The Philadelphia Eagles have not impressed the masses through two weeks of regular season play. Despite some turnovers, sacks, sloppy play and players exchanging words on the sideline, the team has managed to go 2-0. The defending NFC champions do not look ready to make a deep playoff run right now, but the season is young and there is plenty of time for them to make some changes.
Head coach Nick Sirianni acknowledged the Eagles' early season struggles. While no coach wants their team frustrated and making mistakes, Sirianni noted that it is a lot easier to approach the negative when the team has two wins in two weeks.
"It's way easier to correct when you are 2-0 and no one's feelings are in it," he said after the team's 34-28 Thursday night win over the Minnesota Vikings. "So, we can really press in this meeting tomorrow that we are going to have with the players and hold ourselves accountable as coaches and hold them accountable as players, and that's what we'll do.
It was not all bad. The coach noticed the offense and defense flipped positions when it comes to who played better.
"Obviously, we didn't play our cleanest game," he said. "I think the first week was a cleaner game for the defense and not as clean for the offense and vice versa with tonight. You are right, we are 2-0. A lot of teams would like to be sitting 2-0. Like I said, when you are in this position, and guys don't know that we aren't playing to the best of our abilities, that's when you can make a lot of growth."
Jalen Hurts agrees that the team has a way to go, and is optimistic that they will continue to improve as the season progresses.
When asked about the team's identity, the 25-year-old said, "I think we are a work in progress."
"What better way to be a work in progress than sitting on two wins out of the gate in 10 days, or however many days it was," Hurts said. "We strive for progress, not perfection. Obviously, we all have a standard for ourselves. Obviously, we demand the most of ourselves because of everything that we go through together, all the work that we put in together, and all of those things."
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The defense has allowed quarterbacks to throw for seven touchdowns in two weeks, three from New England Patriots' Mac Jones and four from Vikings' Kirk Cousins. While the defense is allowing a lot of passing yards (316 vs. Patriots and 364 vs. Vikings), Hurts and the offense cannot find a rhythm to rack up their passing yards.
The passing game struggles built up to a heated exchange between Hurts and wide receiver AJ Brown. The quarterback downplayed the situation, saying
Hurts did not appear concerned over their current standing, with plans to "keep chipping away." At the end of the day, he says the wins are all that matter and right now his team has two of them.
"We understand as we continue to climb this mountain and we go on, there will be different challenges that come along, but the only thing that matters is winning," he said. "Truly, the only thing that matters is winning. I think if we can continue to develop, grow, and learn from our mistakes and learn from our successes, and learn from all of these different things. In fact, the same things that I'm saying now I'd be saying if we lost. But the reality is, winning is the only thing that matters, and everything is done with winning in mind. For us, we just want to continue to grow as a team, continue to develop, and find that identity for us and continue to grow together."
The Eagles have more time to prepare for their next game than they did on a short week against the Vikings. Next up for Philly is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football.