Spadaro: Eagles shine under the bright lights of Monday Night Football | Worrior Forum
Spadaro: Eagles shine under the bright lights of Monday Night Football | Worrior Forum
The Eagles’ home opener against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night featured a star-studded lineup. A prime-time audience for a Monday Night Football game filled the stands with athletes (James Harden, Bryce Harper), actors (Bradley Cooper), singers (Questlove), and television and movie stars (Quinta Brunson). They also came out in full force and with a lot of enthusiasm.
The Eagles gave them all exactly what they wanted in their second game of the season, defeating the Vikings 24-7 in a contest that was broadcast live throughout the country. The Eagles gave a warning about what happens when one of the finest offences in the NFL is shut down by a defence that plays like it’s in a video game.
It was football poetry as the Eagles improved to 2-0, and although the team will quickly forget the victory and concentrate on a short week’s worth of travel to Washington, it was impressive to watch.
Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who recorded three total tackles, a quarterback sack, and a forced fumble, stated, “It felt wonderful out there, it really did. “It was energising. The audience was amazing. Man, we just came out flying around on offence and defence. You could feel the excitement.”
Jalen Hurts, the quarterback, tops the list of standouts because he was outstanding from the outset of the contest in every way. On the Eagles’ opening drive, Hurts completed all five of his passes to four different receivers for a total of 63 yards. The drive lasted 11 plays and covered 82 yards, and Hurts scored on a 3-yard touchdown run after dragging three defenders into the end zone.
Hurts’ performance was close to flawless overall. He ran for 57 yards and two touchdowns on 11 attempts in addition to completing 26 of 31 throws for 333 yards, one touchdown, and an interception (a pass that went off the hands of running back Kenneth Gainwell).
Hurts read everything the Vikings threw at him from a system perspective, evaded pressure when there was any, hit his receivers on time, and came through when it mattered most. Hurts began the 75-yard drive with a first down at the Philadelphia 5-yard line and gave the offence some breathing room with a 9-yard run to close out the first half with a Jake Elliott field goal to increase the lead to 24-7. Hurts was instructed to drop back and wing it by Head Coach Nick Sirianni rather of running out the clock and protecting a two-touchdown advantage.
Dallas Goedert, a tight end, said, “We ran for a first down there just to get some room, and then it was on Jalen, and he stepped up and delivered. “Coach exuded a lot of faith in the offence, and especially in Jalen. Jalen was simply exceptional.”
Hurts proved to be just that as he quickly moved the Eagles into scoring position by completing passes to DeVonta Smith (16 yards) and two to Goedert (19 yards and 24 yards) to set up Elliott for the 38-yard field goal at the half.
Hurts’ genius was on display during that journey. Hurts found wide receiver Quez Watkins for an easy pitch-and-catch touchdown after Goedert lined up inside Watkins and ran a route toward the sideline, drawing two Vikings defenders. Watkins ran his route straight down the field into a wide-open zone, and Hurts found him.
Hurts also scored the team’s third touchdown with a remarkable 26-yard touchdown run. He rushed to the right side of the field after a Goedert block on Harrison Smith, the team’s safety, and again smashed through several tackles before sprinting into the end zone.
Goedert said, “Great run. “It was all Jalen after I missed my chance to make a block and managed to get my body on the Smith opponent. He displayed his force. In every regard, he played a superb game. He commanded the attack once more.”
But tonight there was a lot more. Some of the larger-scale storylines to admire
- The Eagles’ 486 yards of total offence on this night were stunning in large part due to the attack’s balance. On 34 attempts, the running game gained 163 yards. A.J. Smith caught seven receptions for 80 yards on seven targets, and the other two receivers—J. Brown contributed 69 yards on five catches. With five catches, a game-high 82 yards, and excellent blocking, Goedert was a beast. The Eagles employed Smith out of the slot, moved Brown around, and really had success with their formation flexibility. The offensive opened with some no-huddle tempo that centre Jason Kelce says “had them (the Vikings) tired up front.”Sirianni and Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen have the offence on the boil and are making use of every tool at their disposal.
2.In Week 1, Minnesota’s defence stymied Green Bay and relentlessly pursued Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, resulting in four sacks and an interception. Strong edge rushers Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith presented a challenge for the Eagles offensive line, and the offence rose to the occasion. The Eagles once again dominated in the offensive trenches, where it all begins.
Jordan Mailata, the left tackle, remarked, “We knew how good they were and we were up for the task.” “I think we have a lot of cleaning up to do. Being the best as a team is our ultimate ambition, and we realised that in order to win this game tonight, we had to defeat a strong front. Although we made several errors, I believe that generally as a team we succeeded.”
- For the majority of the evening, cornerback Darius Slay was covering star wide receiver Justin Jefferson, and wow, did he have a game. Slay had five passes intercepted and two interceptions, one at the goal line and one in the end zone. With nine receptions, an NFL-best 184 yards, and two touchdowns versus Green Bay to start the season, Jefferson had a strong day. He recorded six catches for 48 yards on 12 targets on Monday night. The Eagles came out strong, fought for the ball, and stopped running back Dalvin Cook, choked Adam Thielen (4 catches, 52 yards), and limited Jefferson (17 yards on 6 carries, and 4 catches for 19 yards).
After the first interception, Slay raced over to James Harden, the best player for the Philadelphia 76ers, and handed him the ball. “We had our minds set to go out here and dominate and play this game with a lot of effort and with a lot of talent,” Slay said. “Guys were out there doing what they were supposed to be doing, which is what we do. Coach (Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon) placed us in a terrific position to win,” said the player.
4.Miles Sanders was once again quite effective, rushing for 80 yards on 17 attempts while breaking tackles and running with great vision and force. If you had any qualms, they are unfounded. The Eagles had those 163 yards on the ground following their 216 yard total from Week 1. Once more, the running game is extremely real.
When we get this offence going with the tools we have, I’m telling you, it’s a lot of fun, Sanders said. “We were moving the ball all over the field in that first half (when the Eagles scored 24 points and amassed 347 total net yards).
The problem is that we didn’t maintain that. During the second half, we failed to score. What we did wrong is going to be our main focus this week, I believe. The defence was what helped us win the game tonight. They did an excellent job,
- The defensive, then. Clearly, the coverage was excellent. Slay was in charge. Avonte Maddox managed Thielen and had an interception. T.J. Edwards, a linebacker, recorded 10 tackles, one for a loss, hit the quarterback, and one pass break up. He adored the way the defence was played as well as the attitude.
We were aware that we had to rally to the football on every play and perform our duties well, the player stated. We were strong, and I believe that’s what we did. This is a foundation to build on.
6.The Eagles controlled the line of scrimmage and recorded QB sacks from Cox and end Josh Sweat. On 11 carries, they only gave up 62 rushing yards, with a long of 17 yards. The Vikings only successfully completed 4 out of 12 third downs, and the defence only allowed a meagre 264 total net yards. Minnesota’s longest pass completion was 19 yards. The coaching staff will be overjoyed by that.
The Eagles left Lincoln Financial Field on Monday night feeling fantastic after everything. But they are aware of what lies ahead: the week is brief. Sunday is the start of the NFC East schedule in Washington. For this football team, nothing will be simple.
Let’s return to business immediately, centre Jason Kelce said. “It’s fantastic to leave here with a win, but now it’s on to Washington and that’s what matters next. A win is great and it feels good, but we know it’s a long season and this is just one week.”