The Eagles coming off their lone loss of the season against the NFC East-worst Commanders on Monday night.
After a week in which they lost Dallas Goedert and Marlon Tuipulotu and added Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh, the Birds took on the Colts after seeing the most roster turnaround they’ve faced during their 2022 campaign.
The game started out with what should have been a three-and-out, but wound up being a touchdown drive as the Ganon decided that it’d make sense to have the team’s fifth-best corner, Josiah Scott, cover Michael Pittman (with the assistance of edge rusher Haason Reddick). To the shock of no one other than Jonathan Gannon, this did not work in the slightest. Then the Colts did as expected handing off to Jonathan Taylor the rest of the drive and allowed the Colts to score a touchdown on the opening drive for the first time since last season.
On offense, the Birds botched their own first drive by throwing rookie draft pick Grant Calcatera, who really has only value as a pass catcher, as a blocker where he held and turned a conversion on third-down into a third and six that could not be converted. Calcatera as a blocker is just a wild decision after the Eagles activated Tyree Jackson, who is more talented as a blocker, at the tight end position and have Zach Pascal serving as their fourth receiver – both of whom would offer more value in a blocking role.
The offense’s second drive looked very promising before the referees called three ticky-tack penalties in a row against the Eagles. That came just two plays after Jalen Hurts was hit just like Taylor Heinicke on that “personal foul” last week went uncalled. So a second straight punt was determined for them as they could not convert the 1st and 35. They followed that up with another successful drive that earned just three points following a high-snap to lose 10 yards on second and goal. Then on their next drive they had third and two and got Kenny Gainwell to run a slow-developing run up the middle. Shockingly, that also didn’t work given that he’s the worst back the Eagles have at fighting through contact, the most moronic decision the offensive brain trust could have come up with after a timeout for the two-minute warning.
While the defense held out despite Gannon using Quinn and Sweat in coverage for the rest of that first half, the Eagles offense did everything they could in order to score no points. Everyone from Steichen/Sirianni to Jason Kelce to Tyree Jackson served to make the Eagles otherwise potent offense look worse than that of your local high school’s JV team.
Luckily, Nick Sirianni must have had a rousing half-time speech that inspired the offense to come out and fumble the ball away on the very first play of the second half. Then they followed it up with Jalen Hurts stepping out of bounds behind the line on fourth down. This after he missed several wide-open receivers on the same drive to allow the fourth down to even happen.
The Eagles offense did manage to put together a single drive to end the third/start the fourth quarter. Then the defense got a turnover to hand the offense a short field. Unfortunately, AJ Brown’s biggest impact on this game was him catching an eight-yard reception and then proceeding to fumble it into a pit of six Colts defenders.
The offense came back out and scored on their final drive in order to take their only lead of the game after Hurts ran the ball in for the score, leaving the Colts 1:20 to score just two points. Brandon Graham came up with huge sack on third down to put the Colts well behind the chains and secure the win for the Birds.
Overall, the Eagles defense managed to step up after that first drive and managed to keep the hapless offense in this game until the fourth quarter when they managed to stop shooting themselves in the foot long enough to sustain a pair of drives and move the team to 9-1 on the season.
Offensive MVP: DeVonta Smith
This was an absolutely brutal game for the offense, but DeVonta Smith was perhaps the biggest bright spot for this team’s offense. For well over three quarters of this game, the Eagles essentially refused to run the ball and the one player who showed up when his name was called was Smith. He wound up with six catches for 78 yards to lead the team.
Defensive MVP: T.J. Edwards
Brandon Graham’s sack certainly was the highlight of the defense, but the Eagles had others with more complete performances. Although Edwards was not a highlight real player in this game, he made 10 tackles and two of them were for a loss. He did an excellent job of reading a few screens and making the tackles on those to limit the Colts ability to extend their “running game” into their passing game for most of the game. He also came up with the fumble that accounted for the Eagles defense’s lone turnover.