APPARENTLY the Eagles have two NFL stadiums. With the way the crowd acted out there in Los Angeles, you’d never know that the Eagles weren’t playing at home. (Jeff Lurie, don’t you go getting any bright ideas about moving my team!) We started the week with a tie-breaker lead in the NFC East, but we’re at a point now, where we need to start pulling away from the rest. This week was a major step in that direction.
EAGLES 26 – Chargers 24
This game wasn’t as close as the score. At no point did the Chargers ever have a lead. At no point did the Eagles deviate from the script. From the outset, we grabbed the Chargers by the throat, pinned them to a wall, and began to bludgeon them into unconsciousness. Not punching like with knuckles, but pounding, like with the side of the fist.
I told you there’d be a 100 yard rusher, and that was RB LeGarrette Blount (16 – 136 – 8.5 – 0 – 0). RB Wendell Smallwood (10 – 34 – 3.4 – 1 – 0/ 4rec – 45 – 11.2 – 0) also got in on the act, chipping in a TD on a goal line, dive behind LG Stefen Wisniewski. Our Defense held the Chargers to just 58 yards on the ground, despite giving up a 35 yard TD run. K Jake Elliott (4/4 – 2/2x) nailed every one of his field goal attempts, each of which was from 40 yards or better. K Caleb Sturgis may want to break out the resume polish.
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for these “Four Things” articles. We introduce an idea of what needs addressing BEFORE the game, so that fans have to honestly answer questions about those things, AFTER the game. This helps to get us, and keep us, all on the same page.
So, of the Four Things we were looking for in this last game, what exactly did we see?
1) Don’t go changin…: Shutting down the Chargers run game is a key to stopping them, but it doesn’t require a team going overboard and putting fifty-leven men in the box. We played it straight, took away the run and made them one-dimensional. (DONE)
2) Start the presses! : The Chargers “only” completed 57.8% of their passes which is down dramatically from the prior two weeks (75 and 74.4%). That however, wasn’t due to receivers being challenged at the line. STILL this week free releases were everywhere. It’s why this was a 2 point win instead of a 20 point win. The Chargers had no business posting a touchdown in this game. None whatsoever. (NOT DONE)
3) Run the damned ball: 42 rushes. 31 passes. (DONE)
4) Air it out: QB Carson Wentz (17/31 – 54.8% – 242 – 1 – 0) threw that monkey deep, a few times. Having to respect that, meant there was no way for Charger Safeties to help their front seven stop Blount, as he romped and frolicked in their wilderness. (DONE)
This weeks score is a rock solid 3 out of 4. By rock solid, I mean that everything that that was DONE, was really done, not just “technically”done. That brings the season’s mark to 10 out of 16. (I gotta say, 10 out of 16 sort of has a nice ring to it.) Next week, the 2-2 Arizona Cardinals will be stopping by the Linc, to pick up a shiny new “L” to hang around their necks. Should be fun!
On The Whole:
This was an excellent win. It was a cold-hearted, physical, methodical bludgeoning, and we did it on the road.
We did it despite injury. We did it without panicking when the lead was twice cut to two points. We did it because we could, and because they couldn’t stop us, and because we KNEW they couldn’t stop us.
We ran them over. Not like a truck, but like a steamroller. It was slow and it was agonizing. You could see the day, as it played out across the countenance of the Chargers QB. How he yelled and screamed. Cussed and howled. All for nothing. Even when granted the touchdown he pleaded for, his team was damned all the same. All the same.
Of course…there are things we can improve upon. But now, after THIS win, THIS way, is not the time to get into discussing flaws. Now is for enjoying and relishing. Because this, was an excellent win.