The historical precedent the Eagles are on cannot be attributed to just one coach or player. It’s been a collective team effort through four weeks which makes this group even easier to root for.
The key to a great football team is to have the ability to win in several different ways. When the weather is a factor, can the team win by solely going to the ground and stopping the run? Can they win through the air when the defense is planning to simply stop the run?
Jalen Hurts, Nick Sirianni, and the Philadelphia Eagles have done all those things through four weeks. After their 29-21 over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, the team moved to 4-0 for the first time since 2004.
Let’s look through whose stock is rising and whose stock is falling after week four.
Stock Up: Miles Sanders
What a game for the Eagles running back. After a few weeks, and an ugly start where Sanders seemed reluctant to run through designed holes, the former second-round pick was the main catalyst for Philadelphia in the win.
With the conditions terrible to throw the ball for both sides, it was important for the Eagles to dominate on the ground Sunday. They did just that and a reason for it was Miles Sanders.
The former Penn State standout is entering a contract year and he’s making himself a lot of money now.
Stock Down: Injuries
We’ll talk about the depth at a certain position group later, but with Dallas, Arizona, and other excellent offenses on the horizon, the Eagles won’t be able to keep up their winning ways without their top players. It’ll be very important for the Eagles to at least split the Arizona-Dallas games.
It’s hard to see that though if the team suffers even more injuries.
Stock Up: Haason Reddick
Much like in 2017, Howie Roseman’s free agent acquisitions have all had major moments this season already in which they’ve stepped in a big way.
On Sunday, it was Haason Reddick’s turn. Brought in to rush the passer, Reddick has three and a half sacks through his last two games and made the game-defining play again and again.
Whether it was picking up a fumble off a quarterback sneak, or forcing two sack-fumbles that iced the game, Reddick was everywhere on the field when the team desperately needed him.
If the former Panther plays like that for the rest of the year, his contract will look like an absolute bargain.
Stock Down: Special Teams
I’ll go on record and say the special teams’ units haven’t been as atrocious as people have been complaining about. Jake Elliott has been good, Britian Covey is ready a better punt returner than Jalen Reagor through four games, and the Eagles haven’t lost a game because of their special teams’ units.
There were signs though for the first time that this group isn’t among the elite though. Arryn had a net punt of 35 yards yesterday. It wasn’t because of the weather: it was because he couldn’t pin the Jaguars’ offense inside their own 10.
Then, of course, there was the injury to Jake Elliott who the Jaguars looked to injure on a key field goal attempt. Elliott’s been incredibly consistent through the last few years and will be a major loss if Philadelphia is going to lose him for the foreseeable future.
Stock Up: Coaching Staff
We’ll start on the defensive side. Jonathan Gannon, in five minutes in the game, lost an All-Pro corner and one of the best slot corners in the game (Maddox was ruled out before the game).
To any reasonable fan, those injuries would have the making of a disaster brewing. But Jonathan Gannon had his defensive line generate pressure and kept things simple on the backend to hold off Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars offense.
It was an excellent job of coaching and changing the scheme from Gannon and a huge reason why Philly won.
On offense, the Eagles were stuck in the mud through much of the first quarter. Jacksonville’s speed was messing up the timing of the Eagles’ offense.
But then, Shane Steichen and Nick Sirianni changed it up. They started running downfield more and the Eagle’s offense responded with over 200+ rushing yards.
Coaching matters in this league. And the Eagles are showing they have some of the best. Coming back from 14 down to score 29 unanswered is just as much on the players handling adversity, as the coaches preparing them to handle said adversity.
Stock Neutral: Passing Game
Jalen Hurts made his first terrible throw of the season, and the passing offense failed to throw for over 200 yards for the first time in 2022. Numbers-wise, it didn’t look rather appealing.
However when you add in the team was playing in a torrential rain storm, it makes a lot more sense. The Eagles passing game was not GOING to be good on Sunday which made it more important for the team to win by running the football.
There was an inexcusable drop from Dallas Goedert and DeVonta Smith was shut down for most of the game, but the passing game was far from bad. Playing in Arizona next week should certainly help.
Stock Up: Jeff Stoutland and the Eagles OL
Duce Staley, Jon DeFillipo, and many other position coaches are and were beloved for their time in Philadelphia.
Those coaches pale in comparison to the mark that Jeff Stoutland has left on the OL. The Eagles lost a left tackle, and a guard on Sunday and STILL ran for over 200 yards. Jack Driscoll was very good replacing Jordan Mailata and even Sua Opeta played well in replace of Isaac Seumalo.
It helps when Lane Johnson, Landon Dickerson, and Jason Kelce all play like the All-Pros they are.
That doesn’t just happen though. On any other team, the loss of 2/5 linemen means the group is decimated and surely about to lose. Except the Eagles’ offense didn’t miss a beat.
It’s a clear reflection of Jeff Stoutland and the great Eagle players that have been brought in. For the first time all year, the Eagles OL made their mark on an excellent defense.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke