Time-out on all the handjobs and high fives.
(S) QB Jalen Hurts: (17/30 – 56.6% – 167 – 1 – 0)
(S) RB Miles Sanders: (14 – 115 – 8.2 – 2 – 0)
(S) TE Dallas Goedert: (6 – 4 – 43 – 10.7 – 0)
(R ) DE Josh Sweat: (3 – 2.0 – 0 – 1)
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for the Four Things articles. It’s to point out what we need to address BEFORE the game. Then AFTER the game, there’s a no-bullshit assessment of whether or not the Eagles did any of what they needed to do, to ensure the win.
So how much of what I mentioned in Four Things: Saints did the Eagles get around to doing? Well let’s see:
1) Lose the game: Didn’t happen. Now the Eagles exist in a third place limbo that neither helps their playoff chances, nor Draft position. Needing SERIOUS salary cap relief, this team will need a massive infusion of young contributors, if we’re not trying to make a habit of sitting behind New York and Washington. Both of which are respectively 2 and 1 year ahead of our rebuild effort. The win may have felt good to the fans, but a look at Owner Jeff Lurie’s face, as he sat in the press box with his team ahead in the fourth quarter, will plainly tell you this win was NOT in the plans. (NOT DONE)
2) Don’t bench Hurts: This was only for if he looked shaky out there, and he didn’t. Total freebie. (DONE)
3) Give up 35 points: Nope. The Defense played very well, thanks in part to the Saints starting a QB made of tofu. They insisted on playing into the strength of the Eagles Defense, even after 75% of our starting Secondary was hurt on one play! Our Secondary is trash on a good day, and their RB/TE/KR/FB/H-Back/QB was too dumb all day long, to audible into anything that could have hurt us. Any Eagles fan who sees this team part ways with DT Fletcher Cox, or DE Brandon Graham, will see it as a step back. Especially without the Draft capital to replace such players. (Now are you starting to see how all this fits together?) (NOT DONE)
4) Doug has to look clueless: Don’t look now, but Pederson has just out-coached Sean Payton, with a rookie QB. Calling a plethora of plays that we haven’t seen for 12 games (that 40 yard Slot Drag to WR Jalen Reagor was a poorly executed thing of beauty!), the Saints had no answers, as everything they studied this week had to do with a pocket-based offense. Next week the Cardinals will be trying to keep Hurts from immediately bootlegging right, but this week it took the Saints an entire half to even try to start a containment. (NOT DONE)
Put plainly, the team won the game, but it was a MASSIVE step back for the Front Office. We’ll see what shakes out next week at Arizona. And please don’t get too caught up in the “who starts at QB” thing. We’re 4 – 8 – 1. At this point, that’s window dressing. Look ahead to the BIG picture.
On The Whole:
Allow me to bring up a few points.
Fewer than 200 passing yards, less than a 60% completion rate, one touchdown and one turnover. But the fans are happy?
We didn’t give up a sack, largely because the QB was running from the pocket. Even before pressure. On practically every down. But the fans are happy?
Before you make the Michael Vick comparisons, remember what his hand looks like. Lamar Jackson? Kyler Murray? Cam Newton? Robert Griffin III? Randall Cunningham? All terrifying runners. Not one ring between sixty fingers.
Guys like Russell Wilson, Steve Young (HOF), John Elway (HOF), and Aaron Rodgers all use/used their mobility to buy time to make a throw. Not to outright sprint for sidelines. As a result…they have rings.
Jalen Hurts can run, but we have yet to see him play QB. This game featured him running to a side, and then operating on that side. So before you become enamored with that style of play, scroll back up and take a long look at the two lists I put up. The fans were happy with the win on Sunday. But by the time you read this, it will be Monday.