5 players to watch when the Eagles battle the Titans

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Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) catches a touchdown pass against Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (25) during the first half of an NFL football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

The Eagles look to extend their winning ways this Sunday against one of the toughest opponents they’ll face this season, the Tennessee Titans. Led by the best running back in football and a tough physical defense, the Titans come into Philly with a 7-4 record. Before the game, here are some players to watch out for who could have a huge impact on the matchup. 

A.J. Brown

Brown will of course be the storyline all day on Sunday, as he was traded from Tennessee to Philly on draft night back in April. He spent his first 3 season in baby blue after he was selected with the 51st overall pick in 2019, where he racked up 2,995 yards and 24 touchdowns. He evolved and refined his game in Nashville, which led to him becoming one of the best wide receivers in the entire NFL.

A.J. Brown and the Titans didn’t end on the best of terms, as evidenced by Brown openly tweeting at the team when they were losing to the Kansas City Chiefs. I think revenge is definitely on his mind and he’ll will be looking to make his old team regret their decision. 

Derrick Henry

Henry is probably the best player that is participating from both teams. King Henry has an ability to take over games with his mixed style of power and speed on the ground. For the 4th time in the last 5 years, he has eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards, and there’s still 6 games left to play this year. He also has 10 touchdowns on the season.

As Henry goes, the Titans go, as he accounts for the majority of their offense in most games. With the Eagles run defense being suspect over the last few weeks, Henry and the Titans will be looking to exploit that weakness. If the Eagles stop Henry, they win, if they don’t, they lose. It really is that simple for the Titans. 

Reed Blankenship

The rookie safety is being pushed quickly into the spotlight as he’ll most likely be the second starting safety this week. C.J. Gardner-Johnson was off to a fantastic start to the season, but was injured in the game against Green Bay, and has since been put on Injured Reserve with a lacerated kidney.

Blankenship will not be able to fill the entire void left by Gardner-Johnson’s absence, but he showed some flashes of potential last week against Green Bay. The Eagles secondary is talented enough to hide him at times, he’ll get targeted at eventually and have to continue to prove he can play well in this league. 

Jeffrey Simmons

The best defensive player on Tennessee is not a household name, but he could be known to everyone in Philadelphia by 4 pm. The defensive tackle was selected in the same draft as AJ Brown but in the first round. Jeffrey Simmons was slow to develop over his first two seasons, but since 2021, is third to Aaron Donald and Chris Jones in sacks by an interior lineman with 15.

He reminds me a lot of a young Fletcher Cox, with large size and great athleticism who can break an offensive line when he gets hot. The Eagles offensive line is good but will have a challenge with Simmons on the interior.

Jack Stoll

Ever since Dallas Goedert went down, the Eagles have barely used their tight ends. In the last 3 games, Eagles tight ends are averaging just 1 reception per game. Stoll isn’t much of a receiving option, he’s second on the depth chart because of his blocking ability.

Since wide receivers have been exclusively getting defenses attentions, Stoll could have a chance to add a few catches, which in a close game could be very important. 

AP Photo/Derik Hamilton