Philadelphia, PA - After four long weeks of the preseason for the Philadelphia Eagles, the 2019 season is finally set to kick off on Sunday.
Philadelphia Eagles vs Redskins
This is refreshing for Eagles fans who watched their team slog through their preseason slate...one where they had three games with 15 or fewer points. The biggest storyline was at backup quarterback, where Nate Sudfeld, the favorite to be Wentz’s back up, suffered an arm injury in the first preseason game. In response, Josh McCown was signed to back up, and he flashed while on the field. With Wentz’s injury history, it’s hard not to wonder if McCown may be asked to pull a Nick Foles in the playoffs.
The Eagles will be hosting the Washington Redskins in an early NFC East clash to start the year. These two teams met in the opener last year in Landover, a game the Eagles would win 30-17. The Redskins will look to return the favor this year with a new-look team. Their most notable change will be at quarterback, with their new starter being named Case Keenum. The veteran has been well-traveled and most recently had a one year stint with the Broncos that was middling at best. He does have the advantage of a hard-running Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice duo in the backfield, but his receiving core is not up to the same standard. Jordan Reed, the tight end is arguably their best pass-catcher when healthy, with Paul Richardson being their top wide receiver.
Expect the Eagles’ defense to send lots of pressure at Case Keenum, who will be without his best lineman in Trent Williams due to his holdout situation. The Philly d-line is loaded and has good depth, so look out for those rotational pass rushers as well. In the secondary, it’s familiar faces for the Eagles, and look for them to get in a lot of one-on-one situations and challenge the Washington receivers.
Offensively for the Eagles, the challenge will be to maintain a balance. Carson Wentz has reportedly recovered nicely from his back injury that he suffered last season, but it’s still important to keep him safe. Whether it’s Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, or Corey Clement, the Eagles need to establish a ground game against a solid Redskins front seven. Watch out for DeSean Jackson, the speed threat will be playing against his former team and could have a big game.
I think the Eagles will get the job done, but it won’t be easy. The game will be close throughout, with the difference being in the final minutes. The Birds have lofty expectations this year, but a division rival in a season opener is never going to be a cakewalk. Nonetheless, the Eagles will start the year the right way -- 1-0.