Roob's observations after Eagles embarrass winless Jets in NFL Week 5

Roob's observations after Eagles embarrass winless Jets in NFL Week 5


The Eagles finally won themselves a laugher, and against a hapless Jets team, that’s exactly what they had to do.

Here are our 10 instant observations from the Eagles' 31-6 win over the Jets at the Linc Sunday:

1. It wasn’t the prettiest blowout ever, but the Eagles took care of business, and that’s really all I care about. Tough to complain about a 31-6 win. Would I have liked to see the offense more efficient and productive? Yep. Would I have liked to have seen Corey Clement get the heck away from that punt he muffed that led to the Jets’ only touchdown? Yep. Would I have liked to have seen some big plays from the offense? Yep. But the Eagles are out there with three cornerbacks who weren’t on the team 13 days ago, DeSean Jackson is still missing, and at this point I can handle winning ugly. But make no mistake about it. The Eagles have to play better to beat real teams.

2. I’d love to believe that the Eagles’ 10 sacks represent something of a breakthrough for a defense that had only three sacks through four games. We’ll see. This Jets offensive line is so bad and their quarterback so raw and inexperienced and really unable to recognize what he’s seeing in front of him that it would have been concerning if they didn’t sack him a bunch. Good for the Eagles for taking advantage of the opportunities that were there. They’re not going to come this easy again this year, but the Eagles have to find a way to make sure they do keep coming.

3. The job Cory Undlin did getting his cornerbacks ready for this game is remarkable. He was playing with one cornerback who was on the roster 13 days ago. Craig James signed on Sept. 24, Orlando Scandrick Sept. 27 and Ryan Lewis Friday. I don’t care who was at quarterback, to hold any NFL opponent to six points with three cornerbacks who weren’t in the NFL two weeks ago is one heck of an impressive accomplishment.

4. And I don’t think Scandrick is going to be going anywhere. What he did after spending the first month of the season on his couch is insane. He became the first Eagles cornerback since Bobby Taylor in 1997 with two sacks in a game, and he became the Eagles’ first cornerback with a fumble recovery return for a TD since Sheldon Brown in 2009. The play he made stealing the ball from Luke Falk and running 44 yards for a touchdown was legendary. The dude spent nine years with the Cowboys and another with the Chiefs and never had a game like this. The greatest first game as an Eagle defensive player since Will Witherspoon had a sack, a pick-six and a forced fumble in 2009? I don’t care who the opponent is. Incredible performance.

5. Jordan Howard is a flat-out beast. I like Miles Sanders and I love how Doug Pederson uses him in the passing game. Sanders caught his third pass of 30 yards or more Sunday, which is amazing for a guy who had only one entire game in college with 30 yards. But Howard needs to be this team’s lead back. With his 13 for 62 Sunday, he boosted his season average to 4.7. He’s such a forceful, powerful runner, and you can just see him wear defenses down as the game goes on. Pederson is going to continue with a committee, which is fine. I just want Howard to be chairman of the committee. Thirteen carries isn’t enough.

6. As inconsistent as everything else on this team has been, the Eagles’ run defense has been off the charts. Look at the rushing numbers for the opponents’ lead backs so far:

10 for 18 (1.8) … Derrius Guice, Redskins
11 for 22 (2.0) … Devonta Freeman, Falcons
20 for 36 (1.8) … Kerryon Johnson, Lions
13 for 21 (1.6) … Aaron Jones, Packers
15 for 43 (2.9) … Le'Veon Bell, Jets

Considering the Eagles are down Tim Jernigan and Malik Jackson, and Fletcher Cox is just working his way back to where we’re used to seeing him, that’s pretty impressive. One thing we’ve seen is that the defensive ends, even when they haven’t been generating pass pressure, have been stout against the run, and Rodney McLeod, Malcolm Jenkins, Brandon Graham, Nigel Bradham and Rasul Douglas have all been solid as well. You’re not seeing missed tackles, and you are seeing gang tackling. The Eagles were bad against the run last year, allowing 4.7 yards per carry. Five games in, that figure is down a yard and a half per carry to 3.2. That’s been huge. It really allows the Eagles to force teams to play one-dimensional football.

7. Carson Wentz’s numbers were pedestrian, but for the second straight week he didn’t turn the ball over, he got the ball in the end zone, he spread it around, he converted third downs and he took what the defense gave him. I think the biggest growth we’ve seen in Wentz is not forcing things down the field when they’re not there. That’s three games in a row with no interceptions.

8. Nate Gerry is turning into a bit of a playmaker as an outside linebacker. He sure has a knack for the ball and good hands. His pick-six gave him two interceptions this year and three in the last nine games that he’s played on defense. His pick-six Sunday came at a big moment, with the Eagles up, 7-0, but sputtering on offense and needing a little kick-start. Not bad for a fifth-round pick who wasn’t really expected to be much more than a special teamer.

9. Graham finished with a career-high three sacks, two tackles for loss and five quarterback hurries. B.G. has been quiet this year, so it was really encouraging to see him bust out like this. The one thing about Graham is that even when the sacks haven’t been coming, his effort has never waned. He’s been physical, active and running around all year. This was the B.G. of 2017 we saw on Sunday and hopefully he can use this career game as a springboard for the rest of the season.

10. Finally this: Cameron Johnston is the best punter I’ve ever seen. The guy is a flat-out machine. Every time the Eagles need a monster punt, he bombs it. And he never hits a bad one. Coming into this weekend, Johnston was averaging 48.2 yards for his career — highest in NFL history. His unreturnable 60-yard line drive down to the 4-yard line in the second quarter was a work of art. He was one of the Eagles’ MVPs Sunday and really has been since he got here last year.

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NFL Week 15 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

NFL Week 15 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

Here are my games to watch for in Week 15 of the NFL season:

Bears at Packers — Sunday, 1 p.m. on FOX
The Bears are growling again. They have three straight wins and are playing like a playoff team. The only problem is their many stumbles along the way have them at just 7-6, and currently the No. 8 seed in the NFC playoff pitcure. They travel to Green Bay with revenge on their minds, still remembering the season-opening loss to the Packers. That the Packers are 10-3 — currently the No. 2 seed in the NFC — is amazing in itself. Defensively, they stop either the run or the pass but never both in a game. Offensively, they don’t score a lot of points and rarely win impressively, but the bottom line is more times than not they have found a way to win. First-year head coach Matt LeFleur has his squad believing in his system. The Pack will rack up their 11th W at Lambeau.

Texans at Titans — Sunday, 1 p.m. on CBS

One team is exciting by land, the other by air. Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins gives defenses fits weekly. Tennessee RB Derrick Henry is a battering ram. These two are currently tied for the lead in the AFC South but after getting blasted by Denver last week, Houston is still in control based on best win percentage in division games. The Titans are currently the No. 7 seed. Since QB Ryan Tannehill replaced Marcus Mariota after Week 6, the Titans have won six of their last seven and four in a row. Houston has the capability of rising up for big games with wins over the Patriots and Chiefs, but the Titans are hot, and I’m going with the hot team at home. Side note: They'll meet again Week 17.

Vikings at Chargers — Sunday, 4:05 p.m. on CBS

The only thing the Chargers have left to play for is pride and the Vikings are jockeying for better seeding and a possible division title. Under Mike Zimmer, the Vikings have not fared well when traveling west, sporting a 1-6 record in road games played in the Mountain or Pacific time zones. Two of the Chargers' five wins have come against the NFC North. The Vikings' defense is starting to jell again and they’ll need cohesiveness on D because Philip RIvers' offense can light it up at any given moment. The Vikings know what’s at stake — it wont be easy, but they’ll find a way to get the job done.

Rams at Cowboys — Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Don’t look now, but the Rams are starting to play like the team that represented the NFC in last season’s Super Bowl. They’ve won three in a row with the offense functioning like a well-oiled machine and the defense making plays. As for Dallas, fans are calling for heads to roll, starting with head coach Jason Garrett. They’ve lost three straight and haven’t beaten a quality opponent all season. With that said, they somehow still control the NFC East. They have the the talent all over the field, yet don’t have the wins to show for it. What should have been a promising season will be a disaster if they don’t find a way to rebound and make the playoffs. Sorry, Dallas, until you prove otherwise, you’re just not ram tough enough to win this one.

Bills at Steelers — Sunday, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Just when it looked like Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin would have to endure his first losing season in Pittsburgh, his squad has risen from the ashes. A team that was 1-4 at one point is now 8-5, riding a three-game winning streak, and currently the sixth seed in the AFC. What’s even more impressive is that Tomlin is using his third QB of the season. Rookie free agent Devlin “Duck” Hodges has been on the winning side on all three of his starts. The defense has tightened the loose gaps and is playing 'Burgh ball. The Bills have been writing an incredible story of their own. They are currently the fifth seed and just one game behind New England in the AFC East. Buffalo is striving for its first 10-win season since 1999. It will also be Buffalo’s first Sunday night appearance in 12 years. Two good defenses in this one. Two teams hoping to move one step closer to solidifying a playoff spot. This one has the makings of a brass knuckles brawl with the Steelers delivering the final knockout blow.

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Here comes wide receiver Robert Davis … to save the day?

Here comes wide receiver Robert Davis … to save the day?

He’s big, he’s fast, he’s strong. 

Can he play? Who knows? I guess we’ll find out on Sunday. 

Meet Robert Davis. He’s the 6-foot-3, 210-pound receiver who once ran a 4.44 at the combine and tested through the roof. He’s also the receiver whom the Eagles called up from their practice squad earlier this week after even more injuries at the position. 

It’s probably unfair to expect a 24-year-old receiver with four career games and one career catch under his belt to suddenly cure all the Eagles’ ails at wide receiver. But here we are.  

I tweeted that video on Thursday and most of the responses were hilarious. Some were tongue-in-cheek, like suggesting that since he caught a ball the Eagles should sign him a long-term deal. But some were genuine — in that, hey, here’s a guy with an impressive frame and possibly some untapped potential. Heck, it’s gotten so bad at receiver, he’ll surely help, right? 

Last week’s 23-17 win over the Giants should be remembered as the practice squad game because three guys — Boston Scott, Josh Perkins and Greg Ward Jr. — all played a big part of the victory and all three were on the practice squad less than two months earlier. 

So … on one hand, Davis uses that as encouragement. Hey, if they can do it, so can I. 

On the other hand, maybe there are now some unfair and unrealistic expectations on just how big of an impact Davis will be able to have in his first game with the Eagles. 

“We’re all competitors,” Davis said. “That’s why we’re in the NFL. Seeing [Ward] go out there and have success, I want to go out there and have success, too.”

The Redskins saw that potential in Davis when they drafted him in the sixth round out of Georgia State back in 2017. It’s pretty easy to see why they used a pick on him. 

Despite his athleticism, Davis split time between the 53-man roster and the practice squad as a rookie and then broke his leg in 2018. Davis came back in 2019 but didn’t play much and eventually got cut. He’s been with the Eagles since he signed to the practice squad on Oct. 7. 

This weekend, Davis will play his first game as an Eagle and it’ll come against his former team in Washington. He’s as excited about that as Eagles fans are about seeing him play. 

And if you want to get even more over-hyped about Davis, here’s what his former Redskins and current Eagles teammate Nate Sudfeld said about him last month: 

He’s a freak of nature. He’s got muscles on top of muscles. Definitely looks the part of a big, freak wide receiver, and he plays big. He’s got speed, really good at running routes, he’s smart. He’s got a bright future, definitely.

Maybe Davis will just have a short stay on the Eagles’ active roster. Maybe he won’t even be able to make an impact. But, for now, it’s fun for fans to dream about finding another diamond in in the practice squad. 

After his call-up, Davis took over a real locker stall at the NovaCare Complex, moving up from the pop-up variety. While he’s listed as Robert on the roster, his nameplate said Rob. 

What does he prefer? 

“My mom named me Robert,” he said. “I go by Rob for my homeboys.”

You can decide what to call him after watching Sunday’s game.  

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