5 Takeaways From Eagles' Season Saving Win
What did we learn from the Eagles win over Green Bay on TNF
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- Season-saving win? Well, when you look at the big picture, probably. The Eagles have a winnable game next vs. the Jets, then the schedule gets downright brutal. At Minnesota, at Dallas, at the unbeaten Bills, home vs. the Bears, Patriots, then Seahawks. This stretch doesn’t let up until after Thanksgiving, and to go into it 1-3 was going to be extremely frightening for a season that opened with such high hopes. Not only are the Eagles back to 2-2, but this win was a huge one for this team to have in the bag going forward. Not only is winning in Lambeau difficult enough, but Aaron Rodgers had never lost at home when leading by 10 or more points. He was 58-0-1. The Eagles saved their season with a never-before-done feat. Last night showed both the talent and championship-caliber grit we all thought this team was going to have.
- So much for the “Carson Wentz can’t beat good teams” nonsense. Despite only passing for 160 yards and missing two throws early and one late to Alshon Jeffery, Wentz was brilliant. He was efficient, poised, and threw 3 more touchdown passes against this heralded Green Bay defense in their building. He’s on pace to finish the season with 36 touchdowns and just 8 interceptions despite not having Jeffery or DeSean Jackson for much of these first few games. Doug Pederson called a great, balanced attack and Wentz handled the rest in a game that the great ones find a way to win.
- Not only were the cornerbacks a concern and a major liability when healthy, now they’re all hurt. Avonte Maddox suffered a scary head injury but appears OK, while Sidney Jones is now out (again) with a hamstring. Rasul Douglas is the last man standing. I would do just about anything to get Jalen Ramsey here and build this secondary around the best young corner in the game. I’m just not sure how realistic it is, given the fact Jacksonville really isn’t motivated to move him. Eagles’ fans hopes lie in Ramsey continuing to stand by his trade demands and beginning to force Jacksonville’s hand. My more realistic guess for the immediate future is signing someone like Orlando Scandrick, a veteran who was in camp with the team all summer. Yes, Aaron Rodgers is one of the greatest ever and torches everyone, but this secondary is a major, major problem with no immediate fix on the horizon.
- The Eagles’ previously non-existent pass rush stepped up big Thursday. Aside from a few brainless Derek Barnett penalties, he stepped up, Brandon Graham stepped up, and Fletcher Cox looked as good as he has all year. Graham and Barnett even pulled a reversal of their Super Bowl-winning strip sack of Tom Brady, this time with Barnett forcing the fumble and Graham recovering. If this highly-paid defensive line can continue returning to form and giving the Eagles’ offense short fields like last night, the Eagles will win a lot of games on this tough stretch coming up.
- It blows my mind people were actually questioning Miles Sanders as an overall player after three career games. Yes, he fumbled a few times, as many rookies do. Can you imagine people saying LeSean McCoy’s no good in Week 3 of the 2009 season, or Brian Westbrook in Week 3 of the 2002 season? Pederson finally used Jordan Howard properly as the lead back, and Sanders was terrific in the complementary role that he should have as a rookie. He showed the flashes of brilliance you want to see from a second-round rookie. The Eagles are about to have a terrific running back on their hands for a long time, possibly the rest of the Carson Wentz era.