Your Superbowl champion Eagles finished the first half on the season with a 4 and 4 record. Not very champion like but when your first 8 games include 5 against playoff teams from the previous year it’s not always easy carrying that target. Could the champs get off the mat and do some damage in the NFC after their bye week? With five division games and three more against teams that would go to this year’s playoffs, it wasn’t going to be easy.
Dallas Comes To Town
The Eagles needed to beat Dallas. Mainly just because it is Dallas. The NFC’s version of the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s. There just isn’t any lost love from one fan base to the other. The Bird-gang started slowly. Spotting their rivals two field goals before Jake Elliott got the Eagles on the scoreboard by drilling a 56-yard field goal with a 1:33 seconds left in the first half. Dallas stormed back Dak Prescott took it into the end-zone himself with 19 seconds left on the clock.
The Cowboys controlled the clock in this one winning the time of possession battle 33 to 26. They did that by rushing the ball 28 times for 171 yards. As disturbing as that is even more so is the Cowboys went 8-16 on 3rd down conversions. Two Zach Ertz from Carson Wentz touchdown passes were not enough as Zeke Elliott also found the endzone twice the second half and the Eagles fell in this one 20 to 27 to their division rivals.
The Big Easy
Always a tough opponent under the dome. Philadelphia traveled to New Orleans and got blasted from one end of Louisiana to the other. The Eagles defense again spent way to much time on the field. The Saints had the ball 37 minutes to 22 because New Orleans ran the ball 37 times for 173 yards. In the end, the game ended with the Eagles losing by 41 points.
I know the secondary had a lot of injuries but the Eagles were losing because of two things. One they couldn’t stop the run and two because they couldn’t get off the field. The Saints converted 6 of 11 of their 3rd down tries again over 50%. Philadelphia needed to do some serious work and soul searching because the next two games would both be showdowns with divisional opponents.
[cat list=Philadelphia Eagles]
A Giant Challenge
In the first game against New York, the Eagles beat up the Giants on the scoreboard 34 to 13. That didn’t tell the entire story as the Eagles offense was actually out-gained by the Giants. The rematch at Lincoln Financial was different. Philadelphia spotted the Giants a 19 to 3 lead with 4:06 left in the first half before climbing back into it with a Wentz to Ertz touchdown capped by a Cory Clement 2pt conversion.
The remainder of the game was a back and forth battle. For the third time in as many games the Eagles yielded over a hundred yards to an opposing runner. The Eagles were able to run the ball themselves in this one which contributed to them winning the time of possession and keeping Saquon Barkley off the field. Last minute heroics were provided by Jake Elliott as he knocked through a 42 yard field goal with 22 seconds left to win it for Philadelphia.
The Redskins Visit
A team with even more injury woes than the Eagles came to town but it still was a battle. Going into the 4th quarter, Washington was only down a point at 13 to 14. Finally the boys in green were able to put away an opponent by tacking on 14 unanswered points in the 4th quarter.
The Eagles totally dominated the time of possession in this one 39 minuets to 20 and just wore out the Redskins defense late and finished off the game. They held Adrian Peterson to 98 yards rushing and 90 of those came on one play. The run defense was starting to play better.