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Time of Possession Aiding Eagles Early Success

By Dan Ketler, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

Although the Philadelphia Eagles are harboring the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Month, Carson Wentz, as well as the NFC’s Defensive Player of the month, Fletcher Cox, there’s one other thing which has been a recurring aid in the Eagles recent success.

The Eagles currently rank first in the NFL in average time of possession through three weeks of play.

For some Eagles fans, it may feel like we're in the twilight zone. After a 2015 season plagued with inconsistencies and questionable coaching decisions, it seems Philadelphia has finally found a good balance of simplicity and unpredictability with Doug Pederson in charge.

With a quarterback like Wentz at the helm, who has been compared to Hall of Fame quarterback, Brett Favre, and future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger, it’s easy to look at him and credit him with Philadelphia’s unquestionable authenticity in the past few weeks.

After Philadelphia’s dominant win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team’s success seems to dwell much deeper than just Wentz. We’ve learned that when the Eagles offense can hold on to the football and convert more on third downs, the defense can come onto the field fresh and ready to compete with prolific offenses like Pittsburgh’s

When the defense is fresh, Philadelphia might have one of the best, if not the best, front seven in the game. Lead by Cox, Philly’s defensive line wreaked havoc on "Big Ben" and the Steelers offensive line. Cox and company accounted for four sacks and held DeAngelo Williams to just 21 yards the entire game.

As for Philly’s secondary, the offense’s ability to hang on to the ball worked wonders for them as well. Except for Antonio Brown’s 12 receptions for 140 yards, there wasn’t much else recorded by Pittsburgh’s wide receiving core. The secondary was all over the ball, which enabled them to record an interception and many more incompletions.

As upsetting it is to think we won’t be able to watch another great game of football from the Eagles this week, the bye week is coming in at a good time. When the Eagles resume their regular season play, they head to Detroit where they’ll face Matt Stafford and the Lions.

It will be exciting to see what Doug Pederson, Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia defense has in store for Week 5.

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