With the 2022 NFL Playoffs looming, the Philadelphia Eagles secured a statement win this past week. Here are players trending upwards and downwards following their 35-10 shellacking of the Tennessee Titans.
Trending Up – Quarterback Jalen Hurts
Following a 382-yard, four-touchdown performance, Eagles Quarterback Jalen Hurts is trending WAYYY up this week. The MVP frontrunner led his team to victory against a quality opponent this past Sunday. Hurts, amid contract extension talks with Philadelphia’s front office, made a bit of history while winning his 11th game of the 2022 season, too. Hurts became the first quarterback in Eagles franchise history to throw for 350-plus yards, throw for three touchdowns, and rush for one touchdown, all in the same game.
Hurts has also notched a season-high for total touchdowns with 29. A 20:3 ratio for passing touchdowns to interceptions is also a career-high for Hurts. His eye-popping numbers from week 13 have also earned him back-to-back NFC Player of the Week honors.
While other quarterbacks around the league have thrown for more yards and touchdowns, Hurts sits atop the MVP rankings following this dominant performance against Tennessee. Hurts holds the record for most consecutive games in franchise history with a 90+ passer rating, with seven. Whether it’s rushing for over 350 yards last week against the Green Bay Packers or this past Sunday’s carnage through the air, the Eagles are in good hands with Hurts as their quarterback. Look for Hurts to put up big numbers this week against the division rival New York Giants this upcoming Sunday.
Trending Up – A.J. Brown
With Hurts sharing the wealth with different receivers, none are trending higher than Wide Receiver A.J. Brown. In a matchup against the team that drafted him in the Tennessee Titans, Brown exploded for eight catches for 199 yards and two touchdowns. The 24-year-old receiver has led the NFL in touchdown catches since week six, hauling in a combined eight TD passes. The former Ole Miss receiver needs just 50 more receiving yards to become the first 1,000-yard receiver for the Eagles in eight years.
Philadelphia has enjoyed a wealth of riches at the receiver position, as fellow Wide Receiver, Devonta Smith had over 100 yards receiving as well. The duo became the first set of Eagles receivers to both have over 100 receiving yards in a game in nearly a decade.
In the eyes of Brown, thin past Sunday’s game against Tennessee was a revenge game of sorts. Oddly enough, the Tennessee Titans fired General Manager Jon Robinson on Tuesday. Robinson orchestrated the Brown-to-Philadelphia trade this past offseason. The firing of Robinson is another reason Brown is trending up after a stellar performance against his old team. In conclusion, Brown is the de facto leader of this receiving unit and looks to continue to build on an impressive 2022 season.
Trending Up – Jonathan Gannon
While plenty of scrutinies has been placed on Eagles Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon, this man deserves praise after this win. The 39-year-old coordinator orchestrated a great game plan against one of the league’s premier running backs, Derrick Henry. Collectively, the Eagles’ defense held Henry to just 30 rushing yards, his second-fewest all season, this past Sunday. Furthermore, in the past three weeks, Gannon’s defense has held opposing running backs to 52 rushing yards per game and just 3.4 yards per carry on average.
While the run defense from Gannon’s scheme has improved vastly with key additions of Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh, the Eagles’ pass-rush has also been stellar. The Eagles sit second in league with 42 sacks through 13 games. In doing so, Defensive End Haason Reddick accounts for nine of those sacks, ranking tenth across the entire NFL. Defensive Tackles Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave have combined to add 13 more. The Eagles have established a relentless effort in getting after opposing quarterbacks thanks to Gannon’s defensive scheme.
Another critical piece on the defense for Gannon has been his secondary. With devastating losses in Cornerback Avonte Maddox and Safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson to injury, the reserves have played well. Backup Cornerback Josiah Scott and backup Safety Reed Blankenship have made pivotal plays in coverage for Gannon when needed. Overall, Gannon is leading one of the NFL’s most consistent defenses on a team primed for a playoff run.
Trending Up – Nakobe Dean
Eagles Linebacker Nakobe Dean is also trending up this week. The rookie out of Georgia shined in a limited role this past Sunday, racking up six tackles and one tackle for loss in just 15 total snaps. Though Dean has seen limited playing time this season in Philadelphia, the 2022 third-round pick made the most of his opportunity against the Titans. Dean was tied for the team lead in tackles and will have more of an impact on this Eagles team throughout the remainder of the season.
The Philadelphia Eagles are the NFL’s most complete team and continue to improve as the season progresses. Heading into a division battle with the 7-5 New York Giants, this Eagles team is ready to roll. Hurts is the MVP front-runner in the eyes of many. Brown has been worth his price tag and then some. Gannon continues to prove why he received head coaching interviews this past offseason. Dean finally got playing time, and his role will expand as needed.
In conclusion, Philadelphia is a heavyweight that most teams do not want to face. With the Giants in their sights, the Eagles will look to assert dominance against a quality divisional opponent. Look for the Eagles and the contributors mentioned above to impact this pivotal game in the NFC East this Sunday.