Eagles Handle Doug Pederson, Jaguars

Eric Hartline, USA TODAY Sports

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The last remaining undefeated team in the NFL, with wins over the Lions, the Vikings and the Commanders, entered a battle with their former coach – the very same one who brought the team its first Super Bowl victory.

It wasn’t a pretty one, but the gritty victories count just the same at the end of the day and the Philadelphia Eagles remain the lone undefeated team in the NFL.

It was not a pretty game by any means. The Birds offense got a heavy dose of Zach Pascal early on with the receiver getting called for a false start and then tipping a poorly thrown ball into the air for a pick-six. To add to the nightmare that was unfolding, Jordan Mailata was injured trying to make the tackle on the return of that play.

Defensively, the Eagles started out slowly, too. Without Maddox heading into the game and losing Slay early on left the secondary weaker than it’s been at any point this season or even this offseason. While they did allow a touchdown early, they were able to combine luck (dropped passes, an unforced fumble, etc.) with some good play to force the Jaguars offense off the field without points a few times.

The Eagles made the needed changes offensively in the second quarter, sticking to the ground with Sanders, Hurts, Sermon or Gainwell and saw the best success they’ve had on the ground since the 2021 season. This, combined with interspersed screens to Goedert and short passes to AJ Brown or DeVonta Smith, kept the Jaguars off balance enough for the Eagles to take the lead at the half.

The Birds were able to carry their momentum through the game until late in the fourth quarter and that time proved too much for the Jaguars to makeup by the time they got anything going again.

Offensive MVP: Miles Sanders

There’s a lot of people that are pretty down on Sanders just because a lack of explosible plays, but the longest play this offense had today was a 35-yard run from Sanders. Perhaps one of the most important but overlooked plays in this game will be when Sanders recovered the snap fumbled by Hurts. It set the Eagles up to burn more clock and eventually secure the field goal that restarted the scoring for the Birds. Many plays may not have gone for much on paper, but there were numerous plays where he turned nothing or a loss into a three or four-yard gain. Even when the play was obvious, positive yardage could be expected. On 27 carries, he recorded 134 yards and two touchdowns with 22 yards receiving.

Defensive MVP: Haason Reddick

While there were not many people who had a game that stood out on the defensive side, Reddick had his first big game for the Birds, registering a sack and coming away with two fumble recoveries – one which he forced and another where he reached into a pile where no one else could find the ball. It was a critical contribution for a defense that was struggling to find any consistent pressure in this one, leading to an oft-exposed secondary this week. Not to mention, he secured the win by forcing a fumble on the first play of the last drive.

Game Notes

  • With the running game being so successful, you have to give a shoutout to the offensive line unit, who operated well even with two replacements being needed mid-game.
  • Trey Sermon, claimed off waivers at the start of the season, made his debut with Boston Scott unavailable and looked pretty good in his limited reps.
  • Jack Driscoll looked pretty impressive at left tackle. Ideally Mailata is ok and Dillard will be available later this season, leaving some good depth at a top position.
  • James Bradberry, being the only starting player to play significant snaps among the cornerbacks, making that interception to prevent a score in the third quarter was huge to keep the momentum with the Eagles at that time.
  • TJ Edwards had a sack, one of just two official for the Eagles in this game, adding that and 6 tackles to his total.
  • Josiah Scott was pretty bad all day, including setting up and then missing a tackle on the next play to allow the Jaguars their first points since the first quarter. If Slay and/or Maddox are going to miss any more significant time, the Eagles have to bring someone else in since there was little to no redeeming qualities to Scott’s game today.
  • It’s hard to ignore how much Trevor Lawrence hurt his team in this one. He had 4 fumbles and lost all of them with two being unforced. The Eagles might not come away with a victory here had he simply had more ball security.

Injury Notes

  • It wasn’t more than a few series before the Eagles, who were without Boston Scott and Avonte Maddox, were even more depleted. On defense, Darius Slay leaving left Josiah Scott on the field and Jordan Mailata leaving on the pick-six brought in Jack Driscoll as the left tackle. Both players returned to the sideline in uniform, so the injuries do not seem to be long-term.
  • Patrick Johnson was injured in the second quarter (concussion).
  • DeVonta Smith limped off the field in the third quarter, but returned by the next offensive series.
  • On the final play of the third quarter, kicker Jake Elliott was roughed by a player running into his plant leg. He limped off the field following that play, but appeared fine on the sideline later, even kicking a good field goal to start the fourth quarter.
  • In the fourth quarter, Seumalo had his foot/ankle stepped on by Landon Dickerson and he left the game with Sua Opeta coming in. From just the looks of it, this may be a longer-term injury.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Philadelphia Eagles – October 2, 2022


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