Good morning, Eagles fans! The Eagles will hold a full practice today at 1 p.m. ahead of Sunday's matchup in Tennessee. Before practice, head coach Doug Pederson will speak to the media at 10:30 a.m. and Carson Wentz will speak at 11:45. We will carry both of those press conferences live. Here's what you need to know in today's Morning Roundup presented by Microsoft.
1. The Dutch Destroyer And Mighty Max
Eagles fans united last year upon hearing the story of Lukas Kusters, the dedicated Eagles fan who was able to meet his hero, Carson Wentz, before he passed away from leukemia at the age of 10. His story was inspiring, heartbreaking, but also life-saving.
Upon seeing the story about Kusters, the Dutch Destroyer, two parents realized their son, Maximus Shott, had been experiencing the same symptoms. Mighty Max was brought in for testing and diagnosed with leukemia as well. Doctors told the Shott family that if they did not hear about the Kusters' story and take Max in for testing when they did, he most likely would not have survived.
The Dutch Destroyer's legacy lives on through the lives his story helped save, as you can see in The Road to Victory: The Story of Max and Lukas.
This week's Road to Victory will be part of Inside the Eagles which you can watch here on PhiladelphiaEagles.com on Saturday.
2. Eagles' Future Pieces Emerge
Sunday's win over the Colts was obviously significant because of the positive performance of quarterback Carson Wentz as he returned from a torn ACL. But it also saw the emergence of several young players who are looking to make an impact this year and for seasons to come with the Eagles.
Tight end Dallas Goedert finished the game tied for the most receiving yards on the team and started the first drive of the game by catching his first NFL touchdown. Sidney Jones had a sound game at the nickel cornerback spot. Running backs Corey Clement and Josh Adams picked up a banged-up running back room. And defensive end Derek Barnett brought down Andrew Luck for a consequential sack on fourth down late in the game. Eagles' Insider Dave Spadaro has more on which players are setting themselves up to be important pieces in the Eagles' future:
There are going to be more young players emerging. That's the goal as the roster transitions through the year and we look at the 2019 and 2020 seasons in a different light. The young guns are off to a good start.
3. Defense And Special Teams Key In Win
While Wentz and the offense impressed, especially on the first drive of the game, the defense and special teams carried the Eagles on Sunday. Turnovers put the Eagles' defense in tough red zone positions on several occasions and the Eagles held Andrew Luck and the Colts to only three points. When the game was on the line in the red zone late in the fourth quarter, the defense completed yet another goal-line stand with four-straight stops of the Colts. Tommy Lawlor has more on the backbone of the Eagles' victory:
While Jim Schwartz's defense didn't pile up the sacks and takeaways, the unit got the job done. The Colts were one for five in the red zone. Two of those stops came after Wentz turnovers. It is critical to come up with big stops at moments like that.
The Eagles came up with a huge red zone stop on the series where Barnett had his sack. That play came on fourth-and-goal with the Colts inside the 5-yard line. Just like the Falcons game, the defense came up with a great red zone series with the game on the line.
4. Eagle Eye: Defense Dominates
Playmakers on the defensive side of the ball for the Eagles got the job done on Sunday and made Wentz's return that much easier. How exactly did they do it? Fran Duffy has fans covered with the X's and O's of the Eagles' defensive effort against Indianapolis with his Eagle Eye column:
The Colts' offense did not make things easy. Despite injuries across the board, the Colts did a few things schematically to try and negate the Eagles' aggressive defensive line. While the sack number wasn't as high as many fans would like to see, the pressure was consistent as the active defensive front got after quarterback Andrew Luck and made things difficult for him in the backfield. For most of the afternoon, the ball came out of Luck's hand quickly, but the Eagles were able to lock in and get stops when it mattered most late in the game.