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Eagles Observations: DeVonta Smith Dominates, D-Line Explodes, and More

A monumental performance by the defensive line and another great game from Jaylen Hartz led the Eagles to a 24-8 win over Washington at FedEx Field on Sunday.

With nine sacks on defense, Jalen Hurts with three touchdown passes, Brandon Graham with 2½ sacks and Devonta Smith with 169 yards, they overwhelmed Carson Wentz in just one week.

The Eagles still need to figure out how to really finish off the team. But 3-0 is a pretty good place. The Eagles are one of his four undefeated teams remaining, and that number could drop by one or two by Monday night.

What a fun team the Eagles are in 2022.

1. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an Eagles defense simply take over a football game like this. steal their hearts Crush their spirit. destroy their will. Remove their hope. Carson Wentz’s 17 first-half pass plays on Sunday resulted in three short completions, seven incompletes, six sacks, one fumble and -16 net yards. ball game. Jonathan Gannon’s unit finished with his nine sacks (tied for fourth in franchise history) and defensively threw his shutout into the final minutes, holding Washington to his 240 yards. Most of it was garbage his time. It was the first time since his Super Bowl season and the fourth time since 2009 that the Eagles have held his single-digit teams back-to-back. The front four created insane pressure, the back end defended the few times Wentz was able to get the ball out, and Washington had no answer. The biggest question about this defense two weeks later was its ability to generate pressure, and they rushed to answer that question. Working behind a mediocre offensive line that was devastated by injuries, Wentz had no chances and the Eagles did not hold back their former teammates. He continued with a seven-step drop and someone like Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Josh Sweat, Hurson Reddick, Javon Hargrave and others hit him in the face.

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2. Let’s talk about Jalen Hurts. He’s arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL right now and it’s great to watch. His growth is something to behold. his accuracy. his decision. The quickness with which he is making progress. This is a back-to-back masterpiece by his 24-year-old Hurts, and from the player he saw as a rookie to the player he is today, the work he has done is highly commendable. He’s 24 at his age, has started 22 games in his life so far, and is completely devastated. He also had 330 passing yards. He performed, 3 passing touchdowns and no turnovers. He’s in full command of the attack, silencing many skeptics and haters each week.

3. Nick Sirianni has a really good feel for what his team needs as far as practice goes, and he’s really held them back this past week. They had an unpadded walkthrough on Wednesday, 12 starters attended Thursday’s practice, and Friday’s practice lasted about 70 minutes. That’s the work week. Lots of movies, lots of meetings, lots of studying, but getting everyone off their feet and as fresh as possible in preparation for a short week of road games. The Eagles dominated both sides of the ball from the start and looked nothing like the team away from home after Monday night’s game.

Four. During training camp, we often talked about how much AJ Brown’s presence helped Devonta Smith. If a team wants to roll coverage back to Brown – and you can’t blame them – Smith will either go open or have a head-to-head matchup. It was an amazing performance by Smith that ended with a touchdown. Smith has a talent for soaring high and going down on circus catches, and is so fast that he’s always a threat picking up big yards after a catch, and was seen on Sunday as well. increase. They have two now and one quarterback who knows how to get the ball. I don’t know how you can stop these guys.

Five. Some props have to be given to Abonte Maddox for his play on fourth and on goal early in the fourth quarter. Wentz completes a short pass to tight end Logan Thomas, but Maddox stuffs him right in front of the goal line and takes another red zone stop, Thomas is his 6-6, 250 . Maddox he is 5-9, 185. Maddox has one of the best slots in his corner in the league, and his ability to play as physically as he does at that size is incredible.

6. What about Fletcher Cox turning back the clock? Cox had a half sack against Detroit, a full sack against the Vikings, and against Washington he had 1.5 sacks, and his 3.0 sacks through Week 3 equaled the best start of his career. He also appeared in three 3.0 games in the 2016 and 2018 seasons. More important than the number of sacks is how Cox plays. He has juice that he hasn’t had in years. Heck, he’s already just 0.5 sacks from his 2021 season total. In the last three years he has scored 13½ sacks in 47 games, but now Fletcher, who is wreaking havoc in the trenches, sees Cox.

7. You’ll love how many deep shots the Eagles hit. He had 5 yards on Sunday – 45, 44 and 31 to Smith, 40 to Grant Calcatella (his first NFL target) and 38 to Brown. Hearts finished 30+ yards 12 times in 15 games last year. Hurts can now throw more accurately and deeper. He is deadly now. His four receivers for the Eagles have already caught him passing for 40+ yards and it’s still his third week. .

8. what about BG? What a performance. This man, in his 34th year and 13th of his season, had a blown Achilles tendon and tied his second best game of his career with 2.5 sacks. Brandon Graham said against the Jets in 2019 he had 3.0 sacks and against the Bengals in 2012 he had 2.5 sacks and was unblocked on Sunday. Added FIVE Quarterback Hurley, Tackle for Loss, Pass Knockdown and Forced Fumble. His BG at 34 years and 175 days makes him the second oldest player in franchise history to record 2.5 sacks in a single game. William Fuller was 34 years and 289 days old when he recorded his 3.0 sacks against Graham and Cards in 1996 at Kent. BG is still there.

More information: Watch: Brown lights up the Batman TD celebration

9. Winning coaching comes in many forms, and it emerged late in the first quarter after Jaylen Hartz hit 45 yards and Devonta Smith went down the right flank. The response clearly showed Smith wasn’t fully down his left foot on the inbounds, and the Eagles knew it. Sirianini knew the Eagles’ only chance to count plays was to call them as soon as possible. It didn’t matter if it worked. Just run the play. So they scrambled to the line without crowding, snapping the ball just as everyone was on set and scoring the playoff before Rivera threw the challenge flag. ) and eventually scored a field goal on a drive. Because they made a play before Washington threw the challenge flag. Preparing for that situation, executing a rushing play cleanly with no penalties and having him gain 45 yards from an incomplete pass was tremendous.

Ten. One of the concerns going into Week 4 is the Eagles’ inability to maintain their attacking intensity in the closing stages of the game. They led the Lions 38-21 after the third quarter and held on after he scored 14-0 in the fourth quarter. They led the Vikings 24–7 at halftime and were scoreless in the second half. And on Sunday they even came close to stopping the attack after scoring his 24th in the first half. The Eagles have gone 29-14 in the second half of the year. they are winning That’s great, but we have to find a way to make it through.