Brandon Graham sacks Titans QB Ryan Tannehill last week at home (Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Inquirer (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer))
Brandon Graham sacks Titans QB Ryan Tannehill last week at home

Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Inquirer (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)

Eagles bounce back with three wins after a disappointing loss

Despite an ugly loss, the Birds continue to dominate offensively

December 9, 2022

The Philadelphia Eagles’ 8-0 winning streak was the best start to a season they have ever had. 

They had an opportunity to bump their record up to 9-0 in a Monday Night Football matchup on November 14 against the Washington Commanders, who entered the game 4-5 on the season, and were coming off of a 20-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. With the Eagles holding an undefeated record, playing a struggling 4-5 team in the Commanders, who traveled to the Eagles home turf in Lincoln Financial Field, seemed like another easy win for the Eagles. 

However, the Commanders came into the game with different plans. They had intent to ruin the fun and send all of the Eagles fans in attendance home with their heads hung low after celebrating an undefeated record for nine weeks.

The Commanders were successful in executing their plan and ended up defeating the Eagles 32-21 in a hard fought game that came down to the final second, literally, when Washington’s Kamren Curl forcefully tackled Philadelphia’s wide receiver DeVonta Smith, who fumbled the ball with no time remaining on the clock. Washington’s defensive end Casey Toohil picked up the fumbled ball and coasted right into the endzone for the final touchdown of the game, putting the cherry on top for the Commanders, who got revenge on the Eagles for the loss they took to them in week three. 

That following Sunday, the Eagles traveled to Indiana to play the Indianapolis Colts in the Lucas Oil Stadium. In this game, the Eagles didn’t look any better than they did against the Commanders. If anything, they might have looked even worse than they did that night. With 9:37 remaining in the first quarter, Colts running back Jonathan Taylor rushed into the endzone for the first touchdown of the game. The Colts led 7-0 for the rest of the quarter, and kept that lead throughout the majority of the second quarter until the Eagles took a 22 yard field goal with 4:53 remaining in the half cutting the Colts lead down to four, 7-3. Just over four minutes later, the Colts ran their way up the field as the quarter was coming to an end with 13 seconds left in the half, putting themselves in perfect position to kick a 51 yard field goal, extending their lead back up to 7, leading 10-3 heading into halftime. 

Barely two minutes after the start of the third quarter, the Colts attempted and scored their second field goal of the game, pushing the Colts lead up to 10, but with plenty of game left to be played. However, both teams remained scoreless for the remainder of the third, after multiple great defensive possessions from both teams. 

The turning point of the game began when Colts kicker Chase Mclaughlin missed a 50 yard field goal attempt with 36 seconds remaining with the third. A field goal would have put the Colts up 13, meaning the Eagles would have had to reach their end zone at least twice to have a real chance in the game. 

Despite this being a big ask from the Eagles, who have been struggling to score for the entirety of the game, they found a way to do it by putting up 14 points to the Colts 3. The comeback began for the Eagles after their star quarterback Hurts threw an outstanding 30 yard bullet pass to his wide receiver Quez Watkins, who caught the ball and tumbled into the endzone to cut the Colts lead to just 3 with 13:31 remaining in the game. 

Though both teams were playing good defense down the stretch, the Colts were able to push themselves all the way up to the 5 yard line, where they were right in front of the endzone with 5 minutes remaining in the game, with the ability to put themselves back up 10, where the game would have been unreachable for the Eagles. However, the Eagles defense saved the game and pushed the Colts all the way back up to the 37 yard line, where they successfully scored a field goal, moving the lead up to six with 4:42 remaining. 

In three minutes, the Eagles were able to push themselves up the field, all the way up to the 7 yard line, where quarterback Jalen Hurts had a clear path into the endzone on 3rd and goal with 1:20 left in the game. The Colts weren’t able to score after an outstanding defensive possession from the Eagles, giving the Eagles the 17-16 victory. 

The 9-1 Eagles then traveled back home to Lincoln Financial Field, where they were set to face Aaron Rodgers and the struggling Green Bay Packers. Entering Sunday’s game, the Green Bay Packers were 4-7, who had lost six of their last seven games, and had lost their most recent game to the Tennessee Titans 27-17. 

Unlike the Colts game, this game was a high scoring offensive battle. The Eagles got to their endzone easily, with running back Kenneth Gainwell running four yards into the endzone to put the Eagles up 7-0 with 11:40 remaining in the first quarter. 

The Eagles then regained possession less than two minutes later, after Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw an interception that landed in the hands of Josiah Scott, who was shoved out of bounds at the 29 yard line. After Jalen Hurts ran the Eagles up to the 15 yard line, he handed the ball off to Miles Sanders, who scored the Eagles second touchdown of the game, giving them a 13-0 lead with 9:02 left in the quarter. 

At the 6:50 mark in the first, Rodgers handed the ball off to running back AJ Dillon at the 25 yard line, who split through the defense into the endzone, cutting the Eagles lead to six, with 6:45 remaining in the Quarter. 

After a hard fought defensive possession by the Packers, Aaron Rodgers threw a 30 yard pass on 4th and 5 to wide receiver Christian Watson, who caught the pass at the 11 yard line. The very next play, Aaron Rodgers passed the ball 20 yards into the endzone to wide receiver Randall Cobb, who gave the Packers their second touchdown of the game, giving them a 14-13 lead going into the second, after holding the Eagles scoreless for the rest of the quarter. 

Though they were scoreless, Jalen Hurts ran the ball to the four yard line at the end of the first, which put them in perfect position to score in the first play of the second quarter, as Hurts handed the ball of to Miles Sanders, who was shoved into the endzone by his teammates after nearly being stopped by the defense. The Eagles regained the lead with the score at 20-14 14:54 left in the second. 

After an Eagles fumble, the Packers responded with a touchdown of their own at the 7:50 mark in the second quarter, when Aaron Rodgers threw a 23 yard touchdown pass to Aaron Jones, tying the game once again at 20-20.  

To close the half, the Eagles scored yet another touchdown, as Hurts threw a 30 yard touchdown pass to Quez Watkins, scoring the Eagles fourth touchdown of the half. The Eagles held the lead at 27-21 heading into halftime. 

Out of halftime, it appeared that the Packers defense wasn’t going to get any better than it was in the first half, as the Eagles scored their fifth touchdown of the game at the 7:23 mark of the third. Jalen Hurts threw a short six yard pass to A.J. Brown. The Eagles then led 34-20, with the game getting slowly more out of reach for the Packers. 

Both teams scored a field goal throughout the rest of the quarter, leaving the Eagles with a 13 point 37-23 lead heading into the final quarter of play. The Packers didn’t give up, scoring a touchdown with 9:13 remaining in the fourth quarter, after Jordan Love threw a short pass to Christian Watson who soared into the endzone for a 63 yard touchdown. 

After a great defensive quarter, a quarter in which both teams held each other to only one field goal, the game ended with a final score of 40-33 with the Philadelphia Eagles coming out victorious. 

Last week’s rout against the Tennessee Titans was, at least, a fun one to watch, particularly since wide receiver A.J. Brown was able to stick it to his former team. Hurts had a season-best game, throwing for 380 years and completing 29 of his 39 passes with three touchdowns. The Eagles defense was just as impressive, with Brandon Graham sacking Ryan Tannehill six times. Even Eagles veteran tackle Fletcher Cox has a fantastic sack against Tannehill in the second quarter.

There were some ugly plays though, ones that looked alarmingly similar to previous problems against the Commanders and Colts in particular. There were some injuries which, fortunately, were not super costly; at one point left guard Landon Dickerson left the field, leaving a large hole in the Eagles’ offensive line. 

Additionally the Eagles racked up a whopping nine flags for a total of 60 yards in the first half. Many Eagles fans will question this, as bad reffing is also to blame for the Eagles loss to the Commanders. But this amount of yardage for the number of vets on the field is just bad, and it’s something the Eagles will have to rectify if they want to be successful against their next foes: the New York Giants.

The Giants have been impressive this season, beating big names like Ravens and Texans, but somehow falling to teams like the Lions and Jaguars. They put up a fight against Dallas, who beat them twice this season, and they are coming off a tie against the Commanders from last weekend. Running back Saquon Barkley is a huge threat, as is wide receivers Darius Slayton and punt returner Richie James. The Eagles will have their hands full with their offense; fingers-crossed Hurts, Brown, and Smith can keep the Giants defense on their toes.

“The Eagles will dominate the Giants this weekend and win by at least 14 points,” said History teacher and Eagles fan Mr. Pietrofitta. “They dominated the Titans, who have more weapons than Giants.”

When asked whether or not he thought the Eagles were going to the Superbowl, Mr. Pietrofitta stopped short.

“I’m not going to be that Philadelphia guy,” he said. “[The Eagles] will go to the playoffs, where anything can happen.”

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