That was too close for comfort, but a big win nonetheless. The Eagles ended a long home losing streak. They essentially buried any hopes the Skins had of making a playoff run. And the Eagles claimed sole possession of 1st place in the NFC East.
Being atop the NFC East doesn’t have the cache that it used to. Nowadays it is the equivalent of being the smartest Burger King employee (a joke I can use since I once manned the Whopper station for part of a summer). Still, this team was 3-8 this time last year and all hope was gone. It might be a down year for the division, but I won’t apologize for enjoying seeing the Eagles in the top spot.
Today’s game was really like 2 games. The Eagles dominated the 1st half, leading 24-0 and basically having total control of the game. The Skins didn’t do much in the 3rd quarter, but they dominated the 4th quarter and made the game closer than it ever should have been.
Many fans are angry at Chip Kelly for getting too conservative in the 2nd half. Last week the Eagles put the game away with a workman-like running game. Kelly hoped to do the same thing this time, but the Skins played good D. One thing I wonder about is Nick Foles arm. It seemed to be bothering him in the 1st half. He didn’t throw much in the 2nd half and you wonder if that was the design of the offense or if his arm was really bugging him. I’ll need to watch the tape to check out his 2nd half throws.
The Eagles let this game get close, but still found a way to win. They pounded RG3 all game long and that paid off at the end, when he stupidly threw a ball up for grabs while under duress. Brandon Boykin made the pick to seal the win.
Trent Cole had 2 sacks. Connor Barwin had a strip sack and batted down a pass. They liked like the superior duo to Kerrigan-Orakpo. The Eagles defense was terrific at times. RG3 came alive in the 2nd half and was able to make some big plays in the passing game. Looked like the Eagles lack of top talent at CB was an issue. When a QB moves around and buys time, it becomes really hard to stick with WRs.
The defense has now held the last 7 opponents to 21 points or fewer. The Skins 16 points tied their season low. Scoreboard > yardage board.
Nick Foles and the offense looked great in the 1st half. Foles threw the ball short and intermediate, getting big plays both ways. Deep balls weren’t working but did stretch the defense and drew a couple of flags. Foles ran the ball well. He actually out-ran RG3 47 yards to 44 yards. Is that insane or what?
There is plenty to discuss about this game because of how the 2nd half went, but don’t lose sight of the fact the team won a tough game. Style points don’t count in the NFL like they do college football.
The Eagles now have a bye week, which they desperately need. This team has had some really banged up bodies in recent weeks. A week of rest is just what the doctors ordered. The team can get healthy as they prepare to stay in 1st place in the NFC East down the stretch. Sounds good, doesn’t it?