Observations: Eagles 43, Titans 24
Here’s what we saw during the Eagles’ 43-24 win over the Titans.
* The Titans came in with a horrendous run defense, and the Eagles took advantage. LeSean McCoy carried 21 times for 130 yards (6.2 YPC) and a touchdown. Fourteen of those carries and 100 of the yards came in the first half. On the Birds’ first drive, McCoy had runs of 15 and 12 yards, respectively. Later, he added a 53-yarder and got in the end zone from 2 yards out.
* The Eagles were able to move the ball consistently. In addition to 164 yards on the ground, Mark Sanchez threw for 307. He completed 30 of 43 with a touchdown and two interceptions. Sanchez looked for Riley Cooper on a deep post in what appeared to be one-on-one coverage in the first half. He made a bad throw, and Cooper did a poor job of finishing his route and fighting for the ball. The result was a pick. Later, Sanchez stepped up in the pocket, but sailed one for another interception.
* Sanchez made an excellent throw to Cooper near the sideline for 22 yards to set up a touchdown in the second quarter. He also connected with Jeremy Maclin on a deep out to set up a field goal attempt on the final drive of the first half. In the third, he rolled to his right and delivered a strike to James Casey for a 14-yard touchdown.
* Jordan Matthews continues to play well. He led the Eagles with six catches for 77 yards on eight targets. He broke a tackle and picked up 17 yards on one play. Later, he got away from a pair of defenders and picked up 20 yards.
* Darren Sproles continues to be productive. He carried six times for 25 yards and a touchdown. Sproles also caught three balls for 14 yards.
* Brad Smith took a big hit as a defenseless receiver from safety Michael Griffin. He got the wind knocked out of him. Josh Huff and Maclin appeared to take exception with Griffin after the play and had to be held back by teammates.
* Huff opened the game with a 107-yard kickoff return, but Chris Polk returned the rest of the kicks for some reason.
* Cody Parkey had made 16 straight field goals, but his attempt from 49 yards out at the end of the first half hit the left post. Parkey connected on attempts from 26, 30, 35, 36 and 50. The Eagles’ offense was 3-for-7 in the red zone.
* The Birds get three days of preparation before a Thanksgiving Day showdown against the Dallas Cowboys.
* The defense did what it has done for much of the season. It pressured the quarterback and stopped the run, but allowed some big plays. Zach Mettenberger completed 20 of 39 passes for 345 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The Eagles sacked him five times.
* The Eagles started the game by forcing punts on four straight possessions. They stumbled in the second quarter, but held the Titans scoreless on five straight possessions after halftime (two fumbles, two punts, one turnover on downs).
* At the end of the first, Mettenberger found Justin Hunter for a 40-yard score. It was a bit of a flukey play as Malcolm Jenkins tipped the ball. But Bradley Fletcher did a poor job of stopping Hunter short of the end zone.
* Later, tight end Delanie Walker beat LB Emmanuel Acho for a 68-yard gain. Vinny Curry was called for a facemask penalty on the drive that negated a sack. And Shonn Greene scored from 2 yards out. Walker had five catches for 155 yards.
* The Eagles got a lot of pressure on Mettenberger in the second half. Connor Barwin notched two more sacks to give him 12.5 on the season. Trent Cole got a couple as well to give him 6.5. And Fletcher Cox picked up his second sack of the season. Curry had another sack called back because of a downfield penalty on Fletcher.
* Bennie Logan was active and had a forced fumble in the second half.
* Strange play in the second half. Cox batted a Mettenberger pass, but it was caught in the air by a Titans offensive lineman. He took off running, but Mychal Kendricks hit him and forced a fumble. The Eagles recovered.
* Early on, the defense played well. Jenkins had a pair of pass breakups, and Brandon Boykin added another. Boykin notched an interception late in the fourth quarter.
* The Titans ran for 53 yards on 18 attempts (2.9 YPC).