The Philadelphia Eagles just absolutely thumped the Detroit Lions to the beat of 44-6. While the Lions are now 0-8, the adjustments made by the Eagles coaching staff and the execution on the field should not be overlooked. Here’s all you need to know.
Fertilizing the flowers
Nick Sirianni was mocked pretty heavily after his now infamous ‘flowers’ analogy earlier in the week, but there was nothing comical about the game he called on Sunday. It looked as though both Sirianni and Gannon had finally listened to all of the external noise and adjusted accordingly. The results, unsurprisingly, spoke for themselves.
On offense, we saw a totally different team. Jalen Reagor was given direct touches on sweeps while there was a really heavy emphasis on running the ball that resulted in four rushing touchdowns and the teams’ most productive outing on the ground in a long time.
On defense, there were more single-high safety looks. Eric Wilson was a healthy scratch and more playing time was given to the likes of Davion Taylor and Shaun Bradley, who were played closer to the line of scrimmage. The defensive line were given more blitzes to feast, leading to a big game from Josh Sweat and some flashy plays from most players on the front.
Now sure, it is only the Detroit Lions, but this Eagles team looked drastically different from the team we’ve become so used to seeing. Whether or not they’ll be able to sustain this level of execution is another debate entirely, but we know that they have it in the locker to completely change up how this team plays and the way the gameplans are structured.
All rise, fans of the Philadelphia Phlowers.
Well, it’s about time!
Miles Sanders is probably sat at home with incandescent rage right now. After pleas to run the ball fell on deaf ears all season, Nick Sirianni caved in and decided to bring back the 2019 Philadelphia Eagles. Boston Scott and Jordan Howard each had 12 carries, combining for 117 yards and 4 touchdowns. Who saw that coming?
Kenny Gainwell was given cleanup duty in the fourth quarter after a puzzling absence from the majority of the game beforehand, but beggars can’t be choosers. The Eagles ran the ball with a real sense of determination to do so, and that’s going to be enough for this week.
Rookie edge rushers rise up
As the game started to get away from the Lions, the Eagles gradually pulled out their veterans and let their young guns have some fun in Detroit. This led to the first ever career sacks for both Milton Williams and Tarron Jackson, who were able to pick up where Josh Sweat left off.
It was encouraging to see the front four being played to their strengths, but seeing them thrive when put in a position to actually succeed was just as exciting. Sweat could be one of the cornerstones of this front four for years to come, and there’s a good chance that Williams grows alongside him. It was fun to see the Eagles get back to the brand of football that we know them for and to a point where even the rooks got in on the action.
Jalen Hurts takes a step forward
Sure, he still looked skitttish at times. Granted, he had a tendency to sprint out of the pocket a little too early before lofting a ball deep out of bounds and leaving plenty of meat on the bone. But when he sat in the pocket and went through his reads like an actual quarterback, Hurts looked far more comfortable than we’ve seen in recent weeks.
This was an important step for Hurts. You can attribute a lot of that confidence to having a strong run-game to lean on (shocking, I know), but if he can build a solid body of work between now and the end of the season that shows actual growth, then he’s giving himself a lifeline as opposed to becoming his own worst enemy.
That’s all the Eagles need him to do. Grow.
Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire