The Philadelphia Eagles (9-1) move back to the win column after a nail-biting win over the Indianapolis Colts (4-6-1), 17-16. To make up for last week’s fourth quarter disaster, the Eagles scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter this week to seal the win. There’s a lot to clean up, but no team is perfect. Even the Super Bowl-year Eagles were 9-1 at this point (and the other two chip years the Eagles lost but still made it.)
The Eagles showed growth and areas of concern yesterday, but here are some things to look out for the future as the Eagles compete down the stretch.
They don’t give up the play
In one play when the Eagles defense was on the field, they punched the ball out of Jonathan Taylor‘s hands, ensuring a takeaway – something the Eagles have been really good with earlier in the season. This is why you never give up the play, whether on offense or defense. Later on in the fourth, Jalen Hurts waited for the right time to walk into the end zone for a touchdown. Never giving up the play and continuing to build on the confidence will help the team down the final stretch and potentially in the playoffs.
The defense stepped up big
The Eagles’ defense showed up when it mattered, completely flip-flopping from their Monday night performance against the Washington Commanders. Only holding the Indianapolis Colts to 99 rushing yards with a beast of a running back is an incredible comeback. We can credit Howie Roseman with continuing to build an unstoppable defense that will help them (when fully healthy) when it comes to pushing for playoffs.
One of the most impressive parts of the Eagles this season was watching Hurts improve with each game, and still not hitting his ceiling. His game versus the Colts was a prime example of him keeping his composure – especially in the second half – against the fourth-best defense in the NFL. Hurts had a high snap that ultimately led to a sack but not once was he seen scrambling. The entirety of the fourth quarter was also a good quarter for him. This is something Hurts consistently did this season, which means the best is yet to come.
Third downs are still a little concerning
Offensively, the Eagles improved from October to November in third-down efficiency. However, the issue lies on the other side of the ball, where the Eagles struggle to keep their opponents from converting on third downs. After the nail-biting win over the Colts yesterday, the Eagles dropped to 18th in NFL Team Opponent Third Down Conversion Percentage. The team is going to struggle in the playoffs if this continues to happen. However, it might not be much of an issue considering the defense can make up for it with takeaways and turnovers.
Undisciplined football this late in the season
Flags are an area of concern for any NFL team at the beginning of the season, but fixing those issues and then having the same issues resurface later in the stretch is an area of concern. We can argue whether or not the refs made questionable calls (except for against Dallas Goedert during the Commanders, which was a face mask) but the important issue is that the Eagles need to get back to playing disciplined football. The odds can be stacked against the Eagles, but the team needs to fight back in a clean battle.
Offensive playcalling was surprisingly an issue this time
It was only a matter of time before this became a prominent issue after the bye week, but the offensive playcalling was subpar during the Colts matchup. The cohesive football team that we saw against the Pittsburgh Steelers slowly dwindled throughout November to this. Luckily, we saw great plays made by Hurts, but we need the full team to show up before the playoffs. As much as it would be good to save the best version of the Eagles for the playoffs, it would be best if they could put it all together beforehand.
Photo Credit: Armond Feffer/IndyStar-USA TODAY NETWORK