Even the most optimistic of Philadelphia Eagles fan would have hesitated on calling them the best of the best in the crowded NFC East. With Carson Wentz largely a question mark and a disaster at the running back position, how could Philly be expected to stack up wins early on? Well, despite expectations Philadelphia is already looking like the team to beat in the NFC East and their recent win over the Los Angeles Chargers cemented that fact. Let’s take a closer look at key players responsible for this early season success as well as who to look toward in the rest of the year.
When Philadelphia took the field in order to take on the Los Angeles Chargers all eyes were on the backfield. Philadelphia was without Darren Sproles who was ruled out for the rest of the season with a serious injury. With a host of unknowns and a struggling LeGarrette Blount in the backfield the Chargers were expected to shut this game down. Only, they didn’t. Blount came out for 136 rushing yards and backfield mates Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement chipped in for another 109 yards total. Philadelphia’s dominant run game basically took the load off of Carson Wentz while allowing the Eagles to grind out the clock.
Still, despite the close win that was fueled by a dominant running game there are some very real causes for concern rumbling beneath Philadelphia’s 3 – 1 start on the season. The biggest concern, largely, is the fact that wide receiver Torrey Smith isn’t playing like the reliable, sure-handed receiver they thought they were getting. Smith has already dropped four balls that should have been secured and each one of those came on a stretch pass that could be the play that completely changes the game. If QB Carson Wentz can’t get reliable productivity out of his wideouts then star newcomer Alshon Jeffery is going to get shut down and Philly is going to start to shrink on the field.
Still, the Eagles are proud of what they have gotten so far through the first quarter of the season. Second year pro Carson Wentz looks more comfortable and confident under center than any time last year. Wentz has reduced his turnovers and he is making smarter decisions in the pocket. With New York and Dallas both struggling to find any rhythm Philadelphia might be able to sneak away with a Division win this year.