BEATING the Browns was no big deal. That was always going to happen. Cleveland was never our opponent, they were just blocking the Eagles view of our real opponent. Sometimes the opponent isn’t who’s across from you, it’s who you are at the moment, standing in the way of who you have the potential to become. Cleveland was never the opponent. They were merely on the schedule.The Eagles entered that game as the tattered remnants of the team that the last head coach had ruined. True, the roster had turned over somewhat and they’d played some preseason games, but nothing of any real substance had been proven yet. The Eagles entered this game dragging last year’s 7 – 9 record behind them, as their most recent identity. This is what our beloved team looked like.
The Eagles needed to come out with a win, to signal that the disaster was over.
The game was won handily, 29 – 10. Rookie QB Carson Wentz, after just a handful of preseason snaps, calmly took apart (what is referred to by Browns fans as) a professional defense. He posted 278 passing yards and 2 TD’s, while never looking remotely overwhelmed at any point. The Eagles also quietly piled up 133 yards on the ground.
But what about the stuff that the final score doesn’t reveal? That’s the reason for these “Four Things” articles. To have an idea of what needs addressing BEFORE the game, so that we’re forced to honestly answer questions AFTER the game.
So, of the four things we were looking for in this last game, what exactly did we see?
1) The Defense we saw this preseason needs to show up this week. The dominant front seven from the preseason was nowhere to be seen in this game. At least in the first half. After half-time the Defense cam alive collecting three sacks and bogging down the run. (HALF-DONE)
2) A large dose of the run. The Eagles ran the ball 34 times. In fact. RB Ryan Mathews 22 carries was one more than the combined number by the entire Browns team. (DONE)
3) Lots of WR Jordan Matthews. Matthews caught 7 balls for 114 yards and a TD. (DONE)
4) A few deep throws to Dorial Green-Beckham. This didn’t happen. I’d like to be able to say that the work that Matthews put in was enough, but the fact is, it isn’t. Until DGB does something to scare opposing coaching staffs, he won’t scare opposing coaching staffs. The guy may not know the playbook end to end, but he doesn’t need to in order to run 3 or 4 Fade or Post patterns. (NOT DONE)
So that’s 2.5 out of 4. This week that was enough to beat a bad team convincingly. As far as beating the Chicago Bears next week…come back later this week to find out what we need to do to win that game.