The Eagles are 11-1 after beating the Tennessee Titans! Time to hand out some winners, losers, and IDKs.
This was a statement win.
The Eagles bullied a team that entered this game with a reputation for being bullies.
They absolutely took it to a defense that had been playing very well:
Since Week 6 bye, the Titans defense was allowing just 16.2 points per game and 318.3 yards per game.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) December 4, 2022
Eagles put up 35 points and 453 yards before pulling their starters with a little under 10 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter.
The Eagles no longer appear to be in a lull. They’re back in peak form as December begins.
They look not just like contenders to make the Super Bowl ... but favorites to make it to the big game.
Hurts was largely sensational as a passer. After a couple underthrown balls early on (which oddly seems to be a weekly thing, what is that about?), Hurts took control of the game. He made it look easy as he regularly aired it out against the Titans’ defense.
Hurts connected on multiple deep shots. That’s something we already knew he could do but it’s always appreciated. The touchdown to A.J. Brown down the left sideline was somehow right on the money while the receiver was tightly covered.
Jalen Hurts threw 3 deep TD passes for the second time this season.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) December 4, 2022
Hurts is just the 2nd QB to have multiple games with 3+ deep TD in a season in the Next Gen Stats era (Ben Roethlisberger, 2016).#TENvsPHI | #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/6V7jxm2EFO
Hurts worked the middle of the field with accurate passes up the seam into tight windows. He utilized his running backs as checkdown options. These things are newer improvements to his game.
It was really impressive to see what Hurts did with his arm just one game after he dominated as a runner. He’s truly a versatile threat.
Hurts has really earned the benefit of the doubt at this point. What I wrote down in my notes for this section was “I just trust him out there.” He’s going to make the right decisions. He’s not going to turn the ball over. There should be complete confidence in him. And that should be comforting.
Hurts’ MVP case was boosted on Sunday not only by his performance but also by Patrick Mahomes and Tua Tagovailoa losing. Then again, Joe Burrow beating KC improved his chances. But he should still be behind Hurts at this point.
Jalen Hurts is the first player in Eagles history to produce 350+ passing yards, 3+ passing TDs, and 1+ rushing TD in a single game.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) December 4, 2022
QBs against the Titans this year:— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) December 4, 2022
Hurts: 29/39, 380 yards, 3 TD, 130.3 rating (plus 1 rush TD)
Josh Allen: 26/38, 317 yards, 4 TD, 128.9 rating
Burrow: 22/37, 270 yards, 1 TD, 91 rating
Mahomes: 43/68, 446 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 80.9 rating (plus 1 rush TD)#Eagles
Tua is #1 in EPA per play this year with 0.4. Josh Allen is #1 in success rate with 54.6%. Hurts had 0.51 EPA per play today and a success rate of 58%. Phew.— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) December 4, 2022
Jalen Hurts’ passing chart from the victory over the Titans. He had a TT of 2.76 seconds, an ADoT of 9.7 yards, and a CPoE of +8%.— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) December 4, 2022
Just an incredible performance by Hurts and the Eagles offense. pic.twitter.com/Sb4O92drwN
10 targets, eight receptions, 119 yards (14.9 average), two touchdowns.
Brown undoubtedly enjoyed going off against his former team. He admitted as much during his postgame presser:
“This one meant a lot to me. Early on, I had mixed emotions about the trade and everything, and I’d be lying to you to say I didn’t circle this game.”
Brown was dominant.
And his stats don’t even reflect the 24-yard pass interference penalty he drew that set up Hurts’ rushing touchdown two plays later.
The only two targets Brown didn’t catch: 1) the impressive touchdown grab down the right sideline that got called back because he barely stepped out of bounds before establishing possession and 2) an off-target throw on the Eagles’ final drive of the first half that wasn’t really going anywhere with limited time left anyway.
This outing was Brown’s first real kickass game since he torched the Pittsburgh Steelers. That was also the Eagles’ last dominant win. Not just a coincidence.
The man who somehow convinced the Titans to trade A.J. Brown to the Eagles.
DeVonta caught five of his eight targets for 102 yards (20.4 average) and one touchdown. He got the party started with the first score of the game.
We didn’t learn anything about DeVonta that we don’t already know; he’s a very savvy route-runner who excels at creating separation.
But while not new, it’s certainly enjoyable. Especially when it’s paired with Brown’s dominance. Two WR1s on the same team.
A concept that Lawrence from Office Space might appreciate.
NICK SIRIANNI/SHANE STEICHEN
Again, 35 points and 453 yards of offense against a defense that had been playing well.
For the second straight week, the coaching staff didn’t overthink it. The Packers were weak against the run, so the Eagles ran it. The Titans were weaker against the pass, so the Eagles threw passed it. It’s been nice to see this rebound after the galaxy braining that went on in Indy.
The highlight of the offensive coaching staff’s performance was the decision to go right back to Brown after his first touchdown was negated. Again, don’t overthink it. He’s your best player. No need to go away from his just because a play barely didn’t work out.
The Eagles held the Titans to their second-lowest point total and second-lowest yardage total this season.
For all the talk about the run defense being a concern, the Eagles allowed just allowed just 87 yards on 21 caries (4.1 average. If you take out the Titans’ final drive in garbage time, those numbers go down to 18 carries for 73 yards. On the whole, the Eagles tackled really well, which most know is not their regular strength.
Derrick Henry was kept to 11 carries for 30 yards. Ryan Tannehill was the Titans’ leading rusher with the Eagles allowing 34 yards on three scrambles.
Shutting down the run helped to force the Titans into third-and-long situations, which the Eagles capitalized on. As old friend Jim Schwartz might say, the Birds earned the right to rush the passer.
The Eagles’ 42 sacks (2nd most in the NFL) are tied for the team’s most through 12 games since 1991, when the Eagles totaled 43 sacks.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) December 4, 2022
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Eagles’ defensive performance is that they shut the Titans down without taking away the ball. This isn’t to suggest the Birds should be dinged for generating takeaways. But there have been times this year where it’s felt like the defense needed turnovers to prevent scoring. And that was concerning because there is some element of luck to taking the ball away; you’re not always going to be able to rely on opponent mistakes. Sometimes you need to get stops and force punts. And that’s what the Eagles did today.
Sweat led all Eagles pass rushers with two sacks to pair with one tackle for loss and three quarterback hits. He feasted on the Titans’ backup left tackle. After a five-game stretch where he had held sackless, Sweat has three sacks in his last four games.
Reddick nearly had a strip-sack early in the game but Tannehill was able to barely avoid him ... only to be met with Javon Hargrave taking him down. Reddick finished the game with two half sacks to equal one full one. The Temple alumnus had four total quarterback hits. Sweat and Reddick had two violent meetings at Tannehill. Quarterbacks can’t be looking forward to facing that kind of painful pass rush.
Seven of Hargrave’s eight sacks this season have come in his last six games. Eight sacks mark a new career single-season career high for him. With the second-most sacks by an NFC defensive tackle (trailing Daron Payne who has half a sack more with one more game played), Hargrave could make the Pro Bowl for the second straight season.
A reminder that Hargrave is set to be a free agent after this season.
Cox has benefited from reduced snaps with a heavier DT rotation. After a seven-game stretch with zero sacks, Cox has two in the last two games. He also logged a TFL against the Titans.
BLG is up to 2.5 sacks and two TFLs in his last three games. The defensive line is eating.
Covey had six punt returns for 105 yards (17.5 average) with a long of 27 in this game alone. It’s the second-highest yardage total of any punt returner this year.
Britain Covey had 19 punt returns for 130 yards (6.8 average) with a long of 15 entering this game.
Nice to finally see the 25-year-old rookie produce after underwhelming for most of the year. Can he build on this showing or was it a blip on the radar?
Special teams was actually a positive for once! Not just neutral ... but good! Good response by Clay and his unit after they faced a lot of heat coming out of the Packers game.
Bradberry logged two passes defensed in this game, bringing him up to 14 on the season. That ranks second in the league only behind Sauce Gardner, who has 15. Bradberry almost had a pick six when he correctly anticipated a WR screen and jumped the pass. Just couldn’t make the catch.
Stoll made some nice grabs over the middle on seam throws by Hurts. He was rather efficient with his three targets going for three receptions and 41 yards.
Stoll entered this game with five catches for 56 yards this season and nine career catches for 78 career yards. So, this was a pretty nice showing by his standards.
The Eagles don’t need to be an amazing pass-catching threat during Dallas Goedert’s absence. I mean, that would be awesome, but it’s not realistic. A reasonably attainable performance like this, however, helps to establish himself as a legit option. Nice to have him not be a total non-factor that the defense doesn’t have to respect.
Quietly his best game of the season with 52 yards from scrimmage. Gainwell was the Eagles’ most efficient runner with three carries that went for 15 yards. He caught multiple checkdowns and looked effective running after the catch. Encouraging performance to build on.
Blankenship is a baller out there. He makes good tackles and he knows where to be in coverage. Very early on, the loss of C.J. Gardner-Johnson is not painful.
How Blankenship performs the rest of the way is interesting when it comes to CJGJ and Marcus Epps both being free agents after this season. It’s too early to write his name in ink as a future starter ... but he can continue to build his case.
Dean finished this game tied with T.J. Edwards as the Eagles’ leading tackler. He made a good special teams tackle on kickoff coverage. He then saw playing time on defense after Kyzir White got hurt ... and then in garbage time. Perhaps these positive flashes might earn him some playing time on defense?
Elliss made his Eagles season debut after being temporarily elevated from the practice squad. He made some nice special teams tackles, including a big hit on punt return coverage. The Eagles can elevate Elliss twice more this season before having to put him on the roster. If he continues to flash, he might force his way onto the team.
Good on the Eagles for giving him a shot to play after their special teams struggles. It would’ve been frustrating to see them expect different results with no adjustments. Some might say that would be insane.
THE BGN SAME GAME PARLAY
Every week, we put together a BGN same game parlay that’s available to bet on via DraftKings Sportbook.
This week’s version:
For future reference, this is what it looked like on the DK Sportsbook app:
And for those unfamiliar with odds ... if you put $10 on this week’s SGP, you profited $50. Not bad.
Hopefully you were among those who won some money!
From our associates over at Music City Miracles:
A.J. Brown ended with eight catches for 119 yards and two scores. The Titans ended with a combined 39 receiving yards from all of their receivers.
Tennessee GM Jon Robinson might as well be G.O.B. in Arrested Development saying “I’ve made a huge mistake.”
Pretty insane that they weren’t willing to pay this dude. The Eagles are certainly grateful for that much.
What the heck was this all about? There was no good reason for the Eagles to be so sloppy to start this game. They had six accepted penalties in the first quarter alone with three false starts plus a drive-extending offside call. And they were the home team! It’s not like they were dealing with crowd noise.
Sure, the officials were way too flag happy. All the stoppage in action had this game behind schedule compared to the other 1:00 PM Eastern starts:
Eagles-Titans the only Week 13 game still in the first half. pic.twitter.com/XeyZCPXmC8— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) December 4, 2022
But the Eagles didn’t help themselves by giving the refs chances to break out the yellow flags.
When penalties are one of the biggest issues in an otherwise dominant win, well, you’ll certainly live with that. Just something to clean up moving forward. The Eagles have the 14th fewest pre-snap penalties this season so it hasn’t been a major issue.
Relative to expectation for a backup nickel cornerback, Scott has been OK while filling in for Avonte Maddox. Unfortunately, there are weekly reminders why he’s not suited to be a full-time starter. He is a weak point on the defense. Scott was in coverage on the Titans’ only touchdown.
I DON’T KNOWS
Watkins caught five of his six targets for just 37 yards. He failed to haul in two downfield passes that went his way. The first came on a play where Hurts may have been pressured to throw a bit earlier than was intended but the ball still hit Watkins in the hands and he couldn’t hold on. Then Watkins failed to haul in a deep catch that would’ve been wiped out by offsetting penalties. Still, you want to see him make that. He needs to make the most of his increased opportunities with Dallas Goedert out. He’s done a nice job of doing that in recent weeks but he left some yards on the table in this game.
Watkins also suffered a shoulder injury but he told reporters that he “should be fine.” We’ll see if that’s the case when the injury report comes out this week.
Davis didn’t seem to play much in his first game back from injured reserve. He was seen limping off the field at one point and did not log a stat. No reason to panic but it seems like the big man might need some time to ease back in as opposed to being ready to make an impact immediately upon returning.