Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

Going into their Thursday night matchup with Green Bay, many sports analysts or football fans didn’t seem to have any confidence in the Eagles. With Super Bowl aspirations swirling around the city all summer, this game was bigger than most. In week four, the difference between 1-3 and 2-2 is night and day in the NFL.

Coach Doug Pederson and the Eagles walked into Lambeau field determined to win, with key focal points on multiple facets of their game — including the pass rush and the running game. The Eagles had only one sack going into Thursday, so the consistent pressure the defensive front had on Aaron Rodgers was nothing but encouraging. The defense even forced an Aaron Rodgers fumble that changed the landscape of the game. However, this was not the case the whole game: the Birds came out with another concerning start, falling behind 10–0 early in the first half.

Coach Pederson finally answered the plea to use new offensive weapon Jordan Howard, who helped pound the ball downfield on the first scoring drive. Carson Wentz also had one of his key receiver’s back, Alshon Jeffery, who scored a touchdown in the contest. The offense just seemed much more in sync, with better games from many players, including Dallas Goedert who had a key TD, and Miles Sanders, who had a pivotal return to put the Eagles in position to score.

The Eagles…salvaged their season with a win.

It was by no means a perfect game for the Birds, as the secondary faced even more struggles, including a concerning injury to cornerback Avante Maddox, who became responsive after 10 minutes — a scary moment that shows how dangerous this game can be at times. The secondary continues to get beat up by injuries and receivers alike, Philadelphia is desperate for cornerback help as rumors continue to surround Jalen Ramsey and the Eagles. For the time being, the Eagles have signed veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick to bolster the struggling position.

Those who questioned Carson Wentz were silenced as he led the Birds to a game sealing drive topped off with another touchdown from Jordan Howard. These first few losses don’t necessarily fall on him, but to see that leadership in a pivotal moment shows how much progress Wentz has made since his injury.

Wentz went 16-27 with 160 yards and three touchdowns; this offensive game plan really laid out how Coach Pederson should approach the offense week by week. Getting Howard and Sanders involved as much as possible is key to keep the field open for Wentz, especially with deep threat DeSean Jackson currently sidelined.

The Eagles did what they needed to and salvaged their season with a statement win. Next week brings on a new challenge with the Jets, and young QB Sam Darnold is expected to return. Coach Pederson and company need to take it one game at a time and move forward despite the injuries and early struggle. This team can rally together and find ways to win games with the amount of talent on the roster. Expect a more buttoned up game plan against the Jets this coming Sunday.

Anthony DiRezno is a third-year student majoring in communications and minoring in journalism. AD943204@wcupa.edu

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