Eagles at Commanders: Five fights worth watching

After the Philadelphia Eagles’ win in Week 2 Monday night over the Minnesota Vikings, the Philadelphia Eagles will make their annual visit to posh Landover, Maryland, to face the Washington leaders in their first NFC East game of the season. Here are our five must-watch games.

1) The Eagles’ passing vs. Carson Wentz’s non-existent Jeep

Did you know that after the Eagles traded former quarterback Carson Wentz for the Indianapolis Colts, he played there just a year before the Colts traded him for the Washingtons? it’s the truth. Wentz is now on another team in the NFC East, and the Eagles will play him twice per season as long as he (a) maintains his health, and (b) remains the starting quarterback. Wild, right?

Watching his first two games of the season against the Jaguars and Lions, Wentz looks a lot like he did in Indy. He makes his share of worthwhile throws, sometimes accurate in passes, sometimes not. Then of course there are some moments scattered about where you wish, “What the hell is this?” He’s not as bad as he was in his final season at Philly in 2020, and he’s certainly not as good a player as he was in 2017. It’s something in between, but it looks like he’s still Believes It’s the 2017 version, which gets him into trouble.

His stats, printed, look pretty good. He’s 57 of 87 (65.5%) for 650 yards (325 per game), 7 TDs and 3 intelligence. The 7 TDs tied him up with three other quarterbacks for a share of the league lead, however, his 3.4% IQ (small sample size alert) is the same as it was in 2020, when he led the league in the INTs despite securing seats The substitutes in the last four matches. It should be noted that his three guilt this season was his fault.

The Eagles need to enforce “what the hell was this?” Moments, and they can do that by clicking. Wentz’s worst trait remains his lack of pocket, as shown in this Twitter thread from his game against the Lions.

One of the favorite quirks of Pocket Wentz’s existence is that once a hasty avoids the edge, or runs right past him, it’s as if he thinks that player isn’t around anymore, and won’t keep trying to chase after him. He’s done this throughout his career at Philly, moving to Indianapolis and now Washington, with an example shown in the Twitter thread above.

Typically, you don’t want the edgers to go too far on the field and simply be escorted around the turn, taking themselves out of the play. In front of Wentz, Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat shouldn’t feel the need to try to make their way toward the middle as much as possible. Taking wider paths to Wentz can be just as effective. If you stand behind him, Wentz will eventually drift into the pocket for opportunities to get naked.

The plan should be to put him in the pocket, and whenever a lineman is within close range, he tackles the football, not the quarterback, because he is one of the worst players in the league to protect.

2) The interior of the Eagles’ defensive line against the leaders’ inner offensive line

Marlon Tuipulotu and Javon Hargrave helped cause interceptions this season when they got hits against quarterbacks, and Fletcher Cox had a great game Monday night against the Vikings. The interior of the defense made some plays. They need to step it up and push the pocket against the midfielder who tends to put the ball on the lawn.

The commanders’ offensive line in the first week looked like this:

LT LG c RG RT
Charles Leno Andrew Norwell Chase Rollier Wes Schweizer Sam Cosme

Schweitzer missed the Lions’ game with a hamstring injury, and Rawlier injured his lower leg in the leaders’ final offensive game of the match. The offensive line looked like this to close out the match:

LT LG c RG RT
Charles Leno Andrew Norwell Wes Martin Tri Turner Sam Cosme

Wes Martin was a call-up to the coaching team.

As Week 3 against the Eagles approaches, Rollier is now an injured reserve, Schwetter’s status not yet known. If Schweitzer can go, he will likely play in the middle, with Turner starting in RG. This is at least a semi-professional variety. If Schweizer can’t go, Wes Martin or Nick Martin, who was signed by the leaders on Tuesday, will start from the center.

#FeastinMeter: 6 turkey legs if Schweizer can go, 8 if he can’t. Let’s settle on 7. πŸ—πŸ—πŸ—πŸ—πŸ—πŸ—πŸ—

3) Eagles Corner vs. Leaders Receivers

The Th leaders have a nice trio of receivers in Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel (who is now healthy and finally contributing), and great rookie Jahan Dotson. They also have the return of Logan Thomas and eventually doing well, and two linebackers Antonio Gibson and JD Makisic who both have quality in off-field passes.

These six players have at least 74 yards in their first two games:

player Rec yards YPC TD
Terry McLaurin 6 133 22.2 1
Curtis Samuel 15th 133 8.9 2
Jahan Dotson 7 99 14.1 3
Antonio Gibson 9 85 9.4 0
Logan Thomas 6 82 13.7 1
JD Mikic 10 74 7.4 0

In years past, McLaurin was the only player the Eagles had to worry about in Washington’s passing attack. It’s still their most dangerous weapon, by far, but the supporting actors have shown that they can also perform in plays. The ball will now spread more in the attack of the leaders.

4) Attack of the Eagles against the back of the leaders

There are not many teams that would exchange the position of full-back with the leaders. The best midfielder is… um… Cole Holcomb? Leading midfielders in full shots. The other place in the 2021 first round was won by Jamin Davis, who disappointed as a rookie. He beat David Mayo the Decent Man on the 53 Men’s List.

It was the middle of the field wide open For the Lions on Sunday in the pass game, Detroit also got some big kicks between tackles. The leaders are in a difficult dilemma in this confrontation. If they played a man, they would be vulnerable to being wounded by Jalen Hurts in the QB stampede. If they play the area, Hurts have shown so far this season that they can be effective midfield, and have the horses to do so, in AJ Brown and Dallas Goedert.

The Birds game plan should focus on exposing Holcomb, Davis, and Mayo.

5) Rely on a hasty attack

The leaders allow 7.5 yards per lunge, the worst in the NFL. The Eagles ran for 356 yards in two games against Washington a season ago. So, you know, there must be some chance of doing damage to Earth.