It doesn’t matter how it is done, the Philadelphia Eagles find a way to win football games. Sunday night was the latest example. After a couple of weeks of struggling football, the Eagles’ offense dominated a bad Packers defense to the tune of a 40-33 win.
Coming off an important win for seeding and division purposes, Philadelphia now moves to 10-1 with a potential division title in sight.
There’s a lot to be happy about, and a lot to be frustrated about. Let’s take a look at the standouts.
Stock Up: The Offensive Line
My Goodness. If people weren’t going to buy their holiday Christmas album, they better do it after Sunday night’s domination. The entire group of Mailata-Dickerson-Kelce-Seumalo-Johnson not only dominated the Green Bay Packers front, but they also did so in a way that very few teams in NFL history have done.
Over 350 yards rushing, an endless supply of pancake blocks, and some excellent hustle plays.
This group is the best in football and it really isn’t close. They’ll need to be even better when they take on a stout Titans defense, but there’s no one we should trust more than Jeff Stoutland.
Stock Down: Special Teams minus Jake Elliott
Each group on special teams was a disaster on Sunday night, but none so more than the kickoff team. The kickoff coverage unit gave up returns of 38, 52, and 53 yards on Sunday night, giving a hall-of-fame quarterback short fields to find ways to score.
It’s simply unacceptable. It was also clear that there were players out of their lanes and basically playing free ball. Solutions need to be made fast or else Michael Clay will probably be out of a job.
On the other hand, Jake Elliott does get a pass for a clutch 54-yard field goal that kept the game out of reach for the Packers.
Still, it’s embarrassing that the Packers were taking the ball out seven yards deep in the end zone and still busting out great returns. Inexcusable.
Stock Up: Jalen Hurts
The first quarterback in NFL history to record over 125 yards passing and rushing in the first half and now the Eagles franchise record holder for yards rushed by a QB in a single game.
There’s very little left to say. Jalen Hurts’ improvements as a passer have paved the way for him to succeed as a rusher. He’s the leader Eagle fans have been clamoring for, and he’s shown the ability all year, including last night, that he can win with his arm.
There’s little debate now: Jalen Hurts is the NFL MVP and it really isn’t that close anymore.
Stock Down: AJ Brown
This one will be short. A.J. Brown may have caught a touchdown pass late in the game, but his fumble back in the second quarter was a killer and his second fumble in as many weeks. It’s inexcusable for a player of his caliber to make a mistake like that.
That being said, it was clear Brown was hurting and dealing with a sickness of some kind so he absolutely gets a pass and a small stock-down version here.
Stock Up: Reed Blankenship
When the Eagles have had a key player on their team go down to injury, the group around him tends to struggle. Jordan Davis’ injury has left an atrocious run defense, Dallas Goedert has left the Eagles with a massive hole on offense and Avonte Maddox’s absence has been felt as well.
When Chauncey Gardner-Johnson came off the field with a rib injury, it felt like the Eagles would have to go through that once again. Instead, Reed Blankenship, the undrafted safety out of Middle Tennessee poured in an impressive NFL opener.
Blankenship picked off Rodgers, made some excellent plays on the ball, and was a key on the Eagles’ defense.
It wasn’t all perfect, his poorly angled missed tackle on Christian Watson led to a touchdown, but it is pretty clear that the Eagles have a good one in Blankenship.
Stock Down: Jonathan Gannon
Just when I think the Eagles’ defense and Gannon have turned a corner, they come out with a performance like that. In fairness, the abysmal showing from special teams and two turnovers on offense were key reasons for that.
However, Green Bay averaged over five yards a carry, Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love picked apart the Eagles’ soft zone and a bad Packers offense put up 33 points. That won’t be good enough against the top teams that await Philadelphia.
AJ Dillon, a power back, averaged over eight yards a carry. Next up? Derrick Henry. Yikes.
Stock Up: Miles Sanders
Sanders has a problem. At 900 yards, he should easily hit his first 1,000-yard season in a key contract year for him. The problem? He could’ve easily had 200 yards Sunday night if he had just stuck to his blocks more.
On a couple of runs, Sanders had a hole inside but chose to bounce it outside for a minimum gain. Sanders is a really good running back, but those are young, Pop Warner mistakes that are made there.
That being said, 143 yards, two touchdowns, and over six yards a carry is more than dominant. Sanders is well on his way to a heavy contract extension soon.
AP Photo/Matt Slocum