One Win Turns Everything Around for the Eagles

One Win Turns Everything Around for the Eagles
The Eagles world was coming apart, but in a wild week of off the field incidents, the Eagles returned to being the team that everybody expected with Sunday’s 31-13 win over the host Buffalo Bills.
 
Thus, the two-game losing streak against Minnesota and Dallas, has momentarily been forgotten. Playing their third straight road game, the Eagles went old-fashioned basic football and roe the running game to the win.
 
Buffalo had entered the game 5-1 but the Bills had feasted on a week schedule. And a strong defense that head coach Sean McDermott had built, was seriously beaten in the trenches.
 
The Eagles rushed for 218 yards and three touchdowns on 41 carries, a healthy 5.3 yards per carry.
 
Miles Sanders, is beginning to show why the Eagles were so high on the second round draft choice from Penn State.
 
Sanders rushed for 74 yards on just three carries. That included his first NFL touchdown, an electrifying 65-yard run. NFL Network said that Next gen stats showed that Sanders was running 21 miles per hour on the run, which is clearly motoring.
 
Sanders also caught 3 passes for 44 yards and returned one kickoff for 24 yards.
 
In the third quarter Sanders injured his shoulder. While x-rays were negative, this injury bears watching. If healthy, Sanders and Jordan Howard give the Eagles a strong running back tandem. Sanders is the speed back who can dart to the outside while Howard is tough running between the tackles.
 
Howard rushed 23 times for 96 yards and 1 TD. Even Boston Scott, who filled in for the injured Sanders, got into the act with a rushing touchdown.
 
Oh yes, Carson Wentz also rushed for 35 yards on eight carries. Wentz completed 17 of 24 for 172 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
 
He was in this game an effective game manager. His running was a key and Wentz also didn’t commit any turnovers. His counterpart Josh Allen lost one fumble and while he didn’t throw an interception, Allen completed just 47.1 percent of his passes for 169 yards.
 
As we wrote a week ago, Wentz has played effectively and has been one of the Eagles better players. With a strong running game, there will be less pressure on Wentz to have to make the big plays, although he is capable of it.
 
Now the Eagles look to gain momentum. They host the Chicago Bears this week and then have a bye. The Bears (3-4) have been one of the disappointing teams in the NFL after going to the playoffs last year (and losing to the Eagles, 16-15 in NFL wildcard round).
 
The Bears are coming off a 17-16 home loss to what had been a struggling Los Angles Chargers team after Eddy Pineiro missed a 41-yard field goal as time expired. The Chargers (3-5) snapped a three-game losing streak. Meanwhile, the Bears have lost three in a row.
 
Chicago has one of the worst offenses in the NFL.
 
Third-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who the Bears traded up to select as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft, has been a major disappointment, although many criticized Chicago drafting him in the first place.
 
The Bears are 27th in the NFL in scoring, averaging 18.3 points per game.
 
The Eagles deserve credit, especially with all the so-called turmoil, the well-documented comments by former cornerback Orlando Scandrick.
 
Now at the midway point, the Eagles are in decent shape, and face an easier second half schedule. A week ago, the sky was falling on the Eagles. Now after an impressive road win, the postseason definitely looks achievable.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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