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The Day After – Winning Ugly


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The Day After – Winning Ugly

Posted: October 10th, 2022 | Author: Tommy Lawlor 

When you use the phrase "winning ugly”, some people get defensive. They want to know why you’re being negative. The Eagles just won a game. Focus on the win and forget that it wasn’t perfect. Celebrate instead of nitpicking.

I get that mindset. But there is a danger in focusing too much on results. I know that statement will make some people’s brain absolutely explode. Sports are all about results. Who won? Who lost?

Context absolutely matters. The Giants are 4-1, just like the Bills. Does anyone really think they’re equals? Buffalo has a point differential of 91. The Giants is 10. One team can dominate. The other is battling and finding ways to win. Give the Giants all the credit in the world, but they aren’t the Bills.

Saying the Eagles "won ugly” yesterday shouldn’t be looked at as an insult. They won. They’ve dominated other teams and controlled games. They never trailed the Cardinals, but just couldn’t put them away. It took a missed field goal to secure the win. The Eagles found a way to win.

If the Eagles were squeaking by opponents each week, then we’d have a tougher discussion. You’d want to give them credit for winning, while also pointing out the team had real limitations.

The 2022 Eagles are the best team in the NFC. They have Super Bowl potential. One ugly win doesn’t change that.


Some might wonder why the Cardinals looked better yesterday than in previous weeks. They had a pair of receivers healthy that had been limited or out. AJ Green was able to play outside and that pushed Rondale Moore into the slot. Moore missed the first three games of the year and then spent some time outside when Green was hurt.

On Sunday, Green was 3-20 and Moore was 7-68. Both added some juice to an offense that had really been struggling. If you’re playing small-ball, you need guys who can help move the chains.


We’ve had fun with joking about Dicker the Kicker, but let’s make sure to really appreciate what he did on Sunday.


He was 2 for 2 on FGs and 2 for 2 on extra points. if he missed any of those, the game could have been very different.

This could be a special season. It certainly has that feel after the 5-0 start. It takes a lot of heroes for a season to turn out that way. Think back to 2017. There was Jake Elliott’s game-winner vs the Giants. Wendell Smallwood scored a TD in a close win over the Chargers. Bryan Braman was a late addition to the team to help bolster the STs. Do you remember DT Justin Hamilton having half a sack and 2 tackles in a tough win over the Panthers?

You need a lot of players contributing if you’re going to do special things.



I can’t tell if Williams got the ball or not. The kick was hit solid and didn’t go off course until it was past the LOS. The kicker had missed like that in pre-game warmups. I’m guessing he didn’t hit the ball, but we’ll see what Williams says when reporters get to talk to him.


Situational football is critical. You need your coach and QB to understand situations and make smart decisions. The Eagles won that matchup yesterday and it helped them to win the game.

Nick Sirianni was asked whether he heard the PA announcer call Kyler Murray’s slide a first down. Sirianni said he wasn’t paying attention to the announcer. He was focused on the yard marker and down marker. They showed him it was 3rd/1.

Kliff Kingsbury?

What he thinks is irrelevant. He’s got to see what the officials are saying. He failed to do that and the Cards went ahead with the spike. That’s a big failure. Beyond that, Dan Orlovsky pointed out that they should have had a better plan before Kyler’s run.


As for Murray, he’s got to know he can’t slide in that situation without being well past the marker. I am a big advocate of running QBs being smart and protecting themselves. They have to think big picture and be careful about fighting for a yard here and there. But that doesn’t apply in the final two minutes of a game where you’re behind. That’s when you run until hit. Or dive forward. But you don’t slide close to the line. Kyler should have known better.

With 2:59 left in the game, Jalen Hurts took off running to the right side on 3rd/3. He got upfield for two yards. Hurts was by the sideline when a LB was about to hit him. Hurts made sure to go down inbounds.

He could have gone out of bounds to avoid the hit. He could have fought for the first down and possibly been pushed out of bounds. Hurts knew the most important thing on that play was making sure the clock didn’t stop. Time was more important than the yard.

The Eagles aren’t 5-0 by accident. This is a tough, smart, talented team. And that is reflected in their coach and QB.


The Eagles have held four straight opponents to 21 points or less. They did that for five straight games last year, but there is a major difference.


Game 1 – Daniel Jones
Game 2 – Zach Wilson (rookie)
Game 3 – Garrett Gilbert
Game 4 – Mike Glennon / Jake Fromm
Game 5 – Taylor Heinicke


Game 1 – Kirk Cousins
Game 2 – Carson Wentz
Game 3 – Trevor Lawrence
Game 4 – Kyler Murray

The 2021 defense could shut down bad QBs/bad offenses.

This year’s defense is shutting down whoever they face. They are 7th in points allowed, 4th in yards allowed and 4th in DVOA.

There are things to clean up from Sunday’s performance, but the Eagles still only gave up 17 points.

Haason Reddick is one of the reasons the defense is playing so well. He had a sack on Sunday, giving him 4.5 for the season. He continues to be a disruptive force off the edge.



We all thought the AFC West was going to be the juggernaut division. Instead, that division is a bit of a mess.

I never expected the NFC East to be off to a start like this. We’ll see how things look in December, but for now, the East is the best division in football.


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