Week 1 Tale Of The Tape: Philadelphia Eagles At Washington Redskins
- QuarterbackBased on what he accomplished during his rookie season, Carson Wentz could be in a position to become one of the league’s better quarterbacks. He completed 379 of 607 passes for 3,782 yards with 16 TDs and 14 interceptions. He has a strong arm and recognizes what the defense is trying to do, but he must improve his ball security.While the Redskins still have not been able to come to any long-term agreement with Kirk Cousins, the quarterback continues to put big numbers on the board and give the team an explosive element in the passing game. Cousins threw for 4,917 yards with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, and he can throw with exceptional accuracy.
- OffenseThe Eagles appear to have upgraded their offense in a number of ways as they prepare to start the season against their division rivals. Adding RB LeGarrette Blount gives head coach Doug Pedersen a battering ram running back who is going to convert in short-yardage. Alshon Jeffery is a big receiver who can win the battle against smaller defensive backs, while Zach Ertz is a productive tight end.The Redskins have a solid running back in Rob Kelley who gained 704 yards and scored six touchdowns a year ago. Rookie Samaje Perine from Oklahoma should help because of his power and vision. Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor has a chance to be special after coming over as a free agent from Cleveland. Tight end Jordan Reed is nearly unstoppable when he is healthy.
- DefenseThe Eagles should be tough and competitive on the defensive side of the ball as they have added DT Timmy Jernigan and DE Chris Long who should be able to add to the defensive line. Fletcher Cox is a productive at defensive end and he had 6.5 sacks last season. Middle linebacker Jordan Hicks displayed excellent coverage skills as a rookie and he was also good against the run.The Redskins have enough size and strength on defense, but there have been questions about their speed and athleticism that crop up from time to time. Rookie defensive end Jonathan Allen could help change that situation because of his quickness, and if he is productive this year, it will only help make Ryan Kerrigan even more dangerous as a pass rusher.
- Special TeamsThe Eagles have been among the best teams when it comes to overall special teams for several years, and that should be the case again this year. Darren Sproles is quick enough to break long returns, while Caleb Sturgis connected on 35-of-41 FG attempts.The Redskins also did a fine job on special teams last year, but they may not compare with the Eagles in this area. Jamison Crowder has excellent quickness and excels at making defenders miss in the return game. Dustin Hopkins made 34-of-42 FG attempts, which is good but not great.
The Redskins have a big-name quarterback who can make all the throws, but the Eagles have a young player at that position who may be a star. If the Redskins make any mistakes or let up in their home opener, they could get embarrassed here.