CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – That should’ve been some halftime speech by Eagles coach Nick Sirianni.
There is no different approach to clarify the comeback that produced a 21-18 victory over Carolina.
The massive contingent of Birds followers at Financial institution of America Stadium had little or no to cheer about within the first half-hour. Their loudest applause was reserved for a shirtless man in an Eagles hat who sprinted out of the stands within the second quarter, then plopped onto the turf and waited for the safety crew to escort him off.
On the time, he was the Eagles’ main rusher.
The Eagles trailed 15-6 and had been making me marvel why I made the three-and-a-half hour drive up from Myrtle Seaside Sunday morning. It was 75 levels and sunny, good circumstances for teeing it up at Arrowhead, Man O’ Battle, Tidewater or one of many different 90-plus golf programs within the Grand Strand.
As an alternative, it was the Eagles’ followers who had been teed off.
However they left the stadium in a a lot better temper, due to an Eagles’ protection which rebounded from back-to-back horrible outings to dominate the Panthers. They performed nothing just like the bend-and-also-break unit that surrendered 83 factors within the final two video games.
They pressured three turnovers, posted three sacks and allowed simply two first downs in Carolina’s final 11 third-down performs.
You recognize issues are going proper when Ryan Kerrigan makes a sort out and Fletcher Cox earns a sack, neither of which occurred within the first 4 video games of the season.
It helped they had been taking part in towards Panthers Sam Darnold, who confirmed why the Jets gave up on him by throwing three interceptions, together with two to cornerback Darius Slay.
Particular groups additionally deserves credit score for the win.
Place-kicker Jake Elliott ended the primary half by booming a 58-yard area purpose. It was the third-longest in franchise historical past, trailing his 61-yarder towards the Giants in 2017 and Tony Franklin’s 59-yarder at Dallas in 1979. Linebacker T.J. Edwards offered the sport’s pivotal play. The Eagles trailed 18-13 when he stormed up the center to dam a punt. It was the crew’s first blocked punt since Kamu Grugier-Hill had one towards the Giants in 2017.
That helped arrange the go-ahead landing, which quarterback Jalen Hurts scored with a 6-yard landing with 2:38 left. Hurts additionally scrambled away from a cross rush to hit large receiver DeVonta Smith for the two-point conversion.
Hurts was inconsistent a lot of the sport, however he was good within the clutch, which is the signal of a pacesetter. He discovered large receiver Quez Watkins behind Carolina’s protection and fired a 53-yard strike to arrange his 1-yard sneak that lower the deficit to 15-13. After Edwards’ block, he hit tight finish Dallas Goedert for a 20-yarder that led to his second TD.
I nonetheless have my doubts about Siranni, nonetheless.
His first-half sport plan was brutal. Their first eight possessions ended with 5 punts, two area targets and botched play that the Eagles had been lucky to have finish with a security as a substitute of a Panthers landing. Middle Jason Kelce’s shotgun snap sailed two ft over Hurts’ head and rolled into the top zone. A number of Panthers defenders had an opportunity to fall on the ball for a TD, however could not corral it earlier than it squirted throughout the top line.
However extra regarding is the dearth of self-discipline, which is a mirrored image of the pinnacle coach and his workers.
The Eagles had a TD waved off for the fourth time within the final two video games due to a penalty. This time, it was large receiver Greg Ward committing offensive cross interference on Hurts’ 2-yard cross to Smith within the first quarter. The additionally had their weekly unlawful man downfield penalty when proper sort out Jordan Mailata ventured about 10 yards over the road of scrimmage.
On the intense facet, nobody stepped out of bounds earlier than catching a landing cross.
Protection, particular groups and a few well timed performs down the stretch helped make up for the boo boos this time. However the Eagles cannot hold committing the identical errors every week and count on to achieve success.
Motivational halftime speeches are nice, but when the Eagles do not begin taking part in higher and smarter, Sirianni might turn out to be the primary one-and-done head coach in franchise historical past.
Then he’ll have loads of time to play golf on Sundays.
Eagles vs Carolina Panthers, Oct 10, 2021
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