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Spotlight on the Philadelphia Eagles, undefeated in the NFL

Spotlight on the Philadelphia Eagles, undefeated in the NFL

Autumn is pleasant, near Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). In baseball, the Phillies are currently playing in the World Series. And in the NFL, the Eagles are the last undefeated team. They have won their first six games (including against Minnesota and Dallas) and, after a week off, are preparing to face the neighbor Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday (6:00 p.m.) in the eighth day of the regular season.

It’s been a long time since Philadelphia had had such a party. The last time the franchise from Pennsylvania had won its first six games was in 2004. That year, it had spun to the Super Bowl (beaten by New England and Tom Brady). And, in 2017, the year of the only super final won by the “Eagles” (before the creation of the Super Bowl in 1967, they had been champions in 1948, 1949 and 1960)the team’s start to the season had also been excellent (10 wins in the first 11 matches).

For two years, everything has changed at the Eagles. Unable to confirm the coronation of 2017, Philadelphia had hit rock bottom in 2020, winning only four matches. Exit coach Doug Pederson and quarterback Carson Wentz. To replace them, Nick Sirianni (41) was offered his first job as head coach in the NFL and Jalen Hurts (24), who came very close to the Heisman trophy (which rewards the best university player), was chosen as QB.

Smith & Brown, shock duo in reception

The beginnings of the tandem were encouraging. Last year, the Philadelphia Eagles snatched a place in the play-off play-offs, but quickly disappeared there against Brady’s Tampa Bay. Hurts, in his first full season in the NFL, performed creditably. This year, he is also doing well. Jalen Hurts is ranked sixth in the pass rating, the technical ranking of quarterbacks, with 1,514 yards and six touchdowns thrown. He also has another string to his bow. Hurts scores a lot while running: 10 TD’s last year and already six this season.

At his side, he has two prime targets, with receivers DeVonta Smith (24) and AJ Brown (25). The first was already a star before arriving in the NFL. With the University of Alabama, he had been twice university champion and winner, in 2020, of the Heisman trophy. Smith had also played for a time with Jalen Hurts (who had finished in Oklahoma a course started in Alabama). Landed last year in the NFL, he convinced from the start. And, at the end of September, he split 169 yards against Washington.

AJ Brown himself arrived this season at the Eagles, after two good first years in Tennessee and a less successful third. For his first game with Philadelphia (against Detroit), Brown collected 155 yards. Between the two receivers, no jealousy. They both caught 33 balls. But AJ Brown gallops a little more than his partner (502 yards to 397).

The arrival of Robert Quinn

Finally Miles Sanders, who arrived in Philadelphia four years ago, is a decent runner. In early October, he signed the best performance of his pro career, going for 134 yards against Jacksonville. With all these elements, the Eagles now have the fourth attack in the number of points scored and the fifth for yards gained.

But, more than the attack, it was above all the defense that represented a major project for the Philadelphia Eagles last season. To remedy this, the team did not skimp on transfers. She brought in linebacker Haason Reddick, who played at Carolina, this summer. He currently totals 4.5 sacks, which makes him the best in his formation. Cornerback James Bradberry arrived from the NY Giants. He is among the best in the NFL with his nine assists blocked.

And, last Wednesday, the Eagles were treated to a quality reinforcement, in the person of defensive end Robert Quinn, 12 years of NFL counter. Last season he had 18.5 sacks. Quinn will play his first game for Philadelphia on Sunday. He joins a defense currently ranked fourth in the pro league. At the Eagles, it’s not just the color of the jersey that is green. There are also all the lights.

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