Week 2 Preview: Can the Eagles bounce back?
After their underwhelming performance in Washington, the Eagles cannot afford to fall flat against the Rams. Simply put, Doug Pederson & Carson Wentz need to be better. We all know that Wentz can be the player that we saw in the first half last week. It’ll be up to Pederson to adjust the offense and get the most out of Carson Wentz.
It’s a bit premature to classify this as a “must-win” game but falling to 0-2 surely wouldn’t be ideal for the Eagles.
Eagles Secondary v. Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp
The Eagles had an impressive showing defensively on Sunday, limiting Dwayne Haskins to under 200 yards passing. After continuously getting beat deep last season, the longest play the secondary allowed last week was just 21 yards. The Eagles allowed just 3.4 yards per play against Washington, the fewest in the NFL.
The hype behind Darius Slay proved to be real, holding Terry McLaurin to under 30 yards receiving when matched up on him. The Pro Bowl corner will be tasked with shadowing Robert Woods, who had over 100 yards last week against Dallas.
The matchup to keep an eye on will be Nickell Robey-Coleman and Cooper Kupp out of the slot. The two know each other very well from their time together in LA.
I was told that McLaurin was gonna COOK this man. pic.twitter.com/UP6gVXRY0B— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) September 17, 2020
Aaron Donald v. Eagles Offensive Line
Carson Wentz was sacked for a career-high 8 times last week in Washington. Nate Herbig (who will start again this week) and rookie Jack Driscoll held their own against a stout front 4, but the offensive line as a collective unit let Wentz get beat up all day. The Eagles can ill afford a similar performance against Aaron Donald.
Donald recorded 7 QB hurries, 2 QB hits, and a sack on Dak Prescott last week. Oh and the guy next to him, Michael Brockers, is nothing to scoff at either. A returning Lane Johnson can hopefully help keep Wentz off his back. Carson Wentz is 26-15 when Lane Johnson is in the lineup, 6-11 without him.
Aaron Donald literally tossed Ezekiel Elliot around like a child last week. I’d rather not find out how far he can throw 5’6″ Boston Scott.
Aaron Donald is out here throwing people 😳— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 14, 2020
(via @thecheckdown) pic.twitter.com/O2Wh3dytjh
Doug Pederson v. Himself
Doug has to get out of his own head. He’s a Super Bowl winning coach and has beaten McVay in his own house twice with a backup QB. He needs to start coaching like it.
Don’t put DeSean Jackson on load management (played just 54% of snaps last week). Move Carson Wentz out of the pocket (led all QBs in QBR outside the pocket last season). Get creative with Jalen Reagor. Let your talented tight ends shred the Rams over the middle.
We need to see the play-calling that we know Doug is capable of. The last thing the Eagles need on Sunday is another vanilla gameplan.
Jalen Reagor recorded 2,572 yards from scrimmage on 183 plays at TCU, averaging 14 yards/play.— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) May 16, 2020
In addition to being a downfield threat, expect to see him on WR screens, jet sweeps, etc. pic.twitter.com/NUJcPguing
Doug Pederson has had McVay’s number for a while now and Carson Wentz has always had a fairly short memory when it comes to poor performances. Miles Sanders returning should improve the disappointing 3.4 yards/carry the Eagles put up last week.
Aside from Jalen Ramsey, the Rams secondary doesn’t really worry me. Wentz throws 3 TDs, the Eagles get a couple of FGs from Jake Elliot and the Eagles win this one 27-21 to move to 1-1 on the year.
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Mandatory Credit: USA Today