The Philadelphia Eagles are 2-0 after a 29-14 trouncing of the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. Right from the anthem, all eyes were on the Eagles last night, and they did not disappoint, winning in the air, on the ground and on the defensive side of the ball.
There is a lot to take away from Monday’s win, and if you fell asleep before the game ended, or maybe missed a few key moments while you were checking Twitter during the national anthem, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
Here are seven things everyone will be talking about the morning after a big Eagles win.
‘Insert national anthem opinion here.’
We aren’t going to tell you how to feel about the national anthem protests in the NFL, but if you have a problem with four players on the Eagles — Steven Means, Malcolm Jenkins, Ron Brooks and Marcus Smith — standing with their hands in the air, you probably aren’t listening to the reasons why they are doing it.
Maybe you’re too busy taking selfies.
Jenkins said after the game he will continue his demonstration in future weeks, which will certainly continue the conversation in the NFL community.
— Rachel Micali (@RachelMicali) September 20, 2016
People will undoubtedly continue to be upset at this. And that’s their right, surely. After all, it’s America.
‘The Wentz Wagon is getting full.’
Carson Wentz is legit. Through two games, Wentz is 43-of-71 for 468 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions. He took a few too many hits against the Bears, but other than that, his decision-making process is amazing for a guy who has now played just eight quarters in the NFL.
“I thought he played well. Obviously well enough to win,” head coach Doug Pederson said after the game. “He took care of the football and stood in there and made some nice throws. Was it perfect? By no means was it perfect, but at the same time, he’s seeing things well. He’s commanding the huddle. The dialog with him on the sidelines with players and coaches is something that a 9-10 year vet would do.”
Understandably, people are excited about the Wentz era.
‘Stop. Dropping. The ball.’
The Eagles managed to pull away from Chicago despite the receivers dropping another series of big passes from Wentz. The most glaring gaffe came from Jordan Matthews, who dropped a touchdown just before halftime; a four-point drop after the Eagles managed a field goal to take a 9-7 lead into the half.
Matthews wasn’t the only receiver to drop a big pass. Nelson Agholor had several balls fall through his hands. Credit the defense on a few of these plays, but if the ball hits you in both hands, or goes through your hands and hits you in the leg, that has to be a catch.
When asked about it after the game, Wentz said, “if there were plays like that out there, I’ve got all the confidence in the world in those guys. They know — they’re hard on themselves too, just like me. We’re all hard on ourselves. It’s all about being positive and going forward with the next play.”
‘How good is this defense? Three turnovers! Seriously, how good…’
Through two games, Jim Schwartz’s defense looks very good. They held the Bears to 284 net yards and forced three turnovers, two of which led directly to touchdowns.
“It’s our job to protect the ball, and defensively to get takeaways,” Pederson said after the game. “Two games to not have a turnover, it’s something to be said. It’s a pride-factor with the guys.”
The Bears had 10 drives in the game, the last seven of which ended: Punt, Punt, Fumble, Punt, Interception, Fumble, Downs.
Perhaps the most telling stat in the entire win is that the Eagles had 68 offensive plays to the Bears 50. They got off the field when they needed to.
“I just think they’re playing well together as a team,” Pederson explained. “The communication is great. They’re just playing well together as a unit. It’s not a complex system. It’s very user-friendly, so to speak, and the guys have embraced it and are playing well together as a unit.”
‘Sure, the Eagles won again, but penalties are a problem.’
If you want to be a downer on Tuesday morning, there were some things the Eagles need to work on, surely. They had five penalties for 34 yards — compared to the Bears’ seven for 60 yards that’s not bad — but it doesn’t include a 15-yard personal foul call against Jason Kelce that was declined early in the game.
Historically, discipline has never been a calling card of Pederson’s offenses nor Schwartz’s defenses. So far it hasn’t hurt the team in the win column, but silly mistakes that lead to penalties (and points) need to get worked out before it costs the team a win.
‘Doug Pederson knows how to call plays. Who knew?’
Pederson got the Eagles job after being an offensive coordinator under Andy Reid, but he never called the plays in Kansas City on a consistent basis. So far, he has called two really great games for the Eagles.
The offense rushed for only 100 yards on 32 carries in the game, but 79 of those yards came in the second half, including both of Ryan Mathews’ scores.
While the Eagles were just 3-for-15 on third down, they were 3-for-3 on fourth down, including one of the rushing scores that helped pull the Eagles away from Chicago. More than anything, this is a fun offense to watch under Pederson. Not like last year.
‘Jon Dorenbos is truly magical.’
During the pre-game show, ESPN showed a recording of Eagles long snapper — and America’s Got Talent finalist — Jon Dorenbos doing card tricks with the ESPN crew. This is incredible. (Hopefully our friends at ESPN will let us keep this up, but just in case, watch it before it disappears.)
‘Does Gruden travel with his own noodles or did he buy it there?’
‘Gruden must be a hoot at pool parties.’
Let’s add one more…
‘The other shoe has dropped on Lane Johnson.’
Per McLane, Johnson has finally been suspended, but since they tested his “B” sample, he can still appeal the 10-game timeout. That appeal hearing is reportedly October 4. Per NFL rules, the decision on that appeal is supposed to take about four days (though this process took about two months already), which means he can play against the Steelers, then he will be out until December 12, eligible to return for the last three games of the season.
Way to kill the buzz after a big win, Lane.