The Philadelphia Eagles were on the road for Week 10, flying out West to visit the Denver Broncos. Coming off two consecutive wins, including a dominating victory over the Dallas Cowboys, the Broncos were undoubtedly the favorite going into Sunday’s game.
But that didn’t stop Philadelphia. The Eagles pulled out a 30-13 win over Denver, playing their best game of the season.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Hurts has been under a microscope since the 2021 NFL season started, but with each week that passes, his gameplay improves. Sunday, hands down, was his best game yet.
The second-year quarterback looked poised. He played in the pocket well, was in control, and exuded confidence. Hurts completed 16 of 23 attempts for 178 passing yards and a 103.2 passer rating. He also put two passing touchdowns on the board and ran for 52 yards, contributing to another brilliant run game.
Following the win, Hurts stated, “We know that this is what we can do. We’re continuing to grow. I’ve said this all along, that it’s about growth. The biggest thing I’ll tell you about this game and everything we go through — we’ve been learning, and we’ve been growing steady. The only direction is to rise, to continue to rise, to continue to grow, to continue to put in the effort. Everything will play out the way it’s supposed to.”
While Jalen Hurts isn’t a franchise quarterback yet, if he keeps putting out games like this one, he very well may be.
Jalen Hurts' @NFL QB Rankings Since Week 8:
– 186 rushing yards (1st)
– 102.6 passer rating (2nd)
– 8.2 passing yards/attempt (3rd)
– 36 total first downs (8th)
– 66.7 completion percentage (T-9th)
(min. 50 attempts) pic.twitter.com/PIi3xtdvvG
— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) November 15, 2021
The Run Game
At some point in the last 24 hours, Nick Sirianni was caught biting his tongue for not running the ball sooner. But hey, it’s never too late, right?
The Eagles finished Sunday’s game finished with 214 rushing yards as Jordan Howard and Boston Scott pulled out almost identical stats. Howard picked up 83 yards on 12 carries, and Scott went for 81 yards on 11 carries.
The Eagles are now the top rushing team in the NFC and have the most rushing yards in the entire league over the last four games.
Smith may have had a slow start to the season, but he has picked up over the last few weeks. Since Week 8, Smith has been the highest graded of all offensive players in the NFL (92.0). And Sunday was nothing short of incredible.
On his 23rd birthday, Smith went up against Denver’s Patrick Surtain II, catching a 36-yard touchdown in the endzone, placing the Eagles 10-0 in the first quarter. The duo battled again in the next quarter, but Surtain was defeated for a second time. On a 75-yard drive, Hurts threw to Smith for 12 yards, connecting in the end zone for another 7 points.
— NFL (@NFL) November 15, 2021
Smith stated, “It’s just Jalen [Hurts] trusting me like I trust him. He gave me a chance to make the catch. That’s all you can ask for. I went up and got it.”
The Offensive Line
All of the above had the help of a solid offensive line during Sunday’s game. Their pass protection was on point, finishing with a higher grade than the Los Angeles Rams, who have the highest-graded offensive line in the NFL (80.3).
Pro Football Focus stated, “The Eagles’ offensive line played one of its best games of the season in pass protection, combining to allow just four pressures while earning an 86.0 team pass-blocking grade on first review.”
The OL held the opposing defense to give Philadelphia 214 yards on 40 carries and allowed only one sack and two hits on Hurts.
The Eagles’ defense wasn’t necessarily the powerhouse fans are used to seeing from previous years, but they pulled out some fantastic plays on Sunday.
Early in the third quarter, K’Von Wallace blocked Denver’s field goal kick preventing the Broncos from a score of 13. In the next quarter, the Broncos attempted to convert a 4th-and-1, but linebacker Davion Taylor stripped the ball loose. Darius Slay kept Philadelphia’s momentum going in a zig-zag trip down the field. The cornerback covered 128.9 yards, sending the Eagles 27-13 with a fumble recovery touchdown.
“I think we were all a little ticked off about last week (against the Chargers), and we came out here and played a complete game,” linebacker T.J. Edwards said. “It felt great out there. We had confidence in each other, and it was a big win. A really big win.”
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) November 14, 2021
The defense limited Denver to 309 yards and one touchdown in five drives to the end zone.
Often missed but never forgotten. After a horrific 2020 season, Elliott is on track to finish with the best season of his career. In ten weeks, Elliott has missed one field goal in 16 attempts and has successfully completed every extra point.
WHAT WENT WRONG
After a rough rookie season, many thought this year would be the Year of Reagor, but sadly, no.
The wide receiver lost eight yards early in Sunday’s game, and his last three offensive touches have gone for -2 yards.
On punt returns, he also averages 4.8 — last among 20 returners across the league.
Reagor is giving the Eagles very little to work with, especially on an already depleted offense.
Another two penalties.
In the second quarter, Barnett jumped offsides, giving the Broncos first-and-goal from the Eagles’ 4-yard line. He then got called for roughing the passer, costing the Eagles 15 yards, and preventing a third-down stop.
Luckily the Eagles held the Broncos to field goals, but it may not always pan out that way if this pattern continues.
Dallas Goedert’s injury
In the first quarter of Sunday’s game, Goedert and Denver’s safety Justin Simmons collided heads at the end of a 24-yard play. Goedert’s head then appeared to be slammed into the ground following the hit.
A shot that should have been illegal on Simmons’ part wasn’t called. Goedert was ruled out for the remainder of the game and today Sirianni confirmed that the tight end is on concussion protocol.
Goedert was TE1 following Zach Ertz’s trade. The team now must move forth with Jack Stoll and Tyree Jackson.
Now 4-6, the Eagles will return home to prepare for a series of winnable games. The team, who has yet to win at home, will play the New Orleans Saints at the Linc on Sunday, November 21.