A glimmer of hope: Four takeaways from the Eagles 44-6 win over the Detroit Lions
What a rebound for the Philadelphia Eagles. After being dismantled last week against the Las Vegas Raiders, Philadelphia responded on the road, decimating the Detroit Lions 44-6. The Eagles looked like a changed team across the board, with significant changes to the game plan on both sides of the field.
Jonathan Gannon finally adjusts:
After weeks of standing idle in the weak, soft zone coverage, Jonathan Gannon finally pressured Jared Goff. Philadelphia sent blitzes consistently, and it did wonders for the Eagles’ defense. Goff was sacked five times, and it led to the Lions’ worst loss of the season.
Ahead of today’s game, new addition Eric Wilson was a healthy scratch while Alex Singleton was benched for Davion Taylor and T.J. Edwards. T.J. Hockenson still tore the linebackers up, being Goff’s top target, grabbing ten receptions for 89 yards. Amon-Ra St.Brown was Detroit’s only WR to have any yards receiving today.
Josh Sweat and Derek Barnett tore up the Lions’ offensive tackles, combining for three sacks with Milton Williams getting his first two NFL sacks. It shouldn’t have taken this long to see a change, but hopefully, with the results seen today, Jonathan Gannon will realize this is a viable strategy for the remainder of the season.
A running-based offense:
Philadelphia won this game on offense through the ground. Even without Miles Sanders, the Eagles’ backs killed the Lions’ defense to the tune of 210 yards. Jalen Hurts led the group with 71 yards, but Boston Scott and Jordan Howard were right behind him. Howard and Scott had a combined 24 carries for 117 yards on the day.
Sirianni, in total, ran the ball 46 times with only 16 passing attempts in a shocking change of play calling. All of the Eagles’ touchdowns on offense came from running plays and the consistent long drives wore the Lions into the ground. The lack of usage of Kenneth Gainwell was confusing, but Jordan Howard has shown Nick Sirianni he deserves a spot on the active roster. Gainwell did see several carries late in the fourth quarter.
Injuries continue to pile up:
In another tale of cruel irony, just after the Eagles begin to utilize Jalen Reagor properly in the open field, he goes down with an injury. Reagor suffered an ankle injury on the overturned touchdown play and was ruled out for the rest of the game. Shortly after, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside went down with an ankle injury as well, having dealt with an injury for the last several weeks.
On the offensive line, Jack Driscoll left early with an injury to his wrist/hand, and Nate Herbig filled in for the right guard. None of these injuries looked significant, but the alarming number of injuries this team has seen over the past week does not seem to be slimming down.
The start of Minshew Mania:
When Joe Flacco was traded earlier this week, Eagles fans began to wonder when we would see the debut of the former Jaguars quarterback. With the game far out of reach, Nick Sirianni let Minshew handle the offense for a few drives, and he looked alright out there.
It was far too small of a sample size to make much of an opinion about him, but the good news is that he didn’t look bad. Minshew completed both of his passes for a total of 11 yards, and it was the perfect time to get him back onto the field.
After today’s win, the Eagles look to hopefully build upon this as they head back home to face the Los Angeles Chargers. Philadelphia has something to prove to Chargers’ head coach Brandon Staley, who reportedly denied an interview for the head coaching gig this past offseason.
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