In Week 1, when Carson Wentz got off to a slow start, he relied on throwing the ball far and high and just let DeSean Jackson run under it. It worked; the offense scored 25 second half points, and all was happy in Philadelphia.
That wasn’t an option in Week 2.
Jackson, Alshon Jeffrey, Dallas Goedert, and Corey Clement all were pulled in-game or never made it to the opening snap in the Eagles loss to Atlanta on Sunday night with an assortment of injuries. The result: an offense that looked out of sync all night long and a Julio Jones tunnel screen that finally allowed the Falcons to exorcize the demons of Eagles’ games past.
Injuries happen and players need to adjust, even MVP caliber players like Wentz. With no Goedert, who aggravated a preseason calf injury, the Eagles weren’t able to run their double tight end packages. When Jackson and Jeffrey went town, it meant that Philly couldn’t give Zach Ertz any plays off the entire game. When Clement went down, it took away another weapon in the RPO game. In short, it was a mess.
After an Injury Plagued Game, Do We Know Anything More about the Eagles Week 3 Odds and Statuses
Eagles coach Doug Pederson didn’t offer much in the way of insight into the severity of the injuries to his receiving corps, but hinted they may not be overly serious saying “If it were a must game, playoff situation, I would think that they would try to gut it out, but it’s hard to say.” Jackson’s groin injury dates to the end of the Washington game and hopes to be back on the field when the birds host the Lions on Sunday. Jeffrey we know less about, except that it was a calf ouchie.
Even if the wideout pair is still out, the offense should look a little better against Detroit as Wentz would have a week to work with players like J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Mack Hollins and forge some level of connection with the pair that was sorely missing against the Falcons. It may mean, though that Wentz does have to be the MVP for the Eagles to make a run to an NFC East title and hopeful first round playoff bye.
The Goedert injury worries me more. For all the bromance that Philly fans make of the Wentz-Ertz connection, it’s that second tight end that opens the playbook for Pederson. It’s the second tight end in the formation that allows Ertz to go off on a free release and not have to stay home and block. In many ways for this offense, it’s the second tight end who serves as a fullback on the line, allowing Ertz to be special. Without that Goedert there or a competent level replacement, we’ll get to see just how crafty Pederson can be.
Even with all that, the Eagles were still a Nelson Agholor dropped ball from being 2-0. It demonstrated Philly’s depth at receiver and gave Wentz a chance to show how good he is.
The Eagles Odds in Week 3 Against the Detroit Lions
Can the Eagles get back on track in Week 3 against the Lions? A quick look at the sportsbooks tell us, the Eagles odds are certainly looking good. They opened up as 6.5-point favorites against the Lions, pushing the Eagles moneyline to -270. If you are a fan of betting games straight up, it is going to cost you a pretty penny to make some money off of the Eagles odds. On the other hand, beware of that 6.5 spread. Everyone remembers the Ford Factory level tire fire that was the Lions first season under Matt Patricia. However, this season the Lions are a 4th quarter collapse from being 2-0 on the year; tying their first game against the Cardinals, who took the Ravens to the brink in Week 2. Patricia’s defense just held the Chargers to 10 points and their offense has yet to hit its stride, making that Eagles NFL Week 3 6.5 a little scary.
But when it comes to the Eagles’ health and overall outlook on the season, for the moment, it doesn’t sound like the injuries are too serious nor is it time to panic. I’m still taking the Eagles on the over for their 9.5 win line and I still like Wentz as a top-three MVP finisher. Talk to me next week, though, when we see who does and doesn’t play if I’m still singing that tune…or if I think they’ll still win the East.