After many months of waiting for the chance to defend their Super Bowl title, the Philadelphia Eagles pulled out a last minute win against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night with a final score of 18-12. Here are 5 quick takeaways from the game:
1. The Super Bowl Hangover is REAL.
For all of the offseason, Eagles fans have felt like they have nothing to worry about when it came to the team having a hangover from winning Super Bowl 52, however, it looks like they should have worried. For the beginning of the game, the Eagles looked sluggish and frustrated as they struggled to put points on the board during the half. While they had halftime to make adjustments, it should not have taken that long for them to come out and play.
2. The RB situation is keeping teams on their toes.
The Eagles carry four running backs on their roster: Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles, Corey Clement, and Wendell Smallwood. While Ajayi did have have 2 TDs, the contributions of the other backs cannot be overlooked. Sproles gave a new dimension to the offense, and Clement set up the 2nd TD for Ajayi. This running back group will be one to watch this year.
3. Alshon Jeffery is missed.
While it was expected that not having Jeffery would hurt, we had no idea it would be this bad. The most consistent receivers were Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz. Mike Wallace was invisible, DeAndre Carter had one reception, Markus Wheaton was irrelevant, and Dallas Goedert didn’t catch a pass that ended up being an interception. Jeffery’s steady presence is missed in this group.
4. The defense is still elite.
All of last season, the Jim Schwartz-led defense didn’t allow any points during the last two minutes of the game, and they continued that trend on Thursday night. Pushed up to their goal line, they didn’t allow the Falcons to score with the game on the line. Offense sells tickets, defense wins championships. We’ve seen it before, and hopefully we’ll see it again.
5. Carson Wentz can’t return soon enough.
While Nick Foles has been a legend in Philly, his play in this game reminded everyone of a fundamental truth: Carson Wentz needs to come back. While the team patiently waits for the franchise QB to return, Foles will suffice, however, Wentz is sorely missed.
While a win is a win, hopefully this was a learning experience for this team. They have ten days for prepare for their next opponents, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Photo credit: AP Images/Matt Rourke
GMU ’19 – Trust The Process – Praying for Shake’s Back and Landry’s Ankle – follow me on Twitter: @LukeHellyer and @lukessportstak1