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Back to .500

Posted: December 21st, 2021 | Author: Tommy Lawlor 

The Eagles fell behind 10-0 and conjured torturous memories of Joe Webb, but then settled down, took over the game and beat the Washignton Football Team 27-17. A dominant ground game showed that it doesn’t matter what day you play on. If you can run for 230 yards, you’re going to win.

The Eagles did both of those.

They ran for 238 yards, slicing and dicing a defense that came into the game fourth in the league in run defense. It’s a good thing the game was delayed so WAS could get some DL back. Imagine if they didn’t have their good players.

The passing game was also in high gear, with Jalen Hurts going 20-26-296. Three of those incompletions were drops. Hurts mades some terrific throws and played really well overall.

Washington got off to an ideal start in the game. Dallas Goedert dropped a short pass and the ball bounced off his heel right to Landon Collins. That set up a short TD drive for the WFT. The Eagles then drove down the field, but Hurts had the ball knocked out of his hand. Collins scooped it up and ran it back to midfield. A long completion to Terry McLaurin put Washington back inside the 10. The Eagles defense came up with a key stop and forced a FG.

WAS 10


Eagles fans were going a bit crazy. Luckily the team stayed focused and dominated the rest of the game, outscoring WAS 27-7.

The beauty of this win is that a lot of different players came up big.

  • Miles Sanders ran for a career high 131 yards. He showed good patience and toughness. This was his best game of the year.
  • Sua Opeta started at LG with Landon Dickerson out due to Covid. Opeta had one penalty, but seemed to play well overall.
  • Jalen Reagor was 3-57 and had a good game.
  • Greg Ward was 2-28, including an impressive 19-yard TD.
  • Dallas Goedert had a career high 135 receiving yards.
  • Fletcher Cox had 1.5 sacks and played one of his best games of the year.
  • Tarron Jackson blew up a run by shooting a gap and getting into the backfield.
  • The run defense limited Antonio Gibson to 26 yards on 15 carrries.

Washington hadn’t allowed more than 323 total yards in a game since October. The Eagles had 336 early in the 3rd quarter and finished with 519 yards for the game. I know WAS had players coming off the Covid list and were banged up, but they still had a lot of key starters on the field for their defense. They simply had no answer for the Eagles run game.

Give the OL a ton of credit. Those guys dominated the line of scrimmage and also were fantastic at blocking out wide or up on the second level. One of the best moments in the game was watching Jason Kelce and Sanders race down the field. Kelce was upset with Sanders when he cut to the middle and got tackled. If Sanders goes outside, he might have gone all the way for a TD.

At first, I thought Nick Sirianni was throwing too much. I was shocked when I checked the stats and the Eagles had 80 rushing yards late in the first half. It sure seemed like Sirianni and his staff called a great game. They used Sanders on a lot of wide runs, where his speed hurt the defense. Then they pounded WAS with Jordan Howard up the middle. Hurts only ran 8 times, but 2 of those were short TDs.

Hurts played well. He made a couple of poor decisions in the Red Zone and failed to spot a wide open Reagor running down the field, but overall found the open guys and got them the ball. The highlight was his TD to Ward. Hurts put the ball in a spot where only Ward would have a chance to play it. This wasn’t a wide open player just waiting for the ball. Hurts made a smart, accurate throw and anticipated Ward adjusting.

On a wet, cold, sloppy night, Hurts handled the ball well. Little things like that help you win.

This might not have been the blowout that some people wanted or expected, but it was a good win. They overcame adversity, beat an inferior opponent and stayed pretty healthy.

The Eagles are now in the 8th spot in the hunt for the playoffs. Minnesota is 7-7 and in the 7th spot.

There is now a short week until the Giants come to town on Sunday. The Eagles are now 5-2 since their 2-5 start. They are hardly a juggernaut, but they are running the ball on anyone and everyone. The defense has held three straight opponents to 18 points or less. They have held 5 of the past 7 opponents to 18 points or less. There aren’t a lot of elite star QBs in that stretch, but the defense is getting the job done.

The Eagles are playing their best football at the right time of the year.


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