Five quick thoughts on the Eagles’ 32-27 victory Sunday over the Washington Redskins:
Aside from a couple of errant throws, Wentz was sharp all day in his first game since December, when a stress fracture in his back ended his 2018 season in Week 14. He threw two beautiful deep passes to DeSean Jackson for touchdowns, and his improvisational skills allowed him to buy enough time to find Alshon Jeffery for the 5-yard TD that got the Eagles back within striking distance.
It might seem obvious to say that, given that Sproles is 36, contemplated retiring after last season, and has never been an every-down back in his terrific career. But Pederson is so enamored with him and trusts him so much that he can rely on him too much at times. As one example, he rushed Sproles on to the field on third-and-1, then had Wentz pitch the ball to him. The play lost 2 yards. Sproles had a good game, but it’s probably best in the long term if the Eagles use him in smaller doses.
That pass rush was better late in the first half and into the second. It had to be, because Redskins rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin caught a 69-yard touchdown pass and should have had another long TD later; Case Keenum simply overthrew him. The Eagles’ defensive backs were more organized and competent as the game progressed, but they hardly could have been worse in the early going.
There’s no way to prove that Pederson’s decision to play his starters so little during the preseason led to the Eagles’ ragged start Sunday. But the defense’s tackling was so poor and the offense so disjointed through the game’s first 20 minutes that it’s difficult to draw another conclusion. Pederson, apparently, is willing to accept that sloppiness as a small price to pay to make sure his best and most important players enter the regular season healthy.