The 2022 Eagles are in a territory never before seen in Eagles history. Following the team’s 29-17 win over the Texans Thursday night, the 2022 squad became the first team in franchise history to start a season 8-0.
It wasn’t always a guarantee though. The 1-5-1 Texans kept the game close for the majority of the contest before the overwhelming talent of Philadelphia eventually pulled away from the win. It was a frustrating night for the fans who expected a blowout, but that doesn’t mean that everyone played poorly.
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Stock Up: Javon Hargrave
The Eagles’ defensive tackle had been battling injuries over the first few weeks of the season and it showed. After the bye, Hargrave says he got healthy and it shows. Hargrave had three sacks on Thursday night and was a key reason why the defense didn’t give up more than 17 points to a bad offense.
Hargrave has been on a tear as a pass rusher, and the Eagles will need him to continue to be that while Jordan Davis is on IR.
Stock Down: Jonathan Gannon
It was an extremely poor showing from Jonathan Gannon on Thursday for a number of reasons. First, the Texans’ offense out-schemed the Eagles’ defense for much of that first half. Gannon played soft zone against a team without a true top wide receiver and Davis Mills at them alive.
That alone is unacceptable.
Philadelphia’s woeful tackling of problems is also a major microcosm of Gannon. The DC has brought up tackling time and time again, but the more we see this team whiff on ball carriers, it’s clear that either the defense isn’t listening to Jonathan Gannon, OR he really isn’t making it a focus. Whatever it is, the Eagles need to fix it pronto.
Stock Up: Jalen Hurts
The Eagles quarterback didn’t play his best game on Thursday in his return to Houston. The mark of a franchise quarterback is about playing well every week though: it’s about finding ways to win when things aren’t going right.
Philadelphia struggled as a team on Thursday night and yet they still won by 12. Jalen Hurts lost his first fumble of the season and still threw just six incompletions for close to 250 yards and two touchdowns. The Eagles’ offense still put up 29 points.
Hurts is playing like an MVP candidate right now even on a bad day and that should be exciting for Eagles fans.
Stock Down: Jordan Mailata
I don’t know if Mailata is still dealing with his shoulder injury, but it’s time to start to really be concerned about the Eagles’ left tackle. Mailata gave up multiple sacks on Thursday, with the two coming on the same drive. It’s unacceptable.
Jerry Hughes is a good pass rusher. Over the next few weeks though, the Eagles will be playing against Chase Young, Demarcus Lawrence, Gary, and plenty of others. Speed rushers have been a problem for Mailata this season and if he doesn’t get it together soon, he could be the sole reason for Philly’s offense sputtering.
Stock Up: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
We are getting to a point now where the Eagles will need to resign either CGJ or James Bradberry and it’s not becoming close on who they should lock up.
CJGJ notched his league-leading fifth interception of the season. He’s been superb in coverage all year while helping the Eagles’ pass defense to be one of the best overall units in football. His interception on Thursday turned the tide in the game and helped Philly win.
It’s going to be a tough decision for the Eagles in the offseason, but they cannot let CGJ walk after the year he is having.
Stock Down: Shane Steichen
I thought both coordinators did a poor job on Thursday when it came to game plans and calling plays. Steichen was able to make key adjustments in the second half that altered his ranking, but it wasn’t a pretty game for him.
Often bailed out by Hurts making a move with his legs, Steichen ran a pretty vanilla scheme offensively and struggled to get the ball moving when they really needed to. Talent can sometimes take over for bad play calls and that’s what happened on Thursday.
Stock Up: Dallas Goedert
For all the talk about how the Eagles’ offense is a “gimmick”, it’s really hard to stop because you have no idea who the hell is getting the ball. Goedert had his best game of the season with over 100 yards receiving and eight catches. His touchdown in the fourth quarter put the game out of reach in a key moment.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire