Ea­gles coach likes di­rec­tion

De­fend­ing champs im­prove to 3-3 af­ter beat­ing Giants 34-13

The Detroit News - - Sports - BY ROB MAADDI Associated Press

Philadel­phia — The cham­pi­ons got their swag­ger back.

Af­ter a pair of tough losses, the Philadel­phia Ea­gles re­bounded with a dom­i­nant per­for­mance on the road against a di­vi­sion ri­val and dis­missed talk of a Su­per Bowl hang­over.

Car­son Wentz and Co. aren’t go­ing any­where. They proved it in a 34-13 vic­tory over the New York Giants on Thurs­day night. The Ea­gles (3-3) are still fron­trun­ners in the NFC East, and they’re de­ter­mined to make an­other long run.

“Hav­ing let a cou­ple games slip through our hands, and this is what I love about the team, the play­ers don’t panic,” coach Doug Ped­er­son said Fri­day. “The play­ers are re­silient. The play­ers know. Play­ers are smart. You guys are around them. They un­der­stand what’s go­ing on. They see it. They hear it. They read about it. They see it on tele­vi­sion. And then as coaches, we point stuff out.”

Sev­eral of the team’s weak­nesses were ex­posed dur­ing the first five weeks, es­pe­cially in con­sec­u­tive close losses to Ten­nessee (26-23 in over­time) and Min­nesota (23-21). The of­fen­sive line had trou­ble pro­tect­ing Wentz. The de­fen­sive line couldn’t get enough pres­sure on quar­ter­backs. The sec­ondary gave up a lot of yards pass­ing.

But they put it all to­gether against the strug­gling Giants and showed flashes of the team that dom­i­nated the NFC on its way to win­ning the Su­per Bowl last sea­son.

“When I talk about own­er­ship, the guys have to take it upon them­selves to make the nec­es­sary changes to fix,” Ped­er­son said. “Our be­hav­ior has to change, right? Our stan­dards have to change just a lit­tle bit. They have to el­e­vate just a lit­tle bit. And I can stand up here and talk to the team un­til I’m blue in the face, but un­til they re­al­ize it, un­til they take own­er­ship of it, un­til they sort of em­brace prob­a­bly won’t change.

“And what I saw the last cou­ple of weeks is they’re say­ing and do­ing the right things. They’re show­ing up to prac­tice ev­ery day. They’re not com­plain­ing about a short week. They’re not mak­ing ex­cuses for in­jury. And that’s what our cul­ture has es­tab­lished. That’s what a vet­eran sort of led team can es­tab­lish, and they’ve em­braced that, and they’ve risen to the chal­lenge, and I think they’d had enough, and quite hon­estly, they rose to the oc­ca­sion last night and played well in all three phases.”

Now the Ea­gles have a few ex­tra days of rest to pre­pare for a home game against Carolina in Week 7. It’ll give play­ers more time to heal from in­juries.

Nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Ja­son Peters left the game with a bi­ceps in­jury. Ped­er­son said the med­i­cal staff is still eval­u­at­ing the ex­tent of his in­jury but the early in­di­ca­tion is pos­i­tive.

Cor­ner­back Sid­ney Jones is week-to-week af­ter he sus­tained a ham­string in­jury.

Vet­eran run­ning back Dar­ren Spro­les missed his fifth straight be­cause of a ham­string in­jury and he could re­turn next week. The Ea­gles lost Jay Ajayi for the


it re­main­der of the sea­son af­ter he tore an ACL against the Vik­ings.

Wen­dell Small­wood (18 car­ries for 51 yards) and Corey Cle­ment (11 car­ries for 43 yards, one touch­down) han­dled pri­mary run­ning du­ties. Per­son­nel boss Howie Rose­man could make a deal be­fore the Oc­to­ber 30 dead­line.

In­jury re­port

Browns rookie Derrick Willies broke his col­lar­bone in prac­tice and will miss Sun­day’s game against the Charg­ers and likely sev­eral more, fur­ther de­plet­ing a re­ceiv­ing unit lack­ing ex­pe­ri­enced play­mak­ers.

Willies came off the bench last week af­ter Rashard Hig­gins in­jured his right knee and made the game’s big­gest play in an over­time win. But he and Hig­gins will miss this week’s game.

... Chiefs wide re­ceiver DeAn­thony Thomas broke a leg dur­ing prac­tice and could miss the rest of the sea­son, the lat­est in a string of in­juries to be­fall the un­beaten team.

... Dol­phins quar­ter­back Ryan Tan­nehill is ques­tion­able for Sun­day’s game against the Bears with a throw­ing shoul­der in­jury that first both­ered him last month.

Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Ea­gles line­backer Nigel Brad­ham, right, sacks Giants quar­ter­back Eli Man­ning. The Ea­gles ended a two-game los­ing streak on Thurs­day.

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