The Eagles are 4-4 through the opening eight weeks of the season, which is a statement I’m sure none of us thought we’d be saying before the year began. The Birds’ have battled ups, downs, Orlando Scandrick’s ‘Undisputed’ appearance, and anonymous sources. But how has their play been on the field? It’s time to get your report cards out!
To say that Carson Wentz has been anything less ‘great’ would be an insult. Sure, he’s had some sputters along the way, but who hasn’t? Wentz has singlehandedly dug this team out of holes they’d driven themselves into on numerous occasions and has displayed those same ‘Houdini’ qualities that earned him a $128M extension to begin with.
Wentz has thrown 14 touchdowns and 4 picks through 8 games, completing 62% of his passes, which is staggering considering the lack of receiving help he’s had.
There may have been a lot to criticize about this team, but there’s very little reason to pick at Carson Wentz, who has been the team’s most valuable player on offense through eight weeks, by a longshot.
It took a few weeks to get going, but once the Eagles really established a rushing identity, the rest was history. Miles Sanders has improved week-on-week and is beginning to show real development in crucial areas such as vision and patience, while Jordan Howard is on pace for a career-year, leading the charge with his highest YPC since 2017.
Sanders has become the team’s most dangerous deep-threat in relief of DeSean Jackson and without his versatility, I’d dread to think where this offense would be ahead of a week 9 clash with Chicago.
The Eagles have the league’s 13th ranked rushing offense, but have rushed more than 27 other teams. Pederson is finally committed to the run and over the last few weeks specifically, the team are beginning to reap those rewards.
The ‘Thunder and Lightning’ combo of Howard and Sanders created an initial storm, but we’re now able to look at a beautiful rainbow, knowing that the best is yet to come.
Side note: Boston Scott hive stand UP
It’s been a tale of two halves so far. Through the opening four games, the line was borderline terrible at times, but something clicked. The next four saw the unit return to its dominant best, where they’re causing havoc when run-blocking and buying time for Wentz to throw in pass-protection, largely keeping him clean.
Wentz has only been sacked 16 times so far and the line finally seems to be playing with that same nasty streak that it has become known for.
Side note: Andre Dillard has stepped up to the plate in a BIG way in place of Jason Peters. The first-round selection has enjoyed two really solid starts to kickoff his NFL career and while it was expected he wouldn’t play this year, Dillard’s form has been beyond impressive. The transition is starting!
Zach Ertz still leads the Eagles in targets and receptions, even if this season does seem quieter than the last. There have been numerous times Ertz has come under fire for running short of the sticks or missing a catch on a key play, however, his run-blocking has been utterly exceptional and we’re seeing a much more complete tight end.
Dallas Goedert took a while to rumble and let a couple of big plays slip him by early on, but he’s also another player who is really beginning to find his stride and is tied for the team-lead in touchdowns. Spicy.
I still think the Eagles made a mistake by not keeping a prominent third tight end around, but that’s not a criticism of a duo who between them now account for 606 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Both are averaging over 10 yards per catch and in an offense where WR production is low, the tight ends have been a safe blanket for Wentz….which is all you could ever really ask.
Where do we even start? Things rolled out in a fashion that was filled with promise. 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns from DeSean Jackson in week one left fans purring, but since then, the position has massively missed his explosiveness.
Outside of Alshon Jeffery, who has 317 yards and a trio of touchdowns, it’s been abysmal. Mack Hollins looks confused when on the field, waves his arms about in disarray and has accounted for 182 snaps and a single reception of 13 yards through the month of October. Wonderful.
Then, there’s Nelson Agholor, who defines ‘Hot and Cold’. Fans may never let go of that play a few weeks ago, and drops have also plagued him. But then there have been games where the $9.3M receiver has actually produced, hence his 3 touchdowns that also lead the team.
Has anybody seen Arcega-Whiteside? Seriously?
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Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports