The Eagles started the season off with a win against the Washington Redskins.
Here’s who’s trending up and down after the Week 1 victory.
UP — Wentz is back. The Eagles quarterback’s 2018 season wasn’t bad, especially compared to others, but after a stellar 2017 it was an obvious regression. But Wentz was back to his dynamic self Sunday, particularly on third down. He completed 12 of 13 passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns on third down, and for good measure, converted two third-and-1 situations with sneaks.
UP — Jackson’s return to the Eagles had an almost anticlimactic feel to it. His record in opening games has been excellent, and he always seems to save his best for facing former teams. But after an early foolish personal foul, Jackson exploded. He caught eight passes for 154 yards and two 50-plus yard touchdowns. The deep ball is alive and well in Philadelphia.
DOWN — The Eagles’ start on offense felt like 2018 all over again as the early scripted calls weren’t effective enough. Doug Pederson then dialed up some dubious third-down plays. He had Wentz pitch to a deep Darren Sproles on third-and-1 that went nowhere, and he later waved the white flag on third-and-10 when Wentz tossed a bubble screen to Jackson that was short of the sticks.
UP — But the gutsy Doug returned after the break. He went for it on fourth-and-1 on the Eagles 32 and converted — when some coaches would have turtled up — and he successfully went for two points early in the fourth quarter to give the Eagles a nine-point and two-score lead.
UP — Derius Guice’s NFL debut was spoiled by an Eagles defense that has long prided itself on stopping the run. The tailback was held to 18 yards on 10 carries and overall the Redskins managed just 2.2 yards per carry.
DOWN — Jim Schwartz’s unit couldn’t tackle, it couldn’t cover and it couldn’t get pressure in the first half. That’s a combustible combination. Andrew Sendejo failed to drag down Vernon Davis on the Redskins’ first touchdown. And someone vacated the deep middle on Washington’s second touchdown — a bomb to Terry McLaurin.
UP — Who had Sproles as the Eagles’ leading rusher in the office pool? The 36-year-old running back logged nine carries for 47 yards (5.2 average), caught three passes for 16 yards, and averaged 11.5 yards on four punt returns. Sproles doesn’t have the same giddy-up as he did three-plus years ago, but he’s still pretty good.
UP — It took a while before the Eagles’ offseason acquisition got the call. Howard didn’t have a carry until the second quarter. But the running back made the most of his playing time, rushing six times for 44 yards (7.3 average) and catching two passes for 11 yards.
UP — Jackson will get most of the publicity, but Jeffery was workmanlike, per usual. The receiver caught five passes for 49 yards and a touchdown and added another on a quick toss that was ruled a lateral. Jeffery punched into the end zone on the latter score after breaking a tackle.
UP — Less than eight months ago, Brooks ruptured his Achilles. Many doubted the guard would be back by the season opener — understandably, considering the injury — but he proved them wrong. Brooks was on a pitch count, but he played 15 more snaps than the planned 30 and said he’ll be able to play the entire game next week at Atlanta.