Eagles in a Good Position as They Hit the Road

Eagles in a Good Position as They Hit the Road
Finally, after having the first four games decide by a touchdown or less, the Eagles have a (sort of) breather with Sunday’s 31-6 win over the New York Jets.
 
With the rest of the NFC East losing, the Eagles are now tied for first place with Dallas at 3-2. The Cowboys have played two teams with winning records and have lost both, to New Orleans (with a backup QB) and Green Bay.
 
The New York Giants are 2-3 and have to visit Super Bowl champion New England on Thursday. Washington is a mess at 0-5 and just fired head coach Jay Gruden.
 
If Dallas doesn’t show that it can beat a team with a winning record, the NFC East may not be as difficult as originally forecast.
 
The Eagles were considered the team to beat in the NFC East prior to the season and nothing has changed.
 
What will be interesting is the next three weeks where the Eagles face three teams with winning records all on the road in the next three weeks. Those games at Minnesota (3-2), Dallas (3-2) and surprising Buffalo (4-1).
 
There are some who may be worried about the Eagles offense, which wasn’t exactly explosive against the Jets.
 
The Eagles miss DeSean Jackson’s deep threat. He has missed the last three games with an abdominal injury, but still, the Eagles struggled offensively at times against the 0-4.
 
What is interesting is that Wentz has passed for under 200 yards in his last two games and it hasn’t mattered.
 
It goes to show that there are other ways to win in the pass-happy NFL.
 
That said, the Eagles won’t be able to win consistently with sub 200-yard passing games.
 
While the Eagles had a big day defensively it has to be kept in perspective. Yes they had 10 sacks and two defensive touchdowns. Not to ruin their day but it came against one of the most inept offenses in recent NFL history.
 
The Jets offensive line has allowed 22 sacks in four games.
 
Even when Sam Darnold returns at QB, that is an offense that looks light years away from being functional.
 
Still, Brandon Graham said in the locker room afterwards, that he feels this effort could springboard the defense.
 
The Eagles entered the game with only three sacks in the first four games. Graham had three himself, a career-high.
 
It will be important to get Graham going. Last year he finished with just four sacks, but he played all season on a bum ankle.
 
This year Graham is healthy and a return to form of he showed in 2017, the Super Bowl season. That year Graham had 9.5 sacks.
 
He likely will need to approach that total this year for the defense to function at a high level.
 
The Eagles have been so banged up at cornerback that they need a strong pass rush. Graham is one of the key players moving forward.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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