Another week, another Philadelphia Eagles win; at this point, what else is new?
Taking the field at The Linc for only the second time in the still-young 2022 NFL season, the Birds welcomed the only Super Bowl-winning coach in franchise history, Doug Pederson, back to South Philadelphia with a video package, cheers, and… oh yeah, the remnants of Hurricane Ian, which made for a sloppy affair for all parties involved. With the deep ball all but eliminated and field goals seemingly flying out of arc at a moment’s notice – as Jake Elliott learned first-hand – the game would seemingly be defined by how well the Eagles’ premier rushing offense would stack up against the league-leading Jaguars’ run defense.
*spoiler alert* it held up great.
Though the game wasn’t pretty, the fans in attendance got very wet, and Trevor Lawrence became the first player this century to lose four fumbles in a single game, in the end, the Eagles pulled out a win, continued their streak of four-straight games with at least 24 points scored and ultimately gave fans in the 215 what they wanted most: a 4-0 record. Onward to Arizona in Week 5, where the Eagles will take part in the #WaroftheBirds for the first time since 2020.
Nothin' like winning in Philly.#FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/RFE5ooP6R2
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 2, 2022
3 takeaways from the Philadelphia Eagles’ Week 4 win vs. Jacksonville.
3. Miles Sanders is no complementary back
Since Shane Steichen took over as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator, Philadelphia has been an elite rushing team. They led the league in rushing in 2021, had the second-most rushing attempts with just one fewer attempt than the Indianapolis Colts, and in 2022, that success has held over, as they rank third in attempts, seventh in overall yards, and first in touchdowns through three weeks.
Fortunately, in Week 3, that prowess on the ground came in handy, as the Eagles were unable to connect on a pass longer than 31 yards and had trouble in the kicking game too.
Enter Miles Sanders, the Eagles’ often-overlooked lead back who ran wild on his former coach in his first 100-yard contest since Week 15 of the 2022 NFL season. Earning 27 carries in a game for the first time in his career, Sanders picked up 134 yards and two touchdowns as the clear focal point of the Eagles’ offense and was largely able to take the heat off of Jalen Hurts, who still ran the ball 16 times for 38 yards but avoided some crucial contact on a muddy field. Hopefully, you started Sanders in Fantasy Football, folks.
2. Jonathan Gannon’s D wins the turnover game
After drawing poor reactions in Week 1 for his team’s poor defensive efforts, Jonathan Gannon’s unit has been on a roll from Week 2 on, allowing just 36 points over three games. While the Eagles did allow two offensive touchdowns in Week 4, the most they’ve surrendered since Week 1, the team overcame this fact with five turnovers, four fumbles, and an interception, on the way to one of the most lopsided turnover efforts in recent memory.
Now granted, the Eagles didn’t match their Week 3 efforts in Week 4 in terms of sacks, as they were “only” able to bring down Lawrence four times, but considering he couldn’t hold onto the ball any time he touched the ground, the front seven’s efforts were the clear difference-maker in the game.
1. Nick Sirianni outdueled his Philadelphia Eagles predecessor
When the Eagles fired Doug Pederson, it was controversial. Sure, Philadelphia was bad in 2020, as their 4-12 record clearly proved, but Pederson had just led the team to the Super Bowl in February of 2018 and was insanely popular with the fanbase as a result. While many assumed that his ousting was all about fully committing to Carson Wentz at quarterback, as the duo didn’t get along towards the end of their shared tenure, that ultimately proved a foolish endeavor, as the North Dakota State product asked for his way out of South Philly shortly thereafter, landing in Indianapolis for a pair of picks.
Though the “Sirianni era” didn’t exactly start with the strongest footing, as his opening press conference is notorious and his first two months or so as the team’s head coach was less than enthralling, he rapidly turned things around in November and has since become a veritable hero in the City of Brotherly Love. Had Sirianni lost to Pederson in Week 4, it wouldn’t have been the end of the world, as the Jaguars are deceptively good, and the Eagles would still be in the driver’s seat of the NFC East, but fortunately, folks won’t have to spend their Sunday evening writing up think pieces on the matter, as Philly secured the win, kept their perfect record intact and get to go home wet and happy. Sirianni kept his guys together when things weren’t going great in the first quarter, knew how to handle the Jaguars’ late-game comeback attempt, and ultimately, led his players to an ugly win, which good teams have to secure sometimes too.
"There ain't nothing like winning in Philly" – Coach Sirianni#JAXvsPHI | #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/viNq6vVceY
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 2, 2022