By Dylan MacKinnon
It wasn’t always pretty. In fact, at times, it was incredibly ugly. But the Eagles pulled it out. Some great defense, some timely scoring, and a blocked punt carried the Eagles to a 21-18 win. It was set up by TJ Edwards getting a hand on a punt. Then a few plays later Hurts ran it in on his own to give the Eagles their first lead of the day. From there, the defense did its job one more time with their 3rd interception of the day, and the Eagles snapped a 3 game losing skid. So how did we get here? Here are the 5 Numbers The Tell The Story of this game.
In this game, the Panthers converted 5 third downs, on 15 chances, for a rate of .333. Given the fact they started the game 3 for 4, that gets even more impressive. Meaning for the last 3 quarters, the D allowed only 2 third-down conversions. After two straight weeks where the Eagles D couldn’t have played worse, they stepped up in a big way. today. They held the Panthers under 200 passing yards, and allowed only a single TD. The defense needed this game badly. You can say it was vs a bad qb, without their best weapon. But that doesnt change the fact the Eagles defense did their job.
The Eagles had 3 interceptions by cornerbacks today. Two from Darius SLay, one by Steven Nelson. Only one Eagles corner had a interception all of last year. Modern defenses need to get takeaways to win games. The multiple takeaways, 3 sacks, to go along with a blocked punt, is a big reason why they won today. One interception turned into a field goal, in a game they won by 3 pts. The third interception of the game sealed the win and let the Eagles run the clock out. The Eagles corners were the MVPs of this game. They shut the Panthers pass game down all day, and got timely turnovers.
I counted 10 screen passes. On the screen passes I counted, they had 2 total yards. That is an average of .2 yards per screen pass. At that rate, it will just take 50 screen passes to get a first down. They had two screen passes get blown up for a loss of 5 or more yards. The screen pass was not working at all today, but Sirianni kept going back to it. Part of being a great coach is in game adjustments. The obvious in game adjustment here was to stop with the screen passes. Panthers defense was too quick and they were getting too the edge too fast for those to be effective. Eagles may have won, but they were behind in part because of a poor gameplan that had the Eagles behind the 8 ball a lot of the time.
Only 6 penalties this week. That is progress. Eagles came into the game with 45 penalties. They were getting peanlized more than 10 times per game. Granted, one of those 6 penalties took a TD off the board (the 5th time that has happened to the Eagles this year). But still, they were for the most part more disciplined this week. If they averaged only 6 penalties a week, they would be tied for 10th in the league for the least peanlized teams. It is still an issue overall, but today they avoided that yellow flag, and didnt make those ssame stupid mistakes that were killing them the last 3 weeks.
Jalen Reagor will forever be linked to Vikings WR Justin Jefferson. So far, he is being way outclassed by the guy taken one pick after him. Jefferson has 1326 more yards, 73 more catches, and 10 more TDs so far through both their short careers. Jefferson is already a star at this level. Reagor is struggling to even show himself as a role guy. The former first-round pick is 5th in yards on the Eagles. There is still a long way to go in both of their careers, but Jefferson has a huge lead out of the gate. Jalen Reagor needs to start making an impact and living up to that first round pick.