Eagles’ T.J. Edwards’ first ever blocked punt came at right time

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Edwards first ever blocked punt came at the right time originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Eagles linebacker T.J. Edwards had never blocked a punt. At any level.

Until Sunday.

Edwards came free up the gut in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 21-18 win and got his left hand on a punt from Joseph Charlton, giving the Eagles the big play they needed to pull out a gutty win.

“It was something we worked all week,” Edwards said to reporters after the game. “We knew if we got a certain look from them, if they blocked it a certain way, we could switch it and go to a different kind of rush. It worked out perfectly. … It was just like how we drew it up.”

Not only were the Eagles prepared for this look during the week, but they saw it from the Panthers earlier in the game.

On the punt block, Bradley was the first guy through the gap to occupy the blocker, which freed up Edwards to have a straight path to the punter.

With just 4:00 left in the game and with the Eagles trailing, this ended up being the key moment on Sunday afternoon.

After the block, Bradley fell on the ball to give it back to the offense. He probably should have tried to scoop the ball and return it, but instead the Eagles got the ball at the Carolina 27-yard line.

Four plays later, Jalen Hurts ran into the end zone to give the Eagles their first lead of the game and a very important come-from-behind victory.

In an afternoon that was at times ugly, the Eagles needed every key play they could get. This one changed the game.

“The execution was unbelievable,” head coach Nick Sirianni said. “I’ve seen them work on that this week during practice, during walkthrough, so well schemed up by Coach (Michael) Clay, Coach (Joe) Pannunzio and Coach (Tyler) Brown. They did a great job of scheming that play up.

“And then the players did a great job of executing it. That’s why you practice and that’s why you walkthrough and that’s why you do all those things. Because everything that comes up in those things, comes up in the game. Great execution. Again, just what the defense did, what the special teams did, it was just a total team win.”

This was the Eagles’ first blocked punt since Dec. 17, 2017, when Kamu Grugier-Hill blocked one from Giants punter Brad Wing.

So the Eagles have been waiting nearly five years to block a punt. Edwards had been waiting even longer.

“I’ve never blocked a punt before so it felt really good,” he said. “First one, so hopefully more to come.”

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