Wait, Wisniewski is getting benched?! Eagles Weekly Mailbag

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The Eagles are preparing for one of their toughest challenges of the year so far, an NFC Championship rematch against the Minnesota Vikings. Banged up, bruised but battling bravely, Carson Wentz and the Eagles offensive front have a chance to unsettle a rocky Vikes defense at the Linc, but there’s still plenty of questions surrounding this team. Here are some of yours:

 

https://twitter.com/phillystrong91/status/1048236759035912192

There is a report circulating that it will be Isaac Seumalo starting at Left Guard, which in itself screams problematic. He’s had trouble transitioning to center and let’s not forget that it two weeks of the regular season, all of preseason and training camp for Pederson to choose Wis over Seumalo, it’s not like Wis was gifted it. I don’t think Wis has been playing badly enough to be benched, or anywhere close for that matter. This, to me, feels like something designed to light a fire in the chests of other linemen perhaps playing out of sync.

I’ll take you back to when Schwartz benched Nigel Bradham to make a point in the first half against Detroit not too long ago. it didn’t take long for him to change his mind and insert Bradham back into the game. Even if Wis does find himself on the bench this Sunday, I really can’t see it lasting long because the Seumalo experiment has been a bitterly disappointing one thus far.

If Seumalo is being pushed inside because Matt Pryor arrived on the scene, that tells you all you need to know.

 

https://twitter.com/Marco_quintanar/status/1048229157719695360

I roughly translated this to whether or not you should start Ajayi in Fantasy (apologies if this is wrong), but thanks for the question. I’m not a massive fantasy guy, but a quick look at the opponents should give you the answer you need. The Vikings are yet to allow a rushing touchdowns his season and the only two backs who amassed 10+ fantasy points against them did so thanks to their receiving prowess…and one of those just happened to be Todd Gurley.

Ajayi is still working through an injury and it would be overzealous to hang your hat on a back who may not see the lion’s share of carries this weekend.

Thanks for the great question. I don’t think it’s overcommitting as much as it is the risk and reward of the scheme. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to creating a defensive gameplan and the Eagles have their greatest strength in the trenches. The secondary, unfortunately, has suffered some battle wounds and with some slightly different looks, offenses have really been able to key in and exploit the cushion that opens up underneath in such situations. The alternate solution would be moving corners closer to the ball, but that could in turn open up a whole new barrel of problems in the middle of the field or at the second level if they’re all led inside on man-cover duty.

 

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Ajayi’s injury should only really impact his usage, not his output. The Eagles have emphasized caution with their lead rusher and the last thing they can afford right now is a long-term injury to the former Dolphins running back, with depth still wobbly at best. So watch for Ajayi to be slowly inserted back into the rotation. Some weeks we could see a hefty workload, while he’s lighter in others, it’s all a part of the process.

I honestly couldn’t tell you what’s going on with Lane Johnson right now. Whether it’s wear and tear from last season or something a little deeper, the point is he hasn’t been this dominant powerhouse that we’ve become used to seeing. Johnson has been bested by rookies, vets and players he should’ve flat-out decimated in the opening quarter of the season and we’re going to need to see this ‘pushing a canon ball through someone’s chest’ mentality show on the field, not just in the locker room if this offense is to take a step forward.

 

Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

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