The Eagles crushed the Lions. Time to hand out some winners, losers, and IDKs.
The Eagles rightfully had a lot of doubters entering this week’s game. The majority of voters polled here at Bleeding Green Nation took the Lions to win, as did I. To the Birds’ credit, they proved everyone wrong in a big way. They earned their dominant victory.
Had the Eagles actually lost, they would’ve been getting absolutely crushed all week long. Nice to avoid that and instead reach 3-5.
Good game by the much-maligned Eagles’ head coach. He actually ran the ball! Turns out that can be effective. He didn’t have any glaring game management issues! The Eagles were only penalized twice!
Sirianni oversaw an offense that put up 37 points (seven points came from a defensive TD) and 350 total yards.
After allowing Derek Carr to go 31/34 last week, the Eagles limited Jared Goff to 25/34 (73.5%) for 222 yards (6.5 average), zero touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a 90.6 passer rating.
Gannon’s defense has been effective against bad quarterbacks thus far. But he didn’t just have the Eagles sit back and play their passive Cover 2. It was an obvious call not to do as much against Goff, who would be happy to check down all day. Gannon got creative (for his standards, at least) and actually blitzed a lot more often than normal. It certainly worked against a bad offensive line and a quarterback who crumples under pressure.
It’s too bad they couldn’t get the shutout but allowing points on just one out of 10 drives is pretty good.
One would be remiss to not mention the Eagles’ dominance took place in part because the Lions are just so bad. Case in point: there were a number of career performances. Some examples:
- The Eagles had their first 40+ point game since Super Bowl LII (February 4, 2018).
- The Eagles had their largest margin of victory since beating the Chicago Bears by 43 points in December 2013.
- The Eagles had their most rushing yards (236) in game since November 2014.
- Jordan Howard scored his first touchdown since Week 8 of the 2020 season. It was his first game with multiple touchdowns since Week 4 of the 2019 season.
- Jalen Reagor had a career-high in rushing yards with 21 in the first quarter before leaving injured.
- Josh Sweat had his second career multi-sack game.
- Derek Barnett had his first sack since Week 11 of the 2020 season.
- Avonte Maddox had his second career forced fumble and first since Week 15 of the 2019 season.
- Milton Williams had his first career sack.
- Hassan Ridgeway had his first career forced fumble in his 56th game.
- Jack Stoll had his first career reception.
- Tarron Jackson had his first career sack and forced fumble (strip sack).
Kudos to the achievers but not exactly the most sustainable stuff here.
Scott didn’t even have an offensive touch until after Miles Sanders got hurt last week. He led Eagles running backs in rushing with 12 carries for 60 yards (5.0 average) and two touchdowns. Scott probably deserves to have a role even when Sanders is back. He’s produced in the past, he had a good training camp, and he was good again today. He runs hard, doesn’t dance around a whole lot.
The Eagles don’t necessarily need to rush to add Howard to the roster since he has one practice squad elevation eligibility left this season. But they might want to sign him to the 53 after that. Howard ran hard, as he often does, and picked up 47 yards (4.8 average) and two touchdowns on his 12 carries. Not the easiest guy to tackle when he’s pounding the rock up the middle.
THE OFFENSIVE LINE
Gotta show some love to the blockers up front. Zero sacks allowed and zero quarterback hits allowed. 236 rushing yards (5.1 average) and four touchdowns. This despite losing starting right guard Jack Driscoll early in the game. The Eagles’ dominance in this game allowed Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson to finish the game getting rest on the bench, an added bonus.
Only fitting that Slay scored a touchdown in his first game back in Detroit.
Only fitting that Maddox had a forced fumble that created Slay’s touchdown in his return to Detroit. (Maddox is a Detroit native and actually has a Lions tattoo.)
Maddox continues to have a good season. The Eagles should be looking to sign their nickel cornerback to a contract extension.
Not only did Sweat have the second multi-sack game of his career. He also logged two quarterback hits and two tackles for loss. Sweat is now up to 3.5 sacks on the season, which is 2.5 shy of his career-high that he set last season.
Goedert is the Eagles’ most productive passing option right now. He caught six of his seven targets for 72 yards. That was 54 more yards than the next closest pass-catcher (Quez Watkins’ 18). Goedert has done a good job of getting open and being a reliable target.
Epps had some big hits and looked good in coverage. He set the tone of the Lions’ first offensive drive, helping to hold Detroit to a three-and-out. Not sure that’s an ideal long-term starter but he at least seems like a quality backup.
There was a lot of talk about how the Lions are better than their 0-7 record indicates because they fight really hard. Well, that sure didn’t show today. They stink across the board. The talent just isn’t any good. Dan Campbell had his worst game. The effort was questionable. The Eagles earned their win but they were certainly aided by the Lions being absolutely abysmal.
He’s terrible. He collapses like a folding chair under the hint of pressure. Deserved to be booed when he threw the ball away on a fourth down play.
Every time I see Jared Goff, I can’t help but think of Hermey. pic.twitter.com/tXYn8pkv17— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) October 31, 2021
Wilson was made a healthy scratch for this game. Not surprising from the standpoint that he saw his role decrease each week in recent weeks. Not great for him to go from being a Week 1 starter to entirely phased out of the defense. Perhaps the Eagles will look to move him for whatever they can get (conditional 7th?!) ahead of Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline.
There was some thought that Gainwell might be RB1 with Miles Sanders on the shelf. He was previously RB2 when Sanders was healthy. Instead, Gainwell was clearly RB3 in this rotation. Gainwell led all running backs in carries but the majority of his playing time came late in the game. Scott and Howard were clearly rotating as the top two guys to start out. Perhaps Gainwell’s costly fumble against the Las Vegas Raiders is playing a part in the coaches not trusting him. Gainwell’s 13 carries went for just 27 yards (2.1 average) and he didn’t see a target.
Poor Miles. The Eagles finally run the ball and he’s not even around to join in on the fun. The Eagles are hoping to get Sanders back in Week 11. But if the replacements continue to perform in his absence, what role awaits him upon his return? Is he in danger of losing some touches to Scott and/or Howard?
Minshew is a winner for getting into the game and his Uncle Rico costume. Unfortunately, these sleeves earned him a spot in the losers section. I mean, what is even happening here.
The Colts are 3-5 under their new quarterback.
Carson Wentz connects with Kevin Byard in OT— PFF (@PFF) October 31, 2021
I DON’T KNOWS
Entering Week 8, the Lions were allowing the highest passer rating in the NFL (114.5). They were also allowing the most yards per pass attempt (8.9).
Despite this, Hurts did not have a stellar day as a thrower. He completed 64.3% of his throws for just 103 yards (7.4 average), 0 TD, 0 INT, and a 86.3 passer rating.
He obviously avoided making big mistakes and turning the ball over. He also had some really nice runs, including a 21-yard gain on a 3rd-and-12 from Philly’s own 8-yard line. Hurts finished the game as Philly’s leading rusher with 71 yards on seven carries.
But Hurts did nothing to majorly improve his stock when it comes to establishing himself as a franchise quarterback. It seemed like he was guilty of holding on to the ball for too long despite having a lot of time to throw. He bailed on some clean pockets. More of the bad habits we’ve seen before.
Had the Eagles not been playing such an inferior opponent, this would’ve been a much bigger issue. Probably not going to be getting away with this formula against Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 9.
The Eagles’ offense was at their best this year when the quarterback was less involved than ever. Think about that.
I like how Sirianni got Reagor involved as a ball carrier. He looked fast out there while gaining 21 yards on those two touches. They should continue to do more of that. He makes the IDK section because he reportedly suffered a sprained ankle just as he was doing some good things. Bummer.