Eagles run amuck in electrifying win over Chargers
2 October 2017 Eagles News
Plenty of analysts called Week 4 a trap game for the Eagles. Flying cross country on the road against yet another desperate team would set the Eagles up for failure and expose their well-earned 2-1 start. Or not. The Eagles came with a better play calling script that included more runs and getting everyone involved in the passing game. After the Eagles confidently won this game 26-24, here are some of the takeaways:
Doug’s improvement/time management: The Eagles currently are first in time of possession and wouldn’t you know, they have a 75% win percentage in the NFL. Pederson’s play calling was also drastically better. Forcing the run early and sticking with it got the Chargers defensive line tired for the majority of the game. Also, there were no random screen plays. Everyone should be happy about Doug’s improvement this past Sunday.
Offensive line stepped up: The Eagles offensive line had the best overall game so far this season. They worked together and kept pressure from getting to Wentz for a large duration of the game. Tackles Jason Peters and Lane Johnson did not allow Carson Wentz to get sacked by either Melvin Ingram or Joey Bosa, a huge accomplishment. Jason Kelce is also feeding off of the play from his comrades on the front which helps his performance overall. The line is looking great together.
Big plays still hurting: The Eagles have yet to stop big plays all season. They have given up eight plays of 35 yards or more, which is tied for most in the league. Things to improve on for the defense are playing man tighter and tackling. Not being able to pursue a runner has hurt the Eagles defense despite the team’s overall record. Big plays can change the course of a game (see Kansas City run in Week 2) so if the Eagles can work on stopping big plays, the team will be better off.
Run game flourished: If you watched or saw the game on Sunday, you would have thought every play was a running play. Pederson brought back the run game and kept it going all game. One “can’t-miss” play was LeGarrette Blount’s 68-yard run in the 4th quarter. So much for all the Blount criticism, he’s legit. And Smallwood is filling in well for Darren Sproles. A fresh rotation of three running backs seems to be working and against one of the worst running defenses in the league, the Eagles capitalized as such.
So here are the biggest questions coming out of Sunday’s game: Can the defense still hold up without Cox, Darby and Jones? When will Alshon Jeffery get his 100-yard game? Can the defense stop big plays?
Stay tuned for my periscope on Thursday @ 12pmET where I will go further into detail about how the Eagles defense can can shut down big plays early and often.