An Opening Win of Positives for the Eagles

An Opening Win of Positives for the Eagles
The Eagles opening 32-27 win over the Washington Redskins showed plenty of positives, especially after a first half to forget.
 
At least the Eagles showed that they can come back from a deficit, albeit against a Redskins team that isn’t expected to be a playoff contender.
 
The Eagles spotted the Redskins the first 17 points of the game and trailed 20-7 at halftime.
 
But they showed they are a veteran team that won’t panic, and the second half was as dominant as it gets. The Eagles scored 25 unanswered points in the second half before Washington scored with six seconds left to make the final score more respectable.
 
DeSean Jackson was the talk of the NFL with his return to the Eagles. He had eight receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns, but that didn’t tell the entire story. Jackson scored on TD receptions of 51 and 53 yards and what he does is open up the field for his teammates.
 
At 32, Jackson doesn’t look as if he has lost any of his blinding speed.
 
No doubt teams will pay even more attention to him after his opening performance, but that will just lead to clearing the way for others to get open.
 
And Carson Wentz, who missed last year’s final five games including both playoff games with a back injury looked in mid-season form. He threw for 313 yards, three TDs and no interceptions. He had a 121 passer rating.
 
On the negative side, the Eagles defense didn’t get a lot of pressure on Case Keenum, who was playing behind a suspect offensive line.
 
Keenum was sacked just once and threw for 380 yards and three TDs.
 
So it was far from a perfect debut, but the Eagles had to show some immediate fight.
 
While coach Doug Pederson said that nobody ever wants to be down 17-0, it showed the type of veteran team he had, one that with an explosive offense, should always feel it is in a game.
 
Now the Eagles will go on the road for Sunday night’s game in Atlanta against the enigmatic Falcons.
 
Atlanta is coming off a 28-12 loss to the host Minnesota Vikings in a game that wasn’t even as close as the final score indicated. Atlanta got down 28-0 before scoring two fourth quarter touchdowns.
 
Matt Ryan threw two costly interceptions and despite a subpar game, he will pose a serious threat to the Eagles.
 
The early line had the game as a pick.
 
For the Eagles, the key will be the ability to run the ball. Against Washington the Eagles rushed for just 22 yards in the first half but finished with 123 yards (4.0 avg.) and one score.
 
Atlanta’s run defense was torched against Minnesota, allowing 173 yards (4.5 avg.) and three scores. Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins only attempted 10 passes, completing eight for 98 yards and a TD.
 
The Eagles may attempt 10 passes in the first quarter, but they should test Atlanta’s run defense. The Falcons will be a desperate team, not wanting to start 0-2, but the Eagles will be a difficult opponent, especially if they can avoid the slow start they had against the Redskins.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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