The morning after the Super Bowl is always an interesting period of reflection. The game itself was a fun encounter, but the natural thing to do on the morning after is to think about what your favorite team could learn from such an event. In this case, we’re talking about the Philadelphia Eagles.
Find your franchise QB
The good news is that the Eagles might have already done this. In the same way that Jared Goff was expelled from Los Angeles, Carson Wentz was from Philadelphia. That’s about as far as the similarities go in terms of the trade, but Howie already had his plan-B waiting to be unraveled.
I don’t know if Jalen Hurts is the long-term face of this franchise, as much as I would love for him to be. It’s simply too early to say. But if Howie Roseman believes he’s the guy, then this box is already ticked.
Roseman does deserve some credit. He got himself out of a self-inflicted toxic situation, recouping a first-round pick and a third-round pick in the process, only for Wentz to be potentially exiled from his new team after only one season.
Is the work done? Who knows. Maybe ‘getting your guy’ involves trading for Russell Wilson, or maybe it’s a case of waiting on Hurts to turn into the QB the front office hope he can be. Either way, last night proved that when it comes to finding your quarterback, there should be no hesitation in pulling the trigger.
Defense wins championships
The Eagles experienced some turbulent air in the no-flight zone this year. The cornerbacks became a solid foundation on what was otherwise a pretty underwhelming defensive effort. There was a lack of prominent pass-rushers, some poor linebacker play, and a decline in form at the safety position.
The Rams proved once again last night that that old annoying adage is true: Defense. Wins. Championships.
Aaron Donald stole the show when the lights shined brightest, but if it wasn’t for some really solid run defense and stout play at Safety from guys like Taylor Rapp, the scoreline would’ve been very different.
The Eagles may well double down on Jonathan Gannon, but his scheme will only be as good as the players executing it…and it’s very clear that the team need some playmakers on defense.
About that WR group
DeVonta Smith is not only a great wide receiver, but he’s incredibly young. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that this was his rookie season when watching his crisp cuts and sensational catches. Unfortunately, he was having to carry the entire position group on his shoulders.
Jalen Reagor was as unreliable as dial-up broadband and while Quez Watkins was efficient, his usage was limited to the slot largely due to a push to keep Reagor’s fire burning.
When Odell Beckham Jr. went down with what was feared to be another tragic knee injury just minutes after scoring a touchdown on the grandest stage of all, the Rams didn’t immediately turn to Cooper Kupp and target him relentlessly.
Brysen Hopkins and Van Jefferson both played key roles in keeping the offense moving. Four of Kupp’s eight receptions came on that fateful game-winning drive. Sure, he won the MVP after scoring two touchdowns and leading his team in receiving, but this was a real committee effort.
Kupp is so effective because of the danger around him. Van Jefferson isn’t an elite wideout, but he’s close to what Quez can offer. If you factor in an OBJ-level wideout as well as someone like Hopkins who had to step up for the injured Tyler Higbee, it’s clear just how deep the Rams are.
The Rams’ team-building strategy is different than most, deciding to load up on stars and develop late-round talent. The Eagles aren’t that kind of team and that’s okay, but if DeVonta Smith were to go down, the offense would falter. If Dallas Goedert took a knock, the offense would wobble. There are two key playmakers on this offense and one emerging talent who could see an increased role.
The Eagles need to find a suitable wideout to partner with DeVonta Smith in order to diversify the offense and open up the playbook, as well as give Hurts as many weapons as possible.
Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire