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Thoughts on 10 Players after Eagles Beat Saints

What to do with Jalen Reagor, Big Play Slay strikes again, Jordan Howard's impact, and much more
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PHILADELPHIA – First win at home.

First two-game winning streak.

The Eagles are playing their best football in November, and that’s exactly when you want to be playing your best football.

What they did to the New Orleans Saints – running for 242 yards against a historically strong run defense – sent a message throughout the league that this should be a team to be reckoned with over the final six games.

Here are thoughts on 10 players from Sunday’s 40-29 win over the Saints:

All-Pro Slay. Known as Big Play Slay, Darius Slay may have to change his name with the season he is having. He scored his third touchdown of the season on a 51-yard interception return. He already had fumble return scores of 33 and 83 yards.

The Eagles haven’t had a playmaker on the corner like this since Asante Samuel a decade ago.

As ESPN Insider Field Yates pointed out, Slay has more touchdowns than Keenan Allen, Brandin Cooks, George Kittle, Darren Waller, Allen Robinson, and Jarvis Landry.

On his own team, the only players with more scores are Jalen Hurts (eight), and DeVonta Smith and Kenny Gainwell with four each.

Slay was targeted three times on Sunday, per Pro Football Focus, and gave up one catch for nine yards with a pass breakup and the pick for six.

And there’s more: Slay is the second player in team history to score at least three TDs in a season, joining CB Eric Allen, who should be in the Hall of Fame, by the way. Allen had four scores in 1993.

T.J. Edwards. The linebacker should be given heavy consideration for NFC player of the week after a game that saw him intercept a pass, recover a fumble, and make 10 tackles. He signed a one-year contract extension on Monday.

RELATED: T.J. Edwards Grows Into Role, Earns One-Year Contract Extension

Dallas Goedert. Fresh off signing a four-year contract extension that makes him the third highest-paid tight end in the league, Goedert made five catches. The first three came on third down and kept scoring drives alive. 

He was targeted a team-high eight times. The Eagles value tight ends and have had some great ones throughout their history, all the way back to Keith Jackson through Brent Celek and Zach Ertz more recently. 

Goedert is next in line and will be worth every penny he got in his new contract.

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Jordan Howard. Fingers crossed the knee injury that forced him from the game with 9:20 to go in the third quarter isn’t serious. The RB has become an integral piece to this offense. It’s no coincidence that the offense bogged down when he left the game.

Watching Howard run is as enjoyable as seeing the Phillie Phanatic punk opposing players. His best flurry on Sunday was four straight runs he had midway through the second. The sequence went like this: nine yards, four yards, 13 yards, four yards.

Jalen Hurts. Is there anything left to be said about what the QB did on Sunday? He's the first quarterback in team history to score three rushing touchdowns. That's about as good as it gets. 

He also has 11 rushing touchdowns in 15 games. Insane.

His will to win is even more insane. That 24-yard touchdown run, where he broke Carl Granderson’s ankles on the edge with an Allen Iverson-style crossover, was sheer desire to score on a third-and-six and put the game away.

You just know that the Eagles would have beat the Chargers had the defense been able to get the ball back instead of letting Los Angles consume the final six-plus minute of the fourth quarter to kick a game-winning winning field goal.

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Admit it, you did a double-take when you saw it was the forgotten second-round pick who took a short throw from Hurts and raced upfield for a 23-yard completion that, in head coach Nick Sirianni’s words, was “the play of the game.”

The coach alluded to some personal issues Arcega-Whiteside was dealing with during the week but didn’t want to get into it.

“I'm just so happy for him that he made that type of play and helped kind of stop the bleeding in that drive and make a big play to help us kind of put that game away,” Sirianni said.

It was JJAW’s first catch of the year and 15th in two-plus years.

Jalen Reagor. It’s clear the second-year WR doesn’t fit what the Eagles do. Arcega-Whiteside has more yards with that one catch in the last month than Reagor. It’s time to play Greg Ward more at the expense of Reagor’s snaps. Even Kenny Gainwell would be a better option at this point.

Jason Kelce. The center paved the way on Miles Sanders’ 25-yard run early in the game when Kelce pulled, stopped on the edge to give a chip block before continuing downfield to make another block to seal the sideline for Sanders to continue his gallop.

The center has turned another terrific season and should decide right here, right now to return next season. It doesn’t work that way with the veteran, though. He waits until the offseason to see how he feels.

Javon Hargrave and his D-linemates. It’s been two straight games now without a sack, though the Eagles did record five QB hits.

Hargrave hasn’t had a sack since Oct. 10, six games ago when he notched his sixth of the season. What looked like a foregone conclusion that he would set a new career-high, breaking his previous high of 6.5, is no longer considered a done deal.

Avonte Maddox. The slot cornerback signed a three-year extension on Saturday then went out and made some solid plays on Sunday, including a hit on Melvin Ingram inside the 10 that jarred the ball loose, preventing a completion. Maddox hurt his hand on the play but returned again. Maddox’s signing was the right call for the Eagles.

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.