Eagles observations: Jalen Hurts shines, defense wakes up, more in win vs. Vikings

Can this defense dangle up towards an elite quarterback? Can it decelerate one of the vital absolute best receivers in the league … to not point out a big-time working again? Can Jalen Hurts win a sport together with his arm? Can the Eagles beat a very popular workforce?

The Eagles responded numerous questions Monday night time on the Linc, driving Hurts’ good night time and a bounce-back efficiency through the defense to a 24-7 win over the Vikings and a 2-0 document.

This is handiest the 5th time in the remaining 29 years the Eagles were 2-0, and so they’re certainly one of handiest six 2-0 groups in the league.

Heck of a win. Here’s our 10 Instant Observations!

1. There’s just one position we will be able to get started, and that’s the quarterback who we stored listening to couldn’t beat a excellent workforce. Who couldn’t win video games together with his arm. Who wasn’t correct sufficient. Well bet what. Take a have a look at those numbers: 26-for-31, 333 yards, 1 passing TD, 2 dashing TDs, 57 dashing yards, and an interception off Kenny Gainwell’s palms on his remaining cross. First quarterback in NFL historical past to throw for 330 yards, finished 84 p.c of his passes and rush for 2 touchdowns. Ever. You identify it, Hurts used to be elite. Decision making. Accuracy. Huge on 3rd down. This wasn’t simply Hurts’ absolute best sport ever, it used to be one of the vital absolute best video games ever through an Eagles’ quarterback. If you didn’t consider in Hurts ahead of, you higher now.

2. Shane Steichen has one heck of an aptitude for play calling, and we’re actually seeing it now more than remaining yr as a result of A.J. Brown simply makes this offense such a lot more electrifying. Not handiest is he an terrific receiver, you’ll see the impact he has on all of the offense whilst you see how open Dallas Goedert, DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins were given. This is Steichen’s first complete yr because the Eagles’ play caller, and he actually turns out to have a profound figuring out of find out how to deploy his avid gamers and who does what neatly at the side of an excellent sense of find out how to stay defenses off steadiness. He mixes in other backs, he remains competitive and he makes use of all his staff. He’s were given a powerful really feel for what opposing defenses do neatly and find out how to benefit from their weaknesses. The Eagles have 62 issues thru two video games, Sixth-most in franchise historical past. We noticed everyone making performs Monday night time – Dallas Goedert (5-for-82), DeVonta Smith [7-for-80], Quez Watkins [2-for-69], A.J. Brown [5-for-69] in addition to Miles Sanders [17-for-80]. This workforce has guns all over, and Steichen is aware of what to do with them.

 

3. It didn’t take lengthy to look that this used to be a distinct defense than we noticed in Detroit remaining week. More bodily, more intense, more competitive, more targeted. Maybe it used to be getting the pads on all over the week. Maybe it used to be a number of latest guys getting more comfy in the scheme. Maybe it used to be simply pleasure after gazing that Lions movie. Whatever it used to be, one thing clicked and the Eagles’ defense didn’t even remotely appear to be the person who allowed 35 issues Sunday. Literally seemed like a distinct unit. Shut down the run. Tackled. Covered. Picked off two passes. Didn’t get any sacks however actually began getting some excellent force in the second one part. Let’s face it, Jonathan Gannon had to put this sort of product at the box towards a high-powered offense, and his crew got here up large.

READ: Eagles overreactions: Yes, Hurts is now in the MVP race

4. Those two defensive possessions after the Vikings were given nice box place – on the 27-yard-line after Kris Boyd’s 27-yard blocked box purpose go back and on the 9-yard-line after Jordan Hicks’ interception – had been completely good. On the primary one, Kyzir White filled Dalvin Cook on 1stdown, then Cousins threw a brief cross to Cook on Second down that had no shot, after which on 3rddown Maddox picked off Cousins on the 13. And then only some mins later, Maddox knocked away a cross meant for Adam Thielen in the tip zone on 1st down, Slay just about picked off Cousins on Second down after which he did pick out him off on Third down. Drives all the way down to the 27 and the 9 and the Vikings didn’t rating. There is not any approach this defense comes up huge like that in the ones eventualities towards a man like Cousins remaining yr. Or anyone.

 

5. The Eagles did document only one sack for a moment immediately week, however we in the end noticed big-time force in the second one part, and Cousins didn’t stand an opportunity. Josh Sweat and Haason Reddick each generated force off the threshold, Fletcher Cox used to be very lively with some excellent pressures and a sack, and Gannon were given excellent manufacturing sending Maddox and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson on blitzes. The moment part used to be a defensive masterpiece, and Cousins, who used to be OK ahead of halftime, used to be 10-for-22 for 98 yards, no TDs and 3 INTs in the second one part. This defense doesn’t paintings with out force, and it used to be superior to look this entrance in the end harass a quarterback.

6. There’s going to be such a lot focal point on Hurts and the passing sport, let’s now not lose web page of the way a lot Miles Sanders is doing for the offense presently. Sanders didn’t have a run longer than 12 yards Monday night time, however he used to be 17-for-80 coming off his 13-for-96 efficiency in Detroit. Sanders is solely working tremendous difficult presently. Remember how a lot dancing round we used to look from him his first couple years? You simply don’t see that anymore. He hits the opening and he hits it exhausting. Sanders is handiest the 3rd again in Eagles historical past to start a season with 80 dashing yards and a 4.5 reasonable in every of the primary two video games. Wilbert Montgomery did it in 1981 and LeSean McCoy in 2011. Sanders is off to a big-time get started. Running very difficult.

7. Let’s speak about Slay. What a exceptional efficiency. He confirmed a countrywide TV target market precisely why he’s one of the vital absolute best cornerbacks in the league. He loves this sort of matchup. He embraces it. He lives for it. Justin Jefferson got here into this sport with the Second-most yards in NFL historical past through a participant in his first 35 video games, and he used to be an absolute non-factor. Jefferson completed with simply 5 catches for 43 yards with an extended gainer of eleven yards, and he had just one catch with Slay on him. Slay smothered him. Maddox had him a couple of snaps as neatly when he covered up in the slot, however for essentially the most phase this used to be a matchup of 2 of the NFL’s absolute best in Slay and Jefferson, and Slay used to be an absolute monster. He picked off Cousins two times and must have had two more. Maybe 3. Slay is all the time terrific, however this used to be next-level stuff. This used to be Eric Allen stuff. He used to be a blast to observe Monday night time.

MORE: Watch Eagles enthusiasts mock Vikings’ Skol chant on MNF

8. One of the more encouraging issues to return out of those first two video games is the way in which Hurts is throwing the deep ball. He adopted that 54-yarder to A.J. Brown in Detroit with a 53-yard TD to Quez Watkins Monday night time. By halftime of Week 2, Hurts had matched his general selection of 50-yard completions all of remaining yr and recorded the second-longest TD cross of his profession. Hurts has all the time had a powerful sufficient arm, however as a rookie and remaining yr he tended to underthrow deep balls. It’s one thing he’s obviously labored on, and with this offensive line and those receivers, he’s going to have various alternatives to hit all these huge performs. Stretching defenses? Picking up 50 yards at a pop? Forcing defenses to stick truthful? This offense is already actually unhealthy. The deep ball – and the specter of the deep ball – goes to lead them to even more unhealthy.

 

9. One more on Hurts: He does now not get sufficient credit score for the way freaking difficult he’s. We all know he’s speedy. But he does now not backtrack and does now not shy clear of touch. On that 26-yard landing, I don’t understand how many different quarterbacks don’t simply duck out of bounds on the 15. It used to be a Third-and-2, Hurts already had the primary down, and Jordan Hicks used to be bearing down on him. He bogged down on the 15 … noticed a lane … and hit the gasoline once more, were given hit through Camryn Bynum on the 5, then were given hit on the 1 through Patrick Peterson. And scored. That’s the longest dashing TD through an Eagles QB in twenty years – since Donovan McNabb had a 40-yarder towards the Giants on the Vet in 2002. Dude is brave.

10. Finally, how some props for Arryn Siposs, now not for his punting – even if he used to be in fact actually excellent Monday night time – however for his touchdown-saving take on on Boyd. That’s now not a play you are expecting to look from a punter, however Siposs used to be the one man who had a shot at Boyd, who ran a 4.45 on the 2019 Combine. Not handiest did he catch him, he did a really perfect activity dragging him down, and the defense and Maddox did the remainder.

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