NFL: Philadelphia Eagles vs Indianapolis Colts
Carson Wentz will be back in action for the Eagles this Sunday as they take on the Colts in Philly. The Eagles are coming off a tough loss to the Fitzmagic-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers while Indy comes in off a win over the Redskins. Here is the preview for week 3:
Eagles Notes for week 3:
Carson Wentz is coming back at the perfect time for the Eagles: Hats off to Nick Foles, no doubt. In his time since taking over for an injured Wentz, he led the Eagles to a 6-2 record and their first Super Bowl, winning MVP of Super Bowl LII. However, the Eagles need Wentz to come back. Injuries are starting to build up for the Eagles offense and Foles seemed to hesitant to make a mistake in the first two weeks of the season. We’ll see how Wentz will do in his first game back since week 13 of last season.
They need help at receiver: The wide receivers are a problem for Philly. Through two weeks, Philadelphia’s wide receivers have had just 22 catches for 170 yards and one Nelson Agholor touchdown. To put that number into perspective, New Orleans Saints wide out, Michael Thomas, already has 28 for 269 yards and three touchdowns. To make matters even worse, Mike Wallace was placed on the IR with a fractured fibula, joining Mack Hollins. In a corresponding move, the Eagles re-signed receiver Jordan Matthews. From 2014-2016, Matthews caught 225 passes for 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns for Philly before having a down year with Buffalo in 2017. He was cut by New England during the preseason. With Alshon Jeffery unlikely to play, the Eagles will have Agholor, Matthews, Kamar Aiken, and Shelton Gibson at receiver.
The Eagles’ defensive backs are a liability: For the second straight week, the Eagles’ defensive backs did not look great. Ronald Darby allowed 10 catches for 169 yards to Julio Jones in week one and Jalen Mills still consistently gets burned by the double move. The Colts don’t have many big playmakers but a T.Y. Hilton long ball could hurt the Eagles. Hopefully, Philly’s front seven can create pressure like they were able to do in week one.
Colts notes for week 3:
Colts Head Coach, Frank Reich, is familiar with the Eagles: That’s right, Reich was hired as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator right after Doug Pederson was hired by the Eagles in 2016. From 2016-2017, the Eagles went from the 16th best offense in terms of scoring to the third best last year with Reich as the OC. Following the Eagles’ Super Bowl win, Reich was hired to replace Chuck Pagano as the Colts’ head coach. It will be interesting to see how Reich’s knowledge of the Eagles’ offense will affect this game.
There is still hope in Andrew Luck: The biggest questions for the Colts going into the season surrounded Andrew Luck after he missed all of 2017 with a shoulder injury. He’s had ups and downs through the first two weeks of the season, but overall has been solid, completing 60 of 84 passes for a 71.4% completion rate and passer rating of 87.3. He has thrown a few bad interceptions with three already, most notably one on his first possession of the season when he threw a ball right into the hands of a Bengals defender. He’ll need to play at a very high level on Sunday to help pull off the upset.
X Factor in this game: Nelson Agholor
I’ve already mentioned that the Eagles are growing increasingly thin at receiver. With Jordan Matthews back, it’s possible that Agholor will be moved back from the slot to the outside, where he struggled in 2016. Carson Wentz is back and he’ll need to rely on short passes to Agholor to move the chains. The Colts’ secondary looked bad in week one against Cincinnati but rebounded nicely in week two against the Redskins. Agholor will likely line up against Kenny Moore II who has looked good at the start of this season. Overall, a big game from Agholor would go a long way for the Eagles.
Which team will move to 2-1 this week? So far 0-2 with Eagles picks on the year, I’m confident that the Eagles will get the victory over the Colts this week. Carson Wentz is back and Philly fans will create a hostile environment for Andrew Luck and the Colts. It’s also worth noting that Doug Pederson is 16-3 at home since he was hired in 2016. Therefore, the Eagles will cover a 6.5 point spread this Sunday and beat Indy.
Final Score: Eagles 31, Colts 17