Eagles implode versus Cowboys but still display encouraging signs

DeVonta Smith #6, Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
DeVonta Smith #6, Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports) /

Before the Philadelphia Eagles‘ late-season stretch of games from Week 14 to Week 16, they hadn’t played more than two straight games away from Lincoln Financial Field all season.  We’d actually venture to say, thanks to a 2-1 record these past three weeks, that they did pretty well despite the circumstances.

A 48-22 blowout victory versus the hated New York Giants at MetLife Stadium led to a narrow 25-20 victory versus the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field seven days later. Then, six days after that, they traveled to Arlington to tussle with the hated Dallas Cowboys. A five-game winning streak ended as did, seemingly, good fortune… But, did good fortune really end?

From where we’re sitting, the Philadelphia Eagles have no reason to hang their heads. They have notched 13 wins in their first 15 games this season. That sounds like a reason to be positive.

Here are a handful of other encouraging signs that were noticed despite a tough Eagles loss on Christmas Eve.

Sometimes, silver linings can be found in dark clouds. All losses aren’t season-ending. This loss figures to refocus the NFL’s best team. Here are reasons to smile between now and Week 17’s home date with the New Orleans Saints

1. The Eagles are 7-1 on the road.

Ask any team’s head coach and/or general manager before the regular season if they’d welcome seven road wins in eight attempts, and we can guarantee you that all of them to a man would take that in a heartbeat.

2. Seemingly, if the Eagles don’t beat themselves, they’re fully capable of knocking off anyone.

Four Eagles turnovers led to 20 points by the Cowboys. It’s hard to beat any team in the NFL if that’s how the game plays out, and yet, the Birds had an opportunity to win this one late anyway.

Philadelphia’s last-ditch effort to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat ended with two overthrows by Gardner Minshew, one that was intended for DeVonta Smith and another that sailed just out of A.J. Brown‘s reach.

This marks the second time this season that Philadelphia lost four turnovers in the same game. The first time it happened was Week 10’s loss to the Washington Commanders. The Birds had opportunities to win that game late as well.

All that has been said to say this. If the Eagles don’t make things hard for themselves and give extra opportunities to the competition, they can seemingly beat anyone.

3. Accountability and self-awareness are good things.

We all hated seeing the Boston Scott and Miles Sanders fumbles. The interceptions thrown by Gardner Minshew were tough to stomach, but don’t think for a second that you’re more bothered by the mistakes than the guys who made them.

Self-awareness is a good thing. This is a good football team. They will learn from their mistakes, refocus, and get better.

4. DeVonta Smith is otherwordly. The Eagles have two elite receivers.

We may have witnessed, all things considered, DeVonta Smith’s best game as an Eagle. He tapped the toes on the sideline, climbed, the ladder, made contested catches, and reached the end zone twice.

He’s only 24. He’s going to get better, and now, thanks to an eight-reception, 113-yard performance, he’s exceeded 1,000 receiving yards on the campaign. Philadelphia is home to two elite receivers, and this offense is going to be fun to watch for a long time.

5. The dominance of the Eagles’ pass rush continues.

It’s hard to ignore the fact that this team was unable to get off of the field on 3rd-and-30. That will sting for a while, but the pass rush continues to get the job done. For the fourth week in a row, the Birds turned in six sacks. That is the first time that has happened in NFL history.

6. Josh Sweat is a monster in the making.

What a year Josh Sweat is having. Make no mistake about it. Though he made it look easy, that pick-six he racked in the first quarter is no easy task for a defensive lineman, and his 42-yard return for six points was the longest interception return by a defensive end since Juqua Parker housed one from 55 yards out back in 2008.

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