in a good performance despite missing All-Pro left guard Evan Mathis and starting center Jason Kelce. Backup David Molk appeared to create room in the run game and he held up in pass protection as well. The whole unit seemed to do a great job. It should be exciting for Philadelphia fans to think what the offensive line can achieve when Mathis and Kelce return around Week 10.
Also note: the Eagles have allowed just two sacks in the last five games. That's their best five-game stretch since sacks became official in 1982.
8) Still not sure what to make of Nick Foles
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles looked really, really good for most of the first half. His touchdown throw to Zach Ertz early on was a perfect pass. When he was good, he was great. When Foles was bad, however, he was putrid. His two interception throws were excruciatingly poor. The first one came near the end of the first half. Foles looked like he saw the defender there and regretted the throw as soon as the ball left his hand. He just panicked and made an awful decision despite being given plenty of time. The second interception was another poor decision early in the third quarter. Foles held onto the ball for a long time and then drifted away from pressure. He had an open Jeremy Maclin and Jordan Matthews down field but he didn't make the throw until it was too late. The Giants defender broke on the ball and picked him off. Just a terrible decision and throw. The first Foles pick kept additional points off the board for the Eagles. The second one almost handed points on a platter to a team that couldn't move the ball. It didn't end up mattering for Philadelphia in this case but that's something that should be corrected moving forward.
Foles finished 21/34 (61.8%), 248 yards (7.3), 2 TD, 2 INT, 79 passer rating.
9) Casey Matthews turns in another solid performance
Back to back weeks where the much-maligned Casey Matthews has actually proven to play well enough considering the circumstances. Matthews still isn't an ideal starter by any means, but he has been at least serviceable while filling in for Mychal Kendricks. The Eagles linebacker finished with five tackles, including two for loss, against the G-men.
10) Bye Bye Bye
The bye week is here. The Eagles won't return to action until Sunday, October 26 against the Arizona Cardinals. Philadelphia will hope to see the return of inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks following their break. The time off will give the team a chance to rest and recover before heading into an important 10-game stretch to end the season.
Philadelphia enters their bye week with a 5-1 record and remains in first place of the NFC East (division record tiebreaker over the 5-1 Dallas Cowboys). Not too shabby.