WE’LL be .500 for Christmas!
EAGLES 27 – Redskins 17
New categories include an EXCLUSIVE weekly Offensive Line Report (Rushing TD’s + 3rd and 4th downs converted:missed of 2 yards or less – sacks allowed); as well as Drive Killer (Int – FR – 4th down Tackles – FF – TD).
Passing: (S ) QB Jalen Hurts (20/26 – 76.9% – 296 – 1 – 1)
Rushing: (S ) RB Miles Sanders (18 – 131 – 7.2 – 0 – 0)
Receiving: (S ) TE Dallas Goedert (9 – 7 – 135 – 19.2 – 0)
Offensive Line Report: (2 + 4:2 – 3)
Drive Killer: (S ) DT Fletcher Cox (0 – 0 – 0 – 1 – 0)
Sack Leader: (S ) DT Fletcher Cox (3 – 1.5 – 0 – 1)
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for these 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: Redskins (1) did the Eagles actually get around to doing? Well let’s see:
1) Use the 12th Man: Eagles fans were out IN FORCE for this one. The idea here was to have the players drive the crowd, but that hardly was necessary. Even when the Eagles were in a 0 – 10 hole to start the game, the crowd was never truly out of it. There were some boos, but really that crowd last night was one of the best I’ve ever seen.
The first 10 points we gave up were the result of weirdness, but no one was worried that level of weirdness was going to happen on every drive, for four straight quarters. It of course didn’t, and a wolf ate a sheep. Nature took it’s course. In part because the crowd never stopped making it hard on the opponent, during cold, dark, misty conditions. Well done Philadelphia. Well done. (DONE)
2) Run the Ball: There were 41 runs to 26 pass attempts (61.1% run). While 8 of those runs were by Hurts, he pulls the ball down so early that it’s not always easy to know what was a called run and what was a legitimate scramble. So from here on out, I’m just lumping his runs in with the handoffs. Otherwise it’s like picking gnat shit out of pepper.
We stuck to our identity, even when down 0 – 10. It allowed us to get a rhythm and settle our QB, who looked tight to start the game. Though he’d missed just one game, in real-time, he hadn’t seen action in nearly a month. We didn’t overplay our hand, or play down to the opponent. As a result we piled up 238 yards on the ground. (DONE)
3) Blitz from our right: Shout out to OLB Genard Avery (1 tackle) had a great run-stuff off the right (which came damned close to being offsides). Aside from that, there was never a concerted effort to get the ball out of the hand of QB Garrett Gilbert (20/31 – 64.5% – 194 – 0 – 0).
Our lack of aggressive defense allowed this kid to look better than he had any right to. Let me say right now, this approach won’t beat Washington twice this year. If we want a sweep in two weeks, we’ll have to dial up far more pressure. (NOT DONE)
4) Don’t force-feed Reagor: Turns out WR Quez Watkins (2 – 2 – 14 – 7.0 – 0) was able to play in this one, so there was no need to overuse WR Jalen Reagor (3 – 3 – 57 – 19.0 – 0). Reagor caught all three of his targets, and even threatened to score once. If calling him “trash” results in him contributing like this, I will call him “heated garbage soup” every week next season.
We forced nothing to him and he had 57 yards. I said in the Third Quarter Report that we need a non-Devonta WR to contribute 50 yards per game, over these last 4. We just got it from Reagor, without force-feeding him. (DONE)
That gives us 3 out of the Four Things for this week. In five days, we get to extend five knuckles worth of hospitality to the giants as we host them Sunday afternoon. A win in that game, will make us an above .500 team to bring in the New Year.
On The Whole:
As I said, if we put up 25 points, that should do the trick. Even at full strength the Redskins can’t manufacture points very well. Well we put up 27, and they only put up the points they did, because early in the game Jesus Klaus gifted them with a bizarre couple of turnovers.
Jalen Hurts just got his first win over an NFC East opponent. We’re technically still just outside of the picture, but now that we’re 7 – 7, we can legitimately bring up the playoffs as a subject.
When the game was scheduled for Sunday, the plan may have been for QB Gardner Minshew and Hurts to each get snaps. However, this delay allowed Hurts’s ankle to get to full strength. As a result, the only snaps Minshew saw, were the ones played by Hurts. So there is no QB controversy.
(FYI: The QB position is still VERY MUCH under evaluation. There’s just no question about the pecking order. Today.)