Stock watch: Which Eagles are trending upwards going into week 4?

NFL: SEP 27 Bengals at Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 27: Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receiver Greg Ward (84) scores a touchdown in the first half during the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles on September 27, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Another week in the book which means it’s time for our Eagles stock talk and while there’s plenty to be negative about, there are also reasons for optimism.

The Eagles are nowhere near the place that many people felt they would be after the offseason they had and what makes it worse is they are the complete opposite of what anyone expected. They’re not in sync, there’s no chemistry, there’s no fight in this team and now the injuries are adding to the heartache. Fortunately for their luck, this is rock bottom which means it’s only up from here, at least I hope so. Anyways, here’s who’s trending up and who’s trending down for this week:

Eagles Trending up

Greg Ward Jr

Let’s start with the positives, Greg Ward is officially the Eagles WR1 entering their Sunday night matchup against the 49ers. We’ve seen what Ward can do when he’s the focal point for Wentz. There’s a chemistry there that has been buried underneath the “speedy” additions at wide receiver; now we get to see just how good or bad Ward is in his second season with the team.

The arrows for him are trending north because of his unique skillset. While he isn’t the most dynamic receiver on the field; he’s one of few that has a knack for getting open in spaces.

He’s also become extremely reliable when targeted. Greg Ward has a 71% catch percentage for his career so far and that already surpasses Alshon Jeffery’s catch percentage in his time in Philly which is 57%. Ward doesn’t play politics on the field or off it, he knows he isn’t the best playmaker on the field but he is the hardest working receiver that the Eagles have as well as being the only real healthy receiver on the roster as well.

Malik Jackson

Malik Jackson has shown the Philly faithful that he is worth the wait. After suffering an injury last year that ended his season, Malik Jackson has come out looking like a man possessed. His presence alone wasn’t enough for him entering this season, He’s gone out making sure that the opposing QB fears the very thought of him lining up on the opposite side. The former Jags DT has a half of a sackbut also has 2 QB hurries, 4 pressures, and 7 total tackles to start the season. He also has a PFF grade of 75.5 so far.

The sky’s the limit for the 30-year-old defensive tackle as he’ll be rotating with Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, and Hassan Ridgeway. If all four of these DT’s can stay healthy all season long then the Eagles will probably have the most fear interior defensive line in all of the NFL but the key phrase there is “stay healthy”.

Miles Sanders

The Eagles sure missed Miles Sanders and you can see why in his last two games. The second-year running back posted another game with 95 yards on the ground this past Sunday. Sanders already has 190 rushing yards on the season off of 38 carries. He’s currently averaging a phenomenal 5 yards per carry. The problem at hand is that moment that the offense becomes pass-happy then Sanders becomes an afterthought but with all of the injuries at the wide receiver position, again, we may see more Miles Sanders than expected.

The young running back has shown that he’s not only a threat in the backfield but he can also be a sure thing when it comes to slotting in as a receiver. Sanders had 509 receiving yards last season to go with his 818 rushing yards. Expect bigger things for Sanders against the 49ers as Wentz and company may have to place all their marbles into the hands of the former Penn State product.

Trending down

Doug Pederson

Oh Dougie P, Dougie P. Mr. Fearless himself. What happened to you? If you were on the fence on whether you should believe in this team this season then Coach Pederson answered the million-dollar question for you when he settled for a tie with the Bengals. This is the same head coach who went toe-to-toe with Bill Belichick and called the Philly Special in the Super Bowl. He really didn’t trust his defense to beat a rookie QB and he didn’t trust his franchise QB to do what he gets paid to do.

This is a different Doug Pederson we’re seeing this season and it’s throwing me for a loop. Usually, Doug is the happiest guy in the room but something has dragged him down to a level that isn’t fitting to who he is. While the losses and the recent tie could be reasons as to why his morale is low, it still doesn’t make sense that there’s an obvious disconnect between Carson and Doug. This Pederson’s first season starting with more losses than wins so it’s going to be very intriguing to see how he responds this time around.

Howie Roseman

Roseman may have actually slapped a big bandaid on this team to cover up for his mistakes. Yes, choosing a QB in the second round is a HUGE issue still because they could’ve used that pick in so many other ways. The fact of the matter is that the GM failed to place the right pieces into Philly while just brining in role players to fill in the big spots.

He also chose to go into the season with a 30-year old injury-prone receiver and a 32-year-old injury-prone receiver as their two best receiving threats. Think about that for a second, you really told your talented QB that you couldn’t do much better for him this time around. You couldn’t do what Arizona did for their SECOND year QB.

That’s what the issue with Roseman is. He’s pulled off the biggest magic trick and fooled an audience that once trusted him. You can’t expect any rookie receivers that the Eagles draft to be sure things in the first season. You can’t expect injury-prone vets to be sure things in the later years.

You also can’t expect a receiver who just doesn’t fit this offense to be reliable. There’s only one sure thing in football nowadays and that’s anyone is replaceable. If Roseman isn’t on the hottest right now then you have to face the reality that Lurie doesn’t really want to win.

Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz isn’t regressing. I’m going to say that first off. Carson Wentz is battling himself right now. He’s is overthinking on every snap and there are many reasons as to why.

First off, he has the Philly media who believe Hurts will replace him breathing down his neck. Secondly, He’s playing in a very unstructured offense with a coach that seems to not be adjusting to his QB’s strengths. Thirdly, He doesn’t trust anyone around him and it shows. Wentz was at his best when he moved without care but now the QB’s every move will be scrutinized. He knows it. He won’t admit it but it’s gotten to him and until he’s able to shake those leeches off, Wentz won’t be himself.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire