Eagles Recap:Week 1- Winning Ugly!

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by The Dunkin Dad on September 10

Philadelphia Eagles 25 v New England Patriots 20

Week 1: Foxboro, MA

In what was supposed to be a dominant performance by the reigning NFC Champion Eagles, quickly spiraled into an afternoon filled with question marks and cause for concern.

Yes, it’s only one game. Yes, you were lining up against a defense guided by arguably the greatest coach in NFL history (Belichick). Nonetheless, the high powered Philadelphia Eagles offense, led by last year’s MVP runner up Jalen Hurts (22-33, 170, 1 TD) looked anemic at best. Top 3 league Tight-End, Dallas Goedert had 1 target, and as a team, Philadelphia rushed for 97 total yards.   

Although the Eagles defense, led by Big Play Darius Slay (pick 6) looked to set the tone early; Belichick quickly made adjustments, Mac Jones settled down into a rhythm and played within his game. By the time the half-time whistle blew; the once daunting 16-0 first quarter Eagles lead was cut to 2 points, 16-14.

AT THE BREAK:

During the half-time festivities, the New Englands Patriots honored the great Tom Brady as they welcomed him into their “Ring of Honor”. Brady tried to electrify the crowd in Foxboro, however neither the Patriots nor the Eagles came out of the half with any urgency. 

SECOND HALF:

After trading hapless drives where both offenses looked lost and confused, the Eagles finally broke through with a Jake Elliott FG from 56 yards; with 8:48 left in the 3rd.  Elliott would be the Eagles only offense the remainder of the game; capping off the Eagles final two scores with a 48 and 51 yard FG respectively. 

New England would get a late touchdown from Kendrick Bourne to cut the lead to 5, 20-25 with 3:37 left to go in the game: the two point conversion attempt failed. 

The Eagles would turn the ball over on downs, one final time and the Patriots would drive down the field narrowly missing a 4th down conversion just short of the Eagles 8 yard line. After a routine Kneel-Down, the Philadelphia Eagles escaped Foxboro with an “Ugly Win”. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

Jalen Hurts looks as if he has regressed. Specifically, Hurts missed many open receivers and appeared “locked in”, on his number one option. Early in his career, as a starter, Hurts would fail to see open targets as plays developed; looking beyond the viable target only to throw into traffic. Additionally, his throws looked flat, were delivered without precision and pace. Aside from three down the field throws to AJ Brown (7 catches, 79 yards), Hurts threw nearly all of his pass attempts behind his receivers. While catches were made, it was clear that had the pass been out in front the result would have yielded a much more productive outcome. 

Eagles

Defensively, Eagles DC Sean Desai was making his debut and after one quarter, it looked as if things were going to be smooth sailing. However, this is the NFL and teams make adjustments. By the start of the second half, the game turned into a well executed chess match. Even though the Eagles were able to hold off a late push by the Patriots, the space given to New England receivers and the time in the pocket without pressure was alarming. Desai needs to tighten this up and tighten it up fast. 

ON THE HORIZON:

The Eagles are on a short week, as they open their home schedule on Thursday Night Football vs the Minnesota Vikings; who are coming off a home loss to the Tampa Bay Bucs. I’m sure the talented duo of Cousins and Jefferson will be chomping at the bit after seeing all of that open field on the tape.

As the old adage goes, “A Wins, A Win”. Philadelphia will be tied atop the NFC East with the Dallas Cowboys, and the Washington Commanders as Week 2 kicks off. However, after that showing today; they are far from the “Cream of the Crop” in the NFC.

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