The Eagles head to MetLife Stadium on Sunday in hopes of improving to 6-0 on the season. Standing between them and staying undefeated is a Jets team coming off their second win of the season. The Jets have a great defense and an offense that is finally finding its footing with Zach Wilson at quarterback. It could be a hard-fought win for the Eagles despite New York’s record. For the Eagles rookies, there is some intrigue to pay close attention to.
What will Jalen Carter do next?
This will be a weekly question. It has been a joy to see the Eagles first-round pick dominate through five weeks and it just leaves us wondering what amazing thing he will pull off in the next game. The Jets aren’t world beaters on offense, but they are going to try to establish the run with Breece Hall and company. Carter will be tasked with slowing New York’s running game and forcing them into third and long situations where he can be fully unleashed as a pass rusher.
Fletcher Cox has still been limited in practice, which means Carter could be heavily relied on like he was in Los Angeles where he played over 70% of the snaps. How will the rookie respond to playing such a big role in back to back weeks?
Hoping for a sign from Nolan Smith.
There is nothing that surprising about Nolan Smith’s slow start to his career. He is playing limited snaps behind Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, Brandon Graham, and (for some reason) Derek Barnett. He simply does not have ample opportunity to make an impact. Sean Desai keeps hinting at growing Smith’s role, so every week there is some hope we will see more from the speedy pass rusher. Maybe this will be the week!
Uncertainty in the secondary...
The Eagles secondary continues its concerning health trend this week. Darius Slay and Justin Evans have knee injuries that have kept them from practicing and Sydney Brown is still limited with a hamstring injury.
The Eagles are short-handed at cornerback right now and Slay missing time would put them in even more of a conundrum. Bradley Roby played well enough in limited time against the Rams, but he was supposed to be a band-aid at nickel cornerback. If Slay can’t go on Sunday, that opens the door for Eli Ricks to get back on the field to play nickel or outside cornerback. It is good that the Eagles have young depth in the backfield but not so good they have to rely on raw players so early on in their careers.
At safety, Justin Evans potentially being out would possibly mean an opportunity for Sydney Brown. If Brown is hurt, it will be Terrell Edmunds playing next to Reed Blankenship. Hopefully Brown can get healthy soon so he can take advantage of these chances.