The Eagles break loss errors for the leaders
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, wide receiver Quez Watkins and linebacker Darius Slay after the Eagles’ loss to Washington.
Martin Frank, Delaware News Journal
Philadelphia – The initial reaction was that the Eagles signed both veteran tackle defensemen Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh because they Rookie Jordan Davis may be out for a while longer than expected.
Davis is on injured reserve and eligible to be released as soon as December 4 after missing the required four matches. Davis injured his ankle against the Steelers on October 30.
But what if Davis could make a comeback in the December 4th game against Tennessee, or shortly thereafter?
What does that say about the Eagles’ confidence in Fletcher Cox? Or Milton Williams, the only defensive tackle on the active roster under the age of 29?
We already got a glimpse of it when Cox played 70 of his 83 shots (84%) in The Eagles lost 32-21 to the Washington Chiefs Monday night. Neither Cox, nor defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, nor Eagles head coach Nick Siriani was satisfied with that.
After all, the leaders rushed for 152 yards. And while this isn’t just on Cox, he’s 31 years old, and he’s been playing better while taking fewer shots this season.
“(The pain) is not a good feeling, but you do everything you need to do to win the game,” said Cox. “70 shots is obviously 70 shots, right? I think if we win that match, no one will worry about the number of snapshots. But at the same time, 70 shots means you have to take care of your body and get ready for Sunday’s game.”
Gannon added, “When you ask these top players to play that many picks, it’s a heavy duty for everybody. So I hope he (Cox) gets his body ready to go this week. But I don’t want to see that again.”
Obviously, the long season is already taking its toll on Cox. He has three sacks this season. But nothing since the third week. The opponents averaged 160 yards rushing per game in the two games in which Davis, the Eagles’ best running back, missed.
Davis has to miss at least two more games. So if Cox has to play more than 75% of the shots however long Davis stays, it won’t work out very well.
So Joseph and Suh could have their way, maybe as soon as Sunday. It may not be for many shots, but even a dozen will reduce Cox’s workload. And as the weeks go by, and with Davis back in the lineup, there will be more balance.
Of course, it all depends on how willing Joseph and Suh are to take on lesser roles.
Suh started every game in his previous 12 seasons. In fact, he’s only missed two games in his career, and those two were for on-field suspensions in 2011. Joseph started all but nine of his 171 NFL games.
But Suh said it must work. He has known Cox for years, and he said Cox kept asking him to play with the Eagles. But this is still a rotation involving five players in Suh, Joseph, Cox, Javon Hargrave and Milton Williams. It will be the sixth when Davis returns.
Clearly Williams, the Eagles’ third-round pick in 2021, will be the odd man out.
But others should be satisfied with playing less than 50% of their shots. Suh seemed to signal his desire, and suggested that Cox was also prepared by endorsing his and Joseph’s arrival.
“I think he understands — and I can’t speak for him — but I’m clearly not here to take anyone’s position,” Suh said. “I’m here to support and be a supporting cast member on all levels. We’ve talked about that before in the past. We like to play with each other. We have co-coaches saying, ‘Man, you guys are going to be a force playing together. ‘”
“Hargrave is obviously a great player, and he has a lot of talent in him. I’d like to join this group.”
However, for now, the immediate focus is on strengthening the Eagles’ defense which has fallen to 20th in the NFL. The Eagles are about to take on Indianapolis’ Jonathan Taylor, who led the NFL in rushing yards last season and touchdown runs when he was rushing for 147 yards.
Suh and Joseph may not be aware of the The Eagles’ defensive playbook so far. But all it would take is for them to line up in the middle of the Eagles’ defensive line and stop Taylor when he comes along.
Or as the impulsive Hasson Reddick said: “We’ve grabbed two more big bodies to put in the middle. He’ll help the team and take some actors from Fletch and Hargrave… It’s an excellent situation.”
Will the Eagles bounce back against the Colts?
As far as the focus has been on the Eagles defense, there is another major problem the Eagles must overcome in order to beat the Colts: Absence of tight end Dallas Goedert.
Goedert is on IR with a shoulder injury. He was third on the team in receptions with 43 and second in receiving yards with 544 The next closest player is Quiz Watkins With 12 catches for 193 yards.
“Dallas is an outstanding player,” Eagles offensive coordinator Sean Steichen said. “You can pretty much do whatever you want with Dallas. Obviously, we throw him screens, we throw him verticals, we throw him intermediate knocks.”
Unlike the defensive tackle, the Eagles did not sign anyone to replace Goedert, mainly because it would take multiple players. For screens, look to Miles Sanders or Kenny Ginwell. For segments, see Watkins. For intermediate routes, look out for tight ends Jack Stoll and Grant Calcaterra.
And you might even see Jalen Hurts run the ball more, along with Sanders.
In other words, it could be a struggle for the Eagles. But if Hurts is a true MVP candidate, now is the time for him to prove it.
If he does, and the Eagles prevent Taylor from taking control of the game, Sirianni and the veteran Eagles will exact some measure of revenge against Colts shoot coach Frank Reich Less than two weeks ago.
Siriani served as Reich’s offensive coordinator in Indianapolis for three seasons before getting the job with the Eagles. A few veterans remain from 2016-17 when Reich was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator.
who do you know Reich may have passed some tips on to Siriani this week. after every thing, He has already put in $1.9 million The Indianapolis home is for sale, as reported by the Indianapolis Star. So obviously his loyalty is not necessarily with the Colts New coach Jeff Saturday.
result: Eagles 27, Colts 23.
Contact Martin Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter @Mfranknfl.