Eagles survive the scare: Top takeaways from their comeback win over Colts

Jalen Hurts #1, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Jalen Hurts #1, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

By now, you’ve more than likely heard the news. The Philadelphia Eagles escaped Week 11 with a thrilling 17-16 come-from-behind victory versus the Indianapolis Colts. It was a rough day for the offense. Their defense kept them in the game. Through the challenges and adversities, Jalen Hurts recorded his first career fourth-quarter come-from-behind win, but who are we kidding? You already know that.

There isn’t much time to celebrate. Week 12’s game on Sunday Night Football is on the horizon. So is the Thanksgiving holiday. With that being said, let’s get into some specifics. Here are a few takeaways from Philly’s ninth win of the season.

1. The Eagles’ rush defense was effective.

The Philadelphia Eagles’ defense could not get off the field during their previous game versus the Washington Commanders. They knew the Colts would attempt to run the ball right down their throats all game long. Indy got to work right out of the gate.

The Colts’ offense rushed for 45 yards during the first drive alone, but Philly’s defense adjusted, holding their opponent to 54 rushing yards the rest of the way. Give credit to Jonathan Gannon and his unit for game planning against the run by stacking the box.

Howie Roseman also deserves credit for the role he played in Philly’s most recent victory. One of the one-loss Eagles’ biggest weaknesses has been their inability to limit the opposing offense’s rushing attack. Roseman added in two veteran defensive linemen ahead of Week 11’s game, Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh. Both produced on the field.

They combined for seven tackles and a sack. They should only improve as they continue to get back in ‘football shape’ and continue to learn the intricacies of the defense.

2. Jalen Hurts was clutch when he needed to be

The Eagles’ offense was sluggish for most of the day. Credit the Colts for taking away Philadelphia’s biggest playmakers, but Hurts found a way to get things done late. He and the offense erased a ten-point deficit, and in the process, he earned the first fourth-quarter game-winning drive of his three-year career.

Late in the game, Philadelphia took over at their own 25-yard-line down 16-10 with just over four minutes remaining. On third and two, Hurts scrambled around and found a wide-open Miles Sanders running along the sideline. This one wouldn’t result in a catch, but the resulting pass interference call moved the Eagles downfield 39 yards and set up a phenomenal finish.

A Hurts scramble on fourth-and-two from inside the Colts’ 10-yard gave the Eagles a first down at Indy’s six-yard line with just under two minutes remaining, QB1’s seven-yard rushing touchdown (his eighth rushing TD of the season) came three plays later. That evened the score before Jake Elliott’s field goal gave the Eagles a 17-16 lead that would hold up for Philadelphia’s ninth win of the season.

Jalen Hurts finished the game 18/25 for 190 yards and a touchdown pass. He was also the game’s leading rusher, with 16 carries for 86 yards. The numbers were not eye-popping, but Hurts was effective and led Philly to victory.

3. Too many penalties are being committed as multiple drives stalled.

The Eagles found themselves down 7-0 after allowing an opening drive touchdown to the Colts. Philadelphia did not find issues moving the ball during their ensuing drives, but on too many occasions, the offense shot itself in the foot by committing too many penalties.

During the first drive, tight end Grant Calcaterra had a costly holding penalty on third and two from the 47-yard-line, and Philadelphia was unable to convert on third and 12. The second drive ended in worse fashion.

A drive that began at Philadelphia’s own 16 needed just three plays to get to the Colts’ 34-yard line, but three straight penalties (ineligible man downfield, holding, offensive pass interference) quickly backed them up to first and 35. As you might imagine, the offense wasn’t able to recover and wound up punting after taking themselves out of field-goal range.

Getting off to fast starts has been the key to the Eagles’ success in 2022. Unfortunately, they were unable to do so in Week 11 and were forced to play from behind all day long. In total, they committed seven penalties on the day that resulted in a loss of 55 yards of field position. They played much cleaner football the rest of the way, but going forward, we’d all like to see them maintain some consistent efficiency.

4. Ball security must be an area of focus going forward.

The Eagles have been careless with the football in back-to-back weeks. They turned it over four times versus the Commanders. They did so two more times versus the Colts.

After winning the turnover battle in the first eight games of the season, the Eagles have been on the wrong side as of late, giving the ball up six times while only forcing three turnovers themselves. As you might expect, that has led to both their first loss of the season and a game that was too close for comfort.

5. The Eagles miss Dallas Goedert.

Week 11’s game versus the Colts doubled as their first full game with Dallas Goedert missing this season. At this point in the season, he’s Philly’s third-leading receiver behind A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith. He makes the tough middle-of-the-field catches and can get yards after contact. He was sorely missed in Week 11.

His replacements are inexperienced. Jack Stoll tallied one catch for seven yards versus Indy. Grant Calcaterra didn’t register any catches. They both and Tyree Jackson committed costly penalties. While Stoll’s job description is less about receptions, Philadelphia has to find a way to get the young guys involved, or defenses will spend more time limiting their receivers. Luckily, Dallas Goedert isn’t expected to miss the remainder of the season. Let’s hope he’s back sooner rather than later.

What was your biggest takeaway from the game? We’d love to know what you’re thinking.

Hot. Top concerns ahead of Week 12. light