It wasn’t the prettiest of wins and nor was it the cleanest, but it was perhaps the most important and hard fought victory of the season so far the Philadelphia Eagles, who soared to a 24-15 victory over the Atlanta Falcons..so what did we learn?
The Eagles have a run game:
Finally, the committee backfield burst into life. The Eagles rushed for 208 yards against the Falcons, a season high. Two rushing touchdowns from Ryan Mathews re-asserted his authority over the backfield as he helped the unit rush for a much more impressive 5.5 yards per carry.
Wentz threw for just two more attempts than the backfield rushed, balancing the Eagles Offense entirely and giving the rookie quarterback a huge boost. As a result, the Eagles were able to control the tempo of the game much easier and keep Julio Jones and Matt Ryan off the field.
This was by far the most impressive performance from the Eagles backfield we’ve seen yet..and if it continues, a playoff charge could well be in the works.
Defense reveals prowess:
The conversation surrounding just how dominant the Eagles Defense is has been a season-long debate..but today we found our answer. Matt Ryan may have only been sacked twice, but the Eagles allowed just 255 yards and a touchdown against the NFL’s leading quarterback and kept Julio Jones out of the endzone altogether.
Not only that, but they allowed just 48 rushing yards and made 65 tackles. This was arguably the most complete performance by the Eagles Defense this season and one that highlighted just how impressive it really is as a cohesive unit.
Top 10? Top 5? I think the real question at this stage should be is the Eagles Defense considered an elite NFL Defense after silencing the most explosive Offense in the league.
Carson Wentz at home:
The Eagles rookie QB is yet to suffer a home defeat, and the advantage proved clinical today. The nerves, questionable throws and inconsistent fundamentals all vanished under the blanket of the Philadelphia faithful, as Wentz threw for 221 yards and once again, avoided turning the ball over.
Hampered by drops from his receivers, Wentz found his stride early on and still completed 25/36 pass attempts..moving the chains efficiently and finding a sudden surge in performance on third down..something the team lacked previously.
Wentz had a strong outing despite not finding the endzone against the Falcons, leading his Offense down the field and retaining composure in situations where many would simply lose it..this was an impressive day for the star of North Dakota State.
Once again, the Eagles Offense was chained down with drops. Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor dropped easy passes in crucial situations, while fumbles and other inconsistencies ensured the Falcons were always within reaching distance.
The birds avoided shooting themselves in the foot too much this game despite a flurry of penalties and other decisions that went against them. But there’s no doubt that this trend of drops, fumbles and problems still haunt this unit and prevent it from being great.
From blatant helmet hit no-calls to an abundance of officiating errors, Offensive inefficiencies and some rare questionable play-calls, the Eagles were in a dog fight on Sunday. It was gritty, it was tough..but at no moment did the team give up. The odds were stacked against them, Jordan Matthews was arguably endangered at one point and the officials seemed insistent on letting the flow of the game continue despite such obvious calls..but the Eagles never lost hope and pushed on to a victory.
It was an inspiring battle for the birds. It didn’t matter what was thrown their way, how many times the wave of momentum looked to destroy anything in the Falcons path and how many fumbles and other problems seemed to occur. The Eagles just would not stay down. They got back up again..and again..and again until eventually they were able to land the knockout punch and come away the victors.
It was gritty, it was aggressive and it demanded composure in the most intense of situations..but the Eagles continued to rally against one of the most explosive teams in the league and walked out with a victory..something that says A LOT about the character of this team and the culture instilled by Doug Pederson.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports