The Cincinnati Bengals come to town this Sunday as the Eagles look to bounce back against an easy opponent. The Eagles are desperate for a win to avoid starting 0-3. There may not be a better chance to rattle off an easy win this season than against the Bengals. The Eagles face off against first overall pick Joe Burrow and an arsenal of offensive weapons. They need to bring their A-game to make this the blow out fans envisioned before the season began. Sunday, the Eagles seek their first win against the Bengals in 20 years. Here are three factors that must be tightened up to win this contest.
Two names on the coaching staff are two of the essential terms of the day Sunday. Doug Pederson must call his best game and not only beat the Bengals but dominate them. This will help get the city back on their feet. This should have been a game of experimenting with different packages and risky play calls. Now, it must be a precisely called game executed perfectly. Doug Pederson needs to properly establish a run game and keep the ball in the offense’s hands to win this game. Though the Eagles play against a weak defense, long time-consuming drives ending with 6 are the key to putting this game away.
On the other side of the ball, Jim Schwartz needs a redemption game. The defense had their worst game in a long time against the Rams, which is saying something given the last season’s embarrassments. Schwartz hopefully will use more of the young talent drafted this season, especially safety K’Von Wallace who had a fumble recovery last week on the Kupp punt return. The defense looked flat out terrible last week, and the proper adjustments must be made. Look for Burrow and crew to utilize the bootleg, as it decimated the Eagles last weekend, and pay attention to how Schwartz will handle it. Pederson and Schwartz must call this game like their jobs depend on it. This means coming out fast and strong this week to win against an easy foe.
A Slacking Eagles Defense
The defense was atrocious last weekend and must step up against the Bengals this week. The linebacker core looked like a high school team, allowing passes up the middle of the field all day. They allowed three touchdowns to TE Tyler Higbee. The linebacker core needs an overhaul for sure in the offseason, but for now, players need to do their job. Something that hasn’t been done this season.
Few complaints for the secondary this week, as the only players to gain big yards came when matched up against linebackers. Darius Slay had another great game minimizing the role of receivers on the outside. Nickell Robey-Coleman needs his break out game. He has looked nothing like the highest rated nickel corner in the NFL. Davion Taylor, K’Von Wallace, and Cre’von LeBlanc need to see higher snap counts. This will help to rotate some bodies and give some hard-working players their much-deserved snaps. The defense needs to get it together this week, and the Bengals young offense may prove to be more of a challenge than initially thought.
The offense was so-so last week, but needs to connect on critical plays to reach the outcome so many hoped for at season’s start. The offensive line played a great game but must make up for the loss of Issac Seumalu to keep the pressure off Wentz. Speaking of 11, he must continue to battle his inaccuracy to win this game. Carson has left too many plays on the field this season. Losing Jalen Reagor to a thumb injury is another blow to the offense. Still, the increasing health of Alshon Jeffrey will hopefully see AJ suiting up in the coming weeks. Carson Wentz has the opportunity to show why he’s the franchise Quarterback and must take advantage of this week against the lowly Bengals.
Overall, the Eagles have a chance to take out some much-needed frustration against a struggling Bengals team. Hopefully, they can get their gears turning and figure out both sides of the ball. I’ll take the Eagles this week against the young and promising Bengals.