Eagles observations: Sloppy defense, A.J. Brown balls out, and more & More Latest News

Two indeniable information: 

No. 1: The Eagles have a heck of so much to work on.

No. 2: The Eagles are 1-0.

The Eagles constructed a 17-point third-quarter lead, then held on for expensive life for a 38-35 win over the Lions within the season opener at Ford Field in Detroit Sunday.

The Eagles didn’t safe this one till Jalen Hurts – barely – gained a yard on 4th-and-1 on the Lions’ 40-yard-line with 66 seconds left.


Here’s our 10 Instant Observations from a scary afternoon in Michigan.

1. Nick Sirianni spoke all summer time about how adversity is inevitable, what’s vital is the way you cope with it. Little did he know the Eagles would cope with it 33 seconds into the season. That’s when D’Andre Swift ran 51 yards on the second play of the sport to arrange a Lions landing. That was the longest run from scrimmage in opposition to the Eagles on opening day since Tiki Barber had a 72-yarder for the Giants in 2004. The Lions led 7-0 simply 4 ½ minutes into the sport, and then the Eagles gave the Lions good subject place after they couldn’t convert on 4th-and-5. You need adversity? Here you go. And you’ve received to like how the Eagles responded. Over the following 19 minutes the Eagles outgained the Lions 223-22 and outscored them 21-7 to get again right into a recreation that couldn’t have began any worse. Not all the things went proper for the Eagles after that, however they confirmed a whole lot of character and resilience in bouncing again from what was actually a disastrous begin and holding on within the fourth quarter when the factor was on the point of getting away from them.  


2. I’ve been blown away all summer time by A.J. Brown, however seeing him make those self same performs in his first recreation in an Eagles uniform solely drives residence simply how insanely proficient this child is. And simply how loopy is it that the Eagles received him for a mid-1st-round decide and a Third-round decide. That 18-yarder that he snagged about an inch off the bottom, that was a murals. And the 54-yarder earlier than halftime whereas Will Harris grabbed his jersey? That was a masterpiece. Brown was 6-for-128 by halftime and completed 10-for-155, breaking Donte’ Stallworth’s membership file of 141 for many yards by a receiver in his Eagles debut. I don’t need to get too carried away after one recreation, but it surely’s scary how good he’s. And he simply turned 25. And he’s right here till not less than 2025. And this was only the start.

3. We’ve talked about a whole lot of issues that would go fallacious for the Eagles this 12 months, however no one by no means thought run protection was one in all them. The Eagles have been ninth within the NFL in opposition to the run final 12 months and that was with out Jordan Davis, Brandon Graham, Kyzir White and all the opposite newcomers. For the Lions to ram it down the Eagles’ throats on the bottom is a big concern.  And it wasn’t simply Swift’s 51-yarder. The Lions – nineteenth within the NFL working the ball final 12 months – ran for 181 yards Sunday, and even the slow-footed Goff transformed a key third down with a 10-yard scramble on a Third-and-7 to arrange the Lions’ third TD, and that simply can’t occur. The Eagles’ revamped secondary did a terrific job in protection – Goff was a punchless 21-for-37 for 215 yards – however the run protection was embarrassing. Too many guys out of place, too many guys whiffing on tackles, too many guys not wrapping up. That’s received to be fastened instantly.

4. My largest concern in regards to the protection was whether or not it had the manpower to generate constant go strain even after including Haason Reddick, and whereas I did suppose they received OK strain at instances within the first half – there was nothing within the second half when the Lions began to combat again. Jonathan Gannon actually blitzed more than we noticed final 12 months – and that created some early strain – however the defensive entrance didn’t have a sack and had simply two hurries in opposition to a quarterback they sacked six instances final 12 months. And in opposition to a banged-up Detroit o-line. With the addition of Reddick, Brandon Graham again and Josh Sweat coming off a giant second half, you’d have hoped this wouldn’t be an issue any longer. But not less than within the opener it positive was.

5. I used to be curious to see how a lot Chauncey Gardner-Johnson might contribute simply 12 days after the Eagles acquired him, and, wow, he appeared like a man who’s been right here all summer time. CJGJ made an impression on consecutive Lions Third downs within the second quarter, first with blitz strain and then in protection on Amon-Ra St. Brown on a 3rd down. Anthony Harris is a category act, however CJGJ made more performs Sunday than Harris made all final 12 months. He’s simply across the ball, fast, athletic and energetic. Did get known as for a bogus DPI within the fourth quarter. But what an enormous addition lower than two weeks earlier than the opener.  


6. This was not a statistical masterpiece by Jalen Hurts, however he did put up 31 factors, gained his second straight street opener, didn’t make any evident errors, was sharp on third down, made plenty of performs along with his legs and did a pleasant job recovering after that 0-for-5 begin. Finished 18-for-32 for 243 passing yards with 90 speeding yards, so he was 18-for-27 after the 0-for-5 begin. Fourteen carries is approach too many, however I believed the o-line was shaky early, forcing him to flee the pocket and run more than he wished. But the offense finally received right into a rhythm, he threw precisely and ran much less as the sport went on. Hurts didn’t throw any TD passes, however I don’t care. In a loud stadium, on the street, within the 20thstart of his profession, he was simply high-quality. 

7. I liked the way in which Shane Steichen used his backs, mixing up Miles Sanders and Kenny Gainwell and getting good manufacturing out of each of them and then going to Boston Scott within the third quarter down on the purpose line. Gainwell received the primary sequence of the third quarter, and we didn’t see Sanders for a minute, then on his first snap again on the sphere because the second quarter – rested, contemporary legs – he explodes for twenty-four yards. Three performs later, Gainwell scores. Sanders appeared quick, robust and explosive – 13-for-96 and his first landing since Week 16 of 2020. And that 24-yarder for an enormous first down late within the fourth quarter was huge. And Gainwell added 20 yards on 5 carries. Including their receptions, the backs mixed for 147 scrimmage yards and three TDs on 26 touches. Including Hurts’ TD, this was the primary time in 61 years 4 completely different Eagles had a speeding landing in the identical recreation. On Oct. 22, 1961, in a 43-7 win over the Cowboys on the Cotton Bowl, Clarence Peaks had two and Billy Ray Barnes, Ted Dean and Theron Sapp had one every. Terrific effectivity and manufacturing.

8. That James Bradberry pick-6 was such a giant play for a pair causes. It got here with the Eagles nonetheless scuffling a bit bit after a sluggish begin and gave the Eagles a 14-point lead. And it additionally was the product of two guys taking part in of their first video games as Eagles, two vital items of Howie Roseman’s roster overhaul. It was Kyzir White who deflected it to Bradberry – and then added a key block for good measure. But it was the type of play that’s been lacking for this workforce for some time. They’ve been among the many worst within the NFL in forcing turnovers the final 4 years, and to not simply get a takeaway at a pivotal level within the recreation however flip it into seven factors, that was encouraging.


9. A variety of actually sloppy play by the Eagles – two false begins, one offensive holding and one defensive holding, a impartial zone infraction, two 12 males on the sphere, two delay of video games, a go interference. They have been lucky to beat that stuff, however Sirianni and Gannon have to wash that up now since you’re not going to win many video games committing 10 penalties.

10. Final phrase on Sanders: What an amazing second effort on that 24-yard run on a Third-and-2 with 2:21 left that basically put the sport away. Lions linebacker Derrick Barnes had his arms round Sanders and was about to stuff him for a loss, however Sanders confirmed toughness and grit busting away from Barnes and scooting down the sphere for one of many largest performs of the day. Sanders, who missed practically all of coaching camp, completed 13-for-96 with a pair catches for 9 yards and a 105-yard scrimmage recreation. And most vital … he didn’t get harm. If Sanders performs like this, that new contract goes to return.

11. OK, bonus remark: Bradberry grew to become the primary Eagle with a pick-6 in his first recreation as an Eagle since Don Looney had a 31-yarder off Packers QB Cecil Isbell on opening day 1940 on the previous City Stadium in Green Bay. And he grew to become the primary Eagle cornerback with a pick-6 on the street since Dimitri Patterson picked off Donovan McNabb at FedEx Field in that 59-28 recreation in 2010.


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