With a wild first week in the NFL in the books, it’s time to look at who stood out and who did not. Let’s look at week 1’s Standout Stud and Flat-Out Dud for our Philadelphia Eagles after a thrilling 38-35 win over the Detroit Lions.
I’ll also predict the best and worst performers on the Eagles roster in the upcoming matchup with the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football.
Standout Stud – Week 1 Winner (Eagles at Lions)
Jalen Hurts deserves a round of applause for his performance. Not only did he look like a seasoned franchise quarterback, but his leadership also shined. He wins standout stud easily because the Eagles do not win this game without him.
There was concern in 2021 that Hurts wasn’t the type of guy who could win a shootout, but he showed that he can.
- His completion percentage hurt slightly by a few smart throwaways, but he did pass for 234 yards, rush for 90 yards, and rush for one touchdown.
- His pocket awareness and quick decision-making boded well on 3rd and 4th down, and the Detroit Lions defensive line could not contain him.
- His success in rushing opened up the Eagles’ running game, and any questions about his chemistry with AJ Brown were answered.
- He did not turn the ball over, was only sacked once and his throwaways preserved field position.
The most impressive moment came by Hurts with 1:06 remaining. The Eagles were protecting a 3-point lead, and he converted a successful quarterback sneak on 4th and 1 to the Lions’ 39 to seal the Eagles’ victory.
Flat Out Dud – Week 1 Loser (Eagles at Lions)
Coaches are not off limits, so Jonathan Gannon
wins loses here. Although the Lions have a respectable offensive line and running game, allowing 35 points to a team with a below-average quarterback is less than desirable. It’s even worse when you realize that team only averaged 19 points per game in 2021.
The Eagles’ defensive line got gashed against the run, giving up 181 total rushing yards to the Lions and three rushing touchdowns, and they only sacked Jared Goff once.
The Eagles drafted NFL-ready players, and Gannon didn’t use them. Why?
- Nakobe Dean only played three snaps.
- Jordan Davis only played 22.
- The Eagles allowed 2.9 yards per carry when Jordan Davis was in, and 10 yards per carry when he wasn’t.
It’s very possible that this performance could be an anomaly, but Gannon clearly took his foot off the gas after a strong second quarter and seeing the Eagles stats after the game proved this. Aggression and defining a true scheme are his weak points. The bright spot in Gannon’s unit was the secondary.
Epps showed flashes in his role and James Bradberry notched the first Eagles defensive turnover of the season. Let’s hope Gannon makes adjustments because a talented Vikings offense is coming to Philadelphia next week. The last thing we need is Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen shining, which could open up things for Jalen Reagor. Yuck!
Standout Stud Prediction for Week 2 (Vikings at Eagles)
Despite the defensive line only getting to Goff once on Sunday, I think that changes on Monday. The Vikings’ offensive line is a talented unit, but every unit has a weakness.
- Their offensive line struggled in pass protection and allowed 17 pressures on 33 pass attempts against the Packers on Sunday.
- Edward Ingram and Garrett Bradbury are both talented but were the weaker links in that game.
My standout stud for week 2 is Josh Sweat.
It’s possible he could see even more snaps than he did last week due to Derek Barnett’s ACL injury. Sweat has the burst and speed to disrupt part of this offensive line, and force Kirk Cousins into mistakes and rushed throws. If Gannon keeps Sweat up front and doesn’t drop him into coverage like he did Sunday, he could have a huge day.
An honorable mention for standout stud is Miles Sanders, as Packers running backs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon were able to succeed against the Vikings front on Sunday.
Flat Out Dud Prediction for Week 2 (Vikings at Eagles)
I truly hate to do this, but I see no scenario in which the Eagles’ defense shuts down both Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. I could see one being contained more than the other since the Eagles have a solid duo of corners, but it’s a tough task.
My flat-out dud for week 2 is James Bradberry.
This pick has no bearing on what I think of Bradberry as a corner overall, but I just believe Darius Slay will do a better job staying with his man than Bradberry will. I hope I’m wrong and if the Eagles’ pass rush exposes the Vikings’ shaky pass protection, this horror can be avoided.
- Do you agree or disagree?
- Who would be your standout stud and flat-out dud picks for the Eagles @ Lions matchup?
- Who would you pick going into the week 2 showdown with the Vikings?