Well, the Eagles finally did it. They clawed their way to win #1 of the season and did so against an intimidating Niners team. While the offense continued to play handicapped, it was the defensive line that shined the brightest in the Bay Area. Now, the Eagles are heading to Pittsburgh before they start their three-game homestand. There were plenty of positives to take from this matchup: the big show out by Travis Fulgham, Jalen Mills playing solid at CB2, the defensive line feasting, and so on but let’s focus on the main stocks that truly moved in the right direction this week.
While Carson didn’t have the most incredible statistical game, he still had one of his better ones. Wentz finished 18/28 for 193 passing yards and 1 touchdown. This game featured the highest completion percentage for Wentz so far this season at 64%. It also led to his highest QB rating at 81.4.
Wentz may not have the weapons to make things happen with his arm, but he does have the moves to make things happen with his legs and to see it working seamlessly now is a sight for sore eyes. Carson’s mobility will force opposing defenses to keep a closer on eye him more often now which could hopefully lead to a better passing game.
Avery finally had a breakout game after being traded to Philadelphia at the deadline last year. The former Browns DE had a sack and five QB hits with one of them leading into a much-needed interception by Rodney McLeod. What’s more is that he did all of this in just 16 snaps!
The jury was out on Avery after the Eagles invested a 4th round pick on him last season. It seems that Eagles defensive line coach, Matt Burke, and defensive coordinator, Jim Schwartz, finally figured out how to use the wrecking ball that is Genard Avery. He rushed the passer from a standing up position to truly maximize his speed against the 49ers offensive line. It worked like a dream as Avery found himself in the backfield quite often on Sunday night. If Avery can keep up this kind of production going forward then he could be a big part of a very dangerous defensive line.
Making his first NFL start on Sunday, Mailata quite frankly shocked the world. Protecting the blindside of Carson Wentz, Mailata showed plenty of promise against proven NFL talent. Coming on the back of a very wobbly third training camp with the Eagles, this kind of performance was totally unexpected.
But as with everything in life, you only get out what you put in. The more Mailata plays, the better, more confident, and more composed he will become. Jeff Stoutland has worked miracles here and while the Steelers prevent a very different challenge, it’s nice to see such an unexpected leap from a former seventh-round pick who has only picked up the game in his later years, totally missing college…something that is often looked over when evaluating his progress.
This is weird to say but someone has to say it, Where the hell is Fletcher Cox?! Now I know what you’re thinking, Cox has been getting double-teamed which has created opportunities for his fellow linemen, and he did play through an injury last week, but still. You expect a DT who’s getting paid over $20 million to be more than just a decoy piece. Fletcher Cox at best is a phenomenal disruptor and can create his opportunities when needed. The Eagles will need Cox to build upon his one sack and three QB hits season in the next coming weeks. The defensive line may have to be the anchor of the team until the offense finds its way at some point this season.
In what world is a player who’s never made a positive impact on a game a big piece to winning? Only in Jim’s world apparently. Nathan Gerry is not showing up to games on Sundays and is probably the biggest cause of confusion for anyone. The linebacker has allowed 16 completions out of 17 targets on the season so far. That’s a completion percentage of 94%! He’s also allowing 9.8 yards per completion while allowing a passer rating of 144 against him.
What else has to go wrong for the Eagles to demote Gerry?! He is failing at his job in the worst way but is being heavily protected by Schwartz. The Eagles coaches and front office executives have a very bad habit of growing attached to non-productive players. It needs to stop with Gerry.
The State of the Eagles
The state of the team is a very weird one because once again the Eagles have been significantly riddled by injuries since training camp. They’re at a point where you can expect nothing from this offense due to the missing pieces. The defensive line may have to be awoken by the 49ers but can they hold up against the Steelers?
This game against Pittsburgh is big for this Eagles team. If they win then they remain in first place and have a legit chance of defeating the Ravens a week later but if they lose, well, let’s just say it won’t be sunny in Philadelphia for a long time. This may be too early to be declaring a game as must-win but this game against the Steelers comes very close. The Eagles have to win if they want to dig themselves out of the hole they fell into, and it will take a total team effort to do so.
Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire
31 years old, Devoted Husband & Father, Eagles & Sixers Enthusiast. Co-Host of Flippin’ the Birds.
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