The Day After – Flying High

Posted: December 12th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on The Day After – Flying High

The Eagles ran wild against the Packers a few weeks back, finishing with 363 rushing yards. Last week the Eagles used 380 passing yards from Jalen Hurts to help them dominate the Titans. We were all curious to see which part of the offense would dominate the Giants.

We missed an obvious choice…the balanced attack. Late in the game the Eagles had 191 yards rushing and 184 yards passing. They leaned hard on the run game to close things out so the Eagles finished with 253 rushing yards.

Part of what makes the offense so dynamic is their ability to do everything and do it well. Hurts is the top rated passer in the NFL. The Eagles are 2nd in the league in rushing yards and 1st in rushing TDs. Being versatile is good. Being able to run and pass at an elite level is unique. This is a special offense.

Great OL. Great skill players. Great scheme.

The ultimate test will be the postseason, but right now this offense is a joy to watch.


Aside from the offense, the whole team is balanced.


One or two games is just that, a couple of games. We shouldn’t read anything too much into that small of a sample size, but it is hard not to be impressed with the special teams right now. They were an issue against the Packers and that led to a lot of deserved criticism. There have been some personnel adjustments and the STs are now making plays instead of mistakes.

LB Christian Elliss was brought up for the last two games and his presence has been felt. He’s made multiple tackles in each game. Beyond that, he brings juice. Part of STs is simply playing with energy and effort. Elliss goes full speed on every play and goes hard. His tackles involve big hits. Elliss doesn’t run to his target, he runs through his target.

It seems like Nakobe Dean has come alive the last two weeks. When  you have LBs that fly downfield and run through whatever is in front of them, Your STs are going to be better.

I’m not sure how to explain the return game coming to life. Britain Covey had a 16-yard punt return against the Giants. He was elusive and showed some burst. Boston Scott had kickoff returns of 66 and 35 yards.

If the Eagles start covering kicks better and getting good returns, they are going to be even tougher to beat. We need to see them continue to play like this before we can feel confident in them. For now, this is an encouraging change. The Eagles are now ranked 17th in STs DVOA. They have been as low as 24th just a few weeks back.

There was the blocked punt on Sunday. Hurts took a sack at the 2-yard line so the punt team didn’t have the 14 yards in their normal set-up. You still want to be able to get that punt off cleanly, but that’s a tough situation. I give them a break for that.

On the flip side, look at how they handled the injury to Arryn Siposs. Covey took over as the holder and was perfect. Jake Elliott didn’t miss a kick with Covey holding for him. Elliott took over as the punter. The offense was so good he only had one punt. He’s no Ray Guy, but the punt went 35 yards and got the job done.

We’ll see if Michael Clay has figured out some fixes for his unit or if the last two weeks have been an anomaly.


The Eagles pass rush is greatly improved from a year ago. The 2021 defense finished 31st in sacks with just 29. After 13 games this year, the Eagles lead the NFL in sacks with 49. Beyond sacks, they get pressure and affect the QB on a regular basis. That was not the case last season. Check out the sack leaders for this season.

Haason Reddick – 10 sacks
Brandon Graham – 8.5 sacks
Javon Hargrave – 8.0 sacks
Josh Sweat – 7.5 sacks
Fletcher Cox – 6 sacks

That is great balance. You have edge guys and inside guys. Speed and power. Left and right side. Graham comes off the bench so that tells you the kind of depth the Eagles have with their DL.

Reddick is exactly what the Eagles wanted. He is a disruptive edge player who can get to the QB on a regular basis, but also can affect the QB and create sacks for others. Hargrave got a sack last week due to Reddick’s pressure. Cox got one on Sunday for the same reason.

Graham has never had double-digit sacks in a season. How cool would it be for him to get 10 or more at age 34 while coming off an Achilles injury and also coming off the bench?


Miles Sanders is having a great year. He’s got career highs in carries, yards and TDs. Sanders has 1,068 yards so far and could add another couple of hundred depending on how games play out. He is averaging 5.2 yards per carry so the extra touches aren’t hurting his average (5.1 for his career).

Beyond the numbers, Sanders has taken great strides as a blocker. He had a terrific pass block yesterday. He had a good block on a run by Jalen Hurts. That block got him really fired up.

Sanders as a receiver is a complicated discussion. He looked very good as a rookie, catching 50 passes and making some big plays. Sanders struggled the next few years and became a non-factor as a receiver. He’s got a career low 18 catches this season, but he has had some good plays. He drew a PI call late in the Colts game that moved the Eagles into scoring position. That was huge.

On Sunday Sanders took off down the right sideline. Hurts made a good throw and got him the ball for a big play. Unfortunately the ball jostled as he hit the ground and the play was called incomplete. That was a heck of an effort by Sanders and almost a big gain. Hurts is starting to look for Sanders more. The numbers aren’t anything special, but Sanders seems more confident and effective as a receiver than he was the previous three seasons.

He is a free agent after the season. A lot of people ask me about re-signing Sanders. I think the Eagles will try. It will depend on his price. They have to pay Hurts big money and they’ve got a lot in WR so they can’t afford to spend big at RB. I don’t know what kind of market Sanders will have with other teams. RB is devalued around the league, but all it takes is one team to make you a big offer. We’ll have to see how that plays out.

For now, enjoy Sanders and how well he is playing, with and without the ball.


Comments are closed.