Eagles versus Commander: 5 matchups to watch in Week 3

Darius Slay #2, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Darius Slay #2, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Eagles are 2-0. Most of us have believed that Philly would beat the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings for quite some time, maybe even as far back as when the schedule was released, but that doesn’t make those wins any less satisfying. There’s also an added bonus. Both are conference wins, so if we’re discussing playoff positioning down the road, owning the head-to-head victory is a nice feather in the cap. That’s a theory that we can also relate to divisional matchups.

The NFL might be the most forward-thinking professional sports league there is when it comes to evolving. No one works harder at improving their product from an entertainment standpoint, but there are also those aspects of the game that will never change.

We’ve seen pro football add another game to the regular-season slate and add two teams to the postseason bracket, but one thing will never change. The easiest path to the playoffs is winning the division.

The Eagles fly south to tackle the Washington Commanders in Week 3.

Okay, so they won’t be flying. They’ll more than likely jump on a train, but you get the idea. Week 3 brings with it the first of the Eagles’ annual six-game campaign versus the other three members of the NFC East. A game at FedEXField versus the Washington Commanders is up first. Here are five matchups that will be intriguing.

Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ offense versus the Commanders defense

Can Jalen Hurts keep this going? We see no reason why he can’t. QB1’s maturation has been fun to watch, and versus a defense that’s been as porous as the one the Washington Commanders field, Philadelphia’s third game of the season might serve as target practice for an offense that continues to gel.

Montez Sweat versus Jordan Mailata

Jordan Mailata has evolved into one of the best young left tackles in the game, but something is off. He hasn’t been as sharp in Week 1 and Week 2 as we’d expect.

That’s okay. He’ll figure it out. Hopefully, he does so quickly because he figures to be matched up versus Montez Sweat, and that’s no picnic for any left tackle whether we’re talking about a budding star or a proven veteran.

Darius Slay and James Bradberry versus Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson

Darius Slay and James Bradberry were lights out versus Minnesota. Truthfully Goff and Cousins didn’t even try to challenge the latter during the first two games. Slay was amazing on Monday Night Football, but make no mistake about it. Number 24 is putting in work on the other side of the formation.

Give a tip of the cap to Avonte Maddox. He’s been a warrior in the slot. As a trio, they’ll be matched up versus Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, and Curtis Samuel. We’ll take our chances with the good guys, but this one figures to be a fight.

The trench war

If history hasn’t taught us anything else, it’s been this. Kirk Cousins and Jared Goff get the ball out of their hands a lot faster than Carson Wentz. Maybe we’ll see the Eagles’ pass rush get home more often?

When the Birds are operating on offense, the game plan is simple. Trust the best offensive line in the NFL. Let them continue to open holes in the running game and provide QB1 with the opportunity to scan the field and pick apart what’s been a bad-looking Washington secondary.

Encouraging signs, troubling takeaways in Week 3. light. Trending

Jonathan Gannon versus Scott Turner

Jonathan Gannon’s approval rating has risen some. He dukes it out this week with Commanders offensive coordinator Scott Turner in Week 3.

Turner is slightly more experienced in his current role as he has been with Washington since 2020. The Commanders have shown a tendency to sleepwalk in games this season, but they can get hot in a flash too. They’ve put up 28 points in Week 1 and 27 more in Week 2 despite the droughts.