5 Eagles who need to stand out in week 4 clash against the Washington Commanders

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Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Quez Watkins (16) carries the ball against Washington Commanders safety Bobby McCain (20) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Philadelphia Eagles are now just two days away from their week 4 clash with the Washington Commanders. Here are 5 players who will be pivotal to the teams’ success this weekend.

Jalen Carter

Jalen Carter has exploded onto the NFL scene. Through three weeks, he’s pressured opposing quarterbacks 15 times. He’s done so playing in a total of just 89 snaps, adding 1.5 sacks, 2 QB hits, and a pair of forced fumbles to his name.

The Georgia product also has an elite PFF grade of 93.2.

Week 4 sees him face a Washington offensive line that ranks 32nd in sacks allowed and a quarterback who threw 4 picks against the Bills. If there is ever a game to turn Jalen Carter loose, this is the one.

Josh Jobe

With Avonte Maddox sidelined, the Eagles appear to have a solution. James Bradberry moves inside and affords some boundary reps to Alabama product, Josh Jobe. The second-year player endured a tough go of things last week, but did look better against the Bucs, yielding just 27 yards on 8 targets.

However, the fact he was sat so far off the ball to give him a cushion to work with did bring its own consequences, with a couple of memorable third downs becoming easy completions.

This week, Jobe will face a healthy dose of both Jahan Dotson and Curtis Samuel. While Samuel is some way from the receiver who once looked like the next big thing in Carolina, he still has blazing 4.32 speed and has recorded 50+ yards twice this season.

Josh Jobe improved in week 3, and he’ll need to show another step forward in week 4 with the individual matchups getting no easier.

Quez Watkins

Speaking of receivers with blazing speed, the Eagles should get Quez Watkins back into the fold this week and it couldn’t come at a more interesting time.

Olamide Zaccheaus, who was signed to compete with Watkins this past offseason, put up 58 yards and a touchdown in Monday’s win over Tampa Bay.

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 19: Philadelphia Eagles WR Quez Watkins (16) carries the ball in the first half during the game between the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles on September 19, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The clock already appears to be ticking for Quez Watkins, who has struggled to find consistency in the league, and with Zaccheaus making a statement, it will be interesting to see if Watkins responds.

Now in his contract year, the speedster has to prove he can produce regularly for the Eagles and add more than just speed to the offense. Is this the game it call comes together?

If he isn’t healthy enough to play, can Zaccheaus make the most of his opportunity, extend the gap, and earn playing time even when Watkins does come back?

Jalen Hurts

The Eagles’ quarterback has gotten better each week, but it hasn’t all been pretty. There is still plenty of meat left on the bone at this stage and Jalen Hurts is keen to turn things around as quickly as he can.

The good news is that the team is 3-0 even with Hurts playing at a level below what many expected after his explosion in 2022, but will this be the game we see the $255M man get back to his best?

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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) celebrates his touchdown with teammates during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

The Washington defense was ripped apart by Josh Allen last week, who put up 218 passing yards and 46 rushing yards. A day like that from Jalen Hurts would be the perfect addition to everyone’s weekend.

Zach Cunningham (and the Eagles linebackers)

The Eagles have done a great job negating the loss of Nakobe Dean, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t weaknesses. While Zach Cunningham has been solid in stints, the Commanders’ offense is sneakily good and is bound to cause problems over the middle with versatile running backs.

However, the offense is also incredibly flawed. They have lost 3 fumbles already this season and a quarterback who couldn’t stop turning the ball over against the Bills. This might give a depleted linebacking group a chance to come up with some splash plays, be it fumbles or otherwise.

Antonio Gibson has 10 fumbles in 48 games, with 2 coming in his last 3 games. That’s a scary thought considering how good this Eagles front four is at generating turnovers. If guys like Carter and Davis can wreak havoc, it’s down to the linebackers to clean up and secure what almost feel like inevitable turnovers.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke