The Eagles bounced back from a humiliating loss by conquering the much-maligned Titans on Sunday. The team continued their undefeated streak at home, as Philadelphia won by a final score of 43-24. Still, there was something that just felt awkward about the win. The Eagles weren't particularly sharp on offense and at times, quarterback Mark Sanchez made terrible throws that cost Philadelphia points and allowed Tennessee to stay in the game.
While the victory wasn't your average convincing blowout, the Eagles obviously had a lot of positives. Connor Barwin continued to prove he is a reliable pass rusher, the team caused multiple turnovers and Jeremy Maclin and Jordan Matthews moved the ball well after the catch. There was also the return of the running game, which saw LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles collect yards and scores.
Let's get to the winners and losers.
LeSean McCoy: While he wasn't "dominant," McCoy still proved that he is still among the top backs in the league. Going up against a terrible run defense, McCoy took advantage and finished with 21 carries for 130 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Connor Barwin: The guy is just awesome. He had two blocked passes, two sacks and a forced fumble on Sunday. He now has a career high 12.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in only 11 games. He has All-Pro and Pro Bowl written all over him.
Trent Cole: The old man showed up with four tackles and two sacks.
Fletcher Cox: He continues to be a threat against the run and pass. Even if he isn't making tackles, he is impacting plays and had a sack on Sunday.
Darren Sproles: He got a decent amount of work in against the Titans. He carried the ball six times for 25 yards and a touchdown, while adding three catches for 14 yards. He also returned six punts for eight yards.
Brent Celek: One of Chip Kelly's favorite players continues to get more work. The first-down machine caught five passes for 48 yards. He is getting more snaps than Zach Ertz and is taking advantage. It seems like Sanchez is looking for him more than Nick Foles had been.
Josh Huff: He criticized his special teams coach last week and then made up for it against the Titans with a 107-yard kick return touchdown to start the game. He didn't see much action after that, but he made his only opportunity count.
Cody Parkey: The rookie missed an attempt in the 40's but was otherwise solid on the day. Five of Parkey's six field goal attempts went through the uprights and he remained perfect from 50 yards or more.
Jordan Matthews: The rookie is probably going to exceed my projection of 850 receiving yards with Sanchez at quarterback. His six-catch, 77-yard performance just adds to his successful first season.
Jeremy Maclin: While Matthews has gotten more looks as of late, Maclin is still on pace for a career year. The sixth-year receiver caught six passes for 59 yards. He already has a new career high in yards at 980 and will likely have his first 1,000-yard season clinched on Thanksgiving.
Andrew Gardner: I felt he played a lot better than he had in his previous efforts. He made no obvious mistakes.
Mark Sanchez: Listen, I am not trying to be a wet blanket or say Sanchez was worse than Foles, but he did little to inspire confidence heading into the biggest game of the year. Sanchez was erratic, made some pretty poor decisions and continued to turn the ball over. Sanchez finished 30-of-43 for 307 passing yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. The former Sanchize looked shaky at times and had two Foles-esque interceptions. He also didn't show the footwork we have come to appreciate in comparison to his counterpart either. Sanchez can't make those kind of throws against Dallas or it will be a pretty tough Turkey Day for Eagles fans.
Sanchez did throw some quality balls. His touchdown pass was terrific on the run. That said, he had decent field positioning for most of the game and the offense settled for six field goal attempts. He can't trade field goals for touchdowns.
Secondary: The Eagles pass defense allowed for Zach Mettenberger to throw for 345 passing yards, two touchdowns and a garbage time interception. At times, the secondary made the rookie look good and allowed Justin Hunter to rip them apart. I didn't think any member of the secondary played a particularly good game. The comeback route against Bradley Fletcher remains one of the easiest passes to complete in the league.
Offensive Linemen That Catch Passes: Brian Schwenke, I wish you well, but just don't do that again. It'll lead to bad things.
AFC South: The Eagles went 4-0 against the putrid division in the lesser conference. Not that there is a ton of merit to that accomplishment, but fours wins are four wins.