Carson Wentz started his NFL career in emphatic fashion, leading the Eagles to an impressive 29-10 win over the Cleveland Browns. Doug Pederson’s rein as Head Coach is off to a bright start as his Offense flourished, but the praise and the spotlight will all fall to the second overall pick.
The NDSU product completed 22/37 passes for 278 yards and 2 touchdowns in a game where he didn’t turn the ball over once. Some big throws down the field, some smart throws when it mattered and some tough hits summarize a game where the rookie was dropped in the deep end and immediately found his rhythm.
Jordan Matthews received for 114 yards and opened the game with a touchdown early on, clicking with the franchise quarterback almost instantly. The same can be said for Zach Ertz who caught 6 passes for 58 yards.
That’s not to say that there weren’t a few scary moments. Tipped passes, drops, near interceptions and Offensive penalties still plagued the Eagles, but nowhere near as much or as damaging as they were a year ago.
One of the more impressive aspects of the game was the committee backfield. Led by Ryan Mathews, the trio of himself, Barner and Sproles accounted for 133 rushing yards..which was more than enough to move the chains and keep the Browns Defense guessing.
Defensively, the Eagles shined just as brightly. Three sacks and a first quarter without giving up a first down define a dominant game for Jim Schwartz’s unit. Jordan Hicks tipped a pass that was picked off by Eagles debutant Rodney McLeod, giving the Eagles an even larger boost.
This was a complete showing from the Eagles. Masterful punting form Donnie Jones, excellent special teams play and a dominant defense all helped Carson Wentz lead his Offense to their first victory of the year in their first game of the year.
Doug Pederson starts his coaching career in good stead, managing the clock well and allowing Wentz to take command of the Offense, doing what he does best. There is a new found confidence in Philadelphia as for the first time in a long time, the team looked like a cohesive unit….a promising sign for the Eagles after a tumultuous offseason could have easily set them back. Instead, they roll into a week two showdown with Chicago, heads held high, confidence flowing and with a 1 in the win column.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports