October 23, 2016
After two uneven performances, the Eagles badly needed to get back on track with a win against the undefeated Minnesota Vikings on Sunday at The Linc. They submitted a third uneven performance, but it was more than good enough for an easy victory against a Vikings team that didn't have close to its "A game" today.
The Birds won 21-10, improving to 4-2 ahead of what shapes up as a huge Sunday Night Football matchup against the Dallas Cowboys at Jerry World. Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, and the NBC executives probably won't mind calling that game. Here's what I saw today:
• It wasn't particularly pretty, but good on Carson Wentz for orchestrating a nine-play, 77-yard touchdown drive against a tough Minnesota defense to open up the second half. He made a couple of key throws to extend the drive, which ended with a five-yard toss to Dorial Green-Beckham in traffic:
DGB's 1st TD reception as an Eagle caps an outstanding 9-play, 77-yard drive. Took 5:51 off the clock. 18-3 Birds. pic.twitter.com/wQbi1zCNmv— Philly Influencer (@PHL_Influencer) October 23, 2016
• Lost in the shuffle, the Eagles were decently effective running the ball against what had been a stout Minnesota rush defense with Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, and Wendell Smallwood: 102 yards on 25 carries.
• With a two-possession lead, anything over the 50-yard line was four-down territory for the Vikings in the fourth quarter. On third and short (and then fourth and short) down near the goal line, the Eagles defense stepped up big time:
• In particular, the Eagles pass rush was outstanding. On the edge, Brandon Graham and Connor Barwin were in Sam Bradford's face all day.
• In the words of comedy genius Larry David, the Birds have been pretty, pretty, pretty good at home:
The Eagles outscored the Steelers and Vikings 55-6 in Philly and are now 3-0 at home.— Joe Giglio (@JoeGiglioSports) October 23, 2016
Home field advantage has returned to the Linc.
• A couple of future Philadelphia stars cheered on their Eagles today:
Everything KAT has said since he arrived here has been music to Minnesota's ears. Until today: "Make it quick. Gotta go watch my Eagles."— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) October 23, 2016
• Moving forward, the Eagles need Wentz to be much better than he was today: The rookie finished 16-28 for 138 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. He missed too many easy throws and made far too many poor decisions, a bad combo. The good news is that he can learn from a poor performance after what ended up being a pressure-free blowout win.
• It may be a case of nitpicking a great defensive performance, but allowing a draw play on 3rd and 13 is always frustrating for the defense. But when that is the worst thing you can say about the entire unit, they had a great day. Terrific job by Jim Schwartz and his players to rebound from last week's dreadful performance against Washington.
• Jason Kelce might want to put in a little extra work on shotgun snaps this week.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann