There are times when the accompanying storylines are equal to the game. There are other times when the story is more interesting. Maybe that’s why the NFL is a better version of reality television. The Philadelphia Eagles have produced one of the best shows on the network, but last week ended with a cliffhanger, or in this case, four.
What on Earth happened versus the Washington Commanders? Is A.J. Brown okay? Is there a chance that we overvalued the Eagles’ defense? What happens to this offense without Dallas Goedert?
Eagles fans everywhere will, no doubt, tune in for another episode of one of the best reality dramas on TV. Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis provides the backdrop. The Colts are the opponent.
Lights… Camera… Action…
Here are five of about ten subplots to watch during the Philadelphia Eagles Week 11 game versus the Colts.
It isn’t a must-win game, but don’t tell Philadelphia Eagles fans that. Their team is 8-1 and people are acting like they’re 1-8. Week 11’s game versus the Indianapolis Colts is officially a must-win.
1. The Philadelphia Eagles’ defense must have a bounce-back performance.
The Washington Commanders ran 81 plays compared to 47 for Philadelphia. They held on to the ball for more than 40 of the 60 game minutes. They ran the ball 49 times for 152 yards. We won’t even get into how good they were on third down.
That’s a long-winded way of saying the Eagles were embarrassed. Expect a better effort. The only questions are about whether Jonathan Gannon can make the necessary in-game adjustments.
2. Why are Shane Steichen and Jonathan Gannon both so stubborn?
There’s value in playing to your players’ strengths. There’s also value in making adjustments. We’ve already mentioned that J.G. seems to struggle with diagnosing the personality of each game, but here’s another issue.
Shane Steichen’s offensive playcalling is as much a reason to blame for the Eagles’ struggles in Week 10 as the less-than-spirited effort that we saw from Philadelphia’s defense. The coordinators have to be better.
3. Can Jalen Hurts take yet another step and carry the Philadelphia Eagles offense for a few weeks?
Jalen Hurts has been phenomenal and rightfully is a part of the NFL’s MVP discussion. Now, with a struggling defense and an offense that will be without Dallas Goedert for some time, the stage is set for Philly’s QB1 to prove that he deserves to win it.
He’s taken several steps ahead. He may still need to take a few more.
4. How much gas is left in the tanks of Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh?
Well, you had to know that this was coming. After watching the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense get pushed around, vice president/general manager Howie Roseman decided he was going to do all that he can to ensure that he wouldn’t have to watch that happen again. He signed Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh in the span of about 26 hours.
Both are talented defensive tackles and run stuffers, but both are also in their mid-thirties. They were also the top two defensive tackles that were available. They will contribute immediately. Let’s hope they have some gas left in the tank.
5. What happens if the Philadelphia Eagles lose to the Colts?
The obvious answer to this question is this. Even if the Philadelphia Eagles lose, it wouldn’t be the end of the road. The theoretical answer suggests something else entirely. If Philly loses to a Colts team with an inferior roster and a head coach that never led a team at any level until last Sunday, panic is going to set in.
The Eagles should win. We expect the Eagles to win, but for the emotional health of an entire fan base and media, we had better be right. There’s nothing left to discuss. Philly had better get the job done on Sunday.