Quick Takes: Five takeaways as the Eagles move to 4-0 behind career day from Miles Sanders
It was far from pretty, but the Eagles overcame an early two-score deficit to beat the Jaguars, 29-21.
The Philly crowd welcomed Doug Pederson to a standing ovation before kickoff, and for much of the first quarter, he appeared to have Nick Sirianni’s number.
On the Eagles’ first possession, Jalen Hurts threw an ill-advised crossing route into coverage well behind Zach Pascal. The ball was tipped to safety Andre Cisco, who returned it for a pick-six. After the Jacksonville defense forced a punt on Philadelphia’s ensuing possession, Trevor Lawrence capped off an 80-yard drive with a TD pass to Jamal Agnew. The Eagles turned the ball over on downs on the next possession.
Everything that could go wrong did go wrong in that first period. Then, things got rolling in the second quarter, as has been the theme for the 2022 Eagles.
Following a Trevor Lawrence fumble, Philadelphia’s first touchdown came on a 4th-down Jalen Hurts scramble. The defense quickly forced a three-and-out and Miles Sanders took care of the rest, finding the endzone on a 10-yard carry.
Philadelphia took advantage of another fumble by Lawrence to go up at halftime, thanks to a 10-yard rush by Kenneth Gainwell. The Eagles never looked back from there, closing the door on a hot Lawrence and gashing the league’s top-ranked rush defense.
Miles Sanders with career day
Sanders set career-highs in both carries (27) and rushing yards (134) during Sunday’s win, putting the offense on his back throughout the ongoing downpour in Philadelphia. This was just Sanders’ third career game with two rushing touchdowns and his first in two years. Hell of a start to a contract year.
In a game where the Eagles were bound to struggle offensively, Haason Reddick, James Bradberry and co. delivered on defense. Reddick forced two fumbles, including the game-clinching strip. Bradberry came down with a crucial interception with the Jags within scoring range.
The Eagles had five takeaways on the day and currently have more takeaways than touchdowns allowed in 2022. Each free agent signing has provided substantial contributions this year — I’d hate to be the one to figure out who’s getting paid next offseason.
Top rushing defense had no answer for Philly
Heading into Sunday, Jacksonville held opponents to 55 rushing yards per game — best in the NFL. The Eagles had 112 rushing yards by halftime. Sanders, Hurts and Gainwell all had TDs on the ground and combined for 210 total rushing yards. Trey Sermon even got in on the action.
In addition to the new weapons on offense, Philadelphia can still run over whoever they want.
The Eagles got banged up in this one with several players leaving for a period of time with injuries:
- CB Darius Slay — forearm
- LT Jordan Mailata — shoulder
- LB Patrick Johnson — concussion
- RG Isaac Seumalo — ankle
- LB Kyron Johnson — head
- K Jake Elliott — leg
- DeVonta Smith — leg
The team was already without Boston Scott and Avonte Maddox heading into Sunday, so hopefully none of the injuries are significant.
Eagles respond to adversity
After three relatively convincing wins to start the year, how would the Eagles respond if they got behind? We got our answer today when the Eagles scored 29 unanswered points after being punched in the mouth early. They tasted their own blood, never flinched, and weathered to storm.
Good teams beat up on bad teams, but good teams also remain headstrong in the face of adversity. As a result, Philly is now 4-0 for the first time since Terrell Owens arrived in 2004.
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