Brandon Graham has shown flashes of what made him the Eagles' first round pick back in 2010 this season, and he impressed last night with 1.5 sacks of his own. Coming into the season, Graham was a decent player, but didn't give you the type of production you would expect from a first round pick. However, he has played very well this season and has shown that he can play an important role in Bill Davis' defensive system.
On the other side of the ball, Jordan Matthews had one of his best games yet of his young career, scoring two touchdowns to go along with his 138 yards receiving. Sanchez looked extremely comfortable throwing to the rookie and we should expect more of this type of production moving forward. Brent Celek also had an impressive performance, recording 116 yards receiving on five catches. Sanchez looked most comfortable throwing to these two, and they combined for 254 of his 332 passing yards, and also accounted for both of his TD passes.
The only unit that wasn't clicking too well was the running game. Darren Sproles had a very impactful punt return touchdown early in the first quarter, but the Eagles finished with just 37 rushing yards, with only 19 coming from Shady. The Panthers didn't let much up on the ground, but they have a good front seven built to stop the rush. Look for the running game to rebound next week against Green Bay. The Packers have zero rushing defense outside of Clay Matthews, so Shady should be able to get back on track at Lambeau on Sunday.
With that win, the Eagles now sit at 7-2, and sit a half game up on the Cowboys, whom have their bye week this weekend. A win at Lambeau would put the Birds one game up on the Cowboys, with both head to head matchups still to be played. Winning both those games would pretty much decide the division. But in case the Eagles and Cowboys go 1-1 against each other, that 1 game lead going into the matchups would be a huge advantage.
By: Dan Goggin
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