HOLY wow, Batman!The Broncos came into the game allowing only 71 rushing yards per game, and we hung 197 on them. They came in allowing 18 points per game and we hung 51 around their necks.
The Eagles could have phoned this one in, and just ducked their heads into the Bye Week. If we went in at 8-2, no fan would be terribly disappointed. Instead, the Eagles went out and dismantled a team with one of the best defenses in the NFL. In the words of Adam Sandler: Not too shabby!
EAGLES 55 – Broncos 23
Carson Wentz (15/27 – 55.5% – 199 – 4 – 0) beat up on Denver’s “No Fly Zone” secondary and hardly broke a sweat doing it. He even picked on All-Pro CB Aqib Talib (2 – 0 – 0 – 0) for two of those touchdowns. In fact, the only way to stop Wentz from piling more points on that ass, was to take him out of the game. Maybe QB Nick Foles (1/1 – 100% – 35 – 0 – 0) lobbied to protect his record? (That was a joke. Don’t go around spreading that.) WR Alshon Jeffrey (6 – 84 – 14.0 – 2) had his best game as an Eagle so far, and rookie RB Corey Clement (12 – 51 – 4.2 – 2 – 0/ 1rec – 15 – 15.0 – 1) outscored the Denver offense. “New to us” RB Jay Ajayi (8 – 77 – 9.6 – 1 – 0) led the team in rushing and was one of three Eagles to gain more rushing yards than the entire Broncos team, as RB LeGarrette Blount (9 – 37 – 4.1 – 0 – 0) also did some damage.
Defensively, we allowed Denver all of 35 yard rushing, partly because DE Vinny Curry (2 – 1 – 0 – 0) was a monster on the right side. FS Rodney McLeod (1 – 0 – 1 – 0) grabbed his second interception in two weeks.
I hear you asking, “Well golly mister, what about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well Billy, 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) Gelding the pass rush: Early in the game we got the ball out to TE Brent Celek (3 – 39 – 13.0 – 0) and to TE Trey Burton (2 – 41 – 20.5 – 1) in the absence of TE Zach Ertz who was out with a hamstring injury. Wentz also used a hard count to draw the Broncos offside a few times. And of course there was also our run game. The result of those things cut the nuts clean off of the Broncos pass rush, and made sure that Wentz was only sacked once during the game. (They also got to Foles for one.) (DONE)
2) Set up play-action: There was no way to expect that we’d hang 200 rushing yards on the Broncos, but the prescription was to stick with it anyway. Well brother, did we EVER! The play selection was 34 called runs to 27 passes. The play-action was there, and Wentz’s jersey stayed pretty clean. (DONE)
3) Pick our poison: The deal was to take away the run and force the Bronco’s QB to beat us. Worked like a charm. (DONE)
4) Run the Walker: Sending MLB Joe Walker (2 – 0 – 0 – 0) on a few blitzes was the idea, but instead he spent more time in coverage or scraping. (NOT DONE)
That makes this weeks score 3 of 4, bringing the season tally to 30 of 36. The players get a much needed week off now to heal and nurse injuries. (As much as a single week will allow.) For you and I of course, a week with no good football will be sheer Hell. However, keep in mind that the playoff push begins directly on the other side of the Bye, with a match-up against the Dallas Cowboys. I’m sure you won’t mind giving our players time to rest, and our coaching staff time to prepare.
On The Whole:
With this win we are officially a better team than we were last year. We have 8 wins now, and are guaranteed .500 at worst. Now we are working on that one victory that will guarantee us a winning record for 2017.
This game against the Broncos. All we did was whatever we wanted, however we wanted to do it. Running, passing…I think we could have scored sending smoke signals, if we had decided to try it.
I do have one gripe though.
It’s Alshon Jeffery. He never seems like his head is all the way in the game. For example, he had a holding penalty on a Corey Clement run that cost us some yardage, and was laughing and joking after having been flagged.
For a guy on a “prove it” contract, he simply doesn’t produce at the rate that you would expect, for a guy who’s going to ask for a ton of money in March. I’d like to either see him start looking like THAT guy, or for the Eagles to let our young receivers get more looks on the outside.