Eagles overcome false starts to dom Titans, 35-10

Philadelphia Eagles
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With all the false start calls against the Eagles offense in the opening quarter, EYE began to question the timing chain status of the engine. Maybe the Nashville Titans had discovered a mechanical defect.  But it turned out the Birds merely needed a change of spark plugs.

Those fresh sparks came from the home team’s defense and special teams.  Suddenly the Eagles were on a roll.

Jalen Hurts strengthened his MVP bid by throwing for 380 yards and three touchdowns and running for another score as Philadelphia beat Tennessee 35-10.

Hurts has led the Eagles to an 11-1 start, their first time with that record since 2004 and the fourth time in franchise history. The 1949 Eagles won the NFL championship. The 1980 and 2004 teams lost in the Super Bowl.Hurts has led the Eagles to an 11-1 start, their first time with that record since 2004 and the fourth time in franchise history. The 1949 Eagles won the NFL championship. The 1980 and 2004 teams lost in the Super Bowl.

The Eagles’ defense was first-rate, too, bottling up Derrick Henry — who had 11 carries for 30 yards — and limiting Ryan Tannehill to 141 yards passing and a touchdown. He was sacked six times. The Titans (7-5) lost their second straight but still have a comfortable lead in the AFC South.

After a field goal got Tennessee within 14-10 late in the second quarter, the Titans punted on five straight possessions before turning it over on downs.

“If we want to be a playoff team, we have to decide what we are going to do,” Titans safety Kevin Byard said. “What are we going to be? Leaders, coaches, everybody in this organization, we have to get this thing straight right now. We don’t have any time to lose. What are we going to do right now?”

It was inevitable that Hurts would look for A.J. Brown for the money shots. Tennessee drafted Brown in the second round of the 2019 draft and he instantly became one of the top receivers in the game. He topped 1,000 yards receiving each of his first two seasons and had 869 in just 13 games in his third. But the Titans balked when Brown wanted a raise that would make him among the highest-paid receivers in the league and sent him to Philadelphia in a draft-night deal.

That trade was Philly’s first real win of the season.  On Sunday, Brown ended up with 8 catches for 119 yards and two TDs.

Brown said he had wanted to retire a Titan and admitted he had the game circled on his calendar.  “It’s been personal since the trade,” he said. “I was just trying to keep it down. That’s where I wanted to be. Things just didn’t work out. It was like here, we don’t want you anymore.”

Brown has been better than advertised — and yes, the Eagles paid him a guaranteed $57 million. Fellow wideout DeVonta Smith had five catches for 102 yards.

With the game tied 7-all, Hurts and Brown connected on an apparent 40-yard TD pass that was overturned because of a penalty. Brown had already hugged the goal post as part of his scoring celebration. No worries. Hurts came right back and hit Brown — who bowled over cornerback Kristian Fulton — for, yes, a 40-yard touchdown and a 14-7 lead.

Hurts threw a 34-yard TD pass to Smith on the game’s first drive and closed the first half with a 2-yard run for a 21-10 lead.

The next Hurts-to-Brown TD was a beauty. Hurts aired it out to the corner of the end zone and the ball skimmed cornerback Tre Avery’s facemask before Brown cradled it for the 29-yard score and a 28-10 lead in the third.

“That’s a big boy catch,” Hurts said. “That’s a grown man catch.”

Miles Sanders’ 3-yard TD run in the fourth made it 35-10 and the only suspense left was if Hurts would return for another drive. He didn’t. Gardner Minshew came in to mop up.  The game was out of reach. The best season in Eagles team history remains very much in sight.

The lone Titans touchdown came with at significant cost. Receiver Treylon Burks was evaluated for a concussion following a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit as he jumped to make the 25-yard TD catch from Tannehill in the first quarter that tied the game 7-all.  Eagles safety Marcus Epps was flagged for unnecessary roughness. Burks was on his back and players from both teams took a knee. The 22-year-old receiver eventually walked off on his own power and went to the locker room for treatment.

Defense and special teams put the game out of reach as early as possible— pocket pressure was immense on Tannehill, coverages were tight, and Britain Covey was following blocks on punt returns to notch big gains and huge field position. Reed Blankenship filled in with really solid instinctive plays made as the backup safety.  Nakobe Dean made a big tackle on special teams. Reddick, Hargrave, Sweat, Graham and Cox were taking turns wrecking the Titans’ pass-pro.

The only bummer for the Birds was that early spree of penalties.  The Eagles were penalized 12 times for 80 yards… and the Titans were penalized seven times for 82 yards.

INJURIES—

Titans: Burks, Fulton (groin) and LB David Long all suffered injuries.

Eagles: WR Quez Watkins (shoulder) and LB Shaun Bradley (hamstring) were hurt.

  • Landon Dickerson limped off the field early in the second quarter. Andre Dilllard came in to play left guard. Dickerson returned not too long after leaving.
  • Jordan Davis limped off during the second quarter but he stayed in the game.
  • A.J. Brown looked shaken up after drawing a PI flag late in the second quarter but he didn’t leave the game.
  • Kyzir White slowly walked off the field after being down for a little bit midway through the third quarter. White later returned.
  • Shaun Bradley was ruled questionable to return with a hamstring injury late in the third quarter.
  • Quez Watkins was taken inside late in the third quarter. He was ruled questionable to return with a shoulder injury.
Matchup Eagles overcome false starts to dom Titans, 35-10 Eagles overcome false starts to dom Titans, 35-10
1st Downs 11 26
Passing 1st downs 5 16
Rushing 1st downs 5 7
1st downs from penalties 1 3
3rd down efficiency 4-14 3-11
4th down efficiency 1-2 3-3
Total Plays 53 67
Total Yards 209 453
Total Drives 11 11
Yards per Play 3.9 6.8
Passing 122 386
Comp-Att 16-26 30-41
Yards per pass 3.8 9.0
Interceptions thrown 0 0
Sacks-Yards Lost 6-35 2-5
Rushing 87 67
Rushing Attempts 21 24
Yards per rush 4.1 2.8
Red Zone (Made-Att) 0-2 2-2
Penalties 7-82 12-80
Turnovers 0 0
Fumbles lost 0 0
Interceptions thrown 0 0
Defensive / Special Teams TDs 0 0
Possession 27:27 32:33

 

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