What went right, wrong for Ea­gles,

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - By Andy Schwartz Morn­ing Call sports di­rec­tor Andy Schwartz can be reached at as­[email protected] or 610-508-1501.

PHILADEL­PHIA — Well, that went as ex­pected.

The Ea­gles lit up Luke Falk.

Car­son Wentz didn’t have to fin­ish the game. The Ea­gles crushed the hap­less Jets 31-6 to im­prove to 3-2.

Sure, the of­fense wasn’t as sharp as you would have liked, and coach Doug Ped­er­son said “no” when asked if his team played well. But Ped­er­son also pro­vided the boil­er­plate “it’s great to win in this league and it’s hard to win in this league” re­sponse.

You’ll like Ja­son Peters’ ver­sion bet­ter.

“Look, I’ve been play­ing a long time time,” Peters said. “A win is a win. I don’t give a f—- what no­body says. … A win is a win. We en­joy this to­day and to­mor­row and get ready for Min­nesota.”

Here’s what went what right and what didn’t.

A Good Start: On both sides of the ball.

Bran­don Gra­ham recorded his first sack of the sea­son (more on that in a bit) to force the Jets to punt on their first pos­ses­sion.

The Ea­gles scored a touch­down on their first pos­ses­sion for the first time this sea­son when Jor­dan Howard ran in a 1-yard touch­down.

Then Nate Gerry ended the Jets’ en­su­ing pos­ses­sion with a pick-6, cut­ting in front of a piti­ful fourth-and-one pass in­tended for Le’Veon Bell and re­turn­ing it 51 yards.

“Once I saw him take off, I knew where the ball was go­ing,” Gerry said. “We knew how they were go­ing to at­tack us on short yardage, es­pe­cially third and fourth down. We had a blitz called, and I just made a play on the ball.”

Gerry said it felt “in­cred­i­ble” be­cause he had “15 of them in col­lege and didn’t score one of them. It was nice to fi­nally get one in the end zone.”

The pick-6 was the Ea­gles’ first since Pa­trick Robinson’s 50-yarder in the 2017 NFC ti­tle game and first in the reg­u­lar sea­son since Jalen Mills’ 37-yarder vs. San Fran­cisco the same year.

“We al­ways want to start fast,” Zach Ertz said. “If we get our de­fen­sive in the po­si­tion to rush the passer, I think we all saw to­day what they could re­ally do. We just have to put them in those po­si­tions more con­sis­tently, and I think that is com­ing.”

The Pass Rush: A sec­ondary’s best friend is a pro­duc­tive pass rush, and the D-line did its part with eight of the Ea­gles’ 10 sacks.

Yes, it came against the Jets and a fraz­zled QB in Falk, who per re­ports amaz­ingly didn’t re­ceive the bulk of the first-team reps in prac­tice this week, but 10 sacks is 10 sacks.

It matches the se­cond-high­est sin­gle-game to­tal in team his­tory; the Ea­gles had 11 in 1991 when Reg­gie and com­pany ter­ror­ized Troy Aik­man and the Cow­boys, and 10 against Detroit in 2007.

The Ea­gles are the first team in league his­tory to have at least 10 sacks, a fum­ble re­turn for a TD and an in­ter­cep­tion re­turn for a TD in the same game.

Gra­ham had a ca­reer-high three sacks to give him 10 ca­reer multi-sack games, his first since the 2017 sea­son opener at Wash­ing­ton. He is now sixth in team his­tory in sacks with 45.5, be­hind Reg­gie White (124), Trent Cole (85.5), Clyde Sim­mons (76), Hugh Dou­glas (54.5) and Greg Brown (50.5).

“I know when I look at the film, [Fletcher Cox] got me one. I owe him on that one,” Gra­ham said.

“Hon­estly I’m just happy we went out there to­day and had one of those games we’ve been dream­ing about as a de­fen­sive line. We’re com­ing to­gether at the right time, es­pe­cially af­ter all of the emo­tional games we’ve played. We need one like this.”

The Ea­gles’ banged-up sec­ondary, with new­bies Or­lando Scan­drick and Craig James, held its own. Scan­drick, just re-signed this week, had two sacks, in­clud­ing a strip-sack 44-yard touch­down. It was his first game as an Ea­gle.

“He just kind of fit in and did ex­actly what the de­fense and what Jim Schwartz di­aled up to­day,” Ped­er­son said.

Sid­ney Jones (ham­string) was ac­tive but didn’t play. Def­i­nitely the pru­dent de­ci­sion.

Jor­dan Howard: The of­fen­sive line for the se­cond straight game opened up holes for Jor­dan Howard, who found them and had 62 yards and a score on 13 car­ries.

The rest of the of­fense: Af­ter their quick start, the Ea­gles’ next four pos­ses­sions ended like this: Turnover on downs, punt, punt, punt.

The of­fense seemed a bit … flat? Dis­in­ter­ested? Not the same group that scored 34 on the Pack­ers.

The of­fense scored only two touch­downs and a field goal. Car­son Wentz was stuffed on a sneak for a change; he’s now 24 for 27 on third- or fourth-and-one in his ca­reer. Wentz also saw a snap sail over his head.

If you were hop­ing Wentz would help your fan­tasy team and carve up the Jets, you were dis­ap­pointed. He com­pleted 17 of 29 for 189 yards and a TD. Pedes­trian num­bers. Wentz did use his pa­tented duck move to avoid a sack and hit Ertz for 21 yards to con­vert a third-and-five.

“I love win­ning, but of­fen­sively, not our best,” Wentz said. “It’s some­thing we def­i­nitely have to clean up — we def­i­nitely have to be bet­ter.”

While Howard found some holes, Miles San­ders rushed for only 15 yards on nine car­ries (1.7 av­er­age), and Dar­ren Spro­les had four yards on three car­ries and left with a quad in­jury. But not be­fore he moved past Hall of Fame WR Tim Brown into fifth place on the NFL’s all-time all-pur­pose yardage list.

Muffed punt: Corey Cle­ment’s muffed punt to start the fourth quar­ter led to the Jets’ first touch­down. Cle­ment was mo­tion­ing for ev­ery­one to get away from the ball be­fore jump­ing to catch it on the bounce and los­ing it to Jets’ RB Tren­ton Can­non. Cle­ment must have thought it touched Ryan Lewis, who af­ter the game said he didn’t know if it touched him.

On the next play, wide re­ceiver Vyncint Smith took a re­verse to the end zone for a 19-yard score.

Run D: The Ea­gles en­tered the league al­low­ing 62.0 yards rush­ing per game, fourth fewest in the league, and held Bell to 43 yards on 15 car­ries (2.9 per). The only way the Jets could make it a game was if Bell got loose, and he didn’t.

On the play be­fore Gerry’s pick-6, Rod­ney McLeod, who had the Ea­gles’ other in­ter­cep­tion, stuffed Bell on third-and-one.

“In our game plan, we did have a lot of safeties on him,” McLeod said. “We have to match up well with him, and we felt our safeties matchup up well. I was on him a lot of the time.”


Jor­dan Howard, run­ning in the first half, rushed 13 times for 62 yards and a 1-yard touch­down.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.