The Philadelphia Eagles are now 6-0 and headed into their scheduled bye week to rest and get healthy. They remain the only undefeated team in the NFL and continue to silence critics week to week. There is nothing sweeter than a victory over the hated rival Dallas Cowboys on primetime, but for the fans, media, and players, it wasn’t easy!
Let’s look at the Iggles.com Hungry Dog (player/coach of the game) and Bird in the Doghouse (worst player/coach of the game). I’ll also be predicting the best and worst performers in the Eagles’ upcoming matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 8, after the bye.
Week 6 Hungry Dog, Cowboys @ Eagles
This Philadelphia Eagles roster is special because from week to week, you don’t see just one unit dominate. Their wins are always a team effort, so I’m picking two hungry dogs here.
Let’s start with the Eagles’ offense in “crunch time.” The Cowboys returned from a 20-3 deficit to cut the Eagles’ lead to just 3 heading into the 4th quarter.
- On the Eagles’ next offensive drive, they would go 15 plays for 75 yards and a touchdown, eating 7:37 of time off the clock.
- The running of Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott, and Jalen Hurts gained big yardage and converted multiple 3rd downs.
- The Eagles would score after a 22-yard pass to AJ Brown and a 7-yard touchdown pass to Devonta Brown, respectively.
- When the Eagles’ offense has needed a clutch drive to close a game, they’ve done it.
In week 1 against the Lions, the Eagles’ offense rushed for 42 yards to seal the game in their last drive. In week 4 when the Jaguars got within one score, the Eagles offense put up 9 points in back-to-back drives to seal the game. In week 5 against the Cardinals, the Eagles offense led a 17-play, 70-yard drive over 7:58 to kick what would be the game-winning field goal. Time and time again, this offense is clutch and shows up!
I understand that it’s easy to get frustrated with Gannon because his defense has lax moments with leads, but the Eagles’ defense is my second hungry dog pick. The scheme should be aggressive regardless of the situation but let’s be honest, this defense is consistent.
The Eagles stats speak for themselves. The Birds have held 4 of their 6 opponents to 20 points or less. For the second straight week, this defense held a team to less than 17 points. They picked off Cooper Rush 3 times and contained CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup. Furthermore, they outshined the vaunted Cowboys’ defense and the secondary arguably had their best game of the season.
Week 6 Bird in the Doghouse, Cowboys @ Eagles
The most frustrating thing about this Eagles team is that they let teams hang around.
My doghouse dud this week is the Eagles’ inability to stay aggressive for four quarters.
It’s commendable that they are 6-0 despite not having played a complete game, but you have to wonder if there’s a week to come when it actually catches up to them. The Eagles are the best 2nd quarter team, but they’re the most frustrating 3rd quarter team.
In 5 of their 6 3rd quarters this season, they’ve scored 7 points or less, giving a few of their opponent’s opportunities to claw back. Inconsistent playcalling and a conservative defense have usually been the culprits for this. This Eagles team has to keep their foot on the gas at all times.
Come playoff time, more talented teams could make them pay for it. An honorable mention for doghouse dud is the Eagles’ special teams’ punt and kick return coverage. They allowed a 63-yard return before halftime allowing a Cowboys field goal and momentum. If the Cowboys had scored a touchdown here, the second half could have looked a little different. They can’t afford to give away great field position to the opponent going forward.
Week 8 Hungry Dog Prediction, Steelers @ Eagles
After their bye, the Eagles will face the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are well-coached but have plenty of flaws. Whether it’s Mitchell Trubisky or Kenny Pickett, the Steelers have bottom-half-of-the-league passing and rushing offenses.
They only score 16 points per game, near the bottom of the league. My hungry dog prediction for this game is the Eagles’ defense. They will continue to roll by forcing Trubisky or Pickett into mistakes, as the team that leads the NFL in takeaways.
This is a great opportunity for the Eagles to hold yet another team under 20 points or less, as the Steelers do not have running backs or wide receivers that are standing out as huge threats. The Eagles’ pass offense has a great chance for the hungry dog award as well, as the Steelers are near the bottom of the league in pass defense.
Week 8 Bird in the Doghouse Prediction, Steelers @ Eagles
I’m bending the rules because I do not have a doghouse dud prediction for Steelers @ Eagles.
The Eagles will be at home facing a team they are much better than, and will be fresh coming off a bye. The few injuries they have suffered will have had time to heal, and this is a team to test all schemes and playcalling against.
Some may say this is a trap game, but the Eagles will avoid the trap. I believe that this is finally the game that the Eagles will click on all cylinders and dominate from top to bottom. Call me optimistic, but this Steelers team is weak on both sides of the ball.
- Do you agree or disagree?
- Who would be your hungry dog and doghouse dud picks for the Eagles game against the Cowboys?
- Who would you pick going into the week 8 matchup against the Steelers?