Leading up to this game, all the talk was about how this was going to be a slog for the Birds. About how the Titans are very tough and tend to muck it up with their physicality. About how they might not win but they would surely be a good bet to at least cover the spread.
That was not the case.
Not only were the Eagles not bullied on Sunday.
THEY were the bullies.
Coming out of their Week 6 bye, the Titans hadn’t allowed more than 20 points in a game. They were allowing just an average of 16.2 points per game.
The Eagles took the Titans to task, putting up 35 points and 453 yards. And they definitely could’ve had even more if they hadn’t (correctly) decided to pull their starters with just under 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
After running wild on the Green Bay Packers last week, the Eagles pivoted to throwing the heck out of the ball against a Titans defense that entered this game allowing the second-most fantasy points to wide receiver. Fittingly, A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith had really big days.
Their success was made possible in large part to a sharp outing from NFL MVP candidate Jalen Hurts. The Eagles’ quarterback finished 29/39 (74.4%) for 380 yards (9.7 average), three touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a 130.3 passer rating. Hurts also had five runs for 12 yards and a rushing score. He was awesome out there.
This was a complete team win. The offense balled out. The defense shut down Derrick Henry. And, heck, even the special teams unit came to play!
The Eagles needed this kind of outing after not playing their best football over the past few weeks. They’ve reestablished themselves as one of the very best teams — if not THE best team — in the NFL.
Next up for the Eagles is an away game against the New York Giants. It’s the first of three straight road games for them.
Read on for a recap and stay tuned for BGN’s postgame coverage, including the BGN Radio postgame show!
- The Titans won the coin toss and elected to defer, setting up the Eagles on offense first. The Birds immediately got set behind schedule with a Lane Johnson false start. A Miles Sanders run and a Jalen Hurts completion to A.J. Brown set up 3rd-and-3. On third down, the Eagles called a timeout with the offense looking confused prior to the snap. Not ideal to be calling a timeout with 13:43 remaining in the first quarter. Then Jason Kelce flinched to set the Eagles back to 3rd-and-8. Sloppy start. On third down, DeVonta Smith got wide open after running a route from the slot for a first down. Hurts threw a rare pass over the middle to Kenneth Gainwell, which the running back took for a 14-yard gain. Best Gainwell has looked as a receiving weapon in a bit. Hurts took a shot down the field to Quez Watkins despite being pressured but the wide receiver couldn’t hold on. Hurts then took another shot down the field, this time to DeVonta. The ball was a tad underthrown but Smith was so open that it didn’t really matter and he was tackled into the end zone for the 34-yard touchdown. Strong rebound after looking out of sync early in the drive. Moving the ball through the air looked very easy. EAGLES 7, TITANS 0.
- The Titans decided not to return Jake Elliott’s kickoff and instead let it bounce in the end zone for a touchback. That’s a gift for the Eagles’ special teams unit. Two Derrick Henry runs brought up 3rd-and-4. On third down, Haason Reddick pressured Ryan Tannehill and then Javon Hargrave got the Titans quarterback down for the sack. Great job by the defense to force a three-and-out.
Javon Hargrave up to 7 sacks in his last 6 games.#Eagles— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) December 4, 2022
Javon Hargrave sacks Ryan Tannehill on third-and-4 to force a three-and-out by Tennessee.— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) December 4, 2022
Hargrave now has a career-high 8.0 sacks this season. He is the first @Eagles DT with 7.0+ sacks in back-to-back years since Corey Simon from 2000-01.#FlyEaglesFly
- The Eagles took over at their own 26-yard line after an 11-yard return from Britain Covey. A better punt returner probably breaks that for a significantly bigger gain. The Eagles got to 3rd-and-5 and Hurts underthrew an open Smith on an out route to bring up a punt. Back-to-back targets for Smith where Hurts threw short of him. The first one didn’t matter but this was more costly.
- Christian Elliss, who was temporarily elevated from the practice squad for this game, put a BIG hit on the Titans’ punt returner. Marcus Epps had a nice, low tackle in the hole to take out Derrick Henry’s legs. Then Reed Blankenship made a good tackle after a short reception to bring up 3rd-and-4. On third down, Josh Sweat jumped offside to give the Titans a free first down. Bad job by the trenches on both sides of the ball with two false starts and one offside halfway through the first quarter. Tannehill took off running for a first down into Eagles territory. The Titans got to 3rd-and-7 from the Eagles’ 40-yard line. On third down, Tannehill overthrew an open target with pressure bearing down on him. The Titans went for it on fourth down and the Eagles lost contain on Tannehill, allowing him to run for a first. The Titans got to 3rd-and-3 from the 25-yard line. On third down, Tannehill threw a pass up the seam to rookie Treylon Burks, who made the leaping catch to beat a trailing Josiah Scott. Just a good play by the Titans. Marcus Epps got flagged for unnecessary roughness on a helmet-to-helmet shot on Burks, who looked to be seriously hurt after making the play. EAGLES 7, TITANS 7.
- The Eagles started at their own 15-yard line after the Titans intentionally kicked short of the end zone to make the Birds return the ball with their bad special teams unit. The Eagles moved the chains with Hurts hitting Watkins on a crosser for a first down. Hurts took a deep shot to Watkins, who failed to make the catch after adjusting to the ball. The play would’ve been called back anyway due to a holding penalty on offense ... which offset with a pass interference penalty on defense. Hurts to Brown went for a first down. DeVonta got hit with an illegal shift penalty on the right side of the field to wipe out a Sanders run that went to the left side.
6 first quarter penalties for the Eagles.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) December 4, 2022
The Eagles had 4 penalties in four quarters against the Packers on Sunday night.
- It looked like Hurts may have had Brown available for a deep shot but he checked down to DeVonta instead for one of the tougher four-yard sideline grabs you’ll ever see. Mike Vrabel challenged the ruling and the play was overturned. On 2nd-and-15, Hurts threw a good ball over the middle to Jack Stoll (!) for a 25-yard gain. Nice throw. Just the third catch by an Eagles tight end since Dallas Goedert went on injured reserve. The Eagles committed YET ANOTHER FALSE START PENALTY, this time on Stoll. Hurts aired it out to A.J. Brown, who caught the ball tight along the sideline. The play was originally ruled a TD after delay from the ref but the review showed that Brown’s second foot was touching out of bounds. In a game of inches, Hurts’ throw was a little too close to the boundary. On the very next play, the Eagles went back to Brown and he was WIDE OPEN for the score. It looked like the score was going to get called back for offensive pass interference ... but the refs called it illegal contact on Kristian Fulton instead. Brown clearly bowled the Titans cornerback over but it was more incidental coming out of his break than it was a premeditated push off. Bizarre sequence. Love the call by Nick Sirianni and Shane Steichen to go right back to Brown, though. Why not? EAGLES 14, TITANS 7.
AJ Brown is a bully pic.twitter.com/Xb6W0bXMyK— Laurie Fitzpatrick (@LaurieFitzptrck) December 4, 2022
- The Titans got to 3rd-and-6. On third down, Fletcher Cox didn’t lose contain on Tannehill this time and instead notched a sack out towards the sideline. Good stop to force a three-and-out.
- Britain Covey made a couple tacklers miss to pick up 21 yards on his best punt return of the season. A positive Eagles special teams play! How about that? The Eagles took over at their own 43-yard line. Hurts took a sack but the Titans got called for unnecessary roughness for hitting Hurts late. Tough one for the Titans. Hurts ran for a first on 3rd-and-5 but it was wiped out by a holding penalty on Kelce. On 3rd-and-14, Bud Dupree forced Hurts into an incompletion but got called for roughing the passer. Dupree got a shot in to Hurts’ head/neck area on the takedown, hence the penalty. Dupree got the last laugh, though, as he strip-sacked Hurts from behind to force a punt from the Eagles’ own 41-yard line after Jordan Mailata recovered the ball. Sirianni opted against a 58-yard field goal attempt from Jake Elliott.
Now the entire #Eagles O-line has a penalty. Mailata with the false start. 5th false start of game.— Martin Frank (@Mfranknfl) December 4, 2022
- The Titans took over at their own 13-yard line. Tannehill got very fortunate that James Bradberry was unable to catch the WR screen route he jumped that could’ve gone for a pick six. The Titans got to 3rd-and-5 and Tannehill was able to complete a pass on an out to Austin Hooper to move the chains. Marcus Epps missed a tackle on a completion over the middle that allowed the Titans to advance 41 yards into the red zone. The Titans moved to 3rd-and-1 from the 8-yard line. On third down, the Titans (not the Eagles this time!) got hit with a false start. On 3rd-and-6, Josh Sweat sacked Tannehil to force a field goal. Bend but don’t break. EAGLES 14, TITANS 10.
Now you know why the LT was trying to get an early start. Josh Sweat is a monster! pic.twitter.com/gsJK8KvzTV— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) December 4, 2022
- The Eagles took over at their own 25-yard line with 3:28 remaining in the second quarter. They took three plays to move the ball into Titans territory. Hurts threw to a tightly covered Brown, who was able to draw a pass interference penalty with the defender’s back to the ball. With 21 personnel on the field (two RBs), Hurts took off running to the right corner of the end zone to cap off the drive with a touchdown. Ninth rushing score by Hurts this season. Big drive by the offense. EAGLES 21, TITANS 10.
QB power for the TD!— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) December 4, 2022
Miles Sanders a better run blocker than pass blocker? pic.twitter.com/jxJ1mXZCUa
Jalen Hurts records his 3rd TD of the game (2 passing, 1 rushing) to give the @Eagles a 21-10 lead in the first half.— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) December 4, 2022
He has set a new single-season career high with 28 total TDs this season (26 total TDs in 2021).#FlyEaglesFly
- The Titans took over at their own 25-yard line with 0:51 on the clock and two timeouts to work with. Blankenship came flying in to knock down a Tannehill pass. The instincts on that rookie. Tannehill’s next pass was broken up by Josiah Scott to bring up 3rd-and-10 with 0:39 on the clock. On third down, Blankenship tackled Robert Woods short of the sticks to force a Titans punt.
- The Eagles took over at their own 26-yard line with 0:26 on the clock and one timeout to work with. Hurts to Gainwell over the middle got the ball to their own 40-yard line and the Eagles burned their final timeout. Hurts completed a short pass to Boston Scott, who got out of bounds to move the ball to the 45-yard line. The Eagles got to 3rd-and-5 after a shot down the field by Hurts fell incomplete. On third down, Scott ran for another five yards to put the ball at midfeld with 0:03 left. Hail Mary territory. Or not. The Eagles tried to have a caravan lead Smith to the end zone ... which gained 34 yards before he was stopped. Some nice stat-padding for DeVonta there.
Titans had held 8 straight opponents to 20 points or fewer.— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) December 4, 2022
Eagles have 21 at halftime. Despite all the penalties, offense has 243 yards and 14 1st downs.
Jalen Hurts "quietly" has 215 yards passing (15-for-21).
There have been 9 instances this season where an offense has gained at least 300 yards in the first half. The Eagles have three of them.— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) December 4, 2022
Eagles have 5 of the 12 highest league-wide 1st-half yardage totals this season.
Jalen Hurts' 268 passing yards is the second most in any half of his career (279 vs. Washington Week 3).— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) December 4, 2022
He has 3 total touchdowns and a QB rating of 133.4.
On defense, Eagles not having to overcommit to odd fronts to stop the Titans offense. 19 snaps in even fronts, 11 in odd. Titans have 5 carries for 15 yards on first down. Three of five longest plays on Tannehill scrambles. Just 2 snaps for Jordan Davis.— Bo Wulf (@Bo_Wulf) December 4, 2022
- Nakobe Dean made a nice special teams tackle to have the Titans start at their own 22-yard line. The Titans got to 3rd-and-8 on the first drive of the second half after Robert Woods dropped a pass. Thinking it was a fumble for an Eagles recovery, Sirianni challenged the ruling ... but the red flag throw was unsuccessful. Weird challenge, looked incomplete to me all the way. Guess they felt it was such a high leverage spot that they could really end the game if the call was overturned. On 3rd-and-8, Haason Reddick and Sweat met at the quarterback for a sack. Three-and-out.
The Eagles pass rush is insane pic.twitter.com/OfYwKk6Ep0— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) December 4, 2022
- Yet another good return by Covey, this one for 28 yards, to silence his doubters. The Eagles took over at midfield. A few plays later, Hurts aired it out to Brown in the end zone. Brown could not have been covered more perfectly ... but he showed late hands to snag his second score of the day. Great catch. And a great ball by Hurts to put it right on him. Incredible stuff. Should not be lost that Sanders had a great block in pass protection on the right edge to help allow the score. EAGLES 28, TITANS 10.
I think the Titans should have paid AJ Brown pic.twitter.com/pOJnJOTt2o— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) December 4, 2022
Jalen Hurts & A.J. Brown (29-yd TD)— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) December 4, 2022
Air Distance: 46.1 yds
Target Separation: 0.6 yds*
Completion Probability: 21.7%
*Brown has 5 tight window TD receptions this season (2 more than any other player)#TENvsPHI | Powered by @awscloud pic.twitter.com/nMPMtAgPYb
- Brandon Graham sacked Tannehill to bring up a 3rd-and-13. On third down, the Titans cowardly ran the ball to bring up a punt.
- Covey picked up 25 yards on another return, giving him quite the day.
Britain Covey has 5 punt returns for 99 yards (19.8 average) with 9:38 left in the third quarter against the Titans.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) December 4, 2022
Britain Covey had 19 punt returns for 130 yards entering this game. #Eagles
- The Eagles took over at their own 37-yard line but got set back with a Sanders run for a loss and then a Lane Johnson holding penalty that was declined due to an incompletion. Hurts took a deep shot to DeVonta, who got his hands on the ball but couldn’t reel it in with a defender draped on him. Punt.
- Nakobe Dean made two tackles and drew a holding penalty on his first two snaps in relief of an injured Kyzir White. Reddick and Sweat met at Tannehill to combine for another violent drive-ending sack.
- Hurts made another good throw up the seam to a backup tight end, this time Grant Calcaterra to move into Titans territory. A pop pass to Quez Watkins resulted in another first down. The Eagles ran an unnecessarily complicated reserve pass by Hurts that ended with Watkins picking up four yards on an elaborate screen. The Eagles got to third-and-short and Hurts got called for a false start to end the third quarter. Should’ve been an offside penalty.
The good ole handoff reverse pass for 4 yards pic.twitter.com/Vev2jHgv68— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) December 4, 2022
- A completion to Zach Pascal brought up 4th-and-short. The Eagles were able to quickly snap the ball and sneak Hurts over for the first down. The Eagles got to 3rd-and-4 from the 7-yard line. On third down, Hurts flicked the ball away to bring up a 25-yard Jake Elliott field goal. The kick was good. But the Titans got flagged for being offside. Sirianni accepted the penalty and put the offense back on the field at 4th-and-1. Hurts converted on the sneak, because of course he did. Then the offensive line paved the way for a Sanders rushing touchdown. Physical football that can’t be stopped. EAGLES 35, TITANS 10.
The @Eagles are the first @NFL team to throw for 350+ yards after rushing for 350+ yards the previous week since the 1987 Los Angeles Raiders (356 rushing on 11/30/87; 360 passing on 12/6/87). #FlyEaglesFly— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) December 4, 2022
- The Titans gained 10 yards on four plays before punting.
- The Eagles pulled Hurts with 9:40 remaining in the fourth quarter to give way to Gardner Minshew and other offensive backups. Zach Pascal dropped a would-be first down conversion from Minshew. Tough break for the backup QB. Three-and-out.
- Malik Willis came in the game to replace Tannehill. Working with favorable field position, he drove the Titans into scoring position before a turnover on downs.
- The Eagles took 3:25 off the clock in five plays before punting.
- The Titans took over with 1:42 left. They ran three straight times to bring up the end of the game.
FINAL SCORE: EAGLES WIN, 35 to 10
- Zech McPhearson, not K’Von Wallace, was being used as the third “safety” in big dime packages (h/t to Deniz Selman for first noticing).
- Nakobe Dean came in after Kyzir White got hurt.
- Landon Dickerson limped off the field early in the second quarter. Andre Dilllard came in to play left guard. Dickerson returned not too long after leaving.
- Jordan Davis limped off during the second quarter but he stayed in the game.
- A.J. Brown looked shaken up after drawing a PI flag late in the second quarter but he didn’t leave the game.
- Kyzir White slowly walked off the field after being down for a little bit midway through the third quarter. White later returned.
- Shaun Bradley was ruled questionable to return with a hamstring injury late in the third quarter.
- Quez Watkins was taken inside late in the third quarter. He was ruled questionable to return with a shoulder injury.