Win over Detroit saved the Eagles season

by Marc Narducci | Nov 1, 2021
Win over Detroit saved the Eagles season

 It’s not too dramatic to suggest that Sunday’s 44-6 win in Detroit against the Lions saved the Eagles season.

That is not to suggest that the Eagles at 3-5 will make the playoffs, but what it did was ensure that the team has a chance to move in the right direction.

Had they lost to the winless Lions, the Eagles could have fallen apart.

Now, some might suggest that they beat the worst team in the NFL, but there were many, including the oddsmakers who didn’t have a ton of faith in the Eagles.

They were only a 3.5 point favorite.

And they were facing a Lions team that had actually been lauded for being so competitive despite its record.

Two of the Lions’ losses were by 19-17 scores when Baltimore and Minnesota hit 66 and 54-yard field goals at the buzzer respectively to win the games.

Detroit was coming off a competitive 28-19 loss at the Los Angeles Rams, a viable Super Bowl contender.

Yet Detroit, despite being at home, wasn’t competitive and the Eagles deserve all the credit.

The franchise, and specifically coach Nick Sirianni, took a lot of heat for using a flower analogy to compare the growth of his team.

Yet that should all be forgotten.

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What should be noted by the win is that Sirianni and defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, took to heart all the criticism about play-calling and made a change.

The knock against the Eagles is that they were relying too much on quarterback Jalen Hurts to make plays on offense and were too passive on defense. All season Sirianni, who calls the plays, has been criticized for not using the running game more, specifically from the running backs.

While Hurts is a major running threat, the running backs simply weren’t getting ample opportunities.

On Sunday, the Eagles had 46 rushing attempts for 236 yards (5.1 avg.) and four touchdowns.

With the ankle injury sidelining top back Miles Sanders, the Eagles brought veteran Jordan Howard up from the practice squad and he responded with 12 carries for 57 yards (4.8 avg.) and two touchdowns. Boston Scott had 12 carries for 60 yards (5.0 avg.) and two touchdowns.

According to the Eagles, the 236 yards rushing and four touchdowns was the first time they rushed for more than 225 yards and four scores on the road since Sept. 14, 1980 at Minnesota when they rushed for 249 yards and four touchdowns.

The 44 points the Eagles scored was the first time they totaled at least 40 points since their epic 41-33 win over New England in Super Bowl LII.

On defense, the Eagles were aggressive and recorded a season-high six sacks.

The Eagles were the aggressors from the beginning and this is something they should be able to build off during the second half of the season.

Now the Eagles have to take this momentum into Sunday’s home game against the suddenly struggling Los Angeles Chargers (4-3) who have lost two in a row following Sunday’s 27-24 home loss to the New England Patriots.

This season’s two biggest questions are whether Sirianni can be a successful coach and if Hurts is the quarterback of the future.

One win won’t answer that question, but the Eagles had a chance to fall apart if they lost to Detroit and instead they played their best game of the season.

Sirianni deserves credit for that and he has to hope that people will be talking less about flowers and more about a possible resurgence for a team that clearly answered the bell in Detroit.

Photo Courtesy of Philadelphia Eagles

 


Author: Marc Narducci

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