Doug Pederson can come across as arrogant, cocky, and kind of a jerk in his press conferences sometimes. He’s brash, up front, and carries himself like he knows he’s the smartest person in the room and is talking down to whomever is present. After two straight weeks of yapping from the Eagles and their coaches only to be followed by disastrous results on the field, he toned down the bravado a bit leading into the Week 8 game against Buffalo.
Maybe humility should be the tone of the rest of the season.
The Philadelphia offense put up the point total it was supposed to and executed as people thought it would this season, even if not relying on the players you expected in a 31-13 drubbing of the Bills.
The Eagles may not have owned the football, but they definitely took out a long-term lease, holding the rock for nearly 36 minutes in the game: they ran the ball 41 times and passed only 24, gained 218 yards rushing to 153 passing, Jordan Howard had a season-high 23 carries after not running for more than 15 times in any other game this year. But the numbers are even more deceiving; backs were used for check downs and caught four passes.
This wasn’t the formula that was expected at the beginning of the season for a team that came in with a quarterback harboring legitimate MVP chances.
At the end of the day though, you go with what’s working and Philadelphia has been at its best this season when the run game has been firing. It’s best games this season have been against Green Bay and Buffalo. Not coincidentally, those have been Howard’s most used and best performances of the year.
Eagles Odds Preview for Week 9: Will the Real Carson Wentz Please Show Up
At some point this year, the Eagles may need MVP Carson Wentz to show up. That time is not now, however. Not with a Bears team that is 27th in the league in scoring and 29th in total yards coming to town. One of the best ways to exploit a desperate team (and make no mistake, at 3-4 and in last place in the NFC North, the Bears are desperate) is to make it feel pressure. Holding the ball and consuming clock with a strong run game will only add extra pressure to a Chicago side that is already playing for revenge against the Eagles after the 43-yard double doink in last season’s playoffs.
It should come as no surprise then that Philadelphia opens as five-point favorites against the Bears. The width of the line actually doesn’t concern me. If there’s one thing we’ve learned about the Eagles it’s that whatever they do, they do it big, win or lose. I’m on the win big side this week. As we noted before, Pederson can be arrogant, but he’s adaptable. Unlike his counterpart on the other sideline this week, he’s not going to force a game plan just to prove he’s the smartest guy in the room. He’ll go with what works, even if that means figuring out what works as the game goes on. Take the Eagles giving the points.