Week 1 is in the books! And that means school is back in session… which makes this post pretty much a gimme! The NFC East teams all faced each other opening week, so that makes it easy to grade. Oh, and I grade on a curve in case you’re wondering. Curves saved my grades a few times, so I’m returning the favor.
It was an eventful offseason for all teams in the division. Signings, hold outs, quarterback controversies, and more. But finally getting to play always makes it that much better.
Philadelphia Eagles: I’ll give them an A-. After a very, very slow start and the defense looking not great, the Eagles came alive. Quarterback Carson Wentz went on to have a day, along with returning wide receiver DeSean Jackson, and WR Alshon Jeffrey. The Eagles came back from being down 17-0 to get the win. I guess the best way to put it is that sometimes you just need to get back into the flow of regular season games.
What was a promising start for the Philadelphia Eagles ended in tears for the fans of the defending champions. Eagles were up 14-0 going into the second quarter and had everything going their way until quarterback Nick Foles was intercepted and the momentum completely shifted. After that, the Eagles’ defense was too tired to find an answer.
They started off on top converting a turnover into a touchdown. Then later that quarter, Foles hit wide receiver Jordan Matthews for their second and final touchdown of the game. Eagles earned a total of 151 yards and were barely able to add any more.
It’s fair to say Foles threw some questionable passes, either they were overthrown or underthrown. The offense also had trouble converting third downs.
After Week 2’s debacle against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Philadelphia Eagles decided they needed to bring starting quarterback Carson Wentz back where he belongs. According to head coach, Doug Pederson, Wentz’s return “wasn’t planned”. It just so happened that he was medically cleared following a loss that Eagles have only themselves to blame. We’ll just go with what Pederson says.
Backup QB Nick Foles will forever be able to call Philadelphia home. Fans will undoubtedly be grateful for eternity since he brought the first-ever Lombardi trophy to Philly. But even a Super Bowl MVP is not immune to the fans’ criticism and Foles has received a lot in these first two games.
Result: Eagles – 28, Panthers – 23 Frustrating game to say the least. I knew it was going to be a physically gritty game, but I did not expect the referees to get in on it, too. Anyone who watches and understands football knows that this Thursday night’s game was unfairly called.
I mean, the Philadelphia Eagles were called on what were (mostly questionable) 10 fouls for 126 yards, while the Carolina Panthers had ONE penalty for ONE yard, with multiple obvious missed calls. Carolina had the advantage by not only having home field on their side, but the refs as well. It’s discouraging when the officiating crew is not fair to both teams; it sends the wrong message. Players lose confidence because they’re not being allowed to play and fear that any more penalties called could cost them the game.
Some losses are not pretty and other losses are just ugly. Sunday’s loss to Kansas City falls somewhere in the middle. Playing against a team that had 11 days of rest was no easy task but I think the Eagles, and second year quarterback Carson Wentz, played a very decent game despite two huge turnovers and an offensive line that failed to protect him during key plays.
I can’t blame the o-line, though, because they actually have improved and more often than not gave quarterback Wentz a lot of time to throw the ball. I would have loved for him to get rid of it instead of holding on to it for as long as he did, which caused him to get sacked or fumble the ball.
Overall, Wentz showed NFL fans he is able to put the game on his back and run with the ball if needed and he threw for a total of 333 yards, completing almost half of his attempts at 25 of 46. I am not a big of that those numbers but I am happy that we were able to utilize wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith who both had better games than the last, with 92 and 66 receiving yards respectively.
Eagles veteran tight end Zach Ertz has been a great option, being able to finish big plays and added 97 receiving yards as well. Admittedly, I am getting a little impatient with the lack of use for our running backs. Darren Sproles has been nothing short of amazing, always a dependable back and great for special teams, but we need to start using our big guy, LaGarrett Blount. I don’t want another DeMarco Murray on our hands…we all know how great that turned out.