HERE. WE. GO.
Philadelphia Eagles football. It’s finally back, baby.
The 238 day wait is over.
The new season is about to begin.
And it feels great.
Looking back, the 2017 and 2018 campaigns blended together. 2019 marks a new chapter for the Eagles.
Carson Wentz is healthy. DeSean Jackson is back in Philly. The team is loaded with talent that’s hungry for another Super Bowl win after falling short last year.
But while it’s tempting to think about what this team could ultimately accomplish, much has to be earned before then. The hype is only real until it isn’t.
Today marks the 2019 Eagles’ first opportunity to prove themselves. Their Week 1 opponent is very beatable.
Case Keenum has had some success in the past but, c’mon, this is a quarterback with a 26-28 starting record and an 84.5 career passer rating. The Eagles should be able to make his life miserable by generating a lot of pressure on him, especially with Washington starting Donald Penn at left tackle and Ereck Flowers at left guard. It could be a big game for the likes of Derek Barnett and Malik Jackson.
With Jordan Reed out, Keenum’s top receiving targets include Paul Richardson, 2018 Mr. Irrelevant Trey Quinn, 2019 third-round rookie Terry McLaurin, Chris Thompson, and a 35-year-old Vernon Davis. That’s hardly a unit that should have Jim Schwartz shaking in his boots. Washington will likely have to rely on running the ball with Derrius Guice, who is skilled but unproven.
Washington does have some more talent on defense. Ryan Kerrigan has been an absolute Eagles killer in the past. Lane Johnson will need to keep him at bay. The rest of Washington’s defensive line is no slouch; they’re strong up front. When it comes to their secondary, Landon Collins will try to take away Wentz’s favorite target in Ertz. The Eagles should look to test out rookie seventh-round pick nickel corner Jimmy Moreland, who will be tasked with covering Nelson Agholor.
Wentz should also try getting the ball to that Jackson guy. We’ve all been dreaming of that first play from scrimmage — a 75-yard deep bomb touchdown — since Jackson was traded back to Philly. Washington will know that’s coming but the reality is they can only do so much to contain Jackson’s speed.
Starting fast is always the goal but it’ll be especially important for an Eagles team that was the NFL’s slowest starter last season. Philly needs to jump on Washington early and prove they’re the much better team.
And I think that’s exactly what will happen. I don’t think Keenum’s return to the Linc will quite be the 38-7 debacle he encountered last time but I do think he’ll struggle to keep pace with the Eagles’ offense.
This will be a game the Eagles win by double digits. It’ll see Doug Pederson advance to 4-0 in season openers and 5-0 in his last five games against Washington. It’ll see Wentz looking like his 2017 form more than his 2018 self.
Let’s do it.
Score prediction: 28-17, Eagles win.
Bold prediction: DeSean Jackson goes off for 169 yards and two touchdowns
Leave your own predictions in the comments.
Which team will win: Eagles or Washington?
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