By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia Eagles were looking to rebound after being beat by the Kansas City Chiefs last week. They faced a hungry Carolina Panthers squad that was looking to get right as well. It took them awhile, but Philly was able to take advantage of a dominant defensive performance to shock the Panthers 21-18.
It did not look good early on for Philly. Carolina was moving the ball and they had no answers for them in either phase of the game. The Panthers were imposing their will on Philly and held them to two field goals by halftime. Offensively the Eagles could do nothing against the Panthers defense. They were on the ropes and looking like they were going to drop their fourth straight game.
However, the Eagles defense refused to let the fact the offense could not catch a cold stop them. They were able to get some timely sacks and got multiple interceptions from their secondary Darius Slay (two interceptions) and Steven Nelson (one interception). Two of those interceptions came in the second half and they both led to two touchdowns and that was the difference in this game.
Philly’s defense was due for a big performance after being torched these last four games. The defense was at the center of attention throughout the week. The focus was on why Fletcher Cox has not had his usual impact on the field. In this game Cox got his first sack of the season and got the brunt of the attention which allowed his teammates to get free shots at Sam Darnold. That allowed the Eagles secondary to force three interceptions.
They will need to find more ways to get Cox involved on the defensive end. The defensive line and secondary won this game for the Eagles. On a short week they will need to find a way to have a repeat performance. As they face Tom Brady and the high-powered offense of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jalen Hurts did not have a great start to this game, but when it mattered the most. He had an “I’m the guy” performance. He was able to spark the Eagles offense with two rushing touchdowns. He also may have saved not only the season but his coach’s job. Sirianni was outcoached throughout most of this game. If it was not for Hurts’ two touchdowns. Sirianni’s play-calling and coaching ability would again have been the center of attention in Philly this week.
On the win, “Felt like a complete team win. One unit’s down the other units have to bring it up,” said Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni.
The offense was able to not only take advantage of a shorten field thanks to three turnovers, but they also had the most success when they mixed in run plays during their drives. They will need to find a more balanced offensive approach as they try to take advantage of an aggressive defense on Thursday night.