Eagles stock report: dog mentality perseveres
CHARLOTTE – Down 15-3 and looking woefully ineffective offensively, the Eagles roared back with 18 of the game’s last 21 points to win a 21-18 decision at Bank of America Stadium.
It wasn’t an aesthetic play, but Jonathan Gannon’s much-maligned defense kept Philadelphia in the game (2-3) until the big plays came in the form of a 53-yard tie-in between Jalen. Hurts and Quez Watkins and some great goalie races. RPO by Hurts.
It was the defense’s three sacks and three interceptions that tortured Sam Darnold in a terrible performance. The Panthers QB completed just 21 of 37 passes for 177 yards and a dismal passer rating of 44.5.
Defense of the Eagles –The Philadelphia Chicken Littles have been warned that the Kansas City offense is different. Moreover, Dallas is too, consecutive weeks that have distorted the perception of what Gannon is doing.
The Panthers’ pedestrian offense was the market correction Philadelphia needed and was limited to 267 total yards as Philadelphia generated three sacks, eight QB rushes, six tackles for loss and three interceptions, two by Darius Slay.
When Darnold pitched it was under duress and while the run defense will never be great with this group of linebackers, it was better.
The adjustments made were more TJ Edwards and Davion Taylor in stoppage situations, more movement by Slay, and a few more assaults with the blitz, but it had more to do with the opposing QB who wasn’t Patrick Mahomes or Dak Prescott.
“Great job of the dawg mentality of our defensive players and defensive staff,” said head coach Nick Sirianni. “They played a great game. We had three turnovers and (three sacks), all in third base. They just came together and played a great game. They do. That’s the goal of this. league.
“You’re not going to play your best game every week. It’s about starting over, over and over and over. That’s the guy mentality. It’ll be the same message this week.”
Darius Slay and Fletcher Cox – Much has been done when the Eagles’ star defensemen at least hinted that their use in some ploys was curious. Both responded in a big way, with Slay’s first INT being one of his best as he beat Darnold and fell into cover before making a leaping choice. Cox, meanwhile, registered his first sack of the season and protection is still slipping on his side, allowing Javon Hargrave to do some impressive things.
Jalen’s heart hurts: Hurts didn’t play very well, but he kept his head down and pushed forward making enough plays to win the football game. Hurts’ success is unconventional, but the only stat that really matters in the NFL is wins and losses.
“I always say never go too high, never go too low,” he said. “Whether it’s good, whether it’s bad, you’ve got a Dawg mentality and you flush it out, leave it and move on. It’s all adversity and it’s persistence and it’s all ability. to overcome. football team, I believe in these coaches, I believe in everyone here. We have everything we need. “
DeVonta Smith: Smith’s split is something else compared to the rest of the Eagles’ receivers. He escaped after a reception, but seven receptions on eight targets on a day when the QB wasn’t that precise is impressive.
Davion Taylor – Taylor is finally healthy after his calf problems and his playing time has been increased. The first test went well and Gannon could decide his athleticism should keep him more and more on the pitch.
Eagles Special Teams – There were some issues with Jalen Reagor’s kick returns early on, but Jake Elliott’s 58-yard field goal led to the intermission and TJ Edwards blocked punt he was thrown in by compatriot LB Shawn Bradley.
“It’s something we’ve been working on all week,” Edwards said. “We knew if we got a certain look from them, if they blocked it in a certain way, we could change it and move on to a different kind of rush. It worked out perfectly. Shaun Bradley chose a hip and I was free, that was just how we drafted it.
Nick Sirianni’s RPO-based offensive – Against the Panthers’ ultra-aggressive defense, bubble screens and swing passes never had a chance. From there you have to adapt and go over the top to at least get that idea into the mind of the defense. By the time the coach did, it would have been too late against a better team or if the defense wasn’t as good as it did.
Subtlety on friction roads– For the second week in a row, the Eagles saw a TD taken off the board for OPI on a scuff road in the red zone. The joke around the NFL is that the offense calls these things friction and defense pick routes. Everyone uses them and they’re tough to defend, but it was JJ Arcega-Whiteside last week and Greg Ward this week and given SIrianni’s background as a receiver coach it’s troubling that the Eagles are so obvious when running friction routes.
Zach Ertz did not perform perfectly in midfield allowing a pass to Kelly Gainwell for a first try. Maybe it should work on a loop at the NovaCare complex.
Awareness at Miles Sanders – As the Eagles tried to force Carolina to burn their timeouts late and seal things up, Sanders inexplicably crossed the line twice, saving the Panthers from calling timeouts. It didn’t matter but it was really stupid.
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John McMullen contributes to the Eagles’ coverage for SI.com’s EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports chat host Jody McDonald, every morning from 8am to 10am on “Birds 365”, broadcast live on PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show “Extending the Play” on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
Ed Kracz is SI.com’s Eagle Maven editor and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news on www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles Where www.eaglemaven.com and follow him on Twitter: @kracze.