Roob's Observations: Why Eagles didn't make a move at the deadline

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Understanding why the Eagles didn’t make a deadline trade, an interesting perspective on the Eagles’ run defense and elite company for Miles Sanders.

All that and tons more in a Special Edition Thursday Morning Roob’s 10 Random Eagles Observations! 

1. Just because the Eagles didn’t go out and get running back or safety help at the trade deadline Tuesday doesn’t mean they weren’t tempted. There were talented players available at reasonable prices, but sometimes talent isn’t enough. Just as important as how a new player will fit on the field is how he’ll fit on the practice field, in the meeting room, in the locker room. The last thing you want to do is tinker with an undefeated team’s mojo. With Robert Quinn – and deadline pickups in previous years, like Jay Ajayi and Golden Tate - the Eagles did a ton of work figuring out what kind of person they were getting, not just what kind of player. In Quinn’s case, they spoke to former teammates like Chris Long and Connor Barwin and probably former coaches as well to make sure he was the right fit. The problem with acquiring a guy at the deadline is that he’s going to take snaps away from the guys in the room he’s joining, guys who’ve helped the Eagles get to 7-0. How is that going to go over? He may be a former starter who was unhappy with his situation and wants to play more. He may have been embroiled in a contract dispute and feels like he needs reps to establish his value. So much goes into whether or not you should make a deadline move. Not just what kind of player you’re getting but how much he’s making, what you’re giving up and how he’s going to handle a new situation. Howie Roseman and Nick Sirianni talk so much about culture and fit, and it’s not easy to bring a new player into your locker room in the middle of the season, especially for a team that’s rolling along at 7-0 and has a very strong culture that every player buys into. One thing is certain. If Howie Roseman didn’t pull the trigger on a move, there was a very good reason for it.

2. Jalen Hurts is the 11th quarterback in NFL history with 16 or more total touchdowns and two or fewer interceptions seven games into a season. At 24, Hurts is youngest of the 11. Next-youngest was Patrick Mahomes, who had just turned 25 when he had 18 TDs and one INT in 2020.

3. The Eagles’ 14 rushing touchdowns are their most through seven games since the 1949 team had 17 on the way to the franchise’s second consecutive NFL Championship. The last team with more through seven games was the 2004 Chiefs, who had 17.

4. With Javon Hargrave (2.0), Milton Williams (1.0) and Marlon Tuipulotu (1.0) all picking up sacks Sunday, it was the first time three different Eagles interior defensive linemen have had a sack in the same game in 29 years. On Dec. 19, 1993, in a 20-10 win over the Colts at the Hoosier Dome, Andy Harmon, Keith Millard and William “The Fridge” Perry had one apiece. It also happened on Sept. 15, 1991, when Jerome Brown (2.5), Mike Golic (2.0) and Mike Pitts (1.0) combined for 5.5 sacks.

5. With 32 career passing touchdowns, Jalen Hurts already has the 6th-most touchdown passes ever by an Eagles quarterback drafted by the Eagles. Donovan McNabb (216), Randall Cunningham (150), Carson Wentz (113), Sonny Jurgensen (76) and Nick Foles (58) are the top five. 

6. Nick Sirianni made an interesting point talking about the Eagles’ 29th-ranked run defense and that ungainly 5.2 yards per carry they're allowing. While agreeing that the 5.2 mark is way too high – it’s second-highest in NFL history by a 7-0 team – Sirianni did point out that a lot of teams are running the ball against the Eagles despite trailing by double digits. The Vikings, Commanders and Steelers ran a combined 44 times in the second half when trailingvby 14 or more points. Teams understand that throwing every snap against this secondary is offensive suicide. Sirianni, speaking specifically about the Steelers, said the Eagles welcomed those running plays – even when they’re gaining five, six or seven yards - because they know teams can’t win that way: “Last week, Pittsburgh, up three scores, we're in a defense to make sure that they don't score quickly or that they have to go the long road and mess it up, which is basically what happened. Well, you're going to leak a little bit sometimes in the run game if you're doing that. So, in my opinion, they didn't have enough time to run those draws down the field and win the football game. So if that was what they wanted to do in that scenario, we were going to let them, and it worked out. … There's been a little bit of that with the leads that we've had. … Do we ever want to be in the bottom of the league of anything? No, but it might not be quite as bad as it seems.”

7. That said, the Texans do have the NFL’s best rookie running back. Dameon Pierce, a 4th-round pick out of Florida, has 539 yards, three TDs and a 4.5 rushing average. Pierce certainly has Jonathan Gannon’s attention: “Really good player. He jumps off the tape. Typically, I don't put up a lot of backs in front of the room and say, ‘Hey, guys, this is a challenge ahead.’ He’s one of them. He's tough. He has vision. He's explosive. He breaks tackles. He runs violently. Can catch it out of the backfield. They deploy him in a good way. The run schemes they use, they accentuate his skill set, which is pretty cool, and we’ve got a big-time challenge.”

8. Miles Sanders increased his career total to 3,002 rushing yards Sunday vs. the Steelers. He’s now one of just 13 players in NFL history with 3,000 yards and a career average over 5.0 in his first four seasons. Among the others are Jim Brown, Gale Sayers, Jonathan Taylor, Jamaal Charles and Marion Motley.

9. Pretty encouraging performances Sunday from second-year defensive tackles Milton Williams and Marlon Tuipulotu, the Eagles’ 3rd and 6th-round picks last year. Tuipuloto picked up his first career sack as well as a QB hurry, a QB hit and a tackle for loss, and Williams had his first sack of the year along with a tackle for loss, a QB hit and a pass deflection. Tuipulotu and Milton Williams can’t replace Jordan Davis, who’s been playing at an increasingly dominating level, but it doesn’t hurt to get that kind of production out of your third and fourth defensive tackles.

10. This means absolutely nothing, but I find it interesting: The Eagles are 17-7 all-time on Thursday nights, the second-best Thursday night record in the league. The Colts are 16-5-1. (I didn’t include the Pottstown Maroons / Boston Bulldogs franchise, which went 3-1 on Thursdays from 1925 through 1928).

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