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The Best Show Ever?: Weekdays 2pm – 6pm

The Best Show Ever?: Weekdays 2pm – 6pm

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 14: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings fumbles the ball as he is hit by Josh Sweat #94 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 14, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

We have a reputation to uphold as Philadelphia fans. Philadelphians can be sticklers with the best of them. Make no mistake, we love out teams more than any other fans. But if there is something to complain about, we will find it. Even after a 2-0 start to the season. That is the situation the Eagles are in after beating the Patriots in week 1, and then the Vikings in week 2. 2-0 should mostly be a reason to celebrate. But the mood of the city does not match the Eagles record going into week 3.  And to be fair, there were things that were a bit ugly in the first two games.

The Vikings were passing all over the Eagles on Thursday Night. A secondary full of backups was getting picked on, as they struggled to figure out what their role was in the Eagles Zone defense. And Jalen Hurts and the Eagles passing attack still struggled to get off the ground a bit. All of these things are fair things to criticize, despite being 2-0.

But since they are 2-0, something just 6 teams accomplished last season, why not focus on the positives? The things this team are doing well, or improved on from week 1. Because there was a lot of good to take away from the Vikings game. The run game woke up. They hit Kirk Cousins all night long. The Eagles were way better on 3rd down. I mean, the Eagles did put up 34 points.  And the defense did still make a lot of plays despite being so hampered by injuries. Those are all things worth celebrating.

So let’s take a page out of Monty Python, and look on the Bright Side of Life.

Here are 6 numbers that should help Eagles fans be optimistic about how the Eagles have looked in the first two games.

  • 8

    3rd down was a big issue for the Eagles last week. They were 4-13, and the reason is that they were consistently getting into 3rd and longs. They had just 3 3rd downs of 5 yards or under and converted all 3. But they also had 6 that were for 10 yards or more and converted just one. This week they were consistently ahead of the sticks. 8 of their 3rd or 4th down attempts were for 5 yards or fewer, and they converted 7 of them.  

    Success on first and 2nd down led to success on 3rd down. They were still 1-8 on long 3rd downs. So that part didn’t change. But because they weren’t putting themselves in a hole on first and second down as often, they had more success overall.  

  • 6

    We assumed this season the Eagles would have fewer takeaways. Just because it is hard to get 27 takeaways like they did last year. Especially when they lost their biggest player maker, CJ Gardner Johnson. But so far, albeit a small sample size, they are actually ahead of last year’s pace. In two games they have 6 takeaways, 5 of which are forced fumbles. It puts them on pace for 51 takeaways on the season. 

    Will they get that? Probably not. The most any team had last season was 33. But it shows that despite losing their interception leader, this defense can still make plays. And it is coming from a lot of different sources, with Josh Sweat, Josh Jobe, Jordan Davis, Justin Evans, Avonte Maddox, and Terrell Edmunds all forcing fumbles so far, and Darius Slay being the lone Eagle with a pick. 

  • 34

    The Eagles got the ball back with 34 seconds left in the first half. Similar to when they got the ball back with 25 seconds last week. Only this time, they tried to score. They went 37 yards down the field to set up a 61-yard Jake Elliott FG. And the fact Elliott can kick a 61-yard field goal is why you try to move the ball. It’s something the Eagles did so many times last year. Get the ball back late in the first, and still score. It was baffling they didn’t even try last week. But it was good to see they are still able to do it. The Eagles’ ability to pick up the pace in these late-game or late first-half situations makes them incredibly dangerous. 

  • 133

    It is stating the obvious to say that the Eagles ran the ball well last night. 259 total rushing yards. D’Andre Swift deserves most of the credit, getting 175 of those by himself. But Boston Scott also gained 40 yards on 5 carries. The O-Line got back to what it does best, creating huge lanes, and Swift and Scott took full advantage. 133 of Swift’s yards, came before contact. That is how big the holes the O-Line was creating were. And then Swift was playing so well, that he was bouncing out of some tackles to get those extra yards. 

    NFL on ESPN on Twitter: "D'Andre Swift had 133 rushing yards BEFORE contact tonight 🦅 The Eagles O-Line is the real deal 😳 / Twitter"

    D'Andre Swift had 133 rushing yards BEFORE contact tonight 🦅 The Eagles O-Line is the real deal 😳

    The running game sputtered out a bit in week 1 after a promising first drive, but that is more because they got away from it. When they try though, this team can still run better than anyone. Let the big guys up front maul, and good things are going to happen. 

  • 10

    People left week 1 a little bit disappointed in the Eagles D-Line. But they showed up in week 2. Not only did they completely shut down the run, but they were also in Kirk Cousins’ face a ton. They hit him 10 times, on 44 passing attempts. On nearly a 4th of his passes, he was getting hit. Yes, the Vikings’ passing attack was still very effective. But that has more to do with the backups in the secondary being confused about their role in the zone defense. 

    Josh Sweat in particular dominated. 5 of those QB hits came from him, and he was the one who forced the fumble to give the Eagles the ball in their own red zone. Jordan Davis and Jalen Carter also stayed disruptive. There were only 2 sacks. But that does not tell a full story of how well the Eagles D-Line played. 

    Shane Haff on Twitter: "Jordan Davis? On a passing down? Wrecking Kirk Cousins!?!? Oh heck yes!! / Twitter"

    Jordan Davis? On a passing down? Wrecking Kirk Cousins!?!? Oh heck yes!!

  • 65%

    For the second straight season, the Eagles have started 2-0. And going back over 30 years, teams that start 2-0 have a great chance to make the playoffs. 171 out of 268 teams that have started 2-0 since 1990 made the playoffs (64%). All 6 teams who started 6-0 last season went on to make the playoffs. Obviously, the goal is to not just make the playoffs, but 13 of the last 20 Super Bowl winners started 2-0 as well (65%). The Eagles are right on track to get where they want to be.  

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