That was pleasant, wasn't it?
The Eagles have their first home win - and their first winning streak - in quite a while.
And yet, things weren't all rosy. Our offense seems to go into the doldrums every game. Our defense, which had been dominant for the first three quarters, gave up two quick scores to give the Saints some life.
But that seems like a distant memory as the team cruised to victory and put itself squarely back in the playoff race. And having the Jets, Giants and WFT as the remaining obstacles seems pretty ideal.
So without further ado, here are some of my thoughts after, perhaps, the biggest win in the short careers of Nick Siriani and Jalen Hurts.
Starting with Hurts, he had the kind of game that will win you a lot more in the NFL than it will lose you. The numbers weren't flashy, He only completed 55 percent of his passes for an average per attempt of 6.2 yards. But his passing numbers were impacted by some drops by his receivers, including one by Miles Sanders which wasn't technically a drop, but which was an example of him just failing to understand that, in the NFL, while you aren't always trying to make a play, someone else always is.
There were several times that he had plenty of time to throw and didn't pull the trigger, and on at least one of them he had a wide open Quez Watkins. But he didn't turn the ball over and obviously made a bunch of plays with his legs. Most importantly, when he had to come up with a big drive to shift the momentum of the game, he was able to do so, making a key completion to JJAW to pick up a much needed first down, and then scoring on a highlight reel run to ice the game.
Speaking of JJAW, it was nice to see him contribute. I honestly think he should be out there a lot more, especially since he is a plus blocker and should be really useful running the exact kind of route he ran Sunday. The option seems to be him or Jack Stoll, as Jalen Reagor is really not a fit for this offense.
Miles Sanders had a couple of really bad plays, losing one fumble, getting lucky not to lose another and then staying in bounds on a long run. I see his obvious upside, but there are too many mistakes.
As noted, Goedert had one bad drop and one that was a tough catch, but we pay him to make those catches. I am assuming the offensive line was awesome since we ran for so many yards. But there were too many mistakes on offense. I saw one broken play, one play where Driscoll was beat cleanly on a run play and dumb penalties that need to be cleaned up.
I also think the play calling left a lot to be desired. Far too often we seemed to have the wrong play dialed up against the defense. We aren't using our running backs in the passing game at all, and I only felt like the coaches had two good moments on offense - the pass to JJAW and the tunnel screen to Smith that went for big yards.
Now, there are two things to keep in mind. Firstly, the Saints defense is the best one we will see for the rest of the season. Secondly, our offense is young, and will continue to get better. As I said, when Reagor is on the field, we don't seem to have any clue as to how to use him effectively. I look at the success that Deebo Samuel is having, and I wonder why Reagor can't be used in the same way. I am hoping that we start to see more creativity on the offensive side of the ball.
On defense, I wrote a week or so ago that TJ Edwards had the rest of the season to show he was worthy of starting, and this game didn't do anything to hurt his case. The TD he gave up was just a great play, and his coverage was fine. As i previously said, if he's the worst player on your defense, you probably have a really good defense.
Obviously the defense was playing a practice-squad level offense, so it's tough to take anything away from its performance. While the Saints have the best defense we will face the rest of the way, they also probably have the worst offense. But it was nice to see us play well. Darius Slay has benefitted from our change in scheme, and it makes sense for us to be much more aggressive on that side of the ball down the stretch.
Overall, we have to happy right now. Our offense isn't perfect, but there is clearly a lot of upside. Our defense is limited, but I don't see it as being overmatched the rest of the season until we play the Cowboys at the end of the season. I am hoping we continue to see improvement, and it is certainly notable that we have now won more games this season than we did all of last year, which certainly is a great sign of progress in my mind.