Minor setback to a major comeback

By Nathan Mazurek
October 26, 2023

View from the upper deck of Lincoln Financial field during an evening football game. The sun is setting in the background as fans enjoy the game under the bright lights
The Eagles play thier home games at Lincoln Financial Field. Photo via Flickr.

The Philadelphia Eagles were off to a hot start to the 2023 season with five straight wins. All that came to an end on Oct. 15, with a heartbreaking loss to the New York Jets. Panic struck in Philadelphia, and fans questioned the play-calling, Jalen Hurts, and the overall well-being of the team. 

The new standard in Philadelphia is greatness with booming weapons on offense and some of the fastest pass rushers in the game. Overcoming a heartbreaking loss in the Super Bowl has only made the team and the fans hungrier. 

The outsiders 

Eagles fans cheer at a game. Photo via Flickr.

It almost seems as if everybody outside of Philadelphia hates the city’s sports teams. Philadelphia fans are known for their passion, and when it comes to the Eagles, the locals truly bleed green. Junior education major Brett Gougler said, “The Eagles themselves bring families and friends closer together. The fans are crazy but it’s a hardworking city which gives players motivation to not disappoint.”

A much-needed win

After the loss to a Jets team without starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Eagles were in dire need of a bounce back. Lucky for them, they had their chance. The Miami Dolphins, known for their speedy offense consisting of Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Tua Tagovailoa, and Raheem Mostert were coming to town, led by offensive genius coach Mike McDaniel. The Dolphins’ offense has thrived all year, leading the league in points scored. 

This team was the true test for the Eagles. Fans, like Gougler, called it a potential  “Super Bowl preview.” The Eagles did not disappoint, coming in sharp with their original Kelly-Green jerseys, beating the Dolphins 31-17 and dominating the majority of the game. The offense was almost perfect, and the defense had just the right answers they needed to control the fast-paced offense the Dolphins tried to throw at them.

Veteran help

Earlier in the week, General Manager Howie Roseman signed future Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Julio Jones. Jones brings extra brains to this already explosive offense, as he has seen everything there is to see in the NFL. Though his days of greatness may be behind him, he is great to have around and teach the young wide receiver core. 

Days later Roseman followed his major pick-up of Jones by acquiring veteran safety Kevin Byard from the Tennessee Titans through a trade. Byard will help lead the already strong defense with the knowledge he has learned over the years, while also being a feared weapon.

The brotherly shove

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. Photo via Flickr.

Though the Eagles offense doesn’t look as great as last year, there is one thing that has not changed, and that is the quarterback sneak, aka, the “brotherly shove.” With the strongest offensive line in the league led by the iconic center Jason Kelce and Jalen Hurts, a quarterback that squats 600 pounds, it is almost impossible to stop. Let’s also not forget that Hurts has two guys behind him pushing him in. This gives him an even higher chance to get in the end zone.

The brotherly shove has been such an impossible force to stop that the NFL is investigating the play and is considering banning it from the league, when in reality it clearly shows that the Eagles just happen to have the right tools for it, and other teams cannot run it as effectively. 

When asked about the play, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said, “If everybody could do it, everybody would do it.” Sirianni’s insight shows this play was perfected by the Eagles because only they have the specific tools to make it work.

The chip on their shoulder

With a hot start, the Eagles are rolling into the second half of the year strong. The team and the city of Philadelphia still think about the loss of last year’s Super Bowl every day and are hungrier than ever to hold up the Lombardi trophy at the end of the year. We might be witnessing something special with the team that wears midnight green. The season and the future look bright.

Nathan Mazurek

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