The Eagles are fortunate to have nine wins.
Their trip to Indianapolis looked precarious entering the third quarter. While the defense was incredibly resilient and continued to contain the Colts’ offense, the Eagles could not move the ball. The offense could not generate more than a field goal in the first three quarters and required their quarterback Jalen Hurts, to take over in the final term.
We look at the three takeaways from Week 11’s scrappy win.
Gannon Loves His New Toys
Howie Roseman might be Jonathan Gannon’s best friend.
After their inability to contain the run in Week 10, the Eagles signed both Ndamukong Suh and Lineal Joseph to help sure up their defensive interior. While both players are in the twilight of their careers, they have some juice left.
Joseph finished his Philadelphia debut with four tackles, half a sack, and a quarterback hit. He was credited with a phenomenal 84.8 PFF overall defensive grade for the game. Furthermore, he was also given a PFF stop and one pressure. On Sunday, he provided more than just a big body in the interior for Gannon’s defense.
Suh appeared in fewer snaps than Joseph, with just 17, but made his presence felt. The 35-year-old had half a sack, three total tackles, and a quarterback hit. PFF credited Suh with an exceptional 78.0 overall defensive grade, a stop, and two pressures. His multi-dimensional impact assisted the Eagles in delivering a balanced, dominant, defensive effort.
The continued investment in the trenches paid dividends once again.
Run The Ball – With The Backs
Eagles fans have been clamoring for this one.
Shane Steichen persisted with the passing game as the offense struggled mightily in the first three quarters. While they have moved the ball solidly through the air this season, the Eagles’ identity is physicality and trench dominance. Therefore, fans may need clarification on the 16 rushing attempts that Jalen Hurts received, as opposed to the combined 17 that their three running backs received.
Sanders must receive more volume. The fourth-year lead back already has 757 yards this season through ten games and has found the end zone on six occasions on the ground. He has good instincts, fantastic vision, and the explosiveness to take advantage of the gaping holes the Eagles’ offensive line provides him. So far this season, he has forced 27 missed tackles and already amassed 22 explosive runs of 10+ yards in just 156 carries. His value is reflected in his 76.3 PFF rushing grade, which is solid.
Furthermore, Kenneth Gainwell was almost shut out of this game. He received just one carry and appeared in a measly 11 offensive snaps. This volume is not only inexcusable but detrimental to the team’s success. His presence on the field can make defenders think that a passing down is imminent due to his 14 targets versus just 30 carries all year. His 30 carries have resulted in three touchdowns, as he has a knack for finding the end zone.
Furthermore, Kenneth Gainwell was effectively shut out of the game plan. He received one singular carry and appeared in just 11 offensive snaps. The volume is inexcusable. Moreover, it carries significant detriment to the team’s success. Gainwell is an asset as a receiver, and his presence on the field can influence opposing defenses significantly. With him in the backfield, defensive coordinators are likelier to think it is a pass play due to his 14 targets versus just 30 carries all year. Also, the second-year running back has a nose for the end zone, already rushing for three touchdowns on the ground.
T.J. Edwards Is Becoming A Star
T.J. Edwards has been terrific so far this season.
His counting stats have been incredible. In ten appearances, Edwards has produced 96 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, two sacks, and five passes defended. Against the Colts, the fourth-year linebacker had ten total tackles, with two in the backfield. He tied his season high with five PFF credited stops and a pressure. In coverage, he allowed just 13 yards when targeted.
So far this season, Edwards has been consistently excellent. The 6’1″, 242-pound linebacker has built on his 2021 breakout NFL season, racking up tackles and contributing in every game phase. His improvement has been stellar and has led to an 83.1 overall PFF grade.
The Eagles rely heavily on T.J. Edwards. His leadership and versatility as the defensive signal-caller have been invaluable to the team’s success. The inside linebacker contributes in the run game, as shown by his 26 PFF-credited stops this season. In addition, he can provide pass-rushing support on blitzes, with 11 total pressures on the year. Furthermore, the Eagles can rely on Edwards’ pass coverage, as he has allowed just a 66.0 passer rating when targeted this year.
Sunday night was just another fantastic showing from the consistent linebacker who is making a solid argument for his first Pro Bowl nod in the 2022 NFL Season.
What are your thoughts on the Eagles’ Week 11 win over the Colts? What are your takeaways?
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