The Philadelphia Eagles D-Line played well in losing effort.
Losing isn’t fun, and after the first half of Week 1’s game, there was nothing to cheer about if you’re a Philadelphia Eagles. A 27-17 loss to the Washington Football Team? How did we get here? Well, what’s done is done, and as unpleasant as defeat tastes, there are a few things about the 2020 Eagles that we can celebrate.
Quarterback Carson Wentz played well (for a little while at least), and he did so despite an inefficient offensive line. Then, Fabian Moreau intercepted a horrible looking pass. Dallas Goedert was the MVP of the offense, hauling in eight passes, one of which being a 34-yard touchdown. Rookie wide receiver Jalen Reagor had a pretty solid debut as well with one 55-yard catch and another route where he had beaten his man but was overthrown on what should have been a sure touchdown. There will be opportunities for deep balls.
The Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive line held their own amid injuries.
Another bright spot in the Eagles’ first game of the season was their defensive line, and this unit, as we expected, should be the strength of the defense as we move forward. In spite of the absences of defensive tackle Jason Hargrave and defensive end Derek Barnett, their front-four kept them in the game.
Defensive end Josh Sweat, who showed flashes of talent in training camp, finished the game with three total tackles and a sack, proving that he could play well not just against teammates but opposing offensive linemen too. Veteran defensive end Vinny Curry was also credited with three total tackles and half a sack and Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox made two tackles each. It seemed like the ‘Birds’ defensive line was going to bail them out of a jam this one, but after a while, anyone watching realized that it just wasn’t happening.
So here we are, Curry sustained a hamstring injury, wasn’t able to finish the game, and is out for a while. Graham, who also left the game, is in the NFL’s concussion protocol, so we don’t even know if he’ll be available for next week’s game. Without two, maybe three, of their core defensive line players (remember, we don’t know if Barnett will play in Week 2 either), Philly may not field the machine we once thought they’d be, at least not now.
Barnett should return soon, but he’s failed to show he’s the franchise defensive end that the organization expected him to be. He could be a decent rotational guy though. It’s sad that we’re saying that about a yop-15 selection, but it is what it is. Hargrave is a sure thing, and he should eventually be back. That will infuse this lineup with even more talent. If the Eagles defensive line can catch a break with these injuries and get on a roll, they should be the strength of this team. Don’t hold your breath though.