5 Observations on Philadelphia Eagles Win Over New Orleans
It was a butt-whooping by the Eagles on Sunday, earning their first home win of the season, beating the New Orleans Saints, 40-29, at Lincoln Financial Field.
What did we learn from the Eagles (5-6) pulling within a game of being .500?
1. The Eagles beat a Saints team that entered Sunday as the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoff race. So far this season, the Eagles have knocked off three NFC South opponents, Atlanta, Carolina and now New Orleans, meaning they own the tie-breaker over all three of those teams in the playoff race.
Its the most complete team that Eagles have beaten this season, and will be toughest test the team will have the rest of the way, until Week 18 when they host Dallas. As we know the Eagles schedule is very forgiving the rest of the way, with the Giants and Jets the next two weeks, a bye, followed by Washington, the Giants, Washington again and Dallas.
For those nervous that the Eagles were going to let this game slip away, Jalen Hurts made sure that didn't happen running for his third score of the day, to seal the deal. The Eagles defense did its part, getting a pick-six from Darius Slay.
Now, to keep pushing further up the NFC standings and secure a playoff berth, the Eagles will need to continue to build of this win, but Sunday was their most impressive win.
2. Jalen Hurts continues to impress
Jalen Hurts continues do to things no other Eagles quarterback had ever done, on Sunday he became the first Philadelphia QB to ever rush for three scores in a game.
Not Randall Cunningham. Not Donovan McNabb. Not Mike Vick.
Hurts completed just 13-of-24 passes for 147 scoreless, adding 18 carries for 69 additional yards with the three touchdowns.
His 24-yard score was highlight reel run, breaking ankles and tackles on a read option keeper to put the game away late in the fourth quarter.
"Jalen made a huge play," Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni stated. "And the guy read the play pretty well and made a great move. It was awesome. It was a great individual play by Jalen."
The Saints tried to stop Hurts, but he put a move on one defender, ran past another, before hitting the corner for the score.
“I just made a play," Hurts said.
In 2021, there’s been plenty of debate if Hurts will be the quarterback moving forward, but each week he continues to prove he belongs.
3. Thumbs up to Nick Sirianni, Jonathan Gannon
Nick Sirianni continued to go with what has been working, running the ball to the tune of a season-high 242 yards against the NFL’s No. 1-ranked rushing defense (72.9 ypg), running out to a 14-0 at the end of Sunday’s opening quarter.
Defensively, Gannon’s unit got some important stops and a key turnover right before halftime to give the team a 27-7 locker room lead. Overall, the defense produced three takeaways with two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
4. Finally a home win
For the first time this season, the Eagles picked up a win in front of the home fans. The team had been 0-4 at home, with some tough losses, but finally put a win on the board in at the Linc.
If they can finish the year .500 at home, they will likely be headed to the playoffs. They still welcome New York, Washington and Dallas to Philadelphia.
The birds don't have to board a plane the rest of the season with two road games at MetLife Stadium and one in Washington. But if playoff football is going to happen, they have to win at home.
5. Moving Up In The Standings
In winning three of their last four games, the Eagles are now 5-6 and climbing closer and closer to the top 7 of the NFC playoff race. They are currently still outside the Wild Card, but with five wins they are essentially a half game behind both Minnesota and New Orleans for the No, 6 and 7 spot. Beating Denver last week and New Orleans this week has the Eagles in the Wild Card mix and the Eagles have head-to-head tiebreakers over Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans. The Eagles took car of business on the field and now can start to focus on a Wild Card spot, with a realistic playoff path.
“You take it week by week, day by day, just keep chipping away and get 100% better,” Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith said.
Injury Report: Cornerback Darius Slay left the game with a concussion and did not return. Linebacker Davion Taylor and Jordan Howard also left the game with injuries and did not return. Running back Kenneth Gainwell was inactive.
Key Stat: Philadelphia converted 12-of-21 (57.1%) third-down attempts in today’s game. The last time the Eagles converted 12+ third downs was on 12/7/08 at N.Y. Giants (also 12).
What’s Next: The Eagles (5-6) will close out November with a NFC East road game against the Giants. It’ll be the teams first meeting of the season, with the Giants coming off a short week, playing tomorrow against Tampa Bay and playing the Eagles next Sunday at 1:00 PM (listen on 97.3 ESPN).