5-1. The Eagles are 5-1, are solely in control of the NFC East, and are serious contenders for the 1st seed in the NFC. They played one hell of a game against the Panthers, beating them 28-23. They now get a week and a half to prepare to play the Washington Football Team, at home, on Monday night. These Eagles are legit. they aren’t going to fall apart this season like they did last. Here are some of my observations after the game.
- Playmaking defense- The Eagles intercepted Cam Newton three times, which turned into 14 points. Clearly, a difference maker in this game. Eagles could have had more interceptions, but the DBs had a couple drops. This a week after Eagles could have intercepted it at least 3 times. The Eagles are getting into the right position to make plays. Today, they converted some of those plays, and they won because of it.
- Wentz solid in win- Wentz was not spectacular in this game. But he was very solid. He was not very accurate today, completing only 16 passes out of 30. But he had 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. You aren’t going to be an A+ every game, but if he can consistently be a B quarterback, that is all the Eagles need. He is playing as good as any QB in the league right now.
- Continue to stuff the run- Cam Newton ran for 71 yards. But the Panthers running backs, had 9 total yard on 14 carries. Starting RB Jonathan Stewart, had -4 yards on 8 carries. Opposing RBs continue to be stuffed by the Eagles front 7. Stopping the run like the Eagles have every single week, is a winning formula. The passing defense was great as well. Cam threw for 239 yards, but that is on 52 passing attempts. That is only 4.2 yards per attempt. Add the 3 interceptions on top of that, it is an elite performance.
- Run game still working- Like Wentz, the running game was not spectacular this game. But considering they didn’t have Wendell Smallwood, were going up against a top run defense, they did a fine job. The Eagles gained 101 yards on the ground, though 25 of those were from Wentz. You can’t ask for much more against a defense like the Panthers. Run the ball, stop the run, control the clock, this is a tride and true formula for winning.
- Injured players coming back soon- Eagles have been winning these games, with a banged up team. No Ronald Darby, no Wendell Smallwood, Jordan Hicks left the game, No Lane Johnson. There is a decent chance all 4 of these played return against Washington. Eagles could get even better.
- Ezekial Elliot suspension upheld- What makes an Eagles win better? A Cowboys loss? Sure, the Cowboys didn’t lose a game, but this is even worse for them. Zeke will be suspended for the next games. In one of those six games, the Cowboys play the Eagles. The Cowboys will not be the same team on offense without Zeke. With their defense already struggling, this could derail their season. All of this, on top of the huge distraction of Jerry Jones telling players they have to stand for the anthem.
- Win despite questionable penalties- The Refs were the Panthers 12th man. There were many questionable calls that went Carolina’s way, the most notable of which was the roughing the passer after Derek Barnett ran into Cam. I don’t know about you, but I did not hear a whistle, even in the replay. Even if there was a whistle, he barley touched Cam. But not of that matters. Good teams overcome bad refs, and the Eagles did.