PHILADELPHIA declared open season on Cardinals, this week!
EAGLES 20 – Cardinals 17
Categories include an EXCLUSIVE weekly Offensive Line Report (Rushing TD’s (6 points) + 3rd downs converted by handoffs (1 point) + sacks allowed (-2 points) = score); as well as Drive Killer (Int – FR – 4th down Tackles – FF – TD).
New Category Ace is for Kick return TD’s, Returners run-down, kicks blocked, etc.
Passing : (S) QB Jalen Hurts (26/36 – 72.2% – 239 – 0 – 0)
Rushing : (S) QB Jalen Hurts (15 – 61 – 4.0 – 2 – 0)
Receiving :(S) TE Dallas Goedert (9 – 8 – 95 – 11.8 – 0)
Offensive Line Report/Enforcer : (2 + 1 – 2 = 9) / C Jason Kelce
Drive Killer : (S) SS Chauncey Gardener-Johnson (1 – 0 – 0 – 0 – 0.)
Sack Leader : (S) OLB Hasaan Reddick (1 – 1.0 – 0 – 0)
Ace : K Cameron Dicker (Filling in this week. 2/2 FG’s including the game winner)
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: Cardinals did the Eagles actually get around to doing? Well let’s see:
1) Fence Him In: We started out doing this, and it helped us to control the pace of the game. The Cardinals however, decided to start taking advantage of all the off-coverage we were playing, and everything fell apart form there. Too often their QB would take the snap, turn, and fire the ball. We didn’t make him hold the ball. We didn’t make him read. He completed 66% of his passes, and most of them were gimmies. (NOT DONE)
2) Tackle Securely: Tackling started out good, but it got worse as the game wore on. No. That’s not it. Actually, it seemed as if having to tackle 230 pound RB James Conner (9 – 55 – 6.1 – 0 – 0 ), took some of the starch out of the Eagles. Nobody on the Defense seemed to want to bang bodies. Interesting. (NOT DONE)
3) Throw the Ball: We had 36 pass attempts to just 18 hand-offs. So yes, we threw the ball. Unfortunately, so much of it was on Screen passes. I mean, a Screen to Devonta Smith (11 – 10 – 87 – 8.7 – 0) on 2nd and 20? What the fuck for?! Never mind. Never mind. That said, with passes being 66% of our play selection this week, it’s impossible to not rate this as (DONE)
4) Read-Option Early: We showed it early, which was what I suggested. Sadly though, when you run the QB as often as you hand it off, opponents stop buying the Read-Option and play-action. We got away with it this week, but don’t expect that from every opponent. (DONE)
This week we did 2 of the Four Things, and fittingly, barely eeked out a win, off the toe of a substitute Kicker. (The smell of mimeograph ink, hung practically hung in the air.) Next week we take on the division’s second place team: the Dallas Cowboys.
On The Whole:
Yet again the Eagles couldn’t put together two halves of a football game. For the fourth game in a row, the Offense just stalled out in the second half. I know everyone wants to heap a ton of praise on Jalen Hurts, but he has yet to play an entire football game, at a high level this year.
When the Eagles went to a ground based attack on their final drive, it proved very effective. We ran 17 plays, with the 13 of those being runs. The 3 passes? A completion for -2 yards, another for 16 yards, and an incompletion. All of which culminated in the game winning field goal.
The Defense is very active, aggressive, and generally well-disciplined. We have an extremely assignment sound unit here. What our Defense isn’t, is tough. It’s not physical. There’s a lot of swagger, but nothing that teams fear coming in. That showed today with the way they attempted to run Conner at us, despite knowing that he’s fragile.
In any case, the Eagles ended the day 5 – 0. Which was the point.