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State of The Philadelphia Eagles at 1-2

This feature is a weekly piece on titled From The Eagles, featuring Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro. The intention is to provide a perspective directly from the Philadelphia Eagles in this forum for the great fans who visit BGN.

How huge is Sunday's game for the Eagles? Gigantic. Enormous. Nobody out there is talking about it as "must-win game" as last week, and I don't understand why. This is the NFC East. This is a conference game. Washington is 1-2 and feels it is as good as any other in division struggling to get out of its own way.

So, yeah, the Eagles and Redskins contest means something. Means a lot. For the Eagles, a win gets them to 2-2 with two consecutive games at Lincoln Financial Field again - against New Orleans and the New York Giants.

It has been far from a comforting 1-2 start for the Eagles, so here are some thoughts on the team and where it stands heading into Sunday's game ...

  • If the offensive line can give quarterback Sam Bradford some time to set up and throw on Sunday, it might be a pretty good chance to take a shot or three down the field against a Washington secondary that has suffered some significant injuries at cornerback - DeAngelo Hall is out with a toe injury and Justin Rogers is on Injured Reserve and Chris Culliver has missed practice time this week - and the safeties are only OK. It's something to watch on Sunday, assuming the weather conditions permit throwing the ball down the field.

  • How much do the Eagles lose with Matt Tobin in at right guard in place of Andrew Gardner? That depends on Tobin, frankly. He doesn't have a huge anchor, so when he plays against massive defensive linemen, like he will do on Sunday, the test is extremely challenging. Tobin is a pretty good athlete who is still developing. Getting a lot of playing time will only help him. He had the chance to sew up a starting spot last season and couldn't hold the job. Let's see how he fares with a second chance.

  • Jordan Hicks has looked really good at inside linebacker in the last two weeks and it's fair to say that he was the best player on the field on Sunday against the Jets. Hicks has been in high demand from the media this week, which is always a concern with a young player. How does all of that attention impact a rookie's mind? Hicks seems grounded, mature beyond his years and all of those good things, but sometimes all the attention can be a distraction for young players. It's a big week for Hicks against Washington's power running game and a tight end, Jordan Reed, who may be the best option in the passing game.

  • What to make of quarterback Sam Bradford's play through three games? He hasn't been as good as needed or expected. Erratic is the right descriptive. It's fair to wonder about his game and the level to which he can play this season. It's also fair to give a guy who hasn't seen much game action the last few years more than three weeks before turning in a final grade.

  • Tight end Zach Ertz has 8 receptions in three games. I figured that number would be tripled at this point, but it isn't. Teams are paying attention to Ertz and Jordan Matthews and then taking their chances with the rest of a receiving corps that has to win more one-on-one battles.

  • Is the wheel route throw to the running backs going to be open every week? If that's the case, go to Darren Sproles and DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews 2-3 times a game until a defense stops it and allows another passing option to open.

  • Caleb Sturgis has a big leg and his range is probably a touch longer than what Cody Parkey brought to the table when Parkey was healthy. Sturgis was a fifth-round draft pick after a great college career at Florida. It's mechanics with him. Let's see if Dave Fipp can get Sturgis straightened out and someone the Eagles can count on this season. You see the impact a kicker gone wrong is having on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Josh Scobee is crushing that team.

  • From a purely physical standpoint, cornerback Byron Maxwell matches up well with wide receiver Pierre Garcon. The quick, speedy receivers are going to be tough for Maxwell, who isn't a quick-twitch guy. He's a bigger cornerback who wants to win at the line of scrimmage. I think Maxwell has a good fit with Garcon, should he see a lot of him on Sunday.

  • How real is the Eagles defense? Washington presents a good challenge in that the Redskins run the ball very well and it starts there. If the Eagles contain the ground game, they can shut down the offense.