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Morning Roundup: Eagles fly into the bye week

Running back Miles Sanders
Running back Miles Sanders

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No Jordan Howard, no Jalen Hurts, so Miles Sanders carried the ball a career-high 24 times for 120 yards (5.0 yards per carry) to help sustain the offense in Sunday's 33-18 victory over the New York Jets.

TE Dallas Goedert's big plays key early offensive success

With a new quarterback under center, that didn't affect the ball from finding tight end Dallas Goedert's hands. In Sunday's game against the New York Jets, Goedert was a favorite target for quarterback Gardner Minshew, who made his first start this season due to Jalen Hurts being out with an ankle injury. During the Eagles' first drive, Minshew's first two throws were to the tight end. The first pass gained 15 yards and the second was for 9 yards, both passes moved the chains and set up Goedert's first touchdown of the game. 

"We saw how the DEs (defensive ends) were rushing and stuff. We knew the coverages they were playing in different situations," Goedert said. "The first two (passes) worked well. The O-line did a great job of getting out (on the screens), getting on guys, and I was just able to run in the space. Anytime that happens, it makes it a lot easier and it's fun." 

A beautiful long pass from Minshew to Goedert resulted in a 36-yard touchdown. The 36-yard touchdown tied for the Eagles' longest passing score of the season (Jalen Hurts to DeVonta Smith in Week 10 in Denver). The leading receiver on the day, Goedert had 6 catches for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns. Goedert surpassed 2,000 career receiving yards (2,061) in the win, becoming the fourth-fastest tight end in franchise history to reach that mark. In the beginning of the second quarter, thanks to another picture-perfect throw from Minshew for 25 yards, Goedert had his second touchdown of the afternoon. 

"The second touchdown was a little rub play, where Boston (Scott) motioned down and got in my defender's way. We knew they played man-to-man a lot on third downs. It was a great call," said Goedert, who has four touchdowns this season. "Boston did a great job setting up the guy so we had to go underneath. Gardner gave me a good ball and I was able to score, which is always the goal." 

Goedert is the first Eagle to have multiple 25+ yard receiving touchdowns in a game since 2019 and the only Eagles tight end to do it since at least 2000. The connection between Minshew and Goedert was on point. Even though it was their first time really getting to work with each other, both players raved about one another after the game. 

"This is my first week to ever really throw to Dallas. He's really good. It's pretty comfortable throwing it to him anytime you got a player like that," said Minshew, who threw for 242 yards, ran for 11 yards, and had the 2 passing touchdowns. "He had a great game today. I was really happy to find him and just imagine he's gonna continue to be a really good player."

"I thought Gardner did a great job stepping in, he's been preparing really hard all year, ready for his opportunity when and if it came," said Goedert. "I think he showed everybody today the things that he can do. I'm very proud of him just the way he confidently stepped in. He was everything I expected."

Here's what else you might have missed from the win

QB Gardner Minshew

• On their game-opening possession, the Eagles claimed a 7-6 advantage following a 6-play, 75-yard scoring drive led by Gardner Minshew, who connected with Dallas Goedert on a 36-yard passing TD. Goedert caught each of Minshew's three completions for 61 yards on the first series.

• Minshew guided Philadelphia to another scoring drive (8 plays, 69 yards) on the second possession to give the Eagles a 14-12 lead in the second quarter. Minshew completed 5-of-5 attempts for 62 passing yards, including a 25-yard TD pass to Goedert (the first-career multi-TD performance for Goedert).

• Through the Eagles' first three possessions, Minshew completed 11-of-11 attempts for 165 passing yards, 2 TDs, and a 158.3 passer rating.

• Minshew completed 93.3% of his passes in the first half (14-of-15 for 188 yards and 2 TDs), tying Donovan McNabb (2007 vs. Detroit) for the highest such mark by an Eagles QB since 1991. In addition, Minshew became just the fourth Eagles QB since 1991 to register a perfect passer rating (158.3) in the first half.

K Jake Elliott

• Elliott recorded his fifth game with 10+ points this season (fourth in his last six games) with his 15-point effort, which is tied for his most such performances in a season (also 2017).

• Elliott has connected on 15 straight FG attempts (second-longest streak of his career), which is tied for the eighth-longest streak in team history (David Akers in 2004 and 2008).

RB notes

• Miles Sanders recorded his fourth-career 100-yard rushing game, finishing with 120 yards on the ground on 24 carries (5.0 average). His 24 carries set a single-game career high.

• Philadelphia made it a 21-18 game with 4:30 remaining in the second quarter after Kenneth Gainwell scored on a career-long 18-yard rushing TD, capping a 9-play, 94-yard possession. Gainwell combined for 45 scrimmage yards (27 receiving yards, 18 rushing yards) on the series.

• Gainwell finished with 87 scrimmage yards in the game (55 rushing yards, 33 receiving yards), the second most of his career (had 89 scrimmage yards vs. Kansas City).

Defensive Notes

• Josh Sweat ranks second on the team with 5.0 sacks (second-highest total of his career – 6.0 in 2020).

• Marcus Epps intercepted Wilson in the fourth quarter (third-career INT).

• Javon Hargrave leads the team in sacks (7.5) and is tied for the most sacks among NFL DTs (tied with Titans DT Jeffery Simmons).

• The Eagles limited the Jets' time of possession in the third quarter to 1:10, forcing New York to go three-and-out on their lone possession in the quarter.

This and that

• Philadelphia increased their all-time series lead against the New York Jets to 12-0. The Eagles' 12-0 mark against the Jets is currently the most wins without a loss by any NFL franchise in a head-to-head series. Philadelphia (12-0 vs. New York; 5-0 vs. Houston) and Minnesota (5-0 vs. Houston) are the only NFL teams with undefeated records against active opponents.

• The Eagles scored on their first seven possessions of the game, marking the first time they have done so since at least 2001. The last time Philadelphia scored points on their first six possessions of a game was 2011 vs. Dallas.

– News and notes from the Eagles media relations department

Eagles Insider's Recap: Eagles rally around Gardner Minshew to get critical win

Throughout the week of practice knowing that Jalen Hurts was limited on the field and a question mark with a sprained ankle for Sunday at the New York Jets, Gardner Minshew prepared to play, to make his first start as an Eagle and his first start at quarterback since the 2020 season. It had been a while, Minshew admitted, but he played at MetLife Stadium in a 33-18 win over the Jets as if there wasn't a speck of rust to knock off.

Minshew completed his first 11 passes on the way to a terrific day as he went 20-of-25 for 242 yards with two touchdown passes to Dallas Goedert. Effectively using the screen game and the short-passing game – "We took what they gave us," Minshew said – he sliced and diced the Jets' defense for 125 yards and the two touchdowns on Philadelphia's opening two drives and then put together an 8-play, 94-yard touchdown drive that ended on a Kenny Gainwell 18-yard run on the team's third possession.

In all, the Eagles rolled up 418 total net yards of offense, 26 first downs, and 185 rushing yards. They scored on their first seven drives, including four more Jake Elliott field goals (he is now 22-of-24 on field goals this season and 33-for-33 on his PATs).

Team win, with an all-around offensive performance punctuating the victory.

Minshew, pinch-hitting for Hurts in Week 13, delivered and the Eagles raised their record to 6-7 with the bye week ahead. Stretch run, here come the Eagles.

"It felt so good, man. It's the best time I've had since Week 1 last year (when he was with Jacksonville). There's nothing like that feeling. Glad to do it with this group of guys. They made it easy for me," Minshew said. "It was a lot a lot of fun."

The defense deserves a shout out here as well, making great adjustments after allowing three touchdowns on New York's opening three possessions. Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson was impressive early, completing 12-of-14 attempts in the first half, but the Eagles allowed only 73 total net yards in New York's first three possessions of the second half. The front four pressured Wilson and the coverage on the back end tightened and the Eagles squeezed the New York offense to zero points in the final two quarters. Safety Marcus Epps came up with a big interception and Josh Sweat (1.5) and Javon Hargrave (0.5) combined for two quarterback sacks.

But the biggest story was the way the offense played as a group. Head Coach Nick Sirianni and Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen put together and executed a great game plan, involving Dallas Goedert early – Goedert had a career-high 105 yards and 2 touchdowns with 6 catches on 6 targets. Then it was another strong performance for the offensive line who helped pave the way for 185 yards rushing, including 120 from Miles Sanders on a career-high 24 carries. Quez Watkins had 3 receptions for 60 yards, Gainwell chipped in with 54 rushing yards and 33 receiving yards.

Read Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro's entire postgame column here.

Look at some of the best photos from MetLife Stadium.

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