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October 31, 2023

What they're saying: Haason Reddick 'is one of the great closers in football'

Haason Reddick gets a lot of sacks, and a lot of them in the fourth quarter with the Eagles trying to close games out.

Sam Howell and the Commanders had something figured out about the Eagles – again. 

Yet the Eagles stuck around, found a way, and beat an NFC East rival that has been a thorn in their side these past couple of years – again. 

Philly mounted a 38-31 comeback on Sunday to sweep Washington for the season, and now that the Commanders are expected to be deadline sellers, probably won't have to worry about them again until next year. 

The Birds are also alone now with the best record in the NFL, with problems still to iron out and the boss rush section of the schedule coming up, sure. But hey, they've been finding ways to get the job done so far, and with Dallas on deck, there's especially no reason to stop now. 

Here's what they're saying about the Eagles...

The Closer

Domonique Foxworth | Get Up, ESPN

The Eagles now stand alone at the top – for now – with the NFL's best record. 

But Howell still carved their defense up for three touchdowns, nearly 400 yards, and an almost spotless first half, and all only a week removed from the Eagles holding a powerhouse Dolphins offense to just 17 points. 

Still, they held on. 

The argument over whether or not the defense is good enough to win it all is there, but even if they're not outright dominant, they're still finding ways to get stops when they need them the most, with one common denominator among most of them:

"It's not elite consistently, which is the problem, but one good thing about this defense is Haason Reddick – we don't talk about him – is one of the great closers in football. We talk about that D-line like it's an ensemble cast because it is, but at the end of the games, you need a defensive lineman to put games away, and Haason Reddick is doing it as well and as often as anyone in the league. 

"Over the last two seasons in the fourth quarter, he has 11.5 fourth-quarter sacks. Haason Reddick is a problem and we should talk about him the same way we talk about some of these other great pass rushers." [ESPN]

Good news, bad news (with preventable worse news)

Mike Sielski | The Philadelphia Inquirer

So the bad news as we learned ahead of Sunday's game down in Landover: Jalen Hurts has a knee bruise, has been dealing with it for a while, and re-aggravated it last week, though continues to play through it. 

The good news, as we learned after Sunday's win down in Landover: He can get the job done as a pocket passer in the meantime, putting in his best performance through the air so far this season. 

Now just don't let that injury get any worse, as Mike Sielski writes:

There’s nothing reassuring for the Eagles about Hurts’ having to deal with this kind of injury so early in the season. They have built themselves a decent cushion in the NFC; they’re the only one-loss team in the conference. But the most challenging stretch of their schedule is just ahead of them — the Cowboys twice, the Chiefs, the Bills, the 49ers — and they won’t withstand it without Hurts or even with a version of him that is more compromised and vulnerable than Sunday’s.

What was reassuring about his performance against the Commanders was that it reaffirmed that he can pick an opponent apart from the pocket. He wasn’t perfect. The Eagles committed two turnovers inside the Washington 5-yard line, and Hurts was responsible for the second, fumbling the snap on what figured to be a sure touchdown on a quarterback sneak. But as dominant as A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith were against the Commanders’ cornerbacks, Hurts was flawless in delivering them the football. He completed all 15 passes he threw to Brown and Smith, for 229 yards and three touchdowns. Both Brown’s brilliant one-handed, back-shoulder TD catch and Julio Jones’ go-ahead score were plays that Hurts had honed with them at practice Friday. The difference in the game was the residue of Hurts’ work and design. [The Inquirer]

Howie (still) on the hunt?

The NFL's trade deadline is today at 4 p.m. ET. 

The Eagles already made their splash with the acquisition of veteran safety Kevin Byard from Tennessee last week. 

But there was something else to that move that may hint at Howie Roseman not being done just yet, as ESPN's Field Yates pointed out

Word is that the Eagles are looking at linebacker.

Let's see what happens within these final few hours.

Niners check

Oh, yeah, the 49ers lost on Sunday. 

Let's see how their fan base is handling things – because as we all know, they handled the NFC Championship extremely well.


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