The Eagles are fresh off of a 51-23 win over the Denver Broncos and now head into the Bye week comfortably atop the NFL and NFC East. Who really stood out in yesterday’s win however? It’s time to take a look at the ballers and fallers from yesterdays blowout.
Any time a skill position player scores three touchdowns in a single game, it’s worth noting. Any time an undrafted rookie who is now 3rd-4th in the running back depth chart can accomplish that? It’s award worthy. The former Wisconsin Badger was simply stunning on Sunday, helping the Eagles Offense explode into life against Denver. The Eagles backfield looks more dangerous than it has for a long time and while the spotlight will seek Ajayi and Blount, this undrafted free agent is ensuring he’s not left out of the equation and forcing himself into that picture. While exciting, the running back position is unstable after this season comes to an end…and Clement may be the one constant moving forward.
Considering that Doug Pederson was previously non-committal over whether his new running back would play on Sunday, seeing Ajayi rush for 77 yards and break off a stunning 46-yard touchdown run was extremely exciting. Perhaps a sign of things to come, Ajayi actually carried the ball 8 times on Sunday and actually led the Eagles in rushing. For a debut where he only sported a small package of plays, Ajayi validated the trade on the touchdown run alone.
After an opening half of the season where Jeffery’s integrity as a number one receiver was consistently questioned, receiving for 3 touchdowns in 2 games and leading the team in receiving yards in both has silenced that debate. Jeffery’s chemistry with Carson Wentz is blooming at the perfect time. At 8-1, the Eagles seem to have finally tapped in to Jeffery’s dominant number one potential. No longer just a wideout who can open up the offense for his teammates, the former Chicago Bear looked the part of an elite wideout on Sunday.
When Zach Ertz was listed as injured, the Eagles offensive flame seemed to relinquish a little…until they took the field. Versatile tight end Trey Burton did a great job of standing in for Ertz, receiving for ( ) and his second touchdown of the year. Combined with an effort from Brent Celek, Burton made an impact almost instantly with 14-yard catch for a first down and never looked back after that. That ‘next man up’ mentality was in full force yet again on Sunday.
Ronald Darby’s return may be on the horizon, but it hasn’t stopped this WVU standout from balling. Douglas has been a force to be reckoned with around the ball, batting passes away and playing with confidence each and every week. Apart from a late 32-yard pass given up to Cody Latimer and a dropped pick, Douglas was sound in coverage. Two tackles and two passes defensed saw Douglas step up to the plate for what seems like the umpteenth time in absence of Darby, shedding his rookie tendencies early on and developing steadily into a reliable corner.
It’s really hard to list anyone that underwhelmed yesterday in what may have been the most complete team performance by the Eagles so far…but there was one player who may have been impacted by last week more than anyone else.
The Eagles opened the game with four different plays and four different running backs lining up next to Carson Wentz…none of them were named Wendell Smallwood. While Corey Clement dominated touches and both Ajayi and Blount flourished as downhill runners, Smallwood didn’t get his opportunity until the end of the afternoon when Nick Foles received his. Asserting his way in the rotation will be a tall order for Smallwood, who has endured an injury hampered season.
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