Eagles versus Commanders: Subplots to watch on Monday Night Football

A.J. Brown #11, Quez Watkins #16, DeVonta Smith #6, and Zach Pascal #3, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
A.J. Brown #11, Quez Watkins #16, DeVonta Smith #6, and Zach Pascal #3, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

As afternoons become nights and we turn our calendars from one day to the next, something keeps grabbing our attention, that line we saw on FanDuel that favors the Philadelphia Eagles by 10.5 points on Monday Night Football. We’re talking about a primetime divisional game featuring two members of the NFC East. Yeah, Philly should win. Most believe they will win, but you can never take anything for granted when two teams that know each other this well lock horns with one another.

You saw the most recent Buffalo Bills/New York Jets clash, didn’t you? How did being favored work out for Bills Mafia?

Don’t get us wrong. If the Birds trounce the Washington Commanders in front of a national audience, you won’t hear one complaint from the members of Eagles Nation. Truthfully, there’s no reason not to believe Philly won’t beat the Commanders by a considerable margin.

Then again, there’s always that thought in the back of all of our minds. After all, Washington’s last five games have all been decided by five points or less, and they pushed Philly to the limit in both meetings last year.

Don’t be shocked if this one winds up being too close for comfort and the game provides a few tense moments. That’s just one aspect of this game that will provide some theatre, but you can best believe that it isn’t the only subplot worth mentioning.

Five storylines to watch during Eagles versus Commanders on Monday Night Football.

Two teams that began playing football in the 1930s have given us plenty to discuss over the years, especially when they face off with one another. That won’t change in Week 10. They may seem like two teams that are headed in opposite directions, but don’t get it twisted. Philadelphia versus Washington is always an intriguing affair.

The Eagles’ defense can’t rack up nine sacks again, or can they?

A nine-sack performance in Week 3, one that was punctuated by an Eagles forced fumble to put a cherry on top was one of the stories that came from a dominating 24-8 victory. No one was expecting Philadelphia to post nine sacks weekly after that one, but is there any possibility that they might hit that number again in Week 10?

Taylor Heinecke isn’t a sitting duck by any means. Like Carson Wentz, he’s mobile and can make things happen with his legs, but he was sacked three times in Week 9 versus the Minnesota Vikings and hit on seven other occasions. Keep your eyes on the Eagles’ pass rush. This could be fun.

If the Eagles’ offensive line can keep Jalen Hurts vertical, this will be a fun watch.

Though the current NFL game is much more complex than it once was, some theories will always prove to be true. It will always be a good idea to hit the other team’s quarterback and keep yours vertical.

It’s hard to block for a mobile quarterback when you sometimes don’t know where he is. There are also still some occasions when the ball is in Jalen Hurts hand too long. We all realize that every sack isn’t on the offensive line, but they’ll be looked at when your quarterback gets hit too often… And, Jalen is getting hit too often.

He’s been sacked three or more times in each of the past three games, and he’s been sacked two times or more in every game since Week 1. That has to change.

DeVonta Smith… The Commanders Killer?

DeVonta Smith is a star in the making. He’s had some quiet outings as of late, but when A.J. Brown is going off in Week 8 and Dallas Goedert steals the show in Week 9, there isn’t an immediate need for the Slim Reaper to ball out. We won’t complain. Having a ton of weapons on offense is a nice problem to have.

In Week 3, DeVonta hauled in eight receptions for 169 yards, and he had a nice snag in the back of the end zone for six points. Might his number come up? Might we see another breakout performance at home in front of the Philly faithful? Stay tuned!

How will the Eagles’ rushing defense hold up versus the Commanders rushing attack?

When your team is 8-0 and there are seemingly a few details that need to be worked out, that’s a good thing. No team wants to see its defense get gashed by the opposing offense’s rushing attack though, and that’s happening with the Eagles’ defense far too often.

J.D. McKissic is dealing with an injury and may or may not play, but Brian Robinson Jr. and Antonio Gibson are both handfuls and enough of a reason to be locked in every time Heinecke hands the ball off. Keep an eye on these two.

Just go 1-0 every week!

The most important thing is winning at the end of the day. The Eagles are one of the best teams in the NFL now. They’re going to get everyone’s best shot. They need only stay the course and play their best game weekly. Everything else will take care of itself.

The Eagles are a better team than the Commanders. They should win this game. They can’t take anything for granted though. Still, as long as they stay true to the one-game-at-a-time approach, everything else will take care of itself.

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