By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor
The Eagles entered the half with a 20-point lead after a very solid half of football.
There were some missteps in that first half, but the team did more than enough to overcome those.
10 rushes for 63 yards helped to open up the Eagles run game and offense this week, but as soon as he departed, the Eagles offense suddenly found themselves unable to function. The next five drives for the Eagles offense garnered just 49 total yards and the only reason they came away with any points was good field position and the leg of Jake Elliot on a pair of those drives. It took a major pickup by JJ Arcega-Whiteside to snap that funk.
Certainly Slay could be here, but I'm going to stick with the Wisconsin product who's been one of my favorites since the Eagles signed him as an undrafted free agent. Edwards is a tackle machine as fans know (he had nine in this one) and picked up a fumble recovery that resulted in some points, but it was the passing game where he surprisingly shined today. He added an interception and deflected the pass on a two-point conversion to make that fall incomplete. Even on the touchdown he gave up he was in tight, good coverage.
- I want so badly to see a complete game from Hurts, but again in this one he shut down for most of the second half. Now, part of that was the fault of some drops by Dallas Goedert, but not all of it. The most egregious error for him on the day was missing Miles Sanders wide-open for a touchdown. Hurts took so long to recognize this (in fact, it was Devonta Smith that pointed it out to him mid-play) that the safety was able to cross the entire field and break up the pass. Maybe this is due to a lack of chemistry, but this type of play is what has put Sanders on the map and made him a big-play threat in the NFL, so this should be something that Hurts is looking for on plays where Sanders is running a route.
- Four field goals in this one. While it was a great performance for Jake Elliot, the Eagles cannot settle that many times if they want to compete with top-tier teams moving forward.
- Darius Slay is putting some exclamation points on his case to be named an All-Pro with his third touchdown this season on an interception he registered. That said, he left today's game with an injury and headed into the locker room, so that should concern all Eagles fans.
- Jordan Mailata took offense to Marcus Davenport making a late hit, that went uncalled, on Jalen Hurts and was chippy with him all game. It almost seemed like an intense battle until you looked closely and realized Mailata was manhandling Davenport (and the other DL) like a ragdoll throughout the game.
- Jordan Howard landing funny is a concern as is the fumble by Sanders, but otherwise the ground game was once again strong. Through three quarters (tje game was 36-7 at that point), the lowest yards per carry lied with Hurts at 3.1 after quite a few rushed for loss or no gain throughout that third quarter. For running backs, Boston Scott's 4 yards per carry was the lowest, so it's good that the Eagles were able to keep all three productive backs involved in the offense this week.
- Some comments were made about how the defense is looking much better now. Keep in mind that the Saints are on a backup QB without their top back or receiver and neither starting tackle available. Despite this, the defense managed to give up 22(!) points in a single quarter. The only reason they were so effective today was the efforts of Darius Slay, TJ Edwards, and Fletcher Cox to force turnovers. Benefit of the doubt for that Sanders fumble and the lack of any time off with a struggling second-half offense, but the defensive coordinator is still not rotating as often as he should on the line and is still using players in ways that don't fully utilize their skill sets. Once again the defense was carved up by some random tight end many fans had never before heard of (Adam Trautman). This happens every week and nothing has been done to address this major whole so any team with a top tight end or a receiving running back will be able to exploit this until something is done about that.
Oh my, Jordan Mailata. Absolute beast. pic.twitter.com/fxsKmsAD9s— CogginToboggan (@CogginToboggan) November 21, 2021
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles – November 21, 2021