The NFL found a way to prevent the Eagles from winning this weekend: Don't let them play.
Yup, the Eagles are riding high at 3-0, but an early Week 4 bye has them waiting to play again until Oct. 9 in Detroit against the Lions.
Thanks to a hot start from rookie Carson Wentz and the defense, the Eagles have been one of the biggest surprises of the NFL so far and have Philadelphia buzzing.
As always, thanks for your questions. We'll dive right in:
Wentz's ability to extend plays doesn't make his receivers better, but it certainly gives them more opportunities, which is really just as good.
This skill is something Wentz really takes pride in. He wants his receivers to know that no matter how broken the play is, it isn't dead until the whistle. In that regard, the comparisons to Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers make plenty of sense. And his receivers love the idea of having extra seconds to get open.
During the Chicago game, Wentz really showed this ability. He showed he can move around and out of the pocket while also keeping his eyes downfield. It was just a matter of time before he hit big on one of those plays.
Sure enough, he did it in the third quarter against the Steelers. I broke down that play using the tape and it showed a unique skill set out of a quarterback (see story).
We had a few questions about running backs, so we'll let this one speak for them all.
On Monday, Doug Pederson said that once Ryan Mathews ankle is completely healed, Mathews is still the lead back who will get most of the team's carries. I think Pederson means it.
Still, Mathews has had injury problems for a long time and it looks like this year is no different. It had to be encouraging for the Eagles to see how well Kenjon Barner and Wendell Smallwood played against the Steelers. While Mathews is averaging just 3.2 yards per carry, Barner is at 6.1 and Smallwood is at 4.8.
Sproles, who has 19 carries this year, shouldn't be getting as many carries as he has, but he's still going to get some. He's averaging just 2.7 yards per attempt.
That's a long answer to say this: For now, Mathews is the guy. But if he can't stay healthy, one of the other guys could and should earn more carries.
I thought Stefen Wisniewski looked OK in camp as the primary backup at right guard.
Sure, Jason Kelce hasn't looked like a Pro Bowler in 2016, but he might not be as bad as you think. Here's Andrew Kulp's film breakdown of Kelce from the Bears game, where to the casual observer, it looked like Kelce got worked (see story). We see Kelce looks bad when he's asked to block a nose tackle 1-on-1. That's never been his strength and never will be his strength. His strength is getting to the next level to block and use his athleticism.
One more reason to not expect a change at center unless things start to go really bad is that Kelce has been really good for Wentz. Sure, there was a bad snap against the Steelers (something Wisniewski has had his troubles with) but Kelce is a veteran and has helped the rookie out plenty during the first three weeks.
And besides, with Lane Johnson's suspension looming, the Eagles are likely going to use Wisniewski to fill it at left guard. They could put him at center and Isaac Seumalo at LG, but that would be a pretty big offensive line shakeup for a team that hasn't yet lost a game.