EAGLES CALL PLAYS TO WIN, NOT TO LOOK GOOD
The Philadelphia Eagles are 3-0 so far in this still-young season.
The Birds have played outstanding defense, the kicking game could not be better with Jake Elliott booming kicks from all over the field. The offense though, has scored enough to stay undefeated.
The Birds defense has been clutch when it’s counted and are a plus-four in the pivotal turnover difference rating. The Eagles No. 10 overall going into Sundays NFC East matchup against the Washington Commanders (2-1) . It is the Eagles first 1:00 PM start of the season (FOX).
You’d think Eagles fans would be in heaven, right?
The chatter on talk radio and on message boards is over the offense. Some of the concern is warranted, some not.
The Eagles are ninth overall in total offense in the NFL. The Birds are No. 23 in passing offense, No. 2 in rushing offense -565 to 557- just eight yards behind Miami.
The Dolphins rolled up the stats during their 70-20 bludgeoning of the Denver Broncos.
For the season, 2022 MVP candidate Jalen Hurts is 63 of 93 (67.7) for 640 yards with three touchdown passes and three interceptions.
Hurts has rushed for 100 yards on 31 carries with three more trips to the end zone.
He has been sacked eight times and lost a fumble to go with the three interceptions.
Hurts hasn’t had the MVP look, but he wins. Since December 21, 2021, the Eagles, including playoffs, are 22-3 when Hurts starts the game under center.
Ask Eagles Pro Bowl guard Landon Dickerson his thoughts on the play of the offense so far.
“Whatever it takes to win,” Dickerson said. “That’s all it is week-to-week. It’s going to change. “Whatever it takes to win,” the 6-foot-6, 332-pounder out of Alabama said at his locker this week. “We’re going to call the plays to win. You’re not trying to lose because you just want to throw a ball or run the ball. You do what it takes to win….simple as that.”
The Eagles have been able shift their look at the flick of a switch.
The Eagles have 557 yards over the first three games, partly because of the hot hand of newcomer D’Andre Swift, but also because the Birds boast the toughest and deepest offensive line in the NFL.
Last week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by Baker Mayfield, scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion to make the score 25-11 with 9:22 left of the fourth quarter.
Still some time left if the Birds go three-and-out, right?
The Eagles simply ended the game with a punishing 15-play, 64-yard drive consisting of 10 rushing plays, 2 incomplete passes, three competed passes, but no penalties.
The nine-minute-plus drive was even more impressive because Dickerson was on the sideline with a knee contusion (he is a go against Washington). Sua Opeta came in and you’d never know there was a substitution made.
“Sua did phenomenal job,” Dickerson said. “That’s the one thing we’ve tried to pride ourselves on is if somebody goes down, there’s a level of play that’s expected from everybody in that room. If somebody comes out like I did, Sua comes in, he fills in and we don’t miss a beat. That’s how we try to do things in that room.”
The Eagles will face a Washington team with some tough pieces, especially on the defensive line.
“Obviously an extremely talented front,” Dickerson said. “We’ve played them multiple times. I don’t really get into the secondary because I block the defensive linemen and linebackers.
"Really talented group…Chase Young coming back, Daron Payne…there’s a lot of good players on that front and they’ve been productive.”
Eagles’ fans hope Dickerson and the rest of the guys in the trenches stay productive as well. *
Some stats from pro-football-reference.com
Email Al Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org.