Dallas week has come and gone and now the Eagles are 6-0 in a much-needed bye week. A 26-17 win heading into the bye week, especially when it follows the Phillies making the NLCS and winning Game 1, is a historic and great way to start your week.
So far, the Eagles have dominated in ways that show bits and pieces of an elite-level team. Where the Eagles may have struggled in some weeks, they were dominant in others. Now, what’s important is getting everyone healthy and back to work when they can to face a long 10 weeks.
Let’s take a look back at the highs (and lows) of the Eagles during the Cowboys game.
Big first half
The Cowboys outscored the Eagles in the first quarter this season, 31-14, so the Eagles needed to start strong. With a score of 20-3 going into the half, I’d say the Eagles solved their need of starting strong. The Eagles haven’t put together all the parts of being a threatening team. Part of that will be making sure the team starts and ends strong, something they’ve been very able to do.
Defensive turnover battle
It really helps to have guys like Haason Reddick and James Bradberry delivering the pressure week in and week out. When you have a team who can afford to rely a lot on defense because of its talent, winning the turnover battle is a major key to success. Darius Slay and CJ Gardner-Johnson walked away with three interceptions. Not only that, but the Eagles defense was very successful in stopping the Cowboys from converting on 3rd and 4th downs throughout much of the game.
Contained Parsons in the first half
Everything shifted when Lane Johnson left the game on Sunday because, after that, Micah Parsons was much better at making plays and getting at the quarterback. However, before Johnson left the field, Parsons pretty much handled the first half of the game. You want to see this from your O-line if you face the Cowboys because Parsons is an absolute beast.
Bonus: Make opponents get messy
During any division rivalry week, emotions are going to be a little stronger than normal since there’s more at stake. When the Eagles played well, it frustrated Trevon Diggs. When they didn’t play well, it made Parsons get a little too happy. Not that there’s any specific rhyme or reason to doing this, but if the Eagles can draw these flags – at least the occasional PI call – it’ll really help the Eagles.
Who’s the “next man up?”
When the Eagles get injured, who is the guy that will step up and transition into the game? When Johnson went down, the impact was felt in the second half of the game. Obviously, there’s going to be a little change, but it can be scary when teams almost make a comeback against a secondary. This issue is something I see being addressed during the bye week, especially since Johnson may or may not be back.
Though not as big of an issue this week, there were still a few defensive holes that need to be addressed. One of the issues that seemed to happen refers to the point made below. The Eagles allow explosive runs and plays to happen. Though they manage to win games, it ultimately makes the defense works harder when other teams are scoring and attempting to make a comeback win, too.
Why isn’t Davis on the field more???
The Jordan Davis effect is heavily felt against the run. This season, the Eagles held opponents to 3.92 yards per carry when Davis is on the field versus 5.94 yards when he’s off the field. It would make a lot more sense for Gannon to incorporate Davis on the field more to keep the opposing offenses at bay. The Eagles are dominating the turnover battle this season, so they need to continue utilizing what works. Davis is one of the things that work.
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