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November 07, 2023

What they're saying: History is on the side of the Eagles' Super Bowl hopes

The Eagles are 8-1 for the second straight year, just like the '06 Colts, the '97 Broncos, and the '95 Cowboys. All three of those past teams won the Super Bowl.

Eagles NFL
Josh-Sweat-sack-Eagles-Cowboys-Week-9-NFL-2023.jpg Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

Josh Sweat was putting pressure on Dak Prescott all day on Sunday.

The Eagles beat the Cowboys, 28-23, for a huge divisional win on Sunday that left fans feeling every type of emotion possible by the end of it all. 

It was...It was an adventure, for sure, and man, could that bye week not have come at a better time. 

I think everyone could use a break after that one. 

But while we're at it, here's what they're saying about the Birds...

Right where they need to be

Jori Epstein | Yahoo Sports

The Eagles are 8-1, but it's been a rollercoaster so far this season getting there. 

Still, they've done it for the second year in a row. And as far as Super Bowl hopes go, history now seems to be on their side here. 

Wrote Jori Epstein of the Birds:

No team has won at least eight games in nine weeks to start the season since the 2005 and 2006 seasons, when the Indianapolis Colts started 9-0 each year. The Colts lost in the divisional round of the 2005 season playoffs before trumping the Chicago Bears, 29-17, in the 2006 season's Super Bowl.

Before that, the Denver Broncos opened 8-1 in 1995 and 1996 each, followed by a 9-0 start to the 1997 season. They claimed titles following each of the 1996 and 1997 seasons.

And the Dallas Cowboys began 8-1 in 1994 and 1995. The Cowboys won the 1995 season Super Bowl for their third title in four years.

So forget concern over teams peaking too early. Forget any claims that true runs come in December and extend into January for the teams who power that momentum and hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Parcells isn’t the only one who should believe the Eagles’ 8-1 repeat means something. [Yahoo Sports]

This version of the team does give off some '06 Colts vibes. 

Under pressure

NFL Next Gen Stats

Josh Sweat burst off the edge and dragged Dak Prescott down with seconds remaining on Sunday, no timeouts left for Dallas, and the clock running.

It left the Cowboys all kinds of out of sorts and scrambling to try and score, which ultimately resulted in them being short of the goal line on the final play with the Eagles knowing full well there was no other option left but to go for it. 

It was arguably the biggest (definitely the most clutch) defensive play of the whole game on a day where every major one seem to be negated by a big gain or crippling flag that immediately followed. 

But in the end, Sweat got to him, after he'd been pressuring Prescott all day, per NFL Next Gen Stats – to the point where he's now tied for the lead with Micah Parsons in QB pressures after Week 9.

I've written this a few times before already over the past year or so, but I think it still very much holds true: On a D-line that stars Haason Reddick, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and now Jalen Carter, Josh Sweat remains on it as one of the best-kept secrets in the NFL. 

He's been a nightmare for opposing QBs dropping back. 

Time for the Julio Show?

Martin Frank | Delaware News Journal

Dallas Goedert suffered a broken forearm during Sunday's win, leaving the Eagles to go without him for an extended period for the second time in as many seasons. 

It's a tough spot, especially since Goedert really started getting involved in the passing game in recent weeks. 

However, a recent signing of a veteran wide receiver with size may help them get by this time. 

Wrote Martin Frank on the idea of Julio Jones taking on a bigger role in the offense during Goedert's absence:

And at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Jones has the size, not to mention the speed, to work the inside of the field. Jones, 34, who's in his 13th season, has seen every type of coverage. As a tight end, Jones can line up against a safety and use his height advantage. Or he can line up against a linebacker, and use his speed advantage.

Then again, Jones is not the same All-Pro wide receiver that he was in his prime. He has just 2 catches for 11 yards and a touchdown in three games with the Eagles. He played a season-high 31% of the snaps on Sunday, but didn't have any catches.

But there are also drawbacks, such as staying in to block or chipping on a pass rusher. That can be minimized to some extent by the Eagles going with 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends, two wide receivers) with Jack Stoll, who is known for his blocking, as a second tight end on the field.

Jones did score his lone touchdown on an 8-yard pass over the middle against Washington on Oct. 29, a route that a tight end might run. That put the Eagles ahead 31-24 in the fourth quarter. The Eagles won 38-31.

"They believe in me to go out there and execute, and take advantage of an opportunity that’s given," Jones said after that game. [Delaware News Journal]

Legend has it

Jason Kelce's still very much got it. 

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