Biggest takeaways from the Eagles victory over the Commanders in week 4

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Eagles vs jets vs eagles vs commanders devonta smith
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) is stopped by Washington Commanders linebacker Cody Barton (57) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Philadelphia Eagles moved to 4-0 on the season but it took everything they had to get there.

Well, sort of.

The Eagles struggled throughout the game through penalties, poor execution, and one of the ugliest showings in the Nick Sirianni era meant very little at the end of the day. It’s a sign of the changing times in the city when a “C” game is still good enough to beat a scrappy Washington unit in overtime.

As with any game, there are plenty of key takeaways from a win such as that. Let’s get to them now.

Jalen Hurts is among the Elite at the QB position (Duh.)

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) looks to throw during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Over the course of the last 50 years in Eagles history, it has seemed that the Eagles have had good quarterback play, but never good enough to single-handedly win football games when the team around them isn’t very good.

For the first time ever, the Eagles finally have that kind of QB.

Jalen Hurts shrugged off a slow start to the 2023 season to throw for over 300 yards, two touchdowns, and multiple game-winning touchdown drives. It’s not his fault that the defense gave up 30+ points but the fact that the offense did just enough to win shows that the team has a top-five signal-caller in the game.

There are very few teams in the league that have a better quarterback than the Eagles and that’s a reason why they have jumped out to a fast start again.

Secondary woes will get worse the more injuries increase

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Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay (2) runs into the end zone for a touchdown as he is pursued by New England Patriots wide receiver Demario Douglas (81) and guard Sidy Sow (62) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Mark Stockwell)

For the first time in 2023, the Eagles defense was shredded. Sam Howell burned Philadelphia’s secondary for close to 300 yards and drove the length of the field for a game-tying score in the final seconds. It was the first time that the defense seemed to really be affected by the rash of injuries in the back end.

Luckily, the front four of the defense (and their linebacking core) were able to make the necessary plays needed to win. Nicholas Morrow recorded three sacks on the day, and the team still stuffed Washington’s run offense.

Sunday was probably the first example of why the Eagles will need to bring in another corner or safety by the trade deadline, but this defense is still really good.

Offensive Line will be tested

PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 22: Philadelphia Eagles offensive guard Sua Opeta (78) warms up during the game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles on October 22, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

So long as Philadelphia’s offensive line remains intact, they should be able to win a lot of games in 2023. That is going to be called into question though for the first time all year.

Right guard Cam Jurgens suffered an ankle injury that is “week-to-week” according to head coach Nick Sirianni. Jeff McLane reported that Jurgens should be expected to miss a few weeks due to his injury,

That means the dominant offensive line will hinge on the play of Sua Opeta. Opeta played well in relief of Jurgens on Sunday and was even given a personal shoutout by Lane Johnson. If he plays well in between Johnson and Kelce, the Eagles offense shouldn’t miss a beat.

It also means though that the team will be very low on depth for the next few weeks too.

Coordinators continue to show their improved performances

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JANUARY 29: Philadelphia Eagles coach Brian Johnson looks on during the NFC Championship Game between the San Fransisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles on January 29, 2023 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Let’s start on the defensive side. A lot of people weren’t impressed with Sean Desai but the tape shows a different story. Philadelphia’s defensive execution was bad throughout Sunday’s contest, but the system Desai ran actually made a lot of sense. In fact, I would argue Desai continues to be a very strong bright spot through the four weeks of the 2023 season.

In even better news, Brian Johnson is really starting to get comfortable as a play-caller. Philadelphia recorded over 400 yards again and 34 points. They had good balance while also taking what the defense gave them. With the help of Hurts’ passing ability and the YAC strength of AJ Brown, Johnson has looked better and better each week.

There’s still some hiccups overall, but the Eagles are getting improved calls from their coaches. It should help them later in the year as well.

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AP Photo/Matt Rourke