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October 02, 2022

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Jaguars game

Eagles NFL

The Philadelphia Eagles were the lone undefeated team in the NFL heading into their Week 4 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. They remain unblemished after a 29-21 win in some pretty ugly weather. As always, win, lose, or tie, we hand out 10 awards.

1) The 'Adversity' Award 🏔️: The Eagles, as a team

The weather was angry out there today, my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli. After the first quarter of play, the Eagles were down 14-0, and things weren't clicking in any phase of the game. The offense had given up a pick-six, punted, and turned the ball over on downs, while the defense gave up an 8-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. 

In their first three wins this season, the Eagles had cruised out to early leads. 

  1. They led the Lions 31-14.
  2. They led the Vikings 24-7.
  3. They led the Commanders 24-0.

This was the first game that the Eagles really dug themselves a significant hole to climb out of, but after they scored 29 unanswered points they would eventually cruise to another win. Ultimately, the Eagles dominated this game:

Stat Eagles Jaguars 
Yards 401 219 
First downs 25 13 
Takeaways 
 Offensive plays run77 46 
Time of possession 39:51 20:09 


Credit the Eagles for battling back after an ugly start, figuring things out, and eventually taking control of the game. That was a tough, character-building win. The Eagles also left no doubt who the better team was.

2) The 'Closer' Award 🙅‍♂️: Haason Reddick

With 1:54 left in the game and the Eagles up by the aforementioned score of 29-21, Nick Sirianni opted to go for it on 4th and 3 from the Jaguars' 21 yard line. Nick Sirianni felt that going for it in that situation was a better option than attempting a field goal into a stiff wind with a gimpy Jake Elliott, who had been injured earlier in the game.

The Eagles didn't convert, and it looked as though the hometown fans would have to sweat out the win.

Nope.

On the first play of the Jags' ensuing drive, Haason Reddick sealed the W with a walkoff sack / forced fumble.

Reddick was a menace all day, registering four tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. But his highlight of the day was his posterizing of Jags RT Jawaan Taylor on a nasty push-pull move.

Give that man Defensive Player of the Week honors.

3) The 'Ground and Pound' Award 👊: Miles Sanders

Sanders had 27 carries for 134 yards and 2 TDs, while also chipping in two catches for 22 yards. Sanders has only carried 20 or more times in a game three times in his NFL career:

  1. 20-79-1 vs. the Cowboys, Week 16, 2019
  2. 20-95-1 vs. the Rams, Week 2, 2020
  3. 24-120-0 vs. the Jets, Week 13, 2021

Sanders ran angry on Sunday, getting the yards that were blocked up for him, and sometimes more. He did not leave a lot of meat on the bone, as he has been apt to do on occasion. The Eagles shouldn't expect Sanders to carry this kind of workload on a regular basis, but they needed him to be a workhorse on such crappy day. Ideally he'll carry the ball closer to around 15 times per game, and the Eagles would love to see him run the way he did on Sunday when he gets his opportunities.

Oh, and, by the way, the Jaguars entered this game as the No. 1 rushing defense in the NFL. They won't be the No. 1 run defense anymore.

4) The 'Bumps and Bruises' Award 🤕: Jordan Mailata, Darius Slay, and a bunch of other Eagles

This win may have come at a cost, as the Eagles saw a slew of players forced out of action. A recap, via Jeff McLane of the Inquirer:

They were also without starting slot CB Avonte Maddox and RB Boston Scott.

The Eagles have been a very healthy team through the first month of the season. To be determined how severe each of the above injuries are.

5) The 'Justin Jefferson' Award: Christian Kirk

When it was announced that Maddox would not play in this game, the concern was that slot receiver Christian Kirk, the Jags' best passing game weapon, could have a big day. He did not. Kirk had 0 catches on his first seven targets, which included a James Bradberry INT. 

Kirk would eventually catch two passes for 60 yards, but they were too little, too late. The Eagles have done a very good job on No. 1 receivers this season, including Justin Jefferson and Terry McLaurin.

Speaking of Bradberry, in the locker room after the game, while Bradberry was being interviewed by reporters, Darius Slay wondered loudly from his adjacent locker about the Giants, "How you let that man out the building?"

6) The '2-minute' Award ⏱️: The Eagles' end of 1st half scoring

The Eagles have scored five times in the last two minutes of the first half through the first four games of the season:

  1. Week 1 (Lions): FG, 0:06 to go.
  2. Week 2 (Vikings): TD, 1:58 to go.
  3. Week 2 (Vikings): FG, 0:00 to go.
  4. Week 3 (Commanders): TD, 0:00 to go.
  5. Week 4 (Jaguars): TD, 0:26 to go.

26 total points. Impressive.

7) The 'Robbed' Award : A.J. Brown

A.J. Brown was robbed of a 10-yard TD reception, when the officials flagged Dallas Goedert for, um, standing in place? Brown still ended up with five catches for 95 yards, and is on pace for 1,717 receiving yards this season.

8) The 'Toughness' Award 💪: Jalen Hurts

We should probably mention Hurts' play today too, I guess, right? This was Hurts' worst performance so far in a stellar season, which is understandable, given the conditions. I'd categorize Hurts' best traits in each game so far like so:

  1. Week 1: Speed
  2. Week 2: Accuracy
  3. Week 3: Poise
  4. Week 4: Toughness

I thought his 4th down TD run down 0-14 exemplified his toughness. The Eagles HAD TO have this score, and Hurts wasn't going to be denied, even taking a hard helmet to helmet shot in the process:

Hurts is winning in a variety of ways.

9) The 'Draft Positioning' Award 📈: The Saints

Before the Eagles' game even began, they were beneficiaries of the early morning game played in London, where the Vikings beat the Saints in a game that ended on a missed double-doink field goal.

That's a shame. As you're aware, the Eagles own the Saints' first-round pick in 2023. The Saints are now 1-3.

If the season ended right now (it doesn't), the Eagles would be picking No. 3 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft.

10) The 'Desert' Award 🌵: The Cardinals

The Eagles will go from one of the wettest games in recent memory to the desert, where they will face the Arizona Cardinals Week 5. OK, so the Cardinals play in a dome, but whatever. The early "look-ahead" line for that game is Eagles (-4). 

The Eagles' fun 2022 season continues on.


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