For the third time in 4 years, the Philadelphia Eagles are kicking off their common season schedule with a sport towards the Washington Football Team. Let’s run by way of a number of the most necessary issues to look at on Sunday because the Birds attempt to begin out 1-0 as soon as once more.
1 – The COVID-19 NFL
There will probably be no followers within the stands at FedEx Subject. And regardless of enjoying on the street, that’s an obstacle for the Eagles since a sea of midnight inexperienced often washes over the stadium in Landover, Maryland.
As an alternative, the Eagles and the Soccer Group alike will probably be coping with no matter synthetic crowd noise is being performed by way of the audio system. It’s to be decided how that sounds whereas watching the printed at residence. The one NFL sport we’ve seen to this point was the one hosted by the Kansas City Chiefs, who have been allowed to have some followers in attendance.
We’ve recognized it’s coming so it’s not a shock nevertheless it actually goes to be unusual to see the Eagles enjoying in an empty stadium.
2 – Offensive line points on each side
With Lane Johnson questionable to play, the Eagles could be compelled to make use of the next offensive line configuration:
The appropriate facet is an apparent concern there. Herbig, who turned 22 in July, has by no means made a begin. I noticed him get straight up whooped a lot of instances in camp. Pryor has deal with measurement however lacks excellent athleticism and might be a greater match at guard. The Eagles might decide to throw Jack Driscoll into the combination however he’s a Day 3 rookie. Anybody occur to recollect how Halapoulivaati Vaitai appeared in his first NFL motion towards Ryan Kerrigan? Oh, no motive.
Perhaps Johnson will have the ability to play. However even when that’s the case, one has to determine he’s not going to be 100%. He was restricted in follow all week whereas nonetheless recovering from his August ankle surgical procedure.
One shouldn’t even need to take into consideration what occurs if the Eagles endure one other offensive line damage. However it’s onerous to not take into account when Peters is vulnerable to leaving the lineup; the 38-year-old has performed 100% of the offensive snaps in simply 17 of the crew’s final 54 video games. Together with simply six out of 17 in 2019. Ergo, we would really see Jordan Mailata defending Carson Wentz’s blindside in some unspecified time in the future. Yikes!
It could be so becoming for the Eagles to lastly enhance at receiver just for the offensive line to crumble.
However the Eagles aren’t the one crew coping with blocking points heading into this matchup. Take a look at Washington’s beginning offensive line:
I keep in mind Christian getting straight up bullied when he needed to play as a rookie. He could be higher now than he was then however he nonetheless figures to be a weak level. The identical goes for Martin, who graded 87th out of 89 guards by Professional Soccer Focus final 12 months. Washington’s left facet could possibly be as equally weak because the Eagles’ proper facet.
The sensation right here is that it’ll be essential for every crew to get off to a quick begin. I imply, duh, that’s at all times excellent and necessary. However in contrast to different groups who could be extra outfitted to erase a deficit, getting off to a nasty begin could possibly be a loss of life knell on this sport. Forcing the opposite facet to grow to be one-dimensional and teeing off on their offensive line feels just like the recipe for victory.
3 – Carson Wentz and DeSean Jackson choosing up the place the left off
Methinks some could be sleeping on Jackson’s potential affect. Everyone knows he had an enormous sport towards Washington in Week 1 final 12 months with eight receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns. I absolutely anticipate Jackson to go off once more on this one. Coaching camp reminded us that Wentz completely loves throwing to Jackson and it’s not onerous to know why: the 33-year-old receiver is at all times discovering a approach to get open. And never simply on the deep patterns however actually at any stage of the sector.
Jackson is probably going drawing both Ronald Darby or Fabian Moreau with Kendall Fuller uncertain for Sunday’s matchup. Regardless, that’s a really exploitable matchup. No. 11 needs to be wanting No. 10’s approach early and sometimes.
And past simply the Wentz-Jackson connection choosing up the place it left off, I’m additionally referring to Wentz choosing up the place he left off. He was pink sizzling down the stretch in 2019. It’d be actual good to see that carry over into 2020.
4 – Dwayne Haskins in 12 months 2
Everyone knows Haskins’ rookie stats have been dangerous: 58.6% completion proportion, 6.7 yards per try, seven touchdowns, seven interceptions, and a 76.1 passer score.
We additionally know he performed a few of his finest soccer towards the Eagles in Week 15: 67.9% completion proportion, 9.3 yards per try, two touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a 121.3 passer score.
We don’t know what Haskins will seem like in 12 months 2. One would assume the 23-year-old will take a step ahead in his improvement. Perhaps he’ll have the ability to get the ball out sooner after rating twenty fifth in common time to throw as a rookie. Perhaps he received’t take so many sacks.
Then once more. it’s onerous to see Haskins taking some form of main leap ahead when one examines his supporting forged. Severely, simply take a look at the Soccer Group’s depth chart. They’ve Logan Thomas beginning at tight finish. Dontrelle Inman, who’s on his sixth crew since 2017, is a beginning large receiver for them. To not point out how Haskins had restricted offseason reps to regulate to Washington’s new offensive scheme.
On paper, Haskins is without doubt one of the worst beginning quarterbacks within the league. It’ll be fairly regarding if he lights it up towards the Eagles’ protection once more.
5 – Jalen Reagor’s debut
Preliminary experiences on Reagor’s shoulder damage prompt he wouldn’t have the ability to play till Week 2 on the earliest. However the No. 21 general decide from the 2020 NFL Draft is able to play after absolutely practising on Thursday and Friday.
It’ll be fascinating to see what his function appears like. Reagor was splitting first crew reps with J.J. Arcega-Whiteside on the X receiver place in coaching camp. The Eagles may particularly need to handle Reagor’s workload given how he’s coming off an damage.
Reagor wasn’t used a lot a vertical menace in camp regardless of the very fact he possesses that velocity. He was primarily efficient going over the center on slant routes. Will probably be fascinating to see if that’s nonetheless the case in sport motion. Even when he’s not catching a deep bomb, Reagor might nonetheless be harmful as a YAC weapon.
6 – Darius Slay vs. Scary Terry
BGN’s Michael Kist already wrote about this matchup so I like to recommend you learn that. I’ll simply reiterate that Slay being a official No. 1 cornerback would go a great distance for this protection.
Terry McLaurin had 10 receptions for 255 yards and two touchdowns towards the Eagles final 12 months. They can’t let him dominate like that once more. He’s the one large receiver menace they’ve to significantly fear about. Even when the Eagles want to offer Slay assist at instances, simply determine it out. McLaurin can’t be allowed to interrupt the sport open.
7 – The Antonio Gibson experiment
Gibson was an intriguing prospect heading into the 2020 NFL Draft given how he was considered as a receiver/operating again hybrid. His effectivity quantity at Memphis have been nice! Gibson logged 19.0 yards per reception and 11.2 yards per rush try. He scored 14 touchdowns on simply 77 whole offensive school touches.
How Gibson interprets to the NFL and fares in a bigger function stays to be seen. The Soccer Group clearly felt inspired sufficient by what they’ve seen to launch Adrian Peterson. Washington is now anticipated to separate backfield touches and Gibson will probably be in that group. Given how Chris Thompson used to offer the Eagles hassle prior to now, they higher stay awake on Gibson’s explosive potential.
Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz gave his ideas on Gibson earlier within the week.
Q. I needed to ask you in regards to the rookie they’re in all probability going to begin at operating again, Antonio Gibson. You don’t have any pre-season tape of this child, so you bought to go by his school tape when he was basically a slot receiver. Your ideas on him and the problem that he and his receiving abilities and velocity current to your linebackers.
I wouldn’t essentially assume that he was only a slot receiver final 12 months as a result of he did get operating again snaps. We did return and watch the way in which he performed final 12 months at Memphis. He’s just a little bit completely different than a few of these different guys which have been that operating again/large receiver, as a result of usually they could be just a little bit on the lighter facet and issues like that.
This man is 6 foot, 230 pound kind man with explosive straight line velocity. Now we have to respect him whether or not he’s lined up on the operating again place or lined up at a large receiver place. And when he’s within the open subject, you realize, we’re going to should do job tackling and perhaps even gang tackling, as a result of we’re not speaking a few 180-pound or 190-pound man. We’re speaking a few man that’s in all probability round 230 kilos on Sunday and has the velocity, if he could make you miss to go the space, but in addition might use his energy and attempt to run guys over.
So he’s just a little bit completely different. However we’d anticipate him to actually have a giant function, and we’re form of simply speculating on how they’d use him. However we’ll determine it out on Sunday.
SOME MORE QUESTIONS
- How efficient is Miles Sanders going to be after being restricted in follow all week?
- Will the Eagles be caught off guard by surprising appears from Washington’s new teaching employees, that includes head coach Ron Rivera?
- Will the Eagles’ offensive teaching adjustments manifest within the type of any new wrinkles? Extra Wentz out of the pocket?
- How is Jalen Mills going to deal with the transition to security?
- Does Jalen Hurts get any trick play snaps?