Talk about momentum swings. What a flick of the switch that game was.

We watched some absolutely wretched first quarter football, just a turnover-riddled slop fest. Minnesota couldn’t keep the ball, Jalen Hurts threw a bad interception, and the booooooooo birds were out in force. Then the coaches made a simple offensive adjustment, the Birds ran the ball down Viking throats, and benefited from a backbreaker of a Justin Jefferson turnover to extend the lead and never look back.

The catalyst for the six-point win was a 16-play drive in which the Eagles ran the ball 13 times. They essentially decided to abandon the early game plan and run a Delco high school offense instead, going back to the well for the fourth quarter touchdown that did enough to stave off a Minnesota comeback bid. It wasn’t the prettiest game ever, but they pounded their way to 259 yards on 48 rushing attempts and controlled the ball for 39:20, finishing +3 in turnover margin and improving to 2-0 on the season.

The immediate takeaways:

1) I appreciated the DoorDash commercial with Raekwon the Chef, from the Wu-Tang Clan. Once I saw that, I knew the Birds were gonna win, because Philly has always shown love to the Clan. Ghostface Killah once said that if he wasn’t from New York, he wouldn’t mind being from Philly.

2) No clue what Al Michaels was talking about when he said people think Ben Franklin is on top of city hall. Have you ever heard that before?

3) That first reception for Dallas Goedert didn’t go anywhere, but it was good to see them scheme something up for him on the first drive after he only had one pass thrown his way in New England. He finished with 6 grabs for 22 yards.

4) Shitty play calling on the first red zone entry. We got a bubble screen, followed by a D’Andre Swift nothing run, then a zone read that got completely stuffed.

5) Philly media still doesn’t understand the difference between zone read and RPO.

6) Britain Covey should buy Kelee Ringo Friday night dinner for falling on that fumble. Anything he wants – steak, Italian, Chic-fil-A, etc.

7) Hated that 3rd and 9 on the second drive. That was a three-man rush from Minnesota and Hurts vacated the pocket and started running way too soon. Yeah, they’ve got 8 guys back, the Vikings, but he had some time to slide right, extend the play, and see if someone could wriggle their way open.

8) The Hurts interception? Not sure what he was looking at there, but they shouldn’t have been in 3rd and 16 to begin with. The sack and ensuing tight end screen put them way behind the sticks. Brian Flores really had an excellent first quarter, sending pressure, shutting down read plays, and taking away Hurts’ legs.

9) Jake Elliott missing from 55 on a clear night at home? Put that man back on the wet turf, or extend it to 61 and let him cook.

10) First Vikings touchdown drive was gross. Gave up an easy 3rd and 9 conversion, then Avonte Maddox went out injured and his replacement, Mario Goodrich, was in the vicinity on the next two plays and couldn’t do anything.

11) Amazing  stuff with that fifth drive, when they just started feeding Swift and Boston Scott. Keep it simple and hand the ball off. Kirk Herbstreit made a good point there when he mentioned that the defense can’t really deceive or mix/match in passing coverage when you just run it down their fucking throats. Fans really appreciated that drive. You could hear it on television. Just smash mouth football with a tush push to cap it off.

They went:

  • run
  • run
  • pass
  • run
  • run
  • run
  • run
  • run
  • run
  • run
  • pass
  • pass
  • run
  • run
  • run
  • tush push

16 plays, 75 yards, 7:55

12) Not sure why, but I laughed at Kelce’s leg just sort of dangling here while Jack Stoll tries to climb out beneath him:

13) It was interesting looking at social when Jefferson fumbled out the side of the end zone. They clearly got the call correct, because the ball went over the pylon, but it seems like a lot of Eagles fans were in agreement that a touchback is a pretty brutal result for those sequences. It feels, in a way, like the punishment does not match the infraction, and think about the swing — the Eagles looked like they were going into halftime down 14-10, and instead nicked a long field goal to go up 13-7. That was the key moment in this game.

14) Really need to see the all-22 film of those three-man Minnesota rushes. Jalen encountered plenty of that at Oklahoma, so it’s not like drop 8 is something new to him, even though it’s not very common at the NFL level.

15) Michaels did okay in this game, but he was totally lost during that drive before halftime. He seemed to think the Eagles were going to just run out the clock, but they were clearly trying to get Elliott into field goal range. Then, coming out of halftime, he welcomed television views back to VETERANS STADIUM, which was demolished 19 years ago.

16) A thing of beauty, the Josh Sweat strip sack. Could watch this a hundred times in a row:

17) Josh Jobe – not a great play on the Jordan Addison TD! Didn’t have any safety help, but yeah. He was alright otherwise, but man did they have some bad moments in the secondary with multiple starters missing in the second half. No Bradberry, no Blankenship to start, then Maddox going out injured.

18) The beats tweeting injury updates at the same exact time is tradition unlike any other:

 

19) Swift is like a more linear Shady McCoy. Short and has some shiftiness, but he operates in that north/south no-nonsense type of fashion. Love watching him run.

20) Good to see Rashaad Penny out there finally, but it required injuries to both Boston Scott and Kenny Gainwell to allow him onto the field.

21) Can’t believe they got that big doofus to jump offside on 3rd down.

22) Very minor complaint about DeVonta Smith, but there are some moments where he catches the ball close to the first down marker but either comes back for it or circles around and loses a yard or two. Again, minor complaint. Guy is fantastic.

23) The drive that carried into the fourth quarter was aggravating. They went all the way from their own 7 to the Minnesota 25, then went penalty/incomplete (probably DPI)/sack/sack, resulting in 4th and 34 and pushing them out of field goal position. Three points there would have put them up 16 and possibly hammered the nail in the coffin.

There was this:

24) Could have thrown a holding flag on that K.J. Osborn touchdown. Left tackle had a lot of Josh Sweat coming off the edge.

25) Swift’s final line: 28 carries for 175 yards and a touchdown. What a game from the local kid. ROLL THAT BLOUNT!