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October 02, 2023

What they're saying: Wins are still wins, as frustrating as the Eagles make them

The Eagles are 4-0. Everything should be good, right? Somehow, anything but.

The Eagles won. It was agonizing – again. 

They're 4-0, yet we left Sunday's win with still so much to scrutinize. 

Things are good, and also bad. What is happening here?

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

The sky is falling

Dan McQuade | Defector

Again, there's a bizarre disconnect right now between the results and what's happening on the field. 

Sam Howell was able to consistently exploit gaps in spacing from the Eagles' secondary, and Jalen Hurts' performance looked good stat-wise, but if you were watching, you just didn't see the same thing. 

But the Eagles still won, and they're one of two undefeated teams remaining in the league, even if their play doesn't exactly look like it. 

And weirdly enough, there's some precedent for this, as Dan McQuade recalled over at Defector:

I tried to think of a game that matched up with this, and I came up with one: In 2004, the Eagles had signed Terrell Owens in the offseason. They were 5-0 coming into a game against the Browns. Much of the chatter during the week dealt with Owens’s repeated shots at Jeff Garcia, his former QB in San Francisco. The very different personalities and personnel aside, that game was pretty similar to yesterday’s! The Eagles were favored. They sucked on third down. They made mistakes and let Cleveland stick around. The A.J. Brown aspect was split into two: Terrell Owens got a bulls*** celebration penalty when he ripped down a sign making fun of him, which should be allowed.Then Brian Dawkins received a bulls*** roughing the passer flag to help Cleveland score the game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The teams traded possessions in overtime; the Eagles inexplicably went deep in OT when they should’ve just been trying to gain more yards to set up a game-winning field goal. But their star kicker came through. The Eagles won, 34-31, on a long field goal in OT to stay undefeated. They made it to the Super Bowl that year. The sky did not fall. [Defector]
But there were points on that run where it sure did feel like it. 

History may not repeat, but it sure can rhyme.

A win's a win, and so are comebacks

The Eagles, so far, haven't played anywhere close to as smooth as many would've expected them to be.

But even so, they're still finding a way, and if there's another big positive, it's that so long as Jalen Hurts is under center, the Eagles might get down but will never be out.

From ESPN Stats & Info:

Wakeup Call 

Albert Breer | Sports Illustrated

And to the point of finding a way, maybe the Eagles needed to win a game like this the way that they did, wondered SI's Albert Breer the morning after:

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said something after eking out a win over the Commanders on Sunday that should resonate with everyone. His Philadelphia team will be taking everyone’s best shot, and it got a good one from Washington.

That game went into overtime, and Jake Elliott had to drill a 54-yarder to get the Eagles the win, and still it’s one the Philly staff hopes will serve the team well.

“We won in a different way than we’ve had to win so far this year,” Sirianni told reporters. “I think that builds character. I think that builds a tighter team. I think that builds trust. Defense comes out, they make a stop, the offense goes out and drives the ball into a position to score and the special teams converts to make a play. Those are all team-building things.”

And probably needed things after the Eagles trailed for only a single possession in their first three games. [SI]

But how long can this last?

Tim McManus | ESPN NFL Nation

Because they got by on Sunday, and the three weeks prior, but things absolutely need to be tightened up. 

On deck over the next two weeks are the Rams out in LA and then the Jets up in the Meadowlands, which are projected as two of the lighter games on the schedule.

But after that, as Tim McManus pointed out, the slate gets a lot tougher:

It wasn't the prettiest performance -- penalties nearly led to the Eagles' first loss of the season -- but they escaped their first divisional game with a win in overtime to improve to 4-0. Their next two games -- at the Rams and Jets -- are winnable. They'll look to stockpile victories before a rough stretch that includes the Dolphins, Cowboys, Chiefs, Bills and 49ers. [ESPN]

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