The Philadelphia Eagles will need to quickly rebound after the prospects of a perfect season vanished on Monday night. They fell at home to the NFC East rival Washington Commanders by a final score of 32-21, to bring their overall record to 8-1. Philadelphia will play on the road this Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, who beat the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 10 in a close game, 25-20.
Here are three things we will be watching for when the teams take the field this weekend.
Response To Adversity
There have been mixed feelings with regards to how the Eagles should feel about Monday night’s defeat to Washington. Some media members believe that losing a game was a good thing for Philadelphia, who now do not have to face the pressure of winning every single contest to make history. They can now treat the regular season without these larger goals hanging over their head, and make decisions week to week that are in the best interest of their ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl.
The other way to digest Philadelphia’s loss is with concern, considering that they lost to an inferior team. A lot of the Eagles’ trouble against the Commanders was self-inflicted, as they turned the ball over multiple times. The Colts, as well as the rest of the Eagles’ future opponents will likely be closely analyzing the game film of Philadelphia’s only loss to see what can be learned. It will also be interesting to see how the Eagles bounce back after a defeat.
A New Energy In Indianapolis
The Colts have only played one game under interim head coach Jeff Saturday, but the feeling of re-invigoration around the team feels like something the rest of the league should take notice of. Before they beat the Raiders on Sunday, the narrative around the franchise was largely negative. Many questioned why owner Jim Irsay would bypass the coaches currently on his staff for an individual who had spent most of his retirement from the NFL working in television.
Those red flags will still remain valid for the next few weeks, but it seems realistic that the team will buy into Saturday’s spirit and messaging. As a player, Saturday was known as an excellent leader of men, and that skill set might trump any X’s and O’s shortcomings that he may have to adjust to on the fly.
Familiarity Across The Field
Even though the Colts have parted ways with Frank Reich, who previously served as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator when they won the Super Bowl a few years ago, there is still a lot of familiarity between the two franchises. That’s because Philadelphia head coach Nick Sirianni worked under Reich for three years in Indianapolis, serving as his offensive coordinator from 2018-2020.
The offense that Sirianni had constructed around mobile quarterback Jalen Hurts looks vastly different than what the Colts put in place for pocket passers when he was in Indianapolis. However, there may be some residual knowledge of the things Sirianni likes to do on gameday within the Colts building, and it may be used against him on Sunday.