The Philadelphia Eagles sit atop the NFC East heading into Week 8, primarily due to a historically bad division. With the Dallas Cowboys devastated by season-ending injuries and their other NFC rivals devoid of talent, hope springs eternal in Philadelphia.
There’s plenty of reason to doubt the Eagles, especially given a 2-4-1 record and their ridiculous number of injuries. However, there’s reason for optimism with this offense. Carson Wentz is turning things around and with Jalen Reagor closing in on a return, this offense could shine in its upcoming games.
Carson Wentz running to redemption
After throwing six interceptions in his first three games, Wentz is on the road to redemption. The gunslinger mentality has allowed him to forget an abysmal start, all while keeping his foot on the gas.
- First five starts: 117-of-195 (60%), 6/9 TD/INT ratio, 68.5 quarterback rating, 6.09 yards per attempt
- Last two starts: 46-of-83 (55.4%), 4/1 TD/INT ratio, 88.0 quarterback rating, 6.89 yards per attempt
Following a rough stretch of turnovers, Philadelphia’s star quarterback is starting to protect the football. Not only is he eliminating the interceptions, he is also averaging more yards per pass attempt.
It’s not the only impact he is making. Wentz has 185 rushing yards through seven games, on pace to shatter his career-high of 299 rushing yards in 2017. On top of that, he has already rushed for five touchdowns.
Most importantly, it seems like the franchise quarterback has his swagger back. Wentz led three spectacular fourth-quarter performances in a row, including a game-winning touchdown pass against the New York Giants.
Ask and They Shall Receive
Was this the star-studded group you expected at wide receiver? I highly doubt it. However, this young receiving group is stepping up in a tough spot. Howie Roseman bet on the aging Desean Jackson and injury-plagued Alshon Jeffery, decisions that have backfired. Yet, somehow, unheralded names are thriving in expanded roles.
The group is spearheaded by new fan favorite in 25 year-old Travis Fulgham, ever since his breakout game against the San Francisco 49ers. Across his last four games, Fulgham is averaging 15.5 yards per catch with 23 receptions for 357 yards and three scores.
Greg Ward is also stepping into a complementary role, moving the chains for this offense. After making 18 first-down conversions last season, the 5-foot-11 receiver has 13 thus far in 2020. Things are about to get even better for Philadelphia, too. Reagor, who brings game-changing speed, could return from IR in Week 8.
Defense? What Defense?
Set to face the Dallas Cowboys in Week 8, Wentz and Co. should put up plenty of fireworks on Sunday Night Football. If one soft matchup wasn’t enough, Philadelphia can enjoy its Week 9 bye before facing even more exploitable defenses in the weeks to come.
Philadelphia Eagles upcoming schedule
- Week 8 – vs. Dallas Cowboys – Seventh-highest quarterback rating (106.7), fifth-most passing yards (408.1) and most points (34.7) allowed per game this season.
- Week 9 – BYE WEEK
- Week 10 – @ New York Giants – Wentz threw for 359 yards, had three total touchdowns in Week 7
- Week 11 – @ Cleveland Browns – Opposing quarterbacks complete 67.1% of passes with a 97.9 quarterback rating against Cleveland.
- Week 12 – vs. Seattle Seahawks – Entering Week 8, Seattle allows the most passing yards (368.7) per game.
- Week 13 – @ Green Bay Packers – Green Bay’s secondary has surrendered the fifth-highest quarterback rating (107.7), fourth-highest completion rate (71%).
Look for Doug Pederson’s innovative play-calling and Wentz’s madden-like highlight plays to return thanks to some much-needed improvements in the offense, paired with a great schedule.