By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor
The Eagles entered the half beating a winning team by a reasonable margin.
After a first half filled with strong passing, the passing game came up extremely poor in the latter half, but a strong run game and a defensive score were more than enough for the Eagles to lock up a dominant win.
Smith had four receptions for 66 yards and two touchdowns. What really earned him the nod for MCP in my book were: 1. his incredible grab over former college teammate Patrick Surtain II in the endzone and 2. a play that won't show on the stat sheet - Jalen Hurts lobbing an easy INT over to Surtain where Smith locked him up and knocked the ball away. It was a play that made it look like Smith could lock Darius Slay up.
Really, both Slay and Maddox did an excellent job locking down the receivers and giving up no big plays, but Slay earned the nod with his 83-yard return on the fumble recovery that scored a touchdown. It was the defensive play of the game and even though the play was just the end of the third quarter, it really put this one away for the Birds.
- TJ Edwards was great once again, with seven tackles and even a pass defensed. I just don't understand why they leave him in coverage so often even with Davion Taylor in the game.
- Speaking of coverage, Gannon continues to have defensive linemen not bring pressure. He's got them dropping into coverage or running a stunt for each other. It's like he's running a 3-4 defense without the personnel for it or even that alignment. Even in a strong win this week, his defensive line under achieved with less rotation than there should be and rarely actually rushing all four guys; Bridgewater should have been running for his life nearly every play with this OL. Fire him immediately.
- Jordan Howard with 12 carries for 83 yards and Boston Scott with 11 for 81 were carving up the Broncos defense. With Miles Sanders expected back next week, the Eagles should only figure to get better in the run game.
- Hurts had an incredible first half, completing 15 of 20 passes with 228 yards and two touchdowns. It was a sight to behold. The Eagles were lucky not to need him in the second half, however, as he fell apart, completing just one of three passes in the second half including what would have been two interceptions thrown directly to a defensive back had Smith not been a better defensive back than Surtain II was in this contest.
- Steven Nelson was the weak link in the secondary this week with a deep PI call and an easy touchdown that would have been given up had Bridgewater not completely missed his target. Outside of those two plays, he played pretty well, though.
- Injury news include Dallas Goedert leaving in the first quarter to not return, Fletcher Cox leaving late in the game, Darius Slay leaving late in the game, and Jason Kelce leaving for one snap. Luckily Kelce came back after one play off and Cox and Slay were no longer needed at the time of their injuries with the game well in hand, but there is some concern on if those two will be fine for next week. The biggest concern going forward is Goedert, who has no clear backup (that's as effective as he is) now that Zach Ertz has been traded and took a major hit before leaving the game.
Philadelphia Eagles at Denver Broncos – November 14, 2021