Good morning, Eagles fans! After two days off due to the shifted schedule, the Birds are back in the building today to begin preparations for Monday's matchup against Washington. Eagles players will speak with the media in the locker room just after 1:30 today and assistant coaches will answer questions around 2 p.m. Here's what you need to know in today's Morning Roundup presented by Microsoft, leading off with a look at the state of the team heading into a crucial game.
1. Spuds' News and Notes
The Eagles' win on Sunday was a season-saver. It was hard-fought and came down to the wire. Now, the road doesn't get any easier for a team still competing for a division title. The Eagles have a home game on Monday night against Washington before going on the road to face the division-leading Cowboys. After that, the Eagles go to Los Angeles to face the Rams, come home to take on the red-hot Houston Texans, and then finish the season with a game at Washington.
Winning these crucial games will take balance, perseverance, and effort. Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro broke down the state of the team heading into Monday night's showdown:
"We just have to take it step by step," head coach Doug Pederson said on Monday. "Sunday was a good one. We showed a lot of resiliency and I'm proud of the team. But that was just the beginning. We have another tough game on Monday against Washington, a good team that has some rest and that plays good, sound football."
2. Josh Adams Impresses
Rookie running back Josh Adams led the way on the ground Sunday with 84 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Adams now leads the team in rushing yards with 291 and leads all running backs in yards per carry with 5.2. He took over the second half and the C.B. South product even threw up a 2-1-5 with his fingers after scoring. In his press conference on Monday, Coach Pederson credited Adams for creating balance for the offense and plans to use him even more going forward:
"We kind of knew what we had coming out of training camp but you still don't know until players play," Pederson said. "Josh now has kind of taken that lead and we continue to grow and try to increase his touches each week."
3. Eagle Eye: Ground Game Soaring
The story of the second half for the Eagles' offense was the run game. Adams had another breakout game while running back Corey Clement looked his best all season. A lot of credit has to go to the offensive line that dominated New York's defensive front and created holes consistently for the ballcarriers. Fran Duffy broke down the tape of the Eagles' best runs on Sunday and wrote about how it affected all aspects of the game in his Eagle Eye column:
Pederson knew that with the limitations they had defensively from a personnel standpoint that it would be imperative for the offense to run the football and control the clock. There's a reason why star running back Saquon Barkley only touched the ball five times in the second half. People are quick to blame the Giants' coaching staff, but in reality, that's because of the Eagles' ability to control the clock and hold the football.
4. Tommy Lawlor: Clutch Comeback
When Giants running back Saquon Barkley took a carry 51 yards for a touchdown to give his team a 19-3 lead late in the first half, the Eagles were in a hole and hope seemed to be lost. That's when the game began to change.
The Eagles picked up momentum at the end of the first half and rode a dominant second half to a comeback win. Tommy Lawlor writes that although it was a remarkable game, it's not that surprising. Sunday's win fits the mold of previous Eagles-Giants games and the Eagles need to use this one as a launching point:
Back to Sunday, where the Eagles trailed 19-3. The players could have gotten down on themselves and given up. They could have panicked. They could have continued to play sloppy football.
Instead, the Eagles kept grinding. They went and scored a touchdown and then picked off Eli Manning to close out the half. The score might have read 19-11 in the Giants' favor, but the Eagles were the team running into the locker room with smiles on their faces. Suddenly, they felt alive.
5. Coalition's Community Results
The Eagles Social Justice Fund, just announced last Wednesday, got off to a running start. One of the first four non-profit organizations announced on Wednesday, the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund, used its grant to bail out nine individuals before Thanksgiving. Those individuals participated in a services fair on Monday hosted by the Players Coalition at Impact Services in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. Safety Malcolm Jenkins was on hand for the event:
"Many are survivors of an often unforgiving criminal justice system that have emerged to lead mentoring groups, help people find housing and employment, and groups that pay bail for those who are held in jail solely because of poverty. We must invest in these organizations and in the treatment and services they provide."