3 Eagles takeaways from tough Week 2 loss to 49ers
The Philadelphia Eagles were extremely dominant in Week 1, scoring over 30 points with Jalen Hurts looking absolutely dominant. In Week 2 it was a different story with the Eagles looking pretty flat against the San Francisco 49ers, losing 17-11 in a very strange game.
Here are three Eagles takeaways from their Week 2 loss to the 49ers.
1. Jalen Hurts is good enough to keep the Eagles in most games
Yes, this is a weird takeaway in a game where the Eagles only scored 11 points and didn’t win, but this looks like the floor for what to expect from Hurts. Even in what can be expected to be the worst game of the season for Hurts, he ran for 82 yards on 10 rushing attempts. His ability to take off and run is among the best with Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson and Hurts just needs to develop his arm talent a bit more to be consistently ranked with those two. Week 2 was bad all around, but Hurts came close a few times and will be back at it in Week 3.
2. Miles Sanders needs to be more involved
The Eagles will seemingly forever refuse to actually commit to Miles Sanders as a bell-cow type running back but the talent and production seem to be there every step of the way.
In Week 1, the Eagles gave Miles Sanders 19 touches which was great but also just made sense because of the huge lead the Eagles built against the Atlanta Falcons. Sanders should consistently be getting 15-20 touches and it seemed like the Eagles might finally be agreeing.
In Week 2, the game was close throughout but Sanders carried the ball just 13 times and caught only one pass.
If Philadelphia was swimming with offensive weapons this usage would make more sense, but there’s really no notable names aside from rookie DeVonta Smith. The tight end duo of Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz might qualify here but aside from those guys, there isn’t much.
Smith is more of just a name right now as we’re not sure how he’s going to pan out. We all know Miles Sanders has the talent to be a number one running back but the Eagles just seem reluctant to go all in. Let him and Hurts just run all over a team one week and see how it goes.
3. The defense has given up just 23 points combined so far
The Eagles rank second in the NFL in points allowed through two weeks and this defense looks to have jumped to being a top 10 group. If that is truly the case, this could actually be a playoff team in Philadelphia.
Jalen Hurts and the rest of the Eagles offense are good enough and will be able to stay in games, but they need a defense to avoid shootouts. It looks like Philadelphia is the type of defense to just pester the opponent all day, forcing three and out drives or holding their opponents to just a field goal.
This defense isn’t loaded with star talent, but some players are stepping up much more than expected. Pro Football Focus has both Eagles starting cornerbacks, Darius Slay and Steven Nelson, as top 20 corners so far. Along the defensive line, Javon Hargrave is having a great season after a bit of a dip in production in 2020. There aren’t any big time stars here but this defense should be consistent enough to remain a top 10-12 group all season.
If the offense can finish in the same area then this team is suddenly pushing for the playoffs. They’re not exactly playing in an elite division so this is certainly a possibility for the Eagles.