September 23, 2022
So now it's on to Washington.
Carson Wentz vs. Jalen Hurts. The future that was and the future that is.
The Eagles are rolling from Monday night's rout of the Vikings and are looking for a 3-0 start for the first time since 2016.
The Commanders meanwhile, well, I think they'll be happy that they won't see Aidan Hutchinson any time soon.
How will Week 3 go for the Birds in their first divisional matchup of 2022?
Here's what our writers think...
TV: FOX (TBD)
RADIO: 94.1 WIP (Merrill Reese and Mike Quick)
|DraftKings||PHI -6.5|| PHI -260|
|FanDuel||PHI -6.5||PHI -270|
|BetMGM||PHI -6.5||PHI -275|
|UniBet||PHI -6.5||PHI -295|
|PointsBet||PHI -6.5|| PHI -275|
The Eagles looked a whole lot like legitimate Super Bowl contenders on Monday night, and they'll try to carry that positive momentum over into their first NFC East matchup of the season. This will be the first of four games that the Eagles have to play on the road on short rest this season, which really shouldn't happen, but whatever.
I believe that a lot of the matchups favor the Eagles, notably:
The X-factor is Carson Wentz, who as we know has talent and the ability to make highlight reel throws. Of course, he also has a penchant for devastating mistakes, whether that be via inaccuracy, bad ball security, or horrendous decision making in the pocket. If he can string together four quarters of quality play while avoiding "the big mistake," the Commanders have the firepower offensively to beat good teams. Can Wentz control himself and play smart football against his former team, or will he play hero ball? The latter feels like a pretty good bet.
Oh, and there should be plenty of Eagles fans at Fed Ex Field, as always.
It's not that I think the Commanders are a bad football team, I just think they're at least a full tier below the Eagles. Thus far, Philly has shown it has quite a few tools in the tool belt, from the run game to Jalen Hurts to the passing weapons to a defense that can cause turnovers. Carson Wentz will struggle against the Eagles' defense and Hurts will continue to move the ball at will. It'll be 3-0 for the Eagles Sunday.
The Eagles aren't in store for a disaster-class 2020 Carson Wentz performance, but they will get the best of their former franchise quarterback in Landover. This is one where the final score isn't as indicative of how much the Eagles were in control, perhaps a late touchdown toss from Wentz makes it looks closer than it really was and pads his stats a bit.
The storyline will be Wentz playing his former team, but the key subplot to me is Jalen Hurts squaring off with the guy he wanted to overtake as the Birds' QB1. He would never say that to the media, but he's human and a gamer. Hurts' intangibles, leadership and "vibes" are always discussed, but his on-play performance is now matching that level. Hurts thoroughly outplays Wentz in this one as the Birds cruise to 3-0 for the first time since 2016.
Can’t say the words “Carson Wentz revenge game” put any fear in my heart, so I’m gonna roll with the team that has looked better through two weeks. Pretty simple.
I think the momentum from Monday night will roll over into Sunday down in Landover. The Eagles' offense will keep rolling against a Commanders defense that is already reeling without Chase Young, and the defense will keep Carson Wentz under control until the fourth quarter when they start to tack on a few points.
Garbage time will make this look closer than it'll actually be.
Don’t expect any letdown following the Eagles' throttling of the Vikings – as the Birds are 8-3 ATS in division games following Monday Night Football. The Commanders have Ron Rivera and his 7-11 record at home in regular season games, combined with a 3-8 ATS record in their last 11 division home games. What exactly is Carson Wentz going to do against his old team to stop this?
The game should be closer in the first half than most expect, as Wentz and the Commanders have moved the ball in the air. The Eagles' offense will respond and expect both defenses to lag a little bit. Nothing is truly easy in this division and any expectations that the Birds just steamroll might be a little lofty. Just wait, Wentz will do something stupid in the end.
The Eagles' biggest hurdle this week isn't Carson Wentz or the Washington Commanders, it's the pleasantly-packaged rat poison (TM Nick Saban via Jalen Hurts). Just about everyone in the Delaware Valley was at the florist this week to hand the Birds their flowers after a nationally-televised beatdown of a very flawed Minnesota team. The betting markets responded by putting Nick Sirianni in play for Coach of the Year and Hurts in the rarified air of Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes for MVP. Airbnb saw a spike in rental requests for Glendale in early February from the Tri-State area (OK, I'm making that one up but I'm also confident that's the case).
Week 3 at FedExField against a lightly-regarded division rival is prime letdown territory. The Eagles are obviously the better and the more talented team so this will serve as a good litmus test. Really good teams are defined by consistency and the ability to avoid the pitfalls that the ordinary succumb to. You saw that with the Vikings, who were riding high after shutting down Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on Kickoff Weekend. The guess here is that Philadelphia doesn't capture as many style points but pulls away in the fourth quarter due to Wentz's propensity to play hero ball.
The ex-Eagles franchise QB said all the right things this week but can't help himself when it comes to pushing the envelope against run-of-the-mill opponents so you know he will be pressing against the Eagles.
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