Photo Credit (AP/Tony Avelar)
The Eagles’ season is saved!
A narrow 25-20 victory on the road against the San Francisco 49ers, the first win of the season has put the Eagles in the driver’s seat of the NFC East.
Here are my observations from the thrilling Sunday night win
Carson Wentz: Wentz looked much better than he had the first 3 weeks of the season. He ran the offense effectively, taking what the defense gave him, and not forcing plays to happen. He looked mobile outside of the pocket, andwas able to evade defenders effectively to buy time and find open receivers. Finishing with 193 yards, 1 TD-1 INT, 1 Rushing TD, and a 73.7 QBR. His numbers on the box score were not gaudy, but the eye test showed a field general, taking an offense without most of it starters, and leading them to victory. This game his a huge boost to his confidence and a big step towards Wentz’s return to form.
Doug Pederson: Coach Doug Pederson showed once again, that when his back against the wall, he is at his best. He was aggressive and it payed off for the Eagles. He displayed confidence in his team by going for a gutsy 2 point conversion in the first half. In the fourth quarter, down 14-11, and in field goal range, he decided to go for a 4th and 4. The offense converted on a pass to rookie, John Hightower. This was vintage Dougie P and is exactly what this team needs as the season progresses.
Genard Avery: DE Genard Avery made his presence felt. Recording 1 sack and 5 hits on the Quarterback, including one that forced an interception in the first half. This was a breakout performance for Avery, who will look for an increased role in the defensive line rotation.
Turnovers: The Eagles came into the game without any forced turnovers this season. This was a key issue and major reason for their struggles. They forced 3 against the 49ers. Rodney Mcleod, Cre’von Leblanc, and Alex Singleton all recorded interceptions. Singleton’s was a late 4th quarter pick-six that put the Eagles ahead 25-14. Mcleod’s was in the first half with the 49ers deep in the red zone, looking for a score. The Eagles will see more success this season if they keep winning the turnover battle.
Travis Fulgham: Most Eagles’ fans had never heard Travis Fulgham’s name until Sunday night. Fulgham turned out to be an unlikely hero of the game. Just called up from the practice squad, he recorded the first 3 reception of his career, for 57 yards. His 42 yard touchdown reception down the sideline put the Eagles ahead 18-14, late in the 4th quarter.
The Eagles travel to play the Pittsburgh Steelers next Sunday, the 11th and will be looking to build upon this performance.