Freely giving 10 prizes from the Eagles-Cowboys recreation

The Philadelphia Eagles had an opportunity to reward their followers an NFC East title in addition to the 1 seed within the NFC Christmas Eve, however they faltered in a 40-34 shootout loss to the Dallas Cowboys, with out MVP candidate Jalen Hurts. As at all times, win, lose or tie, we’re freely giving 10 prizes.

Down 7 at his personal 29-yard line with 8:02 left within the recreation, Dak Prescott lifted a prayer deep down the sector to TY Hilton. Certainly the Eagles would have that type of throw lined in that scenario, however…oh, no.

That appears loads to me like backup nickel Josiah Scott simply wasn’t the place he wanted to be in protection, and a 33-year-old receiver who was on his sofa two weeks in the past in Hilton may get behind him merely. go approach The Cowboys would tie the sport afterward the drive, and this recreation will nearly definitely be identified to any extent further as “The third and 30 Sport.” That is how I will in all probability keep in mind it years from now, anyway. However no matter. Neglect Josiah Scott. Neglect that one play.

In actuality, that may simply be probably the most memorable play on a day when the Cowboys torched the Eagles’ secondary all day after they performed zone protection. The next graphic is pure insanity:

Learn that rigorously. In line with NextGen stats, Dak Prescott was 24 for twenty-four for 300 yards and three TDs in opposition to zone protection, which, I imply, simply… 🀯. Which implies when you have a look at his closing total stats and do the mathematics, he was 3 for 11 for 47 yards, 0 TDs, and a pick-six in opposition to man protection. And by some means, after watching his zone protection tear up hell all day actually with out fail, Jonathan Gannon was like, “Yeah, let’s simply preserve enjoying zone.”

2) The “Is Their Job” Award πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ: The line of defense

The Cowboys acquired themselves into the aforementioned third and 30 within the first place as a result of the Eagles sacked him on first and second down. The primary sack got here through Haason Reddick, who was in a position to pressure a fumble. Linval Joseph pounced on it, and appeared to have the restoration, however by some means Cowboys C Tyler Biadasz got here out of the huddle with the ball. On the following play, Josh Sweat sacked Prescott once more, almost securing a punt. However once more… no.

The Eagles sacked Prescott six instances, and the line of defense performed terribly properly in opposition to the run, holding Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott to a mixed 25 carries for 74 yards. They persistently put the Cowboys in apparent passing conditions, however a mixture of the again seven personnel giving up an excessive amount of house to Cowboy receivers, and Gannon’s unfathomable reluctance to regulate ruined in any other case good play from the D-line.

This is likely to be a day Eagles followers celebrated the third Eagles linebacker (Sweat) reaching the double-digit sack membership and the general play of the line of defense, however their efforts will largely be forgotten.

3) The “Powerful Loss” Award 🫀: Gardner Minshew

Minshew performed properly in aid of Hurts. He was 24 of 40 for 355 yards, 2 TDs, and a pair of INTs. There was a really clear and apparent drop in potential from Hurts to Minshew, as everybody ought to have predicted, however Minshew largely made good choices, throwing with anticipation, and infrequently skillfully with the ability to subtly flank the Cowboys’ entry course to increase performs and discover. receivers on the sector. He additionally confirmed composure when the Cowboys despatched strain on him:

If Hurts is not able to play subsequent Sunday in opposition to the Saints, the Eagles ought to really feel assured beginning Minshew once more.

4) The “However What About These INTs” Award πŸ˜–: Quez Watkins

Watkins was focused 5 instances. On these 5 go makes an attempt, Minshew was 1 for five for 19 yards and a pair of INTs. A kind of INTs was clearly on Watkins, who ran a horrible route, if we’re being trustworthy. Look:

It is onerous to even inform if that was in fairway or downhill as a result of Watkins would not put his foot within the floor and make a reduce. It is simply type of a lazily rounded route, and it really works with none pace, particularly for a speedy receiver. That is a superb go by Minshew. Watkins has to get to that spot, and if he does, there is not any approach the defender can get to the soccer with out going by Watkins. As a result of this route is run with out urgency, Cowboys CB DaRon Bland was in a position to beat Watkins to the spot, after which as soon as he acquired there, he merely pushed the ball away.

Per week in the past in Chicago, Watkins ran a equally unhealthy route, as proven right here by former NFL QB JT O’Sullivan:

Watkins has fascinating traits, however Nick Sirianni and the Eagles employees should significantly think about whether or not they can belief him to be the place he must be in order that Hurts and Minshew can ship passes with confidence. Perhaps Zach Pascal ought to see an elevated position because the #3 receiver.

5) The ‘Take the Soccer, Please’ Award 🧈: Miles Sanders and Boston Scott

Cannot have this:

Or this:

Should you spin the ball 4 instances, you often will not win.

6) The Award “Even Worse Than the Loss” πŸ€•: The brand new set of accidents

Lane Johnson acquired damage on this recreation. Hurts apart, Johnson is the participant the Eagles can least afford to lose for the playoff run. He injured his stomach earlier this season, and it is attainable he suffered both the identical harm or an analogous one on Christmas Eve. You possibly can see him attempt to stand up off the bottom, after which return to the bottom earlier than grabbing his stomach space right here:

After the sport, Josh Tolentino of The Inquirer reported that Johnson had a wrap round his midsection.

Johnson wasn’t the one harm in query. Avonte Maddox had an impactful recreation when he left with a toe harm, and Jordan Davis left with a head harm. The Eagles will hope none of these accidents are too critical, however they’re going to be praying particularly onerous for Johnson.

7) The ‘1000 Membership’ Award πŸ†: DeVonta Smith

Smith had a boy’s recreation, making all types of robust catches, together with this gem:

Smith is likely to be the skinniest man on the sector, however he may additionally be some of the fearless. He made a number of catches the place he knew he was going to shoot and simply did not care.

On the day, Smith had eight catches for 113 yards and a pair of TDs. He now has 79 catches on the season for 1,014 yards and 7 TDs, becoming a member of AJ Brown within the 1,000-yard membership. The Eagles had by no means beforehand had two receivers go for greater than 1,000 yards in a single season.

8) The β€œRising Star” Award πŸ’«: Josh Sweat

We talked about above that Sweat now has double-digit sacks, bringing his whole to 11 on the season. He has 7.5 sacks within the final 5 video games. However his most spectacular play of the day wasn’t a sack. It was this excellent pick-six from Prescott within the first quarter.

The Eagles presently have an important trio of Sweat, Reddick, and Brandon Graham on the sting, with Sweat and Reddick wanting like long-term edge-rushing beasts.

9) The ‘Nonetheless the Envy of the League’ Award 😼: The Eagles

The Eagles are nonetheless very prone to win the 1 seed. All they should do is beat a nasty Saints crew Week 17, or a Giants crew Week 18 that they already trashed. There is not a crew within the NFL that would not commerce positions with the place the Eagles presently stand.

This wasn’t a nasty loss both, for my part. The Eagles have been enjoying their third straight street recreation, and on brief relaxation. That was additionally the perfect recreation I’ve seen the Cowboys play this yr, and the Eagles had an opportunity to win on the finish with their backup quarterback regardless of turning it over 4 instances.

10) The ‘No Panic… But’ Award 😱: The town of Philadelphia

What this loss in the end means is that the Eagles have to attend one other week to relaxation their starters. There are in all probability some Eagles entrance workplace personnel who will not thoughts that as a lot, because the Eagles’ subsequent opponent is the Saints. As you might be conscious, the Eagles personal the Saints first spherical choose within the 2023 NFL Draft, so the extra video games the Saints lose, the higher. If the Eagles should play their starters for yet one more week, what higher crew to take action in opposition to the Saints?

This version of Eagles-Cowboys was not the MUST WIN recreation it as soon as appeared. There shall be no panic within the metropolis throughout Christmas. However there shall be on New Yr’s Day if the Eagles do not maintain their enterprise in opposition to the Saints.


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