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Plenty of Excitement Filling Philadelphia After First Two Weeks of Eagles Season

(CSN Philly)

(CSN Philly)

 

February 5, 2017. Houston, Texas. The date of the Super Bowl is an important one to remember for all fans. If the first two weeks of the season are any indication, fans of the Philadelphia Eagles and their rookie QB Carson (not related to Pete) Wentz have flights, hotels and tickets to secure for Super Bowl LI. The man listens to gospel music before games to calm down, and in Philadelphia at least, he’s pretty close to sainthood.

The Eagles soundly beat the Bears 29-14 on Monday night in a game that could have been much worse for the Soldier Field faithful. Wentz again showed incredible poise in the pocket, throwing for 190 yards and a touchdown. There’s not much that can be said about Carson Wentz at this point that couldn’t also be said about Jack Bauer or Chuck Norris. The guy is becoming an absolute killer.

The only reasonable gripe about him would have to be his recklessness with his body. For all the accolades he’s received for his preparation and film work, it won’t matter if he’s on the sideline with an injury and a clipboard. On many plays he tries to eek out those last couple yards instead of sliding or heading out of bounds. Running around reckless may have been okay at the FCS collegiate level, but every week in the NFL there will be athletic freaks trying to knock you out of the game. These extra hits accumulate over a season (and career). The team’s goal is to not only win games, but also to minimize risk and focus on the future and longevity of their talented young quarterback.

The rest of the offense went as Wentz did. RB Ryan Mathews was crucial in the red zone, running for two touchdowns. TE Trey Burton did an admirable job with five receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown (his first in the NFL), picking up the slack for fellow TE Zach Ertz who remains sidelined with a rib injury. WR Jordan Matthews continues to deal with his demons, as he dropped a gem of a pass right before the half, a 35-yard perfect touch pass that would have given the Eagles the lead. The truth is, he and his quarterback are very much on the same page. Their chemistry is exciting but consistent drops are worrisome, especially for Eagles fans that sat through the McNabb years, yearning for them to add competent receivers.

For the second week in a row, the terrifying Eagles pass rush chased a starting quarterback from the game. QB Jay Cutler injured his thumb on his throwing hand during a strip-sack by undrafted free agent DT Destiny Vaeao, but managed to stay in one more drive to throw a critical interception to LB Nigel Bradham in their own territory. The Eagles forced three turnovers Sunday in what was a nearly dominant performance from the defense. Through two weeks, the team is ranked fourth in total defense, allowing just 277 yards per game. Small sample size for sure, but a major key for the defense so far is that they are ranked first overall in team opponent plays per game. As in, the exact opposite of genius former coach Chip Kelly’s ‘revolutionary’ philosophy about completely ignoring the time of possession battle. His high tempo offense simply exhausts his own defense, basically the last thing you want at the end of games. Coach Pederson’s offense has had major success sustaining long drives, leaving the defense fresher while also tiring out our opponents. This is a key concept Kelly may never seem to fully grasp.

Here in Philadelphia, where every year could be the year, who’s got time for rational expectations, honest subjective analysis and patience? Book the flights, tickets and hotels while they’re still cheap! The Eagles play the Steelers next week in what will be their toughest test to date, and an extremely likely Super Bowl matchup.

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