Eagles versus Commanders: Intriguing Week 10 matchups worth mentioning

Jalen Hurts (L), Jason Kelce (R), Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Jalen Hurts (L), Jason Kelce (R), Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) /

Maybe it’s the fantastic job that pro football has done with NFL Films. Maybe it’s the way games unfold or how they’re shot and presented on television. Whatever the reason, the National Football League, year after year, provides us with a better version of reality television. There’s always some drama and a subplot or two to follow. In 2022, the Philadelphia Eagles have continued to grab the headlines as one of the more entertaining watches of America’s most popular game.

The Birds always give us something to talk about. Jalen Hurts‘ emergence and the Eagles’ 8-0 start are among the more popular topics recently. The next chapter in this story features the next chapter in a rivalry that dates back to 1934. The Washington Commanders visit Lincoln Financial Field in Week 10 to battle Philadelphia in primetime on Monday Night Football.

We could stop right there, but we won’t. We could talk about this one for hours. Let’s get into a few matchups.

Here are a handful of about 15 matchups worth watching when the Eagles tackle the Commanders.

Philadelphia and Washington were battling each other long before any of us were alive. They’ll continue to do so long after we’re all gone. This marks the 176th time that these proud franchises have met. Here are a few areas that may decide the outcome.

Taylor Heinecke versus the Eagles’ pass rush

The Eagles sacked Carson Wentz nine times during Week 3’s game. He’s out of this one, and Taylor Heinecke gets the start for the Commanders.

Asking for another nine-sack showing may be venturing into the realm of unrealistic expectations, but after watching Washington’s signal-caller get sacked three times in Week 9 and hit on seven other occasions, Jonathan Gannon’s unit has to be licking those chops.

Philly’s defense might be able to get to Heinecke with some regularity.

The war in the trenches

There’s a reason why the Philadelphia Eagles invest heavily in their defensive line. Football is ever-evolving, but one thing will never change. Games are won and lost in the trenches.

The Eagles’ pass rush will be relied upon. The same can be said about Philly’s O-line. We can talk about Jalen Hurts and all of those weapons all day, but to make long stories shorter, if the Birds win in the trenches, we won’t have to worry about the running game or Jalen getting the ball to his skill players.

Jalen Hurts versus the Commanders’ secondary

Have you noticed? Since the bye week, Jalen isn’t running as often. He’s winning with his arm more frequently, and it’s been fun watching the maturation process.

We’re expecting big things from A.J. Smith, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal, and Dallas Goedert. The Commanders have some ballers too though. Keep an eye out for Kendall Fuller, Kamren Curl, Rachad Wildgoose, and Benjamin St-Juste wherever Hurts puts the ball in the air. Each of those guys can shift the momentum on a single play.

Tress Way versus Britain Covey?

Here’s something that you might find interesting. The Eagles gave a punter, Brock Miller, a workout. He’s a lefty, as is the Commanders’ comp, Tress Way, who the Eagles will see on Monday.

Perhaps knowing you’re facing a left-footed punter lends to the theory that the ball comes off of the foot differently. Then again, it may not. Here’s what we are aware of.

Philadelphia’s special teams unit has left much to be desired outside of a few bright spots, Zech McPhearson being one of them. Seeing as how they haven’t gotten much out of Britain Covey despite the hype, anything out of the ordinary might be something worth monitoring.

Yes friends, that includes left-footed punters. A strange bounce or two could lead to some weird moments that no one wants to see. Let’s hope a special teams play doesn’t shift momentum unless, of course, it’s the rare huge play by Michael Clay’s guys.

Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson versus the Eagles’ run defense

Naturally and for obvious reasons, this is one of the big stories and one of those battles within the battle that could help tell the tale. We’ve discussed the Eagles’ run defense ad nauseam. We’re also very aware that Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson Jr. are potential game-wreckers.

The rubber meets the road here. This is the one area where the Eagles are at a disadvantage. This is what you would call a ‘strength-versus-weakness’ matchup.

Subplots to watch on Monday Night Football. light. Trending