I’m kicking off the inaugural edition of the latest BGN feature, the Weapon X Mailbag, which will drop every Wednesday this season. If you want to ask a question for a future installment, shoot me a tweet (@shamus_clancy) and use the hashtag #WeaponXQuestion. Let’s get this bad boy underway!
@D_Tomei: What does a successful season look like for Carson?
It’s the same thing I thought a successful season looked for Carson Wentz back in 2017 before he went supernova and then his career-altering injury occurred: get a playoff game under your belt and hang a postseason W on your record.
As much as I pray and dream and make crazy future Super Bowl bets, it’s hard for me to look in the mirror and admit the Eagles are truly a tier-1 team in the NFL. Do I consider them a contender in not just the NFC East, but the NFC overall? Certainly. At the same time, it’d be a little much to adopt a “Super Bowl or bust” mentality when it comes to Wentz given the already myriad of injury issues plaguing the Birds’ roster.
When I walked back into the Linc back in January, I thought that was it. It felt like a culmination of events. He single-handedly carried a motley crew of wide receivers to the postseason. He was ready to step out of the shadow of Nick Foles and establish a playoff legacy of his own. He was going to slay the dragon that is Russell Wilson’s Seattle Seahawks, a perennial pain in Eagles fans’ sides.
Well, we know what happened with that fateful (and cheap) Jadeveon Clowney hit. Wentz didn’t even finish the first quarter in that Wild Card game. Not only would he not get that elusive first playoff win, it’s hard to even consider that concrete playoff experience when he threw just four passes.
Here’s what I’m ultimately looking for from Carson this year: throw for 4,000+ passing yards (he’s done it before), throw 30+ touchdowns (he’s done it before), win the division (he’s done it before) and finally, finally get a playoff win under his belt.
@bobbie_styles: Question one, when does the “Boobie” nickname start to catch on for Miles Sanders and how can I help
Good question from my Twitter pal Bobby. I treat the Saturday night before Week 1 as a Christmas Eve of sorts. Instead of watching A Christmas Story on repeat, I’m watching some inspirational sports flicks. Silver Linings Playbook is an annual tradition here. I was planning on maybe watching Creed too depending on how the day’s slate of college games go.
I know now that we all must watch the Friday Night Lights movie (I binged the whole television series during quarantine and have enjoyed few things more in my life). It’s the spark we need to turn Miles Sanders from merely a very good running back into a true star at the position.
“Should we believe the hype?”
“The hype about Miles Sanders.”
“Now hype is something that’s not real. Miles Sanders is all real.”
@TylerBoney: Who do you predict / think will be the Eagles most crucial offseason addition this season? (rookie or vet)
The Jalen Reagor selection was the biggest chance that the Birds has to inject their offense with some electricity, but the pick also has the highest volatility. If you’re going by his (since deleted) “ ” and “ ” tweets, you might think that Reagor is rocking and ready to go as soon as next week at home. At the same time, it’s the Philadelphia Eagles and injuries. Who the hell really know what’s going on?
The use of a first-round pick on a receiver who suffers through an injury-plagued rookie year is near catastrophic given the Eagles’ standing at the position. Similarly, he could play 15 games and conjure up images of 2008 DeSean Jackson. A healthy, productive Reagor could have the offense putting up 2017 numbers. If a nagging injury never truly gives him a chance to acclimate himself to the offense and he struggles to find a way to contribute, we’re dealing with a 2019 redux.
No one on this roster has the ability to raise the Eagles’ ceiling quite like Reagor (the quarterback position notwithstanding).
@cturboaddict: Do you think Jalen should be #2 behind Wentz or Suddy?
Following the meltdown of the 2015 season in the final year of the Chip Kelly era, the Eagles hired Doug Pederson. They re-signed Sam Bradford with the intention of making him their starting quarterback for 2016. The Birds also brought onboard Chase Daniel, a journeyman veteran who had knowledge of Pederson’s offensive attack from their time in Kansas City together.
A couple of months later, the Eagles swung a blockbuster trade to land Carson Wentz in the NFL Draft. The depth chart was Bradford, Daniel and then a tantalizing rookie Wentz. When Bradford was infamously shipped to Minnesota for a first rounder and a fourth-round pick right before the start of the season, there was no way in hell they were really going to start Daniel Week 1. Wentz got the nod and we moved into a new era of Eagles football.
See where I’m going with this?
Labeling Hurts as the “second” quarterback on the team does nothing but add pressure to the guy trying to acclimate to Philadelphia and a new offensive game plan during an unprecedented offseason. It’s no good for anyone. Nate Sudfeld is Daniel here, a guy you’re fine saying is your backup QB, but a guy you never actually want starting a game.
If Wentz goes down, I’d imagine they throw Suds in the game to put out the fire, as his familiarity with the scheme gives the Birds some semblance of normalcy. But if Wentz were to miss legit full games, they gotta roll with Hurts. You invested a Day 2 pick into a wildly athletic, talented, entertaining signal-caller. He’s a proven winner with high character and presents the greatest upside between Sudfeld and himself for a team possessing championship aspirations.
I’m fine with “naming” Sudfeld the backup. When it comes to who should start if Wentz were injured, it’s unquestionably Hurts. They drafted for him literally this reason!
@lwrncjones: Who will have a big game week 1 against Washington?
I like this question from my guy Larry. I’ll give you one on offense and one on defense.
Offense: Since we’re all watching Friday Night Lights on Saturday night now, we’re going to collectively give Miles Sanders the juice needed to overwhelm the Washington defense. With 167 total yards and a receiving touchdown, Sanders begins his campaign to be the NFL leader in yards from scrimmage in 2020.
Defense: Let’s go with Malik Jackson. Bouncing backing from almost an entire season lost to injury, Malik comes up with a big time sack and forced fumble in the second half that leads to a scoring drive for the Birds (Wentz touchdown pass to Zach Ertz).
@philthycanuck: when will the suffering end
When Carson Wentz is in full uniform and handed the Lombardi Trophy from Jeffrey Lurie.