Hurts magnificent, Brown makes history in win over Commanders

Roob’s Observations: Hurts magnificent, Brown makes historical past in win over Commanders initially appeared on NBC Sports activities Philadelphia

They by no means make it straightforward, do they? They’ve bought to toy along with your feelings, get your coronary heart charge as much as 180 and scare the beejeebus out of you for 3 ½ quarters earlier than they determine issues out.

However a win’s a win, and for the second time this month, the Eagles struggled in opposition to the Commanders, let Sam Howell shred them and saved in search of methods to lose earlier than lastly discovering a method to win.

On Oct. 1 on the Linc it took additional time. Sunday at FedEx, the Eagles fought again from an early 11-point deficit and a 4th-quarter seven-point deficit to toppled the Commanders 38-31.

The Eagles trailed by seven earlier than scoring 21 factors within the recreation’s ultimate 9 minutes.

Jalen Hurts was magnificent, A.J. Brown made historical past and Reed Blankenship turned within the play of the sport, and the Eagles are actually 7-1 and nonetheless have the most effective file within the NFL.

Right here’s our 10 On the spot Observations from the Eagles’ 25st win of their final 30 video games:

1. This soccer crew has some severe guts. They don’t all the time play nicely. They don’t all the time play good. However they’ve that uncommon means to dig deep when issues are falling aside in all places and get the prepare again on the rails, and that’s not a simple factor to do. They’ve a psychological toughness you simply don’t see fairly often, and it permits them to carry out at a excessive degree when the strain is the best. In New England, they blew a 16-point lead earlier than getting it proper and successful by 5. Towards the Vikings they practically blew a 20-point lead earlier than successful by six. They let the Commanders take them to additional time with a last-second drive earlier this month. And whilst you’d love them to all be 38-6, that’s simply not occurring for this crew proper now, however they’re 4-1 in one-possession video games – 4-1 in video games that get your coronary heart charge as much as 180 – and there’s one thing to be mentioned for a crew that is aware of tips on how to win and retains discovering alternative ways to win. Issues are about to get very powerful. The Cowboys after which a bye after which the Chiefs, Payments, 49ers, Cowboys once more and Seahawks. That is the stretch we’ve been ready for for the reason that schedule was launched in April, and people matchups look very, very powerful. The Eagles will certainly must play higher to navigate these six video games and get themselves the 4 wins that will make it a profitable run. However I’ll inform you what. I wouldn’t guess in opposition to them. They only hold successful. Even when you haven’t any concept how.

2. I’ve bought nothing left. I’ve bought no phrases. No adjectives that may adequately describe what we’re seeing from A.J. Brown. I don’t assume the correct phrases even exist. Brown had eight targets, eight catches, 129 yards, two extra touchdowns and have become the primary participant in NFL historical past with six straight video games with at the very least 125 receiving yards. No person – not Jerry Rice, not Larry Fitz, not Randy Moss – has ever accomplished that earlier than. Jalen Hurts has accomplished a wonderful job getting him the ball, and the 2 have a really exceptional reference to one another. However Brown is simply enjoying out of his thoughts proper now, making powerful catches, trampling linebackers and corners as soon as he will get the ball in his arms and discovering the top zone. And doing it constantly week after week. We used to get excited round right here when Torrance Small had 86 yards. Or when James Thrash caught a 26-yard cross. Or when – oh my God! – Travis Fulgham had 4 straight video games with 70 yards. We’ve entered a brand new realm now. Brown is doing issues no one else has ever accomplished.
He’s on one other airplane now. And also you get the feling he’s not accomplished but.

3. I beloved the matchup between the Eagles’ cross rushers and the Washington offensive line, and I beloved the matchup between the Eagles’ secondary and Sam Howell. How may you not after the way in which the Eagles’ protection performed Sunday in opposition to the high-flying Dolphins. The Eagles did discover a approach, however, yikes, Sam Howell shredded this protection and if not for Reed Blankenship’s enormous interception with eight minutes left deep in Washington territory, who is aware of? Howell – who had been sacked 40 instances coming into the sport, 2nd-most in NFL historical past by seven video games – didn’t get sacked till the ultimate minute of the sport and accomplished an absurd 39 of 52 passes for 397 yards and 4 touchdowns. He drove the ball up and down the sphere in opposition to the Eagles’ secondary, and you can also make excuses prefer it was Kevin Byard’s first recreation and a really inexperienced Sydney Jones was within the slot with Bradley Roby nonetheless out. Nevertheless it’s not just like the Eagles have been having communication issues on the market. They have been simply getting beat. I beloved the way in which the Eagles’ cross rush was enjoying over the previous month, however Josh Sweat, Haason Reddick and Co. simply weren’t in a position to generate any severe strain on Howell, and he confirmed within the first recreation that if he has time within the pocket, he could make all of the throws. This defensive efficiency was ok to beat Washington however it wouldn’t have been ok to beat the Cowboys, Chiefs, Payments, 49ers and Seahawks. They’ve bought to be higher.

4. I’m unsure there’s a extra revealing stat than turnover margin. The Eagles are 20-1 below Nick Sirianni after they’re plus-one or higher, with 20 wins in a row. After they’re zero or worse they’re now 12-13. Which is why their present turnover margin droop (is {that a} factor?) is so alarming. They have been minus-1 Sunday with two turnovers and one takeaway and it was their sixth straight recreation with no constructive turnover margin and fourth straight at minus-1 or worse (their longest streak since 2012). It’s so exhausting to win that approach and so they’re gifted sufficient that they beat the Rams, Dolphins and Commanders at minus-1, however they’re making it actually exhausting for themselves. Throughout these final 5 video games they’ve solely two takeaways – Darius Slay’s interception of Tua Tagovailoa final week and Blankenship’s choose Sunday – and so they’ve dedicated 9 turnovers. That must be unimaginable. They’ve bought to search out methods to guard the ball and so they’ve bought discover methods to create takeaways or they’re going to have a whole lot of issues over the following couple months.

5. Unhealthy fumble on the goal-line, positive, however Jalen Hurts was magnificent Sunday. Accomplished 76 % of his passes (29-for-38) for 319 yards with 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. You realize the knee was bothering him, however he simply has that means to navigate by accidents, whether or not it’s the ankle in 2021, the shoulder final 12 months or the knee this 12 months. Hurts grew to become solely the third Eagles quarterback ever with a 300-yard, 4-TD, 0-INT, 75-percent recreation. Donovan McNabb did it twice – in 2005 in opposition to the 49ers and 2007 in opposition to the Lions – and Foles did it in opposition to the Raiders within the seven-TD recreation in Oakland in 2013. Nonetheless too many turnovers however when he can take over a recreation like this with out operating – he solely had two carries for seven yards earlier than a pair kneel downs – it simply reveals you ways locked in he’s as a passer, as a quarterback. So powerful. So gifted.

6. The place on Earth was D’Andre Swift within the first half? I believe Brian Johnson is doing a very good job general, however he does are likely to neglect concerning the operating recreation generally, and when the Eagles bought to halftime and Swift had one carry for 3 yards, it appeared like opening day once more. Johnson lastly began dialing up Swift, who ran 15 instances for 56 yards within the second half with a 4th-quarter landing run. I get that you simply preferred the matchup between the Eagles’ passing recreation and the Commanders’ secondary, however Swift is just too good to be ignored like this.

7. We’ve talked a lot these days about A.J. Brown these days it’s straightforward to neglect about DeVonta Smith, who’s form of taken a again seat to Brown a lot of this 12 months. However Smith is admittedly, actually good, and it was good to see him come up huge with seven catches (on seven targets) for 99 yards, together with that 38-yard landing. Clearly, the Commanders ought to have challenged the 18-yarder, however they didn’t. Smith is quietly having one other excellent season. He’s 39-for-482 and on tempo for 83 catches for 1,024 yards and 7 touchdowns, and as groups start devoting increasingly more consideration to Brown, Smith goes to get extra alternatives, and he’s had a pair drops this 12 months, however Jalen Hurts has a ton of belief in him, and I count on a giant second half from him.

8. Reed Blankenship may need had the worst recreation of his profession – and it’s straightforward to neglect this was solely the tenth begin of his profession – however he struggled begin to end, and that’s why he deserves a lot credit score for that interception, which actually saved the sport. Blankenship can be the primary to inform you he was terrible Sunday. However greatest level of the sport? The Eagles had simply tied the sport at 24-24, and after a penalty Washington had a 2nd-and-15 on their very own 20-yard-line when Blankenship stepped in entrance of Terry McLaurin and picked up his third profession interception. His 17-yard return – and a penalty – gave the Eagles a 1st-and-goal inside the ten. Two performs later Jalen Hurts gave the Eagles the lead for good together with his 8-yard TD cross to Julio Jones. The best way Sam Howell was chucking the ball? To finish a drive with no landing was enormous after which to create a TD? I don’t know if the Eagles win the sport with out that interception. You like to see a man who’s been struggling all day hold grinding, keep assured and make a essential play down the stretch. It wasn’t Blankenship’s day for 52 minutes. Then he made the play of the day. That’s enormous.

9. That Julio Jones landing was enormous for a pair causes. On one degree, it gave the Eagles the lead for good. However within the greater image, it raised the chance that Jones may turn out to be that WR3 the Eagles have wanted. I don’t know when or if we’ll see Quez Watkins once more. And Olamide Zaccheaus hasn’t actually been an element, apart from the Tampa recreation. Possibly Jones might be greater than only a future Corridor of Famer alongside for the journey. That landing made him the oldest Eagles WR with a landing catch since Irving Fryar (from Koy Detmer) in 1998. Yeah, he’s 34, however that was a giant play at a giant second by a man who simply bought right here. I’ll inform you what, I’ll take a 34-year-old Jones over Quez or O.Z. We’ll see, however it may go down as one other huge in-season transfer by Howie Roseman.

10. Jake Elliott’s 51-yard subject purpose within the first quarter was his fifth 50-yarder this 12 months, tying his personal franchise file for 50-yarders in a season … with 9 video games left. Elliott additionally made 5 50-yarders in 2017 and 5 final 12 months. What a weapon. He hasn’t been requested to kick the lengthy ones the previous couple of weeks, however he’s made 9 of his final 10 from 50 yards and out (and 14 of his final 16). The dude is such a weapon.

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