Eagles defense builds up pressure, 3 turnovers in 40-29 win over Saints | Observations

PHILADELPHIA CREAM – Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon stared at the blue tablet, seeing what head coach and calling Saints Sean Payton was doing to attack his defense. After looking at the screenshots, he addressed his defensive linemen, imploring them to put pressure on a makeshift Saints line that had suffered multiple injuries.

Knowing he had to find a way to put pressure on Saints quarterback Trevor Siemian, Gannon started looking at his scoresheet and decided to use a blitz that would send Alex Singleton to midfield. It worked. Singleton shot down midfield, aiming for Siemian’s mid section. The plan worked and Siemian barely recovered the ball, throwing it helplessly towards the Eagles sideline and forcing a punt.

Gannon took his pieces early in the season, and rightly so. Gannon has been criticized for his passive decisions to sit in the coverage zone and allow quarterbacks to carve out his defense. However, as head coach Nick Sirianni changed his offensive philosophy, so did Gannon, using pressure and turnovers to frustrate Saints quarterback Trevor Siemian in the Eagles 40-29 win over the Saints. , their first at Lincoln Financial Field in 11 months.

Gannon used cornerback blitzes and pressure that forced Siemian to throw bad throws. His defense also forced three turnovers, including a 51-yard interception return for a touchdown by cornerback Darius Slay. Gannon’s new formula should be the one he will use for the remainder of the season, given that there are no Pro Bowl-caliber quarterbacks on the rest of the schedule until the last game of the season against the Dallas Cowboys.

Here are some other observations from Sunday’s win / loss against the Saints:

Miles Sanders may have groped future shots

Running back Miles Sanders returned to the field on Sunday for the first time since his ankle injury against the Las Vegas Raiders. Although Sanders had accumulated 94 yards on the ground, he fumbled for the ball deep in his own territory which set up the Saints’ only touchdown in the first half. Sanders appeared to be fumbling for the ball again in the first half, but officials whistled play, claiming Sanders’ forward progress had been stopped.

Sanders may have been out for a long time, but losing the ball so deep in his own turf is inexcusable. Advocates place additional emphasis on trying to force a turnover. Sanders saw his shots diminish after the second incident, clearing the way for Jordan Howard to step into the game and run hard.

Sanders did not do himself a favor with the fumble and could be in a place where he continues to lose the ball, he could lose playing time to Howard and his other backer Boston Scott.

Jordan Mailata channels his inner Jon Runyan

Left tackle Jordan Mailata was involved in two different incidents which at times showed some of his nastiness. In the first quarter, when Jalen Hurts was pushed out of bounds by Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport. Mailata sprinted across the field to speak to Davenport, facing him before returning to the group.

Later in the second quarter, Mailata and Davenport entered the floor game, having an impromptu wrestling match before the officials broke things up. The Eagles praised the physical style of play on the offensive side of the ball by sticking to the running game. It seems that this is reflected in their general state of mind. It also shows that the team is ready to defend their quarterback.

Jalen Hurts’ legs made the difference

Quarterback Jalen Hurts was not only good at throwing the ball but also at executing it, gaining 71 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. The last time an Eagles player ran for three or more touchdowns was on December 19, 2019, when Boston Scott ran for three against the Giants. Hurts’ legs put the defensive coordinators at a standstill as they must choose between using a “spy” to limit his runs or allow him to eat yards while running.

Sirianni retired from the race in the second half

After running 152 yards in the first half, Sirianni started throwing the ball again and had limited success. After Howard left the game with a knee injury, the Eagles appeared to be content to use wide receiver screens and downward shots to move the ball, both ineffective.

The inability to move the ball allowed the Saints to place the ball in good position on the pitch on three straight shots, leaving them hanging out in the game. It wasn’t until Sirianni called for more racing games with 5:41 left to play in the game that he returned to racing, which was subsequently successful.

TJ Edwards continues to make a difference

The Eagles have been doing a better job forcing turnovers lately, and that continued on Sunday. This time around, the impact turnover came in the form of an interception from linebacker TJ Edwards. Edwards was able to secure the interception because the Siemian seemed undecided on which Saints receiver to throw it on, and Edwards was in the right space at the right time. Edwards was also physical in stopping the race, doing the right readings to fill in the gaps in the racing game. Since Edwards became the starting middle linebacker, the Eagles have looked better defensively. Edwards is expected to stay in his role and keep growing.

Tyree Jackson still adjusts to tight end position

Tight end Tyree Jackson may be the size the team likes to be in midfield, but he still has to work on some of the other elements of the position. In the first quarter, Jackson was selected on a defensive end on a running block and was quickly thrown onto his back and allowed the Saints defenseman to make the save. Jackson is still getting used to playing tight end, but he must learn to get in a better position not only to block, but also to stand up high and put himself in a position to be pushed around like he was on this game. .

Jake Elliott looks completely different from last season

Kicker Jake Elliott struggled a lot last season, registering a 73.7% low in kicks last season. Elliott is looking a lot more precise this season, and that continued on Sunday. Elliott made all four field goals and added three more points, representing 15 of the Eagles’ 33 points. Elliott seems to be doing well with long snapper Rick Lovato’s field goal battery and starter Arryn Siposs having their time allotted, which leads to Elliott’s numbers.

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Chris Franklin can be reached at [email protected].


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