Roob's Obs: Brown's huge day, Hurts' incredible progress, and more


Perfection from Jalen Hurts, timely takeaways and sacks from the defense, explosiveness from A.J. Brown, timely runs from Miles Sanders … it all added up to a commanding 35-13 Eagles win over the Steelers on Sunday at the Linc.

That’s 7-0 for the Eagles and a franchise-record 10 straight regular-season wins for Hurts.


Here’s our 10 instant observations!

1. One of the most impressive things about this Eagles team is the way they take care of business against lesser teams. They just don’t lose against teams they’re not supposed to lose to. Heck, lately they haven’t lost to anybody. But they’re now 7-0 at home under Nick Sirianni when they’re favorites and they’ve won 12 straight overall under Sirianni when they’re favored. Stuff like trap games or short weeks or back-to-back road games or looking past teams … those things just aren’t in their vocabulary. They are so focused. They have a rare ability to not look back and not look ahead and focus on the next rep, the next meeting, the next play, and when you do that, you generally don’t get affected by outside noise. And that’s what we’ve seen seven times so far this year.

2. The trust Hurts has in Brown is really nuts right now. Jalen just feels like he can lob it up to Brown anytime in the end zone no matter what the coverage, and it’s going to be a favorable matchup and Brown is just going to go up and snag it. Double coverage? Tight single coverage? Doesn’t matter. Brown on Sunday became the first Eagles WR with three TD catches of at least 25 yards in 53 years – Tommy McDonald did it in 1961 vs. the Cowboys and 1962 vs. the Rams, and Ben Hawkins did it vs. the Steelers at Franklin Field in 1969. (And Brown was one Minkah Fitzpatrick tackle away from a fourth!). It’s incredible to watch the chemistry between the two of them, and then you realize these guys have played seven games together ever and how much better they’re going to get. With 6-for-156 Sunday, Brown now has 39 catches for 659 yards and five touchdowns in seven games. That’s the most yards by an Eagle through seven games since T.O. in 2005. Brown is having one of the best seasons ever by an Eagles wide receiver, and he and Hurts are just getting started. Scary.

3. The progress Hurts has made throwing deep from last year to this year is astonishing. He’s always had the arm strength, but remember how he used to under-throw a lot of his deep balls last year? Hurts threw only two TD passes longer than 25 yards all last year – a 28-yarder to DeVonta Smith against the Chargers and a 36-yarder against the Broncos a week later. This year? He just threw four in one game, joining Sonny Jurgensen and Norm Snead as the third QB in Eagles history with four TD passes of 25 yards or more in a game. Hurts keeps finding things to improve on, whether it’s decision making, a quicker release, not putting the ball in harm’s way, and so far he’s gotten better at all of them. If he can become consistent chucking the deep ball – and he sure has the weapons to go get ‘em – it will only make him that much more dangerous. And he’s already really dangerous.

4. It’s so much fun watching Dallas Goedert play football. I love how he looks at every would-be tackler as a potential guy to steamroll. He’s not going around anybody, he’s going through them. How often does the first guy bring him down? Ever? He has such soft hands and catches almost everything and then turns into this tackle-breaking monster, piling on the yards after the catch. Goedert hasn’t had a huge bust-out game yet, but he’s putting up solid numbers every week, and if defenses get greedy trying to take away Brown and Smith, Goedert will be open and Hurts will find him. Goedert had 6-for-64 Sunday and is now 32-for-421 this year, which puts him on a 78-catch, 1,000-yard pace. And he hasn’t even had a huge game yet.

5. It was good to see Javon Hargrave show up with a huge game – two sacks and the forced fumble that Avonte Maddox recovered early in the fourth quarter. Coming off his Pro Bowl season in 2021, Hargrave has been quiet much of this year. He came into Sunday with one sack (against Washington), 11 tackles, one tackle for loss and three QB hits in six games. But with Jordan Davis hobbling off the field with a potentially serious injury and facing a possible layoff, the Eagles really need Hargrave to give the Eagles the kind of disruptive play he provided last year. This was an encouraging performance.

6. This was such a Miles Sanders type of game. He didn’t get a high volume of carries, he only had 10 rushing yards before halftime, but as soon as the Steelers started devoting all their resources to trying to slow down Brown, Shane Steichen began dialing up Sanders, and he delivered. Sanders ran just six times after halftime but for 68 yards and an 11-yard touchdown, and he finished 9-for-78. He truly has the ability to impact the game without getting a ton of carries. Against Dallas, he ran 18 times and ground out 71 tough yards in a huge win. Sunday, he had more yards on half as many carries and popped a few long runs. That’s the beauty of Miles Sanders. However you need him to contribute, he’ll do it and do it selflessly. Having a really big-time season.

7. Still don’t like the Eagles’ run defense. The Steelers don’t run the ball well – they came into play this week 27th with 88 rushing yards per game and 28th at 3.7 yards per carry – but they totaled 144 yards on 24 carries for 6.0 per pop. The Eagles are getting gashed on the ground way too much. They’ve allowed 5.2 yards a pop in four of seven games after allowing 5.2 yards per carry only three times all last year. With the personnel they have, they should be a lot better, but it just seems like every game there are a handful of plays where they just miss a bunch of tackles and a ball carrier picks up 17 yards on a play that should have gone for four. We don’t know how much time Davis will miss, but whether they have Davis or not, this needs to be fixed.

8. It was good to see the Eagles take a double-digit into halftime and actually build on it in the second half. This was the first time this year the Eagles have scored touchdowns in both the third and fourth quarters, and their two second-half TDs matched their combined total from their five previous games. If you want to be a great team, you’ve got to find ways to put teams away when you have them down, and the Eagles haven’t really been able to do that this year. They’ve gotten away with it, but it was nice to see them jump on a lesser opponent early and then keep pouring it on.

9. This wasn’t a defensive masterpiece, but the Eagles did several things really well. They got tremendous pressure on Kenny Pickett, finishing with 6.0 sacks – their 2nd-most this year – and they forced two turnovers in the second half, which gives them 16 in seven games. But what I really like is how they tightened things up deep in their own territory. The Steelers scored a TD early, but then had drives down to the Eagles’ 20, 11, 36 and 20 that netted two field goals. Outstanding red zone defense covers up a lot of defensive issues.

10. Nick Sirianni now has a better career win-loss record than Bill Belichick.

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