It only took until week 5, but on Sunday the Philadelphia Eagles finally showed their city what they were capable of. Grant it, this was not against the Green Bay Packers or the New England Patriots, but the New Orleans Saints have a future HoF quarterback in Drew Brees, a winning head coach in Sean Payton, a stout run game, and a defense while being a ‘coin-toss’, can be dominant on Sundays.
The 39-17 victory showcased what the Eagles had been working toward throughout the summer and might finally be the game that jumpstarts this team into the playoffs. However, there is a keyword in that sentence, and that would be “might”. There were still a lot of plays left on the table during that Saints game, most notably; the two interceptions on Sam Bradford’s behalf that could have made this a 53-17 win.
There were other apparent issues during the game such as the drops from Riley Cooper and Jordan Matthews, DeMarco Murray’s slow start, and watching $63 million Byron Maxwell get beat on a couple of routes. As a whole though, if this is the introductory, “stepping-stone” team as to what this franchise can become as the season progresses, then the fan base should be as excited as the guy who’s writing this article.
The offensive and defensive lines performed at an exceptionally high level. Bennie Logan and Fletcher Cox amounted for 4 of the 5 sacks that afternoon, and the offense finished with 519 total yards of offense, 186 coming from the ground, and only allowed Bradford to be sacked once.
The linebacker core, while not generating the high sack numbers, was able to pressure Brees consistently. Rookie Jordan Hicks continued his development that included a fumble recovery, special teamer Bryan Braman racked up the game’s 4th sack, and Marcus Smith beat left tackle Andrus Peat to get into the face of Brees that led to a Walter Thurmond interception.
All three phases of this Eagles team showed up against the Saints and the final score evoked as such. While there are a handful of issues that certainly need to be addressed before the Monday night showdown against the New York Giants, the team and its fans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their franchise is heading in the right direction.