By Connor Thomas

Well, if you saw this outcome coming, I’m going to need you to text me some numbers for the lottery. I’m pretty sure even Nostradamus took Detroit getting the points yesterday afternoon. Surprisingly, though, the Eagles absolutely rolled the winless Lions to the tune of a 44-6 victory. On a Halloween that a lot of Philly fans thought was going to be a nightmare, it turned out to be a walk in the park for Nick Sirianni’s team. And yet, there are still major questions that need to be answered about the birds. Why did it take so long to get here? Was it just that the Lions were that bad? Why run the ball more now? Why blitz more now? Here are 5 takeaways from yesterday’s action that hint towards some answers, and may help determine if yesterday was more anomalistic, or is going to become the new norm.

  • 1.) The Eagles RAN THE BALL!

    Did you guys know they could do that? Jalen Hurts took the ball after the snap and handed it to a RUNNING back, and the RUNNING back RAN the ball into the endzone. They did it multiple times! For their first score, the Eagles ran a HB Dive with Boston Scott from the 1 yard line, and believe it or not, he scored easily. Then, on their next TD, Nick Sirianni tried something wild. He ran a run play from all the way back at the 4 yard line; an inside zone with Jordan Howard, and he scored too! Ok, so inside runs can score from 1 yard out and 4 yards out, but the next scoring opportunity was from the 3 yard line. Was it possible that an inside run would work from this distance? Well, turns out it did. Ok, so that’s 1 yard, 3 yards, and 4 yards out. Might as well see if you can run it in from 2 yards out, right? Well, Jordan Howard ran one in from 2 yards out as well. Sarcasm aside, it was nice to see Sirianni discover this part of an NFL playbook. Let’s see if this continues next week against the Chargers.

  • 2.) The Eagles BLITZED!

    Nick Sirianni wasn’t the only one yesterday who was “in his bag” as the kids say. Jonathan Gannon also decided to try something new; the announcers called it a “blitz”. Apparently the strategy is that when you play a QB that doesn’t move very well, if you send extra rushers at him, you may get more sacks. Well, the Eagles tried this, and they ended up sacking Jared Goff 6 times. It’s the most sacks in a game for the birds so far this year, and it came largely as a result of the extra pressure brought. For a team that has already had multiple games with no sacks, the Eagles really needed to find a way to get after the opposing QB, and they showed that they may have figured out how to do that more effectively in Detroit. Justin Herbert doesn’t move exceptionally well, so hopefully the birds will employ a similar strategy this next Sunday.

  • 3.) Jared Goff didn’t have as bad of a game as you might think

    There is still something troubling about the Eagles defense, however. Goff didn’t exactly have a banner day – he threw 222 yards and no touchdowns – but take a look at his completion percentage. He still completed 73.5% of his pass attempts, an absolutely ridiculous mark considering the talent he is working with at wide receiver. The Eagles are allowing about a 75% completion percentage in total this year, and despite the lopsided score, they weren’t any better at forcing incompletions on Sunday. The eye test said that Goff had a rough afternoon, but the stat sheet says that it was actually another troubling afternoon for the birds’ secondary. If that’s what Jared Goff was able to do against this team, then imagine what Justin Herbert, Keenan Allen, and Mike Williams could potentially do next week. The Eagles still need to get their pass defense sorted out when it comes to the issue of allowing too many short completions.

  • 4.) The Eagles rushing defense had its best game of the year

    The Lions may be winless, and have plenty of flaws, but D’Andre Swift is a bona fide NFL Running Back. There’s no doubts in his ability to run/catch the football, and yet, the Eagles were able to almost completely neutralize him on Sunday. The Lions as a whole were held to just 57 yards on the ground, the first time this season that Jonathan Gannon’s defense has held a team under 100 yards rushing. That’s a huge accomplishment considering how porous this defense has looked against the ground game so far this season. It may be a case of the Lions just not being a talented football team, but Swift is absolutely still dangerous. This was certainly another step in the right direction for the Eagles, who gave some new linebackers more snaps in week 8. Eric Wilson, who was the team’s top LB coming into the season, was a healthy scratch, and Alex Singleton played significantly less. Two surprising moves, but they both seemed to pay off, at least this week.

  • 5.) Jalen Hurts had a rough afternoon

    Am I nitpicking at the QB’s performance after an offensive showing that yielded 44 points? You bet I am. One of, if not the biggest point of emphasis of the Eagles season is determining whether or not Jalen Hurts is the man to lead this football team for future seasons. Therefore, it’s important, regardless of outcome, to judge his performance in a vacuum. He wasn’t that good yesterday. He only completed 9 passes (out of a paltry 14 attempts) for 103 yards and no scores. He ran for 71 yards, which is always a nice added bonus, but the NFL is still a league of pocket passers. Hurts needs to show that he has the ability to hang in the pocket more and deliver more passing TDs. The offensive talent, at least on paper, should give him enough opportunity to succeed, and yet he continues to be more talented with his legs than with his arm. It’s a trend that doesn’t bode well for his future here in Philly, even if they knock off some other bad teams as the season continues.