Instant analysis: Eagles underdogs shine in huge win over Niners

NFL: DEC 01 Eagles at Dolphins
MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 01: Philadelphia Eagles Linebacker Alex Singleton (49) on the field before the start of the NFL game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Miami Dolphins at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on December 1, 2019. (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire)

Nothing worth having comes easy and for the Eagles, their first win of the 2020 season couldn’t have been much harder to come by. After an 0-2-1 start, the Eagles faced a ruthless Niners defense and a creative offense that was pushing its way back to health, while the ground beneath them crumbled. Somehow, some way, they got the job done. Here are some quick takeaways from the win.

Crusher Pederson’s return to the Eagles

I don’t know who decided to introduce the Eagles’ Head Coach to Red Bull ahead of tonight’s game, but I’m glad they did. Pederson called a much better game from start to finish. From a much more balanced gameplan (a perfect 28/28 split), to going for a 2-point conversion after their opening touchdown, it’s clear he had learned from his mistakes.

Carson Wentz was rolled out of the pocket on a regular basis and the play-calls were varied enough to keep the Niners guessing. Well done, Doug.

Back with a vengeance

Carson Wentz orchestrated a huge second half for the Eagles and while he may still be far from perfect, we finally saw the confidence and the ‘it factor’ he’d been lacking. His rushing touchdown kickstarted proceedings, but a huge pass while running out of bounds that would set up a beautiful touchdown strike to Travis Fulgham really put the cherry on the cake. Wentz ended his day with 193 passing yards, 1TD and 1INT, completing 18/28 attempts. Again, he wasn’t perfect, but we saw glimpses of the Carson Wentz of old.

The LJ Hive

If you’ve been reading my content for a while, you’ll know I have huge soft spots for three players. Alex Singleton, Cre’Von LeBlanc, and Hassan Ridgeway. All three had HUGE games tonight…making me very happy.

Alex Singleton was the star of the show, making his first career interception and taking it to the house after making some massive plays in the backfield. Singleton flew all over the defense tonight and hopefully put an end to Nate Gerry’s rein of terror. The Eagles have been craving production from their linebackers and Singleton brought it in buckets.

Cre’Von LeBlanc forced a game-changing fumble with ten minutes on the clock, and Hassan Ridgeway cemented the win with a deafening sack late in the game.

What a time to be alive.

Eagles defensive line is special

15 QB hits. 5 sacks. It was all fun and games until Nick Mullens had to stand in the pocket against that D-line. Even when Fletcher Cox went down, Malik Jackson and Hassan Ridgeway stepped up to provide the depth that they’d lacked for so long. At defensive end, Josh Sweat continues to turn heads after picking up his third sack of the season, and there’s something about Brandon Graham and coming up in the clutch that just always fits perfectly.

The defense may be wounded, but that front four is terrifying.

O-line is wounded

The only pre-2020 starter on the current offensive line is Jason Kelce…and even he had to exit the game at one point, joining Lane Johnson who was intermittent. Somehow, the band of misfit toys pulled together to do just enough in getting the offense over the line. Depth is at an alarming low now though and the team might have to address this. As of right now, there was a point where the line looked like this:

LT: Jordan Mailata
LG: Nate Herbig
C: Luke Juriga
RG: Matt Pryor
RT: Jack Driscoll

Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire