Game Preview – WAS at PHI

Posted: November 14th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »

Tonight’s game against the Commanders will be a good test for both teams. This is the first rematch of the season for both teams. We’ll be able to see how they adjust to each other and also how the teams have changed since the first meeting.

Critics of the Eagles will tell you that the offense is a bit gimmicky, with all the RPOs and a collegiate feel. The more teams see of the Eagles, the better they’ll be able to adjust and should slow the Eagles down. We’ll see how Washington does with that tonight.

The flip side is that the Eagles staff knows what didn’t work in the first meeting and now they’ll be able to come up with different ideas to stress the defense and get playmakers into good position. Remember that football isn’t a chase for one perfect play or scheme. You simply need to stay one step ahead of the other guy. Sometimes a simple wrinkle can make a big difference.

Washington is 4-5 after blowing a 10-point lead and losing to the Vikings last week. Before that, the Commanders had won three in a row. Prior to that they had lost five in a row. You could say they’re a tad on the streaky side.

The biggest change with Washington is at QB. Carson Wentz is hurt and Taylor Heinicke is now the team’s savior. He’s 2-1 in three starts. He won by two, by one and then lost by three last week. Washington fans love Heinicke. I get that he’s scrappy and emotional. It is fun to root for underdogs. But their love for him shows you how desperate that fanbase is for a true franchise QB.

Heinicke is short so interior pressure can really affect him. The Vikings DL batted down three of his passes. He can get panicky in the pocket. He is mobile so you have to watch for him getting outside, where he can run or has room to see the field. Heinicke’s hero is Brett Favre and you see that in his play. He can be very aggressive. Last week he threw into triple coverage down the field. Terrible decision. One DB ran into an official and the other two failed to play the ball so the play turned into a TD that made all the highlight shows.

The Eagles secondary will have chances for INTs. Heinicke will throw those hero balls and hope for the best. That shouldn’t work as well against a defense that leads the league in INTs. When Heinicke is in the pocket and working the middle of the field, he will miss high at times. Again, that’s more chances for picks. Wentz tended to hold the ball and take sacks. Heinicke will take chances with his throws. I’m not saying the Eagles will have 9 INTs, but that would make for a fun game.

Washington only managed 240 yards and 8 points in the first game against the Eagles. Wentz got sacked 9 times and there wasn’t much of a run game to speak of. They only turned the ball over once. They were 6 of 17 on third downs so that tells you they played a lot of smallball and struggled to sustain drives.

The OL will be different for Washington this time around. Not better, but different. Cornelius Lucas will be the RT and he really struggled last week.

https://twitter.com/Tiller56/status/1589359571247808513

Haason Reddick and Brandon Graham will have a chance to get regular pressure off the that side. WAS will have a different center, with Tyler Larsen starting this week. They have had a lot of OL injuries and started various combinations. The Eagles DL will be a tough test for a group lacking in time together.

The Commanders have run the ball better in the past four games. They have averaged 132 yards on the ground in that stretch. They’ll get the ball to RBs Antonio Gibson and rookie Brian Robinson, but will also work in others. Last week they handed the ball to a TE on a jet sweep. They give it to receivers on a regular basis. Curtis Samuel has 18 rushes this year. As a point of comparison, Boston Scott has 24.

The Eagles run defense has been leaky in recent week. This will be a good test, to see if the Eagles were able to fix some issues or if this is a bigger problem than Jonathan Gannon thinks. That said, Gannon isn’t going to load the box when he’s going up against Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson and Curtis Samuel. Gannon will focus on coverage first and rely on his front five or six to handle the run.

The goal isn’t to be Gang Green and completely stifle the run. Football is a different game these days. The goal is to control the run. If Marcus Epps tackles better a few times last week, Houston isn’t getting as many yards. I’m sure Epps got an earful in meetings. I would expect him to play better tonight.

Even with the improved ground game in recent weeks, Washington is averaging 17 points per game. The offense showed good potential in the first two weeks, but has been mediocre since then. If the Eagles can hold them to 17 points, Gannon won’t care too much about the run.

Avonte Maddox will miss the game so Washington may try to go after Josiah Scott. Samuel normally works in there, but they could mix in Dotson and McLaurin as well.

The marquee matchup of the night is Washington’s defense against the Eagles offense. The Commanders have kept opponents to 21 points or less for five straight games. They have the #2 pressure rate in the league. Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne give them arguably the best DT duo in the NFL. The Eagles put up 400 yards and 24 points on this defense in the first game so they have had success against them.

Washington is playing better defense now. The Eagles have been good on offense all year so it is hard to say if they’re better or not.

The Commanders limited the Eagles to 72 yards rushing in the first game. That’s the only time all year the Eagles were held under 100. Heck, every other game has been 111 yards or more. Give the DTs credit for that. They were disruptive and clogged running lanes all game long.

Jalen Hurts threw for 340 yards and 3 TDs in the earlier win. DeVonta Smith had the best game of his young career, going 8-169-1. AJ Brown was 5-85-1. Washington had no answer for them. CB Benjamin St-Juste is playing well and isn’t a guy you want to attack. The other DBs are all fair game.

Washington will blitz and get creative at times. LB Jamin Davis is long and athletic. He’s disruptive when he rushes and has 3 sacks this year. Hurts has improved a lot vs the blitz this year so Washington has to be smart about how and when they go after him.

It will be interesting to see what the Commanders do with their pass defense. Do they focus on Brown or Smith? Do they keep their safeties back and dare the Eagles to run? As a remind of how good Smith was in the first game.

What a performance.

The Eagles should have put up more than 24 points in that game. The offense got sloppy in the second half and drives stalled out after promising starts. The coaches changed a few things and the Eagles have been scoring better in the second half since the bye (29 points in two games). We’ll see if that trend continues.

The Eagles haven’t played in more than a week so they are well rested. With the exception of Maddox and Jordan Davis, the team is pretty healthy. Washington can win this game, but they need help. They have an excellent DL and that always gives you a chance. I think they need takeaways to score enough to win, unless their coaches have been saving some amazing plays for this game.

As you can see below, that offense just isn’t good.

The Washington defense gives them a chance, but I’m guessing the Eagles have too many weapons and will make enough plays to score and win.

I was curious if the return of Chase Young might give them a boost, but that won’t be happening. Washington is hoping he’ll be back for the next game so that timing helps the Eagles.

I was not impressed with Washington’s STs unit last week. That is an area where a lot of teams have an advantage, but I’m not sure that will be the case. I also wasn’t impressed with Ron Rivera’s coaching last week. He and his staff made some curious decisions.

This is definitely a game the Eagles should win, but all you have to do is look at the Dallas-Green Bay result to see that anything can happen. Nick Sirianni has done a masterful job of keeping his team locked in. I expect we’ll see that again tonight.

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Bizarro Midseason Awards

Posted: November 12th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »

The biggest downside to a 17-game season isn’t players health, but rather members of the media trying to figure out the midseason point. Is it before Game 9 or just after it? Since the Eagles don’t play until Monday, I’m giving out midseason awards today.

MVP – Jon Robinson

The Titans GM very generously traded his most dynamic offensive weapon to the Eagles back in April. Brown has been an amazing addition for the Eagles. I think the least we can do to say thank you is name Robinson MVP.

Offensive Player of the Year – Grant Calcaterra

He is averaging 40 yards a catch! That’s like a record or something. I don’t understand why the coaches aren’t throwing to him more.

Defensive Player of the Year – Milton Williams

Williams is actually having a down season, but he’s doing it while the team is undefeated and the rest of the defense is playing well. That’s very considerate of him. If the defense was struggling, we’d have to question why Williams wasn’t doing more.

Special Teams Player of the Year – Rick Lovato

Lovato doesn’t have a bad snap this year. He also hasn’t gone to the media to complain about a lack of touches or a desire for a new contract. I could have gone with Zech McPhearson for his work as a gunner, but lets give Lovato some love.

Rookie of the Year – Cam Dicker

Dicker the Kicker was never actually on the roster, but still had a game-winning FG for the Eagles. Stud. I don’t remember Reggie White ever having a sack while on the practice squad.

Best Moment

Had to be this.

Scoring a TD on Dallas is good. Looking cool while doing it is great. Eagles got 7 actual points and infinity style points.

Worst Moment

The long KOR by KaVontae Turpin late in the first half of the Dallas game. It was like a switch got flipped and Dallas woke up. They probably would have been better in the second half regardless, but that return was incredibly frustrating. Giving up that long return was like the Eagles failing to sweep the leg.

I remember watching preseason football in the summer. You see highlights of rookies, backups and some unknown guys. Turpin caught my eye in a couple of games. Then he got off to a slow start in the real season. I knew that meant he was just saving his breakout moment for the Eagles and sure enough that jerk proved me right.

Best Coaching Decision

Nick Sirianni not benching Jalen Hurts.

Worst Coaching Decision

Nick Sirianni not benching Michael Clay.

Best Role Player Moment on Offense

It was really cool to see Zach Pascal get a 34-yard TD against the Steelers. Pascal does a lot of dirty work and never complains. He blocks for RBs and an WR screens. He is a key player on STs. You want to reward those guys. Loved seeing him go in for the TD.

Best Role Player Moment on Defense

I liked Marlon Tuipulotu going into the 2021 draft. I was happy when the Eagles took him. But Tui stunk up the joint in the 2021 preseason. He was really bad. I was shocked when the Eagles kept him on the roster. Tui didn’t show enough in the preseason to earn that spot. The coaches felt like he could be developed. Tui worked on his body and his game and definitely earned a spot this year. He got his first NFL sack in the Steelers game. Appropriately, it was a hustle sack after Patrick Johnson flushed the QB. Tui was there to clean up.

Best Revenge

Sacking Carson Wentz 9 times was so much fun.

https://twitter.com/ThePhillyPod/status/1574372873342418944

Nick Sudfeld better watch out if he ever takes the field against The Gannon Gang.

Hall of Fame Watch

Jason Kelce has played at a high level and continues to build his case. The Eagles are using a new play where Kelce is the lead blocker and it has produced some good moments for him. I also think he’s helped himself by getting more national exposure (his podcast, the Manningcast appearance, etc.). OL don’t get many highlights. They need all the help they can get.

Lane Johnson has been the best RT in the league, maybe the best OT period. He continues to help his case for Canton.

Josh Sills is facing a really uphill battle at this point.

Welcome Back Kotter

Coming home doesn’t always work, but Haason Reddick has been terrific in his return to Philly. He’s got 5.5 sacks, 5 TFLs and 3 FF. Ask Daryl Worley about homecomings that didn’t go well.

Best Secret Santa 

Saints GM Mickey Loomis traded the Eagles CJ Gardner-Johnson right before the season started. That was a very selfless thing to do, but it might not even be the best gift Loomis gives the Eagles this year. He traded the Saints first round pick to the Eagles last offseason, assuming his team was somehow going to be good and the trade was worth it. The Saints are now 3-6. Will Loomis be giving the Eagles a Top 5 pick for Christmas? Howie Roseman better send him some scrapple as a way to say thank you.

Best Jalen Award

Jalen Hurts, duh. The guy is having an amazing season and might be the most improved player in the entire league. He’s done an unbelievable job of walking the tightrope between playing smart, safe football and making plays. He might be the league MVP. It is crazy to think that he’s almost a full year younger than Britain Covey. Truly an old soul and definitely the best Jalen on the Eagles.

Happy Movers

James Bradberry played for the Giants in 2020 and 2021. He won a total of 10 games. He could match that total by Thanksgiving this year. The Giants cutting him when they did turned out to be great for the Eagles. Bradberry’s had a big year and will have a chance at another big contract in the offseason.

Ian Book is the #3 QB for the NFL’s only undefeated team. If the Eagles hadn’t claimed him off waivers, Book would be a practice squad QB for a 3-win team. Talk about your lucky breaks.

Geritol Gang

Back when Joe Banner was helping to run the Eagles, older players were not exactly embraced. The Eagles basically gave you the Logan’s Run treatment when you turned 30. This team is getting key contributions from older guys: Jason Kelce, Brandon Graham, Lane Johnson, Fletcher Cox, Big Play Slay, Britain Covey. How times have changed. And we’ll see if Robert Quinn becomes a key contributor.

Still Here 

Somehow, Andre Dillard is still an Eagle. He’s the only guy in franchise history to play with Norm Van Brocklin, Ron Jaworski and Jalen Hurts. Will he get a Super Bowl ring?

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Chasing History

Posted: November 11th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 3 Comments »

No one expected the Eagles to start the season 8-0. Certainly no one expects them to finish 17-0. Some argue that the Eagles need to lose a game to be better prepared for the postseason.

Should fans want the Eagles to lose a game, or even two?

There is no magic formula for winning the Super Bowl when it comes to the regular season. The Rams went 12-5 last year. The Pats went 14-2 back in 2016. Carolina went 15-1 and lost the Super Bowl in 2015. The Giants went 9-7 in 2011 and won it all. The Pats were 14-2 in both 2003 and 2004 and won the SB both seasons. You have to go back to the ’85 Bears to find the last 15-1 team to win it all.

You win the Super Bowl by being healthy and playing well at the end of the season. There’s also usually a little luck involved.

Nick Sirianni focuses on each week. He preaches to his team to stay in the moment. Go 1-0 each week and you’ll end up in the right place. That mentality is always good, but it is especially helpful in a situation like this. The Vikings are 7-1. They get credit for having a good season, but no one is discussing them in historical context. National pundits aren’t breaking down their schedule for the second half of the season.

Since the Eagles are 8-0, things are different. Hot take shows debate whether they’ll go undefeated. Local shows might debate whether they should. The schedule is being studied in a way that’s just not normal. The hype around the Eagles is on a whole other level. That kind of stuff can affect players and distract them, unless they have the right coach, QB and team leaders to keep them focused.

Sirianni has been masterful this year at keeping his team in the moment. Jalen Hurts has been just as important. Veterans like Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox have done their part. Sirianni isn’t worried about the ’72 Dolphins or the Super Bowl. He’s locked in on playing Washington on Monday night. He preaches that message relentlessly and his players are listening. They haven’t gotten caught up in the hype. That focus is what actually gives them a chance to go 17-0.

The NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint. Every year we see teams start hot and finish cold or teams that start cold and finish hot (last year’s Eagles). Playing well on a consistent basis is hard. Games can be decided by a bad bounce or a fluke moment. Injuries are the ultimate X-factor. Weather can affect games. Getting through that gauntlet and beating your opponent 17 weeks in a row is hard.

The Eagles might be able to pull it off. This is a balanced team that is good on offense and defense. They have a deep roster. They’re healthy. And yes, the schedule helps as well. The Eagles will be favored in all remaining games, except possibly the rematch with Dallas. We’ll have to wait and see about that one.

Normally in a situation like this I would want the Eagles to lose a game, with the idea that would help them be better in the playoffs. The more I’ve thought about this team, the more I want them to stay undefeated. Why not chase history?

The 1972 Dolphins went 14-0 in the regular seasona and 3-0 in the postseason. The 2007 Patriots went 16-0 in the regular season and 2-1 in the postseason. You would think that at some point, some team will go undefeated and win the Super Bowl. How insane would it be if the Eagles pulled that off?

The odds are against it. Tim McManus has a piece up today on the subject and ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Eagles a 7 percent chance of going undefeated. The Eagles are 8-0 for the first time in franchise history. Winning this many games in a row isn’t easy. Doing that for a whole season is beyond tough. That’s what makes this season so exciting and special.

The ultimate goal, of course, is to win the Super Bowl. The Eagles don’t need to lose for that to happen. They do need to be challenged. The Titans, Giants (x2) and Cowboys could give them four tough games on the back end of the season. Besides going off record, the Eagles will get other teams best shot.

Washington could beat the Eagles on Monday night. They have arguably the best pair of DTs in the league and one of the best DLs. That always gives you a chance. As long as Aaron Rodgers is the Packers QB, they are always dangerous. He’s capable of having an amazing game. You also never know when a team like the Saints is going to do crazy things and beat someone they shouldn’t. They’ve gotten the best of Tampa in recent years, despite usually being the lesser team.

This has been a fun season. Winning is always good, but this is also a fun team to watch and has some good characters. If you go back to 2020, the team was bad, no fun to watch and not much fun to follow. Sundays were not fun days. You needed a lot of PBR and Funyuns to get a smile on your face. This year football has been the drug of choice.

This team is doing special things and I’m going to continue to enjoy the ride. Remember, that the journey is just as important as the destination. I’m excited to see how this season plays out.

*****

Interesting take on the MVP race.

If you feel like watching Eagles defensive players making big plays, enjoy this.

https://twitter.com/Eagles/status/1591100413574402048

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Looking at the Eagles Defense

Posted: November 10th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 6 Comments »

Concrete Charlie. Bill Bergey. Buddy Ryan. Reggie White. Dawk. Jim Johnson. Eagles history is filled with great defensive players and coaches. Just saying Gang Green conjures up great memories.

We’ve seen epic performances. The 11-sack shutout of Dallas in 1991. The Body Bag Game. The House of Pain Game. Holding LaDainian Tomlinson to 7 yards on 17 carries is an underrated game. And of course, 44-6.

So much great defense.

The current Eagles defense is 4th in points allowed and 3rd in yards allowed. Those are very good numbers, but hardly anything legendary. But the current group is doing some really impressive things.

For some context, the Super Bowl winning defense of 2017 had an opposing passer rating of 79.5. They had 8 games during the year in which they allowed 17 points or fewer.

We may not love the way Jonathan Gannon does everything, but the defense is limiting points and making plays. Oh yeah, and winning games.

Defense has changed a lot over the years. Buddy Ryan wanted to make plays. He was willing to take chances because he believed the risk was worth the reward. Bud Carson replaced him and was less risky, but still ran a complex 4-3 and he wasn’t afraid to take his shots. Ray Rhodes and Emmitt Thomas had some really interesting gameplans in their time, but didn’t have one specific thing they did.

Jim Johnson came along and confused us all a bit. He was willing to let you run. He was more focused on limiting big plays (sound familiar?). JJ was somewhat conservative until the opponent got inside the Eagles 40. Then he turned the dogs loose. He taught us all about zone blitzes. JJ would use his Okie package with a Joker roving around the middle of the field, sometimes rushing, sometimes staying back. JJ kept an open mind. He embraced putting DEs on the inside in sub-packages (Darren Howard was very good at this). He went from having 1-gap DTs in the base look to 2-gappers (Mike Patterson, Brod Bunkley). You could probably write a book on his defensive ideas and how they changed over time, evolving with the game.

Jim Schwartz came to Philly in 2016 and brought a simplified, attacking version of the 4-3. He didn’t like blitzing all that much. He didn’t like getting too creative. He believed it was better to stay simple so his guys could play fast. That strategy is logical and can work well if you have the right guys.

Gannon is different than all of them. He’s a bit like JJ in really focusing on big plays and takeaways. He doesn’t obsess on stopping the run. Gannon is different in that he likes to be so multiple. The Eagles run 4-3, 4-2, 5-1 and 5-2 looks. Gannon is responding to the way offensive football has changed.

Offenses today are more challenging than ever. RPOs give QBs multiple options on a play. Pre-snap motion is used more than ever and can be tricky. There are more dual-threat QBs than ever and some of these guys are incredibly talented. Three-receiver sets are the norm, not just a sub-package. The passing game is more advanced than ever. QBs now start throwing passes at the pee-wee level. The exotic ideas from high school and college football find their way into the pro game now thanks to the internet. Everybody can see everything and steal all the best ideas.

Gannon uses a scheme that allows him to be creative and multiple. This gives the Eagles a chance to have an answer for any team they play, at least in terms of X’s and O’s.

The downside is that you involve a lot of players in a lot of looks and it can be hard for them to master that. Defenses are assignment driven. If two rushers attack the same gap or two DBs take the same receiver, you’ve got problems. All 11 defensive players must be on the same page. They also have to execute their assignments correctly.

Detroit gashed the Eagles with the run game in the opener. A big part of that was bad tackling. Dameon Pierce ran through the Eagles last week in part due to bad tackling. There isn’t a simple answer for this, but I do think all the new faces learning to play together is part of it. It usually takes a year or two to build good chemistry in the back seven. This group has had 8 games.

That makes it all the more impressive to see how well they are doing in coverage. There are blown assignments here and there, but the back seven has generally been outstanding in coverage. We’ve seen Eagles secondaries in the past where there was too much confusion. The Vikings game in 2019 was torturous. This group has good cover skills and they show a good feel for executing Gannon’s ideas.

The best part of this secondary is their ball skills. If a QB makes a mistake, these guys make him pay. The Eagles lead the league in INTs and some of the catches are incredibly impressive.

https://twitter.com/BussinWTB/status/1588353186985041920

Leaping picks. Diving picks. This secondary can make plays. That’s huge in today’s NFL with such an emphasis on the passing game.

It will be interesting to see how the season plays out and where this defense stands. Will they finish as a Top 5 unit? Will they continue taking the ball away at such a high pace? Most importantly, how will they perform in the postseason?

There are definitely areas to improve, but this defense is off to a good start and has a chance to do some special things. Let’s hope Gannon pushes the right buttons and gets this group to play even better in the second half of the season.

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A Very Good Offense

Posted: November 9th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

The Eagles are second in the NFL in scoring and third in yards. This is a really good offense that can beat you in a variety of ways. They are Top 10 in both running and passing. They have a variety of playmakers. They also have arguably the best OL in football.

Having a good offense is critical to winning the Super Bowl. The last six SB winners all scored 30 or more points in at least two playoff games.

The Eagles have been consistent on offense, scoring at least 20 points in every game. They have 24 or more in all games except the win over the Cardinals. Interestingly though, they have only scored 30 or more points twice. They put up 38 on the Lions in the opener and 35 on the Steelers in Week 8. A missed FG kept them from that threshold last week. Bad weather might have been the key in the Jacksonville game.

Still, it will be interesting to see if this team can start to score more. The biggest issue to date has been the lack of second half scoring. The Eagles put up 14 and 15 points in the second half of the last two games so maybe that problem is going away.

This may seem like an odd thing to bring up. Now that we’re half-way through the season, I’m peaking ahead, and behind. The Eagles look like a legit Super Bowl contender so I started looking at past winners to see if there are any trends and how this team matches up. Being able to put up big points in the postseason is one thing that stood out to me.

Why so important?

I think there are two reasons. First, you want to be able to put the game away if possible. Think back to the NFC Championship game with the Vikings. The Eagles scored a TD with 1:09 left in the first half to go up 21-7. The Vikings punted back to the Eagles with :29 left. The Eagles were aggressive and added another FG to lead 24-7 at halftime.

The Eagles got the ball to open the second half and scored a TD to go up 31-7. Game over.

Those 10 points broke the will of the Vikings. Case Keenum wasn’t going to lead an epic comeback at The Linc against those Eagles. If the score was only 21-7, the Vikings might have made some type of a comeback. I don’t think they were winning regardless, but the points ended any hope they had.

The other key reason points are so critical is that you tend to face realy good QBs in the postseason. In SB LII, the Eagles led 15-3 in the mid-second quarter and then 22-12 at halftime. They were up 29-19 in the mid-third quarter.

Tom Brady ain’t Case Keenum.

The Pats kept firing and eventually took a 33-32 lead. The Eagles added a TD and FG to win by a final score of 41-33.

There are still some defensive battles in the postseason. Those Eagles beat the Falcons 15-10 in the Divisonal Round. Those games aren’t common anymore. Last postseason, only two games were won with fewer than 20 points. There were three games where the losing team scored 24 or more points.

*****

One of the things I love about the Eagles offense is how it affects defenders. They don’t know who to key on. They don’t know where the ball is going. They don’t know what’s fake and what’s real.

https://twitter.com/SpreadOffense/status/1588491926571220992

This offense is so versatile that it puts tremendous stress on the defense. I’ve seen defenders get upset before. Sometimes they’re frustrated at how talented an offense is. I’ve seen them frustrated with handling unique talents. How do you defend Randall Cunningham or Michael Vick? How do you cover DeSean Jackson?

We see defenders confused this year. They just aren’t sure what they’re dealing with. I remember seeing that when the Wildcat hit in 2008, but that got solved pretty quick. This is different. Teams have plenty of tape on the Eagles and still aren’t sure how to stop them.

This isn’t just about X’s and O’s. The Eagles have the right guys to execute. In a way, Jalen Hurts and Dallas Goedert are the keys. Hurts can run or throw. Last year he was a runner who could sometimes throw. He’s worlds better this season. And Goedert is tough because he’s very good as a blocker and receiver. If you want to run, he gives you six good blockers. That’s tough on a defense. If he goes out on a pass play, he can beat you short or downfield and he’s most dangerous with the ball in his hands.

Versatility is good, but having players who can execute both run and pass at a high level is a whole other story. That’s what helps make the offense so tough to stop. There might be a play where the defense does know what’s coming and still can’t stop it.

Here are some videos that show you just how challenging the offense is.

*****

If you like numbers and metrics…

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