The reigning NFC champions haven’t looked impressive through two weeks, holding on to one-score victories against the New England Patriots in Week 1 and the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night.
After Thursday’s 34-28 win, during which the Philadelphia Eagles benefited from four forced fumbles and a dominant rushing attack, coach Nick Sirianni took solace that his club is looking to adjust after two wins instead of two losses.
“It’s way easier to correct when you are 2-0 and no one’s feelings are in it,” he said, via the official transcript. “So, we can really press in this meeting tomorrow that we are going to have with the players and hold ourselves accountable as coaches and hold them accountable as players, and that’s what we’ll do.
“Obviously, we didn’t play our cleanest game. I think the first week was a cleaner game for the defense and not as clean for the offense and vice versa with tonight. You are right, we are 2-0. A lot of teams would like to be sitting 2-0. Like I said, when you are in this position, and guys don’t know that we aren’t playing to the best of our abilities, that’s when you can make a lot of growth.”
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The Eagles’ defense has struggled with secondary injuries that have left the crew woefully thin. In Week 1, Philly gave up 316 passing yards and three touchdowns to Mac Jones. With a trove of replacement players on the back end Thursday, Kirk Cousins went off for 364 passing yards on 31-of-44 with four TD passes.
Thus far, Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ passing offense has been mostly MIA. On Thursday, the QB threw for 193 yards on 18-of-23 passing with a TD and an INT — 117 yards coming on two connections with DeVonta Smith. When Hurts is in rhythm and he sees the field, the QB rips it. However, too often, the passing game has been an amalgam of blasé plays, WRs not getting open versus dropped coverages, and Hurts taking sacks trying to make something happen.
“I think we are a work in progress,” Hurts said Thursday when asked about the team’s identity. “What better way to be a work in progress than sitting on two wins out of the gate in 10 days, or however many days it was. We strive for progress, not perfection. Obviously, we all have a standard for ourselves. Obviously, we demand the most of ourselves because of everything that we go through together, all the work that we put in together, and all of those things.”
Hurts’ play through two weeks has been the opposite of what we saw in Super Bowl LVII when he was the best player on the field. Unlike that game, however, the Eagles won both contests despite the rollercoaster play from the QB.
“We are going to continue to keep chipping away,” he said. “We understand as we continue to climb this mountain and we go on, there will be different challenges that come along, but the only thing that matters is winning. Truly, the only thing that matters is winning. I think if we can continue to develop, grow, and learn from our mistakes and learn from our successes, and learn from all of these different things. In fact, the same things that I’m saying now I’d be saying if we lost. But the reality is, winning is the only thing that matters, and everything is done with winning in mind. For us, we just want to continue to grow as a team, continue to develop, and find that identity for us and continue to grow together.”
There are 15 more games for the Eagles to develop their 2023 identity. Unlike Minnesota (0-2), Philly can continue to grow with a couple of wins in its pocket.
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