The New Orleans Saints and their vaunted run defense was humiliated by Jalen Hurts. I swear weve seen this story before? The Eagles were able to upset the Saints to earn their first home win of the Nick Sirianni era 40-29. Here is everything you need to know.
Well, they do if youre a Saints fan. Jalen Hurts rushed for not 1, not 2, but 3 touchdowns on Sunday to go with 69 (nice) yards. The Eagles quarterback was clinical when executing option plays, violently snapping the ball back into his chest after selling the handoff for as long as possible. He shook off defenders, broke some ankles, and tortured a defense that previously ranked atop the NFL when it came to run defense.
His second half wasnt as pretty as many wouldve liked. There were a lot of incomplete passes and hes still struggling to stay in the pocket without his instinct to take off overwhelming him. However, his performances are becoming more complete and hes showing that he can counter his weaknesses and grow one game at a time.
And any time you can turn an NFL field into an ice rink for your opponents en-route to a rushing touchdown that seals the game, youre bound to earn the respect of the locker room. He did that a long time ago, but Hurts is starting to lift the offense as opposed to hold it back and thats only going to instil confidence in himself, the team, and the coaching staff.
Not Agholor. Miles Sanders made his return to the Eagles offense today and when looking at face value (like the analysts at halftime), youd assume that amassing 242 rushing yards against the NFLs top-ranked unit was a product of his presence. Unfortunately, it was probably more due to the lack of it.
Sanders struggled upon his return. He fumbled the ball twice and showed every weakness that has continued to haunt his game up to this point. We all know that Miles Sanders is a dynamic running back and can be explosive in the right situation. That doesnt take away from the fact that he struggles in pass-protection, is way too passive when hitting the hole, and has hands made of cheese.
As things stand, Jordan Howard (who could be injured after a sickening landing during the second half) is clearly the better fit for the offense. His assertive downhill style allows the play-action game to open up and draws single-high looks from defense, giving Hurts and his receivers an advantage in the passing game. If it aint broke, dont fix it.
Darius Slay is performing at an all-pro level this season and scored his third defensive touchdown of the campaign by picking off a pass and taking it to the house. In fact, hes scored more touchdown in the last four weeks than every member of the Detroit Lions combined. Lol.
Slay deserves all the praise hes getting this season and hopefully we see plenty more slick picks as the year continues.
Slay wasnt the only member of the defense to put on a show. T.J Edwards continued his strong run of form by leading the team in tackles, recovering a fumble, picking off a pass, and coming up with a huge TFL.
The young linebacker has risen through the ranks since being plucked out of the UDFA pool and has long been a sleeper. But since Eric Wilsons departure, his exposure to first-team defense has been met with some stellar play and some head-turning highlights.
There were plenty of pros and cons this game. Did anyone predict that JJAW would come up with one of the biggest plays of the game? But the biggest pro of all is the fact that this is a team playing with purpose and confidence.
It took a while. There were plenty of flags, awful play-calls and embarrassing errors along the way, but this Eagles team is really beginning to believe in themselves, the vision laid out by Jonathan Gannon, and the men around them. They just won their first game at home and made the NFLs top rushing defense look like high school students.
Playoffs are by no means a guarantee, but so long as they continue to fight and not fold, they have every chance to surprising the world with a shock appearance.
After the Saints slashed into the deficit with a pair of scores within the blink of an eye, many had flashbacks to the days of the Carolina and Tennessee collapses in 2018. This is a different team now and today showed exactly why.
Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire
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