The Philadelphia Eagles are now 3-0, and more importantly, they lead the NFC East.
Sunday was their first divisional match-up — a game against former franchise quarterback Carson Wentz and the Washington Commanders. After defeating the Commanders on the road, 24-8, here are five takeaways from the game.
FIVE TAKEAWAYS: EAGLES VS. COMMANDERS
1. Jalen Hurts is definitely a top-ten quarterback
After the Eagles’ win on Sunday, Hurts earned his first “M-V-P” chant running off of FedEx Field. Having a successful game for three consecutive weeks, he finished with 340 passing yards and three touchdowns.
Prior to Philadelphia’s game against the Commanders, Hurts was ranked a top-ten quarterback, and without a doubt he deserves to be there. After Week 3, he will likely continue to move up in ranking. Not only has he completed almost 1,000 passing yards, but he is also the first quarterback in NFL history with 900+ passing yards and 150+ rushing yards in the first three games of a season.
Players in NFL history with at least 900 pass yards and 150 rush yards in their teams first 3 games of a season:
END OF LIST. #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/DjwawpXaaa
— Hard Rock Sportsbook (@HardRockSB) September 25, 2022
Following the game, Hurts stated, “It’s always been there. Every time, I had my way of proving them wrong. Eery time. That’s not why I do it. I proved myself right. That’s always what I want to do is achieve everything I set myself out to do. But it starts with the work you put in. I think all the criticism that I get, everything that comes my way in negative comments, I’m my biggest critic, so I can handle it.”
2. DeVonta Smith will earn his first career Pro Bowl this season
Former first-round pick, DeVonta Smith finished his rookie season with nearly 1,000 receiving yards. Despite beginning this season with goose eggs for stats, he is making up for lost time, and doing it quickly.
In Week 2 against the Minnesota Vikings, he finished with seven receptions for 80 receiving yards, and more than doubled that in Week 3. In Sunday’s game, the wide receiver caught eight receptions for 169 yards, averaging 21.1 yards. He also scored his first touchdown of the 2022 season.
Though Smith seemed more than surprised with himself, Eagles’ fans never had any concerns. If he remains on this trajectory, Smith should, without a doubt, see 1,000+ yards and his first career Pro Bowl selection.
"It's my ball or nobody's"
Every DeVonta Smith catch from week 3 🔥#Eaglespic.twitter.com/Qcx2GSGawb
— Thomas R. Petersen (@thomasrp93) September 25, 2022
3. The offensive line will remain No. 1 in the league going into Week 4
Philadelphia’s offensive line has been ranked No. 1 since the preseason. And after Week 1 and 2, there has been no change.
Week 3 was another dominating performance from the Eagles’ O-line. They were strong and kept Hurts protected, allowing him to throw for 340 yards. Though they weren’t as productive in the run game, they cleaned up some of their mistakes. Last week, against the Minnesota Vikings, the offensive line committed seven of the teams’ eight penalties. On Sunday, however, the Eagles only had a total of five.
4. The defense is going to finish in the top-three
Fans weren’t pleased after the defense’s performance in Week 1, but they certainly turned themselves around.
In the beginning of the game, Fletcher Cox told Carson Wentz he was excited to finally hit him, and he did just that. The Eagles finished with nine sacks — eight of them coming from the defensive line. It tied for the most times Wentz has been sacked in a game during his career.
Eagles’ sack count:
- Brandon Graham: 2.5
- Haason Reddick: 1.5
- Josh Sweat: 1.5
- Fletcher Cox: 1.5
- Javon Hargrave: 1
- T.J. Edwards: 1
The Eagles also added 17 total quarterback hits, and kept Wentz from continuing his 300+ yard streak this season.
5. The Eagles will win the NFC East
I’d hate to jinx it, but Philadelphia is on the up and up. After defeating the Washington Commanders, the Eagles are now 3-0. The only other undefeated team is the Miami Dolphins (and the New York Giants pending their Monday Night Football game).
Though the Giants trail the Eagles, their offense is ranked outside the top-20 in yards per game, and the defense has only done well against sub-par teams in the first two weeks. New York likely can’t sustain their success. The Commanders continue to adapt to Carson Wentz and the Cowboys are still without Dak Prescott. Though the quarterback stated he would be back in a “couple of weeks”, nothing is promised.