Eagles versus Commanders: Encouraging signs, troubling takeaways

Carson Wentz #11, Washington Commanders (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Carson Wentz #11, Washington Commanders (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders (Mandatory Credit: Junfu Han-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Commanders shouldn’t be a long-term issue for the Eagles in the NFC East.

The Eagles’ first game of their annual two-game clash with Washington is in Landover, Maryland on Sunday. Perhaps you’ve heard. Carson Wentz will be leading the Commanders’ offense.

Come on! You didn’t think we’d make it through this one without bringing him up, did you?

The troubling takeaways

1. It doesn’t seem like it should be, but the winner of this game sits atop the NFC East after two weeks.

The Eagles are clearly the best team in their division. It’s early though, and there are two divisional clashes featuring NFC East teams scheduled for pro football’s third weekend.

The winner of the Eagles and Commanders game will be tied for first place atop the NFC East with the winner of the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants matchup. The losers of those games will find themselves in an early hole, but there’s a lot of football to be played.

2. As expected, the Commanders can, at times, be explosive on offense.

They tend to fall asleep for long stretches of the game on the offensive side of the ball, but the Commanders can put up points in a hurry. They put up 14 points in the fourth quarter versus the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1 to secure the win.

In Week 2, after being blanked in the first two quarters, they put up 27 points in the second half and almost staged a rally. This week’s game will not be an ideal time for Philadelphia to lose some early steam at the game’s end on either side of the ball.

Positive signs for the Eagles.

1. Carson Wentz is still, well, Carson Wentz.

It didn’t take long for the Commanders to get the full Carson Wentz experience. After throwing two touchdowns early in Week 1, he tried to give the game away with two turnovers, but he threw two late TDs to help seal the deal.

We have no doubt that he’ll try to force things if the game is tight late. Philly’s defense will have the opportunity to force a couple of turnovers.

2. This Commanders’ defense isn’t stopping anyone.

We’ve long believed, for good reason, that Washington’s defense was the strength of this team, and that, if they could ever find a quarterback, they were going to be a problem. Well, Carson Wentz doesn’t scare anyone, but he’s hardly their biggest problem.

The biggest issue Washington has is they’re fielding a defense that is missing Chase Young and has allowed a league-leading four plays that have covered 40 yards or more. Three of those came in Week 2 versus the Lions.

Jared Goff shredded them for four touchdown passes (and no interceptions). Detroit’s running game ran all over them to the tune of 191 yards. Expect big plays from the Eagles’ offense.