The Philadelphia Eagles are 3-0. What a game, huh? That was a really good one. There's just so much to discuss.
So with that said, here are 10 thoughts from the Eagles' exhilarating 37-34 win over the Washington Redskins at home in Philadelphia.
1) Nick Foles steps up
Nick Foles was doing enough to help his team win in the first two weeks but in all honesty he could have played better. I can't find myself saying that after his performance this week. Foles really stepped up to the plate. He finished with the following stat line: 27/41, 325 yards, 7.9 average, 3 TD, 0 INT, 114.4 passer rating. He definitely played up to those numbers. Foles did a good job of keeping his eyes down field and evading pressure. His accuracy looked great.
What was even more impressive about Foles' performance is that he showed real toughness. I'm not just spouting some bullshit narrative here, either. I really mean it. Foles was tough. He definitely did not look 100% health-wise out there but he battled through it. He even took a cheap-shot hit from Chris Baker and stayed strong. That is the kind of performance Foles skeptics needed to see.
There were only two throws that stuck out as big opportunities missed by Foles. Of those two, I can give him a pass on one. Here's video of the two plays I'm talking about. The Maclin miss was critical because it probably would have been a touchdown at a crucial moment in the game when teams were tied at 27-27. The missed throw to Brent Celek may have been because Celek is just slow, so I can give Foles a pass there. Look at it this way: if there are only two throws that I found an issue with, that is pretty good.
2) Long live Jason Peters
Jason Peters absolutely did the right thing when he went after Chris Baker following Baker's cheap-shot on Foles. Peters is usually a mild-mannered player but he had no hesitation to stand up for his teammate. Watch the video of Peters going after Baker here. Peters may have hurt the team by getting thrown out of the game but no one should be criticizing him for that (not that I have seen anyone do it). Peters took a stand for what was right.
3) Mac Attack
Jeremy Maclin looked like a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver against Washington. Stat line: 8 catches on 10 targets, 154 yards, 19.3 average, 1 TD. Maclin could have had even more if his screen reception that went for a touchdown was not wiped out due to an unnecessary penalty from Jason Kelce. Mac is back, and he's good.
4) Jordan Matthews emerges
Jordan Matthews picked hell of a game to have a breakout performance. Stat line: 8 catches on 9 targets, 59 yards, 7.4 average, 2 TD. Matthews was especially effective in the redzone. This is an encouraging sign for the Eagles to see after Matthews struggled to make an impact early on. Zero dropped passes is also really important. Philadelphia fans finally got to see why Matthews generated so much hype in the offseason.
5) Chris Polk proves his worth
I am calling you out, Chris Polk naysayers. A number of people questioned why Polk even made Philadelphia's final roster after missing most of the summer. While I can't exactly say I knew he would be a good kick returner, I can say that I knew he had some talent worth keeping. Polk proved that against Washington by return a kickoff 102 yards to the house. Polk later had a return that went for a solid 35 yard gain. It will be interesting to see if Polk can continue to excel in this role.
6) Run game struggling
It's becoming clear the Eagles are failing to run the ball effectively. I really think this has less to do with LeSean McCoy struggling as much as it does with the Eagles working with a patchwork offensive line. Think about it: starting offensive lineman Evan Mathis and Lane Johnson were critical in the run game. The same can be said for Jason Kelce. I am just not seeing the holes for McCoy to run through that used to be there.
7) Offensive line doing more with less
This is what the Eagles offensive line looked like after Jason Kelce left the game with an abdominal injury:
LT: All-Pro Jason Peters
LG: Third string Dennis Kelly
C: Backup David Molk
RG: Quality starter Todd Herremans
RT: Third string Andrew Gardner
When Peters was ejected, Herremans kicked out to right tackle while Gardner was moved to left tackle. Wade Smith took over at left guard while Kelly moved to right guard. For the second straight week, however, the Eagles did not even allow a single sack. That is especially impressive considering the circumstances.
8) Shaky secondary
Outside of Malcolm Jenkins, who looks like a fantastic addition, the Eagles secondary struggled against Washington. Nate Allen is not much more than an average starter. Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher are still prone to giving up too many completions. Now, this isn't exactly new, but it's clear this is an area the Eagles need to upgrade moving forward.
9) Where is the pass rush?
Philadelphia's pass rush really suffered with the loss of inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks. For the second straight week, the Eagles did not register a sack. The Eagles pass rush was a concern heading into the season. Too often was Cousins given too much time to throw.
10) Excited to see more
Just a huge division game win for the Eagles. Very entertaining. Yeah, DeSean Jackson got his inevitable touchdown, but it didn't end up mattering.
The Eagles are now 3-0 for the first time since 2004. This team isn't perfect by any means. There are still legitimate concerns about the defensive, the offensive line, and so on. But the Eagles are really fun to watch. I believe this has the makings of a really fun season ahead.