It’s finally here, the 2019 Regular season. The Eagles started the season in an unfortunately familiar form, slow. Last season the Eagles only recorded 43 first-quarter points. They failed to score in the first quarter today and ultimately looked unmotivated to start the game. On top of their slow start offensively, the defense had no answers for Washington to start. Washington’s first touchdown came on a 48-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis. Anderson Sendejo played this pass just about as poorly as humanly possible, making the touchdown possible in the first place.
Following a Redskins field goal, the Eagles finally started to wake up. They put together a 12 play drive that ended on an incomplete pass to DeSean Jackson on 4th down. The Redskins needed just two plays to strike again. Scoring on a 69-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin. A slow start combined with the Redskins quick start had fans booing in the first game of the season. Another three and out gave the Redskins a chance to put Philly in a world of trouble.
Luckily, the defensive line woke up and finally got some pressure on Keenum, leading to a quick 3-and-out. Here’s where things started to change, as Wentz shook off the rust and threw an absolute dime to DeSean Jackson for a 51-yard touchdown. This was the turning point in the game, as the Eagles would outscore the Redskins 25-10 on their way to a 32-27 victory.
1. DeSean Jackson looks exactly like he never left. Jackson is the perfect compliment for this Eagles offense. With so many weapons, it’s good to have someone who can just outrun entire secondaries. The Eagles looked lost up Jackson roasted Josh Norman for his first touchdown. Jackson finished the game with eight receptions on ten targets for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
2. Miles Sanders: If you only looked at the box score, you might think Sanders had a bad game. That is not the case. Sanders looked explosive on multiple runs, including a touchdown run that came back late in the game on a holding call. Perhaps, more importantly, is the fact that Sanders was picking up blitzes like a veteran. On multiple occasions Sanders went across the line to pick up a blitzer, giving Wentz enough time to find his targets. While I think Sanders looked good, there’s a roadblock in the backfield, with Howard and Sproles both receiving carries as well.
3. Slow Starts are going to kill the Eagles against better opponents. Starting slow against the Washington Redskins is doable, but you can’t do that against playoff-caliber teams. The Eagles have to put themselves in better positions in the first quarter to take the lead, or at the very least put points on the board. I don’t know if it’s poor playcalling or just lackadaisical play, but it needs to be fixed immediately.
4. Carson Wentz looked like, well… Carson Wentz. It looks like our boy is finally healthy. Admittedly, he looked rusty to start this game. He improved in a big way though, as he finished the game going 28/39 for 313 yards and 3 (should be 4) touchdowns. One touchdown pass was called a run since the ball was thrown behind the line of scrimmage. Wentz made multiple plays with his feet that led to significant third-down conversions. His best play may have been the scramble and throw to Alshon in the back of the end zone. Doug said he was cutting Carson loose, and Carson showed he was ready for it. Carson Wentz playing in MVP form again can only mean good things for this Eagles offense.
It wasn’t pretty at the start, but it was a beautiful finish. Starting 1-0 was big for Philadelphia as they have to travel to Atlanta next Sunday night against the Falcons. The Falcons looked horrible today and weren’t able to regroup like Philly was. If the last two matchups have been any indication, this will be a close game that will likely come down to the very last play. Dalvin Cook gashed the Falcons defense, so look for Doug to be dialing up a run-heavy gameplan going into Atlanta. #FlyEaglesFly