A 17-week season is a grind, and the Eagles have put their Week 1 comeback win over the Jaguars behind them as they prepare for the Colts Monday night.
“I think the one thing we can learn from this game is number one, there was plenty of mistakes we made,” Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shumur said. “Plenty of errors to correct but we were resilient enough to come back and win and I think you can learn from that.”
So was it first game jitters that caused the lackluster play in the first half? Was it the Jaguars giving them looks they hadn’t expected on defense?
“I think we all had first game things that we didn’t do well,” Shurmur said, “But, hey, Nick Foles was our starting quarterback and helped us win a football game and that’s not easy to do in the NFL. I give him credit for that.”
Foles led an offense that had a slightly different look and feel than the Eagles’ record-setting group from 2013. The speed and intensity was still there, as was the commitment to the run.
But there is no longer the speedy, deep threat the Eagles had in DeSean Jackson — they have a different approach with Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper and Zach Ertz. Additionally, LeSean McCoy split a lot of touches with Darren Sproles.
“We don’t feel like it’s all that uncommon because we’re going to play Darren at a running back spot,” Shurmur said of the shared duties at tailback. “So we’re going to call our offense regardless of whether Darren or LeSean is in there. We like to run the football. So whoever the back is that’s in there, you’re going to get a chance to touch the ball and you’re going to get it handed to you, all right. That’s safe to say.”
In the 34-17 win last week, Sproles ran for 71 yards on 11 carries and McCoy ran for 74 on 21.
Defensively, the Birds are also moving on, this time from Chad Henne to Andrew Luck. With Luck, the Eagles defense will have an accurate and talented quarterback to maintain. And if the defense can’t get pressure on Luck they could be back at the .500 mark.
“He’s one of the best young quarterbacks in the league right now,” Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis said, “and he’s got the big body like a [Steelers QB Ben] Roethlisberger. He’s a tough sack when he’s in the pocket and has the athleticism and speed to get out of the pocket.”