The Eagles will be hoping to secure their first win of the season on Sunday as they clash with the 0-2 Cincinnati Bengals. if they’re to turn this ship around, they’ll need big games from these five players.
There’s no denying that Carson Wentz needs to be better this week. His 64.4 passer rating is the lowest of his career to date and his accuracy is non-existent due to flailing fundamentals. The face of the franchise is chaining this offense down right now and comes up against a pass defense ranking 7th in the NFL, doing so without the help of Jalen Reagor.
This isn’t a game where Eagles fans need Wentz to step up and put the whole team on his back, but it’s a game they need him to get back to basics, shut out the noise, and find his poise. The offensive line excuse didn’t wash against the Rams, and it won’t wash against the Bengals. Wentz needs to be better after two performances that wouldn’t look out of place in his rookie year.
4 interceptions through 2 weeks when you’ve had 7 in each of your last 3 seasons is not a good look. Wentz has to hope this is a case of ‘third time lucky’ or else serious questions will be asked.
After two very impressive performances at right guard, the dancing Bear is now being moved to the left guard spot in hopes of negating Isaac Seumalo’s injury.
The good news is that Geno Atkins is down and Mike Daniels is questionable, leaving him a favorable matchup if Christian Covington has to slide to the other side.
Herbig has been stellar so far, grading out at 73 according to PFF, which is stunning considering he had only 3 NFL snaps to his name prior to the season. If he can do the same on the left and show Stoutland that he also has versatility at his disposal, then he could well have a long-term future in Philadelphia with a ceiling that’s only getting higher.
Nickell Robey-Coleman was regarded by many as a free agency steal for the Eagles. After two weeks, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Cooper Kupp punished his old teammate, leading the Rams in receiving with 81 yards just one week ago, and he’ll now face Tyler Boyd.
Boyd has 105 yards and 1 TD through 2 games. The five-year vet leads the Bengals in receiving and catching 11 of 13 targets. He’s also averaging 9.5 yards per catch.
If Burrow is going to be finding any passing success this week, especially with Uzomah out for the year, it will be through Tyler Boyd. NRC has allowed 9 completions on 9 targets so far, which is woeful. The veteran will have to do much better against Boyd to keep the Bengals offense sputtering.
Gerry’s place as a starter has been questioned for quite some time now, but never more so than after Sunday’s absolute harpoon. The linebacker was massively out of sync, running himself out of position time after time and undoing every good decision with a deeply concerning one. The Eagles run defense surrendered 191 rushing yards last week, no thanks to the former Safety.
He’ll now be responsible for trying to stop Joe Mixon, who has struggled to get going thus far behind a bodge-job offensive line. But he’s still a running back to be feared and if Gerry isn’t careful, Press Taylor’s older brother will scheme up plenty of ways to let the back-to-back 1,100 yard rusher punish him in open space.
With Jalen Reagor down, it’s likely that J.J Arcega-Whiteside will be the ‘next man up’ as the Eagles try to revert back to anything that works offensively. Having a ‘possession receiver’ was the staple of this offense before ‘the need for speed’ took over, and I expect that to be the case here.
Bengals corner William Jackson is 6’0. 3 inches shorter than the wideout and believe it or not, he’s their tallest DB on the roster. It’s time for red-zone punishment.
JJAW doesn’t get targeted a lot, and when he does either he, or the QB, seems to scuff it. He’ll have a significant role for the next few weeks, at least until Alshon Jeffery returns. The highly-paid WR is already back at practice, meaning the clock is ticking for JJAW to make up for lost time and avenge his forgettable rookie season.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire
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