This Eagles team is good, very good. They have an elite QB. They have an elite pass rush, a great offensive line, a solid secondary, a plethora of solid weapons, and now, a three-down back. They crushed the Denver Broncos, to the tune of 51-23, and improve to 8-1. The final score doesn’t do justice to how dominant the Eagles were, as seven of those points came from a Nick Foles fumble. Now they get a bye, before playing the Cowboys, who will still be behind at least two games, depending on the result of their game with the Chiefs. Here are some of the takeaways from this great Eagles win.
- No Ertz, no problems- When the news broke that Zach Ertz was out, I was a little concerned. Not that I thought they would lose, but I thought it may make it a closer game. Nope. The Eagles offense didn’t skip a beat, putting up 31 points in the first half. They even got production out of the TE position with both Burton and Celek having solid performances. It is good to see the Eagles can step up even when they lose their best weapon on offense. The Eagles have many weapons. Ertz is the only among them who can be considered an elite weapon, but they have enough depth where losing him is not the end of the world.
- Defense getting better- There is no question that the run defense of this team is elite. Only one RB to this point has had more than 40 yards against the Eagles, and that was Kareem Hunt, who got more than half of his 80 yards on one long run. But the pass defense is getting good as well. Some people may throw out that awful total passing yards stat and say the pass defense is a problem. But if you look deeper, they are top 15 in yards allowed per catch, and that is a much more telling stat. Teams have to throw against the Eagles because running is impossible. So the sheer volume of throws turns into a lot of yards, but they are all short passes.
- Wentz drawing defenders offsides- This is a small thing, but it is really telling of how fast Carson Wentz has matured. Veteran QBs are often greeting at using their cadence to draw defenders offsides. Wentz, a sophomore, did it three times in the first half. It is insane how fast he is developing into an elite QB.
- Can’t say Eagles haven’t played a good defense- One thing Eagles doubters would fall back on is saying the Eagles never played a good defense. I mean they played the Panthers whose defense had been great and still is, but people still liked to say it. Then they came out and dropped 31 on the Broncos in the first half, who came into the game giving up the least amount of yards per game, and only 21 points per game. No one can say this Broncos defense isn’t great. The Eagles rolled over one of the best defenses. I wonder what the next excuse will be.
- Jay Ajayi fits in nicely- Ajayi wasted no time getting involved in the offense. He didn’t do much in the first quarter, but he had several good carries in the second quarter, including a 46 yard TD run. The Eagles were lacking an explosive runner. They got one in Ajayi. They have a tandem of three RBs I really like. Blount for the short yardage situations, Ajayi as the feature back, and Corey Clement as a gadget player. By the way, Clement has been great. He has five TDs on the season now, three of which came in this game.
- Big V played well- We never heard Big V have his name called. That may be because the announcers were afraid to pronounce it, but it is also because he had a nice game. The more he plays, the better he is going to get. A lot of people wanted the Eagles to make a trade for a LT, but I am glad they stuck with Big V. He is a solid player, and you aren’t going to get much better in the middle of the season. Better to go with the guy who has practiced and played with this line.
- This is a complete team- Does this team have a weakness? I mean you can throw over the middle of the field on them, but still, that is all I can think of. Even that is not a glaring hole. This is the most complete Eagles team I have seen since the 2004 Superbowl team and is maybe even better than they were. Be excited Eagles fans, be very excited.
- Wentz is a god– This one was already obvious, but I wanted to bring it up just because it is nice to say. Skip Bayless may call him a deer in the headlights, but Skip is an idiot.