It’s a nice feeling when the Philadelphia Eagles aren’t just 6-0, but have wins over two division foes, and don’t have a game to worry about on Sunday. With a team that has shown an ability to win in different ways, and a coaching staff showing their capability of making key adjustments, the Eagles are one of the NFL’s top teams.
Through six weeks, it’s hard to pinpoint people who have actually looked bad: the Eagles have won four of their last five by two scores after all.
But there are still players to highlight and criticize so let’s get to it.
Stud: Jalen Hurts
This is an easy one. Eighth in yards, second in yards per attempt, and leader of the third-ranked offense in football, Jalen Hurts has been everything the fanbase could have hoped for through six weeks.
Improvements in arm strength, pocket awareness, footwork, timing, and overall accuracy have all been shown by the second-round pick since the 2022-23 season began. A big question going into the season would be if Hurts could make a jump like Josh Allen or at least prove he’s more than up to the task of being the long-term answer at quarterback.
Through six games the question is no longer if, but when the Eagles will pay him as such. The Eagles aren’t 6-0 without the play of Hurts.
Dud: Fletcher Cox
In the first few games, Fletcher Cox was looking like a player that was setting himself up for a nice payday next season. He had been getting consistent pressure on quarterbacks, was stout against the run, and was showing the leadership capabilities needed for an aging veteran.
That success has worn off though. While Jordan Davis’ production is quantifiable on and off the field (the team is giving up almost 2 more yards rushing with him off) Cox on the other hand is struggling to produce like a player making over $10 million.
Philadelphia’s been able to get away with Cox’s declining play because…well, they don’t need him to be a top player anymore. But they will need more from the former All-Pro if a Super Bowl is the end goal.
Stud: AJ Brown
Wide receivers aren’t always the be-all-end-all in passing attacks. Teams like the Patriots, Chiefs, and even Giants have won Super Bowls without a top receiver on their roster.
That doesn’t mean that having one doesn’t help. The trade for AJ Brown has been a lightning rod for the Philadelphia Eagles this year. Both Brown and first-round pick Devonta Smith are both on pace for over 1,000+ yards showing that both can co-exist, and even Goedert looks fantastic thanks to Brown opening the middle of the field.
How long can that last? Only time will tell and much will be based on Philadelphia’s ability to scheme for their best players but the early returns are that Brown is going to be really good for a long time in Philly.
Dud: Jordan Mailata
I’ve been on record saying the Eagles’ offensive line was the best in football and Mailata has the potential to be an all-time great at left tackle. Perhaps it’s because of this being his second full year as a starter, but the former seventh-round shocker has not been as dominant this season as last.
Mailata has had issues with speedy edge rushers and hasn’t been as stout as he was in the year prior. It’s still early in the season, but I would love to see more All-Pro play from Mailata.
He hasn’t been bad either. PFF has him graded out as an above-average left tackle, but coming off last year, I could have expected more.
Stud: The Secondary
It’s hard to pinpoint one member of the Eagles’ secondary that has been more dominant than others. They have all been fantastic.
Philadelphia is second in interceptions and sixth in passing yards allowed. How long has it been since Eagle fans have even heard of their team is tops in the league in those categories? Darius Slay has been playing like an All-Pro corner since he got to Philadelphia, the trade for Gardner-Johnson has been excellent, Avonte Maddox is the best slot corner in football, and James Bradberry is playing so well that the team has to think f breaking the bank just to keep him on the roster after the season.
Of course, the underrated person in the group is Marcus Epps. Epps is playing at an above-average 62 grade via PFF and has been the underrated key player for the Eagles in the backend.
Dud: Quez Watkins
There’s only one football going around on offense. With top targets like Brown, Smith, and Goedert, the future of Quez Watkins was always in doubt.
Through six games, Watkins has just six catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. It’s not that Watkins hasn’t been bad, it’s that the Eagles are so much better than they were in the previous year that the slot receiver isn’t a major issue anymore.
Stud: Nick Sirianni
The quirky and awkward answers in his rookie season have all been forgotten. Sirianni has had his team prepared for six weeks and there hasn’t been a case of over-cockiness that could come from a highly successful team like this.
The Eagles start games extremely well, and end games even better with the fourth quarter being about keeping the football and taking the opponent’s soul. Sirianni doesn’t call plays as the head coach in Philly but his impact on the entire roster is felt strongly.
The players like playing for him, and the front office appears to be in lockstep with the coaching staff. Sirianni’s theme of relationships has been a common standard since he was hired last season and it continues to blossom here.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke