Ea­gles got their swag­ger back vs. Gi­ants

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Rob Maaddi

Af­ter a pair of tough losses, the Philadel­phia Ea­gles re­bounded with a dom­i­nant per­for­mance.

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 sea-

son.

“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 it, it 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 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.

“Both these guys are de­ter­mined run­ners. They run hard. They run ag­gres­sive. They’re re­ally good backs for us,” Ped­er­son said. “A lot of con­fi­dence in both of those guys, and what they do, very ver­sa­tile. And it’s just two guys that re­ally take their job se­ri­ous and feel like they have to prove some­thing ev­ery sin­gle day, and that’s what you want out of your play­ers, that they’re out there prov­ing them­selves over and over be­cause it just makes them bet­ter and it makes us bet­ter as an of­fense. I’ve been real en­cour­aged by both those guys.”

JULIO CORTEZ — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Philadel­phia Ea­gles de­fen­sive end Michael Ben­nett cel­e­brates af­ter a strip sack on New York Gi­ants quar­ter­back Eli Man­ning dur­ing the first half of Thurs­day’s game in East Rutherford, N.J.

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