The Eagles offense looks like it will be shorthanded in this weekend’s clash against Washington, but the more things change, the more they stay the same. Here’s an in-depth look at how the group will look in Sunday’s crucial clash and what we can expect from Pederson’s group.
Quarterback: Carson Wentz
There shouldn’t be any change here (touch wood) and Wentz, as expected, will be the engine in the Eagles offense. As of late, we’ve seen the offense transform from a run-first mentality to one filled with sprintouts, rollouts, and play-action to keep defenses on their toes and to allow Wentz to get outside the pocket and thrive where he’s most comfortable.
It’s a gameplan that’s worked well in recent weeks considering that there’s little help at wide receiver and we should expect more of the same this weekend.
Offensive line: Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Halapoulivaati Vaitai
The only change here will be the absence of Lane Johnson, who is listed as ‘week-to-week’ with an ankle injury he picked up against the G-Men. Halapoulivaati Vaitai will be the man who steps up to the plate at RT as he did last week and this should provide a sense of comfort.
Vaitai isn’t a franchise tackle, but he has three years of experience with 17 starts to his name, with a bulk of those coming on the right-hand side. Vaitai was more than serviceable against the Giants, but lining up against an old foe in Ryan Kerrigan (5.5 sacks this year) will prove to be an interesting matchup.
Running back: Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Jay Ajayi
Boston Scott’s 128 yards from scrimmage against the Giants should send a message to a Redskins team that ranks 27th against the run. Miles Sanders should continue to see the bulk of carries if Howard is absent, but Scott’s recent breakout will likely earn him a bump in snap-counts, tempting Pederson to pony-up the backfield and try to confuse the Redskins with a pair of backs who are just as dangerous in the passing game as they are between the tackles.
Tight end: Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Josh Perkins
Joshua Perkins contributed in a big way for the Eagles last week, mustering 34 receiving yards and helping to provide an additional release valve for Carson Wentz. The tandem of Ertz and Goedert should continue to wreak havoc, but having Perkins around who can slide into the slot and provide a nice spark, as well as come in as an in-line blocker, is a nice addition to have.
Wide receiver: JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward Jr, Robert Davis
Nelson Agholor’s injury is at a ‘stalemate’ and Alshon Jeffery suffered a Lisfrank injury that will require surgery. This has left the Eagles with just three healthy wide receivers, none of whom have the ability of the starting trio who are missing, but the reasons to be concerned are actually less than you think.
JJ Arcega-Whiteside flashed some sensational ball-tracking last week with a stunning catch against the Giants and as we all know, is almost a clone of the jump-ball specialist the Eagles have in Alshon Jeffery.
Greg Ward Jr. brings a feisty route-running style to the slot in place of Nelson Agholor, acting as a player used on orbits, screens, and someone in the intermediate part of the field, and has already built quite the rapport with Carson Wentz.
And finally, in Alshon’s place was wide receiver Robert Davis – who believe it or not, fits a very familiar mold.
The 6’3, 210 lbs, receiver was selected in the sixth-round by the Redskins back in 2017 and has one reception for 11-yards in 4 appearances. In 2018, he suffered a torn ACL and a broken leg that would rip the entire season away from him.
It would be the Eagles who eventually came knocking, poaching him from Washington’s grasp one year later. Davis ended his career at Georgia State with 222 receptions and 3,391 receiving yards, which were both school records for a relatively new program.
He runs a 4.44 40-yard dash and has a 41-inch vertical. Having spent the season on the practice squad, he could be an under-the-radar addition that could potentially provide a positive spark due to his size, strength, and speed.
The last speedster on the roster, Davis will likely fit the WR2 role once left by DeSean Jackson.
So, while a lot has changed, there’s also a lot that will stay the same in this Eagles offense, especially against weaker defenses that may not be able to take advantage of the more significant offensive holes.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports