Marcus Hayes: 'Woo-hoo!' DeVonta Smith catches a TD pass, Jalen Hurts plays like a star as Eagles stun Falcons.

Marcus Hayes, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Football

Nick the Quick

New coach Nick Sirianni is very much a woo-hoo guy himself, but had the team ready to play, despite a paucity of a preseason. They were prepared.

The defense didn’t give up a point in the last 44 minutes and allowed just three of 14 third-down conversions. The offensive line didn’t give up one sack. The Birds didn’t turn the ball over.

Wait a minute. This team was supposed to stink.

Sirianni will forever preach that Kumbaya “connection” stuff, but there have been lots of great teams that hated each others’ guts. Winning football games takes skill and talent and grit, and the Eagles showed boatloads of that here in the Dirty.

That’s why, on Monday morning, there will be a lot of 5-12 prognosticators reversing that prognostication and agreeing with my prognostication, made way back in May.


And … Carson who? Oh yeah, that guy. He played pretty well for his chosen team, the Colts, in a 16-point loss to the Seahawks. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys lost, too, and did the Washington Football Team, and the Giants, which left the Eagles — the Eagles — atop the NFC East.


There were, and are, concerns. The old guys didn’t collapse. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, right tackle Lane Johnson, right guard Brandon Brooks, center Jason Kelce, and tight end Zach Ertz, all high-mileage thirtysomethings, finished the game both conscious and ambulatory. Both Kelce and Ertz looked like they were hurt in the second half, but they missed little or no time. Hey, only 16 games to go.

Johnson committed three of the Eagles’ 14 penalties. Too many by half.


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