After two weeks of heartbreaking losses, the Eagles needed a win to turn around what had started as a very promising season. Getting a win would not be easy either, as they faced the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings. The Eagles did exactly what they needed to do, and besides a very weird first quarter, dominated the Vikings to the tune of a 21-10 win and a 4-2 record. Here are some thoughts about the game.
- The first quarter was probably one of the weirdest quarters of football I’ve ever seen: In 19 years as an Eagles fan, I’ve seen some wacky games. Perhaps one weirdest quarters of football I’ve ever seen was the first quarter, which included 4 back to back turnovers between both of the teams. Should either side have capitalized on those turnovers, the game probably would have been much different.
- The Eagles special teams is still really good: It’s no secret that the Eagles benefit from arguably the best special teams play in the league. This was showcased again yesterday, as the Eagles special teams made two game-changing plays. First was Josh Huff’s 98-yard kick-off return, followed later by recovering a fumbled punt. Both of these play were huge for momentum and Doug Pederson is lucky to benefit from such great play in his rookie year.
- Eagles defensive line returned to form: A week after the Eagles defensive line recorded zero sacks against the Redskins, they made up for a bad week by recording six against the Vikings. They were also much better against the run, allowing just 93 yards on 27 carries despite missing their best run stopper in Bennie Logan.
- Offensive struggles continue: Despite the win, the Eagles offense continues to look somewhat lackluster. Despite a few big plays and Dorial Green-Beckham’s first touchdown with the Eagles, sloppy play and a plethora of turnovers will certainly come up a lot this week as the Eagles prepare to play the NFC-East leading Dallas Cowboys next week.
- Rodney McLeod and Jordan Hicks have huge games: I’m not sure you could pick which player what a better game on Sunday. McLeod, who has so far been the best player of the Eagles defense had 7 solo tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss, an interception and two passes defended. Mean while Hick recorded 8 solo tackles (11 total), a sack, two tackles for loss, and two batted passes. They’ll both be staples of this defense for a long time, and to see them playing so well is a very encouraging thing.
- Carson Wentz needs to work on his footwork: If you watch the best of the best when it comes to QB’s, Drew Brees for instance, you might notice that they’re always moving their feet. This allows them to move around the pocket better and keeps them poised. Wentz struggles with this and at time looks like his feet are stuck in his cement. It’s something he’ll need to work on if he wants to reach the elite level in his career.
- Eagles don’t give up: Perhaps the biggest advantage to having such a young team is how much energy they have. We’ve seen it all season, but the Eagles come into each game truly believing that they are the best at what they do. While rival fans make laugh at this, it’s a trait every pro football player must have, and it’s good to see that this team doesn’t lose hope even after two very tough losses.