For one half of football Monday night the Eagles looked like the NFC’s version of the Buffalo Bills.
They. Were. Dominant.
The offense scored 24 points, had three drives of 80+ yards, Jalen Hurts was just about perfect, and the defense bottled up what many believe to be a top offense. Now find the key phrase.
Yup, “for one half.”
This isn’t a scathing criticism of the Eagles, especially since the defense was even more dominant in the 2nd half. Instead, it’s a reality check for some who have lost sight of what happened Monday night and more importantly, where we are in the season.
The Eagles didn’t score a point in the 2nd half. The offense passed midfield only once and never reached the red zone. Penalties hampered production and miscues led to turnovers. After an impressive 1st half, Jalen Hurts got a little lazy in his progressions and bolted the pocket too soon.
Let’s not get carried away here, the Eagles scored 24 points, not 42. A day before, we saw three teams erase deficits of 13, 16 and 21 points in less than a quarter (the Falcons were nearly the fourth). In Week 1 the Eagles offensive woes didn’t occur until the 4th quarter. That game was closer to over when their struggles started than Monday against the Vikings.
I’m as excited as anyone about Hurts’ growth and the offense’s explosiveness, but before I crown the Eagles the team to beat in the NFC I would love to see the offense avoid lulls that will undoubtedly come back to bite them.
Let’s get back to Hurts for a moment. My assessment of him running too early is certainly nit picking given how well he played Monday. But I’m thinking about this long-term. The threat of a running quarterback is always more dangerous than an actual running quarterback.
Think Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen; both CAN run but are far more dangerous when they use their legs to extend plays and burry you with their arms. Hurts’ primary weapon must be his arm and the plethora of weapons he has at his disposal. If his feet carry the offense, the Eagles will meet a similar fate to what happened in Tampa last January.
Obviously, Hurts won’t ever reach that elite level like Allen or Mahomes. Hurts only needs to approach that level/style of quarterbacking for the Eagles to get to where many have already destined them.
Finally, it’s only Week 3. Come on people. We should all know better than to crown someone after only two games. One great half of football does not make you a legitimate contender. I blame the Phillies. If any of us actually believed they had a sliver of postseason potential we wouldn’t be so sports thirsty and blowing one Eagles win this far out of proportion.
(Apologies to the defense. They were great and deserved more attention and praise in this here post.)
Thursday Night Pick; Steelers +4