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Studs and Duds From Week 1

The game didn't start out how fans wanted it to, but at the end of the day the Eagles came away with a "W" against their NFC East rival Washington Redskins. There were some weaklings that got exposed, but the bright spots on the Eagles did enough to cover some of those mistakes that were initially made. Let's take a look at who was hot and who was not in Week 1:

Carson Wentz - STUD

The offense in general didn't get off to a hot start, but once Wentz decided to unleash a deep ball to DeSean Jackson in the 2nd Quarter, there was no looking back. Wentz went 28/39 for 313 yards and three touchdowns (technically four but the NFL ruled his backwards throw to Alshon Jeffery a running play). His 121.0 passer rating was the highest he’s had in a single game since October 23rd, 2017. Maybe he just needed to shake off some of the rust he collected after having no had any game play since December of 2018.


Defensive Ends - DUDS

The Redskins offensive line was without their best player yesterday, and even in general their offensive line ranks as one of the worst in the NFL. Still, the Eagles only sacked Case Keenum once on Sunday (and that was from defensive tackle Tim Jernigan). Derek Barnett led the defensive line with three QB hits, but looking at the defensive ends as a group they had an overall poor game and need to improve on impacting quarterback play moving forward. We now know why Howie Roseman had legitimate interest in Jadeveon Clowney.


DeSean Jackson - STUD

Jackson hasn't changed his ways since being released the Eagles back in 2013. After his first catch Sunday he immediately started trash-talking with Quinton Dunbar, which led to a scuffle between them two plays later. Jackson got hit with a 15-yard penalty that stalled the Eagles' first offensive drive of the season. He more than made up for that personal foul, as he went on two score two 50+ yard touchdowns. If he continues playing like he did in Week 1, Carson Wentz will have a legitimate deep threat for the first time in his career. Even if he doesn't target him each game, his ability to take the top off of defenses will allow his teammates to have favorable matchups for Wentz to take advantage of. So far the decision to bring him back has paid off.

Defensive Backs - DUDS

Once again a group of players get picked on here, just like Case Keenum picked on them in the first half. Andrew Sendejo's laughable coverage and tackling directly led to the Redskins getting the early lead. Rasul Douglas' (lack of) speed caused him to be left in the dust for a long touchdown pass. It seemed the defensive backs as a whole had trouble staying upright and tackling their assignments, and the holes in their coverage lead to easy passes made that entire first half. They at least seemed to get better as the game went on, giving up just seven (garbage time) points in the 2nd half. Still, Jim Schwartz needs to get his guys better prepared, especially because next week they will be facing Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.


Darren Sproles - STUD

At 36 years old, Sproles should be retired from the NFL and enjoying a luxurious retirement. Instead, he wanted one more year to try and play in a Super Bowl, and his play might actually help the team reach it. Doug Pederson and Duce Staley decided to rely heavily on Sproles in the season opener, and he delivered for them. He finished the game with 109 all-purpose yards on 16 touches (rushes, receptions, punt returns), plus he crossed the endzone for a two-point conversion to help the Eagles extend their lead to two possessions. He might not be this involved every single game, but we know that he can be a reliable option moving forward.


Miles Sanders - DUD

Everyone was expecting the explosive rookie to make a great first impression and possibly take a stranglehold in the backfield and become the Eagles' lead back for the rest of the season. He got 11 rushes, but gained just 25 yards (although he did have a 20 yard rushing touchdown negated by a holding penalty). He did show some flashes, but it might take longer than most fans first expected for Sanders to become a star and focus of the Eagles' offense.

Jordan Howard - STUD

Howard had a fantastic debut as an Eagle. At first Miles Sanders and Darren Sproles were keeping him on the sideline, but when his number was called he stepped up big. He finished the game with 44 yards on just 6 rushes (7.3 average). One of the biggest concerns involving Howard coming into the season was his ability to catch passes out of the backfield, and he passed with flying colors on that Sunday. Carson Wentz threw two ball this way, and Howard caught both (one was a poor throw from Wentz that Howard had to save from hitting the ground). His great play means the Eagles are still likely to have a running back by committee for the entire season, meeting whoever has the hottest hand get the most touches.


Dallas Goedert - DUD

The whole offseason we heard that Goedert was going to breakout this year, and will be on the field and part of the Eagles' offensive gameplan often. He finished the game receiving just three targets, catching two passes for 16 yards. The one target toward him did hit him in the hands, but a big hit knocked the ball from his grip or else this could be a different story. Still, Goedert was not as involved in Week 1 as fans were led on to believe. We'll have to wait and see if his involvement grows as the season progresses or if this ends up being what Eagles fans can expect of his involvement in the offense this season.

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