Week two definitely didn’t go as planned for the Eagles. It’s amazing how great a football team can look when they’re firing on all cylinders against an opponent who can’t get their engine started. The Birds are 0-2 for the first time since 2015 and it seems like everything is just falling apart.
The Head Coach is subliminally calling out his franchise quarterback while the injuries continue to pile up, the GM thought he was a smooth operator up until Nate Gerry was getting burned by Tyler Higbee on almost every play. Then there’s me, Bryan Cameron, the man who’s going to trigger the homers and get a rise out of the realists. So here we go, week 3’s stock watch!
Carson Wentz has gone from the golden child to the biggest problem in Philadelphia. After his terrific season in 2017, Wentz has been inconsistent and the numbers show it. Since 2018, Wentz has a win/loss record of 14-15 and a QB rating of 59.9.
Wentz has looked lost on the field and at times has even looked alone as if he’s trying to prove something to the world all by himself. Doug Pederson has even gone on record to state that Wentz and Press Taylor are the ones who work on the offensive gameplan because they’re “a lot smarter than him.” Not the words you want to hear from a Super Bowl head coach but it’s the words that everyone needed to hear.
Nick Foles succeeded with Pederson because he followed his head coach through the good and the bad. Foles made sure that he stuck to the game plan because he knew Pederson had his best interests at heart on that field. That’s exactly why players like Alshon Jeffery and even Nelson Agholor showed up when Foles played, it’s all because he stuck to the game plan.
Wentz is unfortunately the opposite and that’s what made him special until now. Wentz looks like a man fighting for his life while pushing away the people he needs most. If Carson continues to play hero ball then the Eagles season may spiral out of control sooner rather later.
Jim Schwartz has taken fault for the “poor game plan” against the Rams and while that is admirable, it also becomes a bit aggravating for fans to witness.
Schwartz has stuck by his philosophy above all else in hopes to prove that he is a “defensive genius”. Since arriving in Philadelphia, Schwartz and his defense have never ranked in the top ten in takeaways or points allowed. He’s only ranked in the top 10 in ‘yards allowed’ once but that’s this season so far. He’s never found his footing with this defense and everyone believed it was because he didn’t have the personnel, but what if he did?
Jordan Hicks has gone on to Arizona and has been healthier than ever and very efficient. Chandon Sullivan has found a home in Green Bay and is one the verge of breaking out. Rasul Douglas and Ronald Darby both are ranked higher than Avonte Maddox per PFF’s cornerback rankings.
Its not a coincidence that all this is transpiring outside of Philly while the Eagles defense is still the laughing stock of the NFL. Sure, they have some of the best individual players in the game. Darius Slay has been phenomenal, Rodney McLeod has been great, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham are still monsters in their own right but what about the others?
Nate Gerry probably has no business being a starting linebacker, Derek Barnett has yet to be the dominant pass rusher they thought he would be, and Avonte Maddox has seemingly regressed since starting on the outside. It’s mind-blowing to see all of this while the Eagles had or have players that can come in a do better. Cre’von LeBlanc is the biggest mystery of them all. He’s shown what he can do for defense and is punished for doing good? C’mon man.
Howie Roseman focused on getting younger and faster this offseason and succeeded at it but somehow he still missed the mark? Roseman has neglected the linebacker position for years and its come back to haunt him big time this season. Players like Gerry and Riley are great locker room stories but have been terribly ineffective for the defense. Gerry has yet to force an incompletion in pass coverage and let’s not get started on these missed tackles. Then there’s the offense..
Last season that Eagles hit on a running back out of Penn State that Duce Staley was vying for. Do you know another running back that Staley once clamored for? His name is Dalvin Cook, yeah that guy. Staley knows how to evaluate talent, so he gets a bonus point for Miles Sanders, not Roseman. Roseman is responsible for Andre Dillard, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Mack Hollins, Shelton Gibson, and Donnel Pumphrey when it comes to finding talent for the offense. Dillard has the potential but there were many reports coming out of camp that showed that the Eagles weren’t satisfied with him. The verdict is still out on JJAW but that may not go well since DK Metcalf is turning into a superstar.
Roseman may have played himself this time around as the Eagles have their backs against the wall and they can’t afford to make a trade due to all of the backloaded contracts that Roseman grew obsessed with doing. He also drafted a QB in the second round after the extended Carson Wentz the year before. While the Darius Slay trade looks genius and the roster looks great on paper, Roseman has answered fewer questions than a guilty man.
He’s back! Sanders admitted that he could’ve played in week 1 but was held out to give him more time to rest. Sanders did fumble early on in the game but that didn’t stop him from rushing for 95 yards on 20 attempts while averaging 4.8 yards per carry and a touchdown. He also had 3 receptions for 36 yards in the passing game. Sanders showed just how much the Eagles were missing him every time he touched the ball last Sunday. While the fumble was costly, it’s not something that Sanders does very often. Sanders has fumbled three times in seventeen games.
Lane Johnson also made his season debut and showed why he is so important. Johnson is the anchor of the offensive line and there are stats to prove it. Lane was the highest-graded offensive tackle in week 2, the highest-graded run blocker for all offensive lineman and he didn’t give up any pressures against the Rams. it seemed as if the offensive line received a huge shot of life with the big guy’s return. Johnson is still not 100% due to the ankle surgery he had a month ago which was just a cleanup, but to see flashes of greatness while not being fully healthy is phenomenal and speaks volumes for the right tackles game.
Let’s keep showing love to the big guys! Nate Herbig had himself a game in week two. Herbig didn’t allow a single QB hit or a sack and was one of the highest greatest guards in week two with a grade of 73. Herbig has only allowed 1 sack in 140 snaps in his first season as a full-time guard. Many people believe that the Eagles could replace Herbig with Brown but the fact of the matter is that the coaching staff can’t fix what isn’t broken.
Herbig may not be an All-Pro guard but he’s doing exactly what the team is asking him to do. While he isn’t the most athletic big guy, Herbig is still showing that he can play with the best of them, so far.
Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire