THIS game was a case of a good team dominating a bad one. We went out and handled the business we needed to. Good teams beat the teams they should beat, battle teams on their level, and struggle while learning from teams above them. The Eagles are doing just that, in 2017.
EAGLES 34 – Cardinals 7
The Eagles led from whistle to gun in this one. QB Carson Wentz (21/30 – 70.0% – 304 – 4 – 1) gifted 4 different receivers with a scoring pass, including 72 and 59 yard strikes respectively to WR Nelson Agholor (4 – 93 – 23.2 – 1) and WR Torrey Smith (3 – 70 – 23.3 – 1). The play-calling was pretty even with 30 passes to 27 called runs. (Wentz would add 11 yards on 6 more carries.) The Defense again played admirably given the players we’re missing due to injury. It only makes a fan more excited to think of what may happen when we get a guy or two back. Especially a CB who can catch.
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) Jailbreak!: We needed to get to QB Carson Palmer (28/44 – 63.6% – 291 – 1 – 0) and we did. We added 2 sacks and 7 hits to the mountain of abuse Palmer is already absorbing this season. What his completion percentage won’t tell you, is how many of his passes were from his heel, not his toe, and how little room he had to step up. This is an area where we were MUCH better than the numbers indicate. (DONE)
2) Keep things straight: We took WR Larry Fitzgerald (6 – 51 – 8.5 – 0) away from the Cardinals. We blanked him in the first quarter, and didn’t allow him a catch until 26 seconds before the half. You can thank CB Jalen Mills (4 – 0 – 0 – 0) for that. (DONE)
3) Hit it hard: We gave Arizona’s 10th ranked, but undersized run defense a solid punch in the mouth. We split 21 carries between RB LeGarrette Blount (14 – 74 – 3.3 – 0 – 0), and RB Corey Clement (7 – 17 – 2.4 – 0 – 0), mostly running between the Tackles. That helped to keep the pass rush at bay, resulting in Wentz being hit 3 times and sacked just once. Both are season lows. RB Kenjon Barner (5 – 23 – 4.6 – 0 – 0) pitched in with some runs to the outside. (DONE)
4) Full throat: Philadelphia, you were loud and beautiful! Then again, with the warm, wet weather and what the players were doing, it’s not like it was hard to stay dialed into the game. (DONE)
This week the Eagles ran the table, and rung up a perfect 4 out of 4! That brings the season tally to 14 of 20. (That’s 70% if your tracking it.) That said, things get harder next week.The Chiefs were a big test for Week Two, and we went in with little to no expectations. Most of us wrote that off as a loss and just wanted to be competitive.
This next one is different. We WANT this one. The winner of this next one will be alone atop the NFC, at least for a few days. I don’t know about you, but I want to be able to say that our team is the best. If only for a week or so. So lets meet back here on Wednesday, and discuss how we get that “W”.
On The Whole:
This was a brutally efficient game. Think about it. Despite two touchdown passes over 50 yards, this game never felt like the Eagles were looking for quick strikes. Just like in the Chargers game, it had a cold-hearted, tick-tock-tick-tock, feel to it. We converted 64% of our 3rd downs. Seriously, 64%! For perspective, we came into this game converting at 50%.
Despite injury and a shuffling of the Offensive Line, this team only gets better and better with each passing week. It learns and adapts. It exploits weaknesses and finds ways to undermine strengths. It loses players and then reloads with another, while in full stride, and it never stops working. It never stops hunting. It is methodical. Clinical. Brutally efficient.
And as of today, it locked it’s eyes, on Carolina.