So last week we had the return of Carson Wentz. It was pouring rain (of course) which definitely made it more difficult on a guy with a recent knee injury, but regardless, we pulled out the win against the Colts. Carson just needs some time to get back in the swing of things but I think we’re all pretty excited that he’s back and ready to rock.
For week 4, it’s a brand new animal against the Titans. I’ll break down this weeks Eagles preview with a few different topics:
During week 3 against the Colts, Philadelphia was missing their top two running backs and three of their top four wide receivers. Clearly this causes some questions in their offense. Despite missing Sproles and Ajayi against the Colts, the Eagles still managed to gain 142 rushing yards on 32 carries split between Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, and Josh Adams. However, this week top Running Back Jay Ajayi was back at practice, and he was a full participant which solidified that he will be suiting up for Sunday’s game against the Titans (thank god). However, because of his reported back fracture, it is unknown if he’ll be able to “play through the pain” the entire duration of the game…all we know is, he’s going to try. Alshon Jeffery, who was cleared for contact earlier this week, missed yesterday’s practice with an illness but he’s still looking good to play on Sunday. Darren Sproles remained out with his hamstring injury and Jordan Matthews and Corey Clement were both limited in practice. Please note: it has not been officially announced if Sproles or Clement is 100% out for Sunday’s game yet.
Carson Wentz and Marcus Mariota:
When the Eagles face the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, it will be a matchup of franchise quarterbacks. Not only that, but the Eagles at one point REALLY WANTED to draft Marcus Mariota. Do people remember when Chip Kelly recruited him to Oregon and often would make comments about wanting to coach him in the NFL? Well back when Mariota was in the draft, the Eagles almost traded up to get him! However, rumors of the price required for the Eagles to move up to draft him were astronomically high. Instead, the Eagles kept their pick at No. 20 and selected wide receiver Nelson Agholor, who ended up panning out pretty well for the Birds. But, it makes you wonder what if they did get Mariota that year? We would have never had Wentz. Would we have won that Super Bowl last year? This game will be a great face off between two quarterbacks who are becoming the franchise of their respected organizations and frankly I can’t wait to see it unfold.
Eagles Biggest Strengths:
Philadelphia has one of the best offensive lines in the league if they play the way they know how. They are more than capable of opening up some holes for the offense and giving Wentz enough time in the pocket to make plays happen.
Defensively, Fletcher Cox has been A HOUSE in the first three weeks of the season and I don’t think that House is going anywhere. Cox should be able to win against Ben Jones and Josh Kline making Mariota’s job even tougher.
Eagles Biggest Weaknesses:
The Eagles secondary was pretty bad against the Bucs in week 2. Fitzpatrick got over 400 yards and 4 touchdowns on the Eagles defense. They’re going to have to really pick it up against the Titans as a unit in week 4….Not to forget that the Eagles special teams is currently ranked number 29 in DVOA while the Titans are ranked 4th.
This game is really going to come down to how well the defense plays. Obviously the offense needs to be on point and in check and Wentz will need to connect with his targets, but unfortunately a lot of the Eagles offense is still on the injury report. It’s absolutely going to be a good fight on Sunday. I’m actually confident in the Eagles, though. I think they can pull out this win especially after getting those butterflies out with Carson’s first game back. I also believe the defense has probably been watching film all week and figuring out what they need to do to stop Mariota and come out strong.
My score prediction: