Quick Takes: 5 takeaways from the Eagles record-setting win over Green Bay
The Philadelphia Eagles have improved to 10-1 on the season following an explosive Sunday night matchup with the Green Bay Packers.
Jalen Hurts increased his MVP stock on the primetime stage, outdueling Aaron Rodgers en route to a 40-33 victory. Here are five takeaways from the Eagles’ record-setting performance.
Jalen Hurts breaks franchise record
“I ran and they couldn’t get me,” said Hurts after the game.
Hurts put Green Bay’s defense on notice early, rushing for 52 yards on his first two rushing attempts, both on third down. The Eagles had nearly 100 rushing yards six minutes into the game and finished with 363 yards total on the ground, their most since 1948 — 74 years ago.
List of accolades Hurts accomplished vs. Green Bay
- First player in NFL history with 125+ passing yards and 125 rushing yards in a half
- First player in NFL history with at least 6,500+ passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards in their first 30 starts
- First player in NFL history with 150+ passing yards, 150+ rushing yards and 2+ passing TDs in a regular season game
- Broke franchise record for most rushing yards by a QB with 157, breaking Mike Vick’s prior record of 130 yards set in 2010
- Jalen Hurts and Miles Sanders became the first teammates in Eagles history to each rush for 140+ yards in the same game
Hurts fell 21 yards shy of the single-game QB rushing record set by Justin Fields just three weeks ago. Philadelphia has a rich history of quarterbacks who could run with the football, and Hurts is proud to carry on their legacy.
“It means everything,” Hurts said of passing Vick’s record. “I have a great deal of respect for those guys. The guys that have come before me. Randall, Mike, McNabb. Just the way they played the game. I always talk about how I admire the way they played the game. And to be thrusted into that category and different things is a blessing. It’s a blessing.
It’s a lot of hard work going into it. I have a ton of respect for them and their support. And they don’t even know how they’ve affected me, impacted me in my time here. It’s an understatement to say how much I appreciate them. Because I do. And they’ve guided me in more ways than they don’t even know. So, I appreciate them and I appreciate this team.”
Reed Blankenship makes immediate impact
After delivering a hit to WR Christian Watson, starting safety CJ Gardner-Johnson went down with a rib injury late in the first quarter. He was eventually carted off, and Reed Blankenship was the next man up.
After playing in just two defensive snaps all year, Blankenship filled in nicely at safety:
- Six tackles (led team)
- One TFL
- One INT
- One pass defended
Blankenship was physical and read Aaron Rodgers perfectly on a pass intended for TE Tyler Davis. A promising performance for the undrafted rookie out of Middle Tennessee.
“I saw Aaron Rodgers looking that way and I broke on it,” Blankenship said. “I’m surprised he actually threw it, though. That’s what surprised me but I’m happy I got there in time and was able to do something for my team.”
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Special teams remain a concern
Heading into yesterday’s game, Green Bay had the 10th-worst kick return average in the NFL at 20.8 yards.
The Eagles allowed kick returns of 38, 52, and 53 yards last night. With that, Packers’ returner Keisean Nixon became the only player in the NFL this season with multiple kick returns of at least 50 yards in the same game.
The special teams unit continues to be the Achilles heel of this team, and Sirianni knows it has to be fixed before the postseason.
“We just have to be better,” Sirianni said. “That starts with us as coaches, putting them in position to make a play. I’m the head football coach of this team. If there’s an issue on special teams, that starts with me. If there’s an issue on defense, it starts with me.
I’m not the offensive coordinator, I’m not the offensive coach, I’m the head coach. So it’s my job, first and foremost, nobody else’s job, to get the things right on special teams.”
AJ Dillon runs over the defense
Before Green Bay had to play catch up, the Eagles had no answers for AJ Dillon. The 250-pound power back dragged defenders for much of the game, taking his first carry 20 yards for his first TD since Week 1. Dillon averaged 8.0 yards per carry and added 24 yards on three catches.
Gannon’s run defense still needs work, even after the additions of Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph.
Quez Watkins stepping up
Watkins has seen his usage increase in the absence of Dallas Goedert, catching a TD pass from Jalen Hurts in two consecutive games:
|First 8 Game||Last 3 Games|
“I think Quez has been a very diligent player, he’s been a very team-first player, he’s been very selfless,” Jalen Hurts said.
“He knows that, I think everybody knows about the importance of taking advantage of the opportunities when they come. Because we have a wide range of people that can make plays and it always looks different.”
- S CJ Gardner-Johnson was ruled out with a rib injury
- LG Landon Dickerson limped off the field in the 4th quarter and was replaced by Andre Dillard
- WR DeVonta Smith appeared to have a slight limp and was in the medical tent for a bit, but later returned
- AJ Brown wasn’t 100% in this game, evidenced by his right eye being bloodshot from throwing up all week. Brown said he lost seven pounds due to a stomach bug and didn’t feel right until the second quarter.
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images