The Eagles opened up their 2017 season with a win on Sunday afternoon over the Washington Redskins, snapping a five-game losing streak against the team in Washington. How did the folks around the sports media world and fans reacting to the Eagles season-opening triumph?
CSN Philly’s Reuben Frank gave his usual 10 observations from the game and was mostly positive, but thought the offensive line was in shambles:
There is work to do on the offensive line. This was just a shaky, inconsistent effort up front. I know fans like to pick on Jason Kelce, but the breakdowns were across the board up front. It’s a good thing Wentz is so good at making something out of nothing — like he did on the 58-yard TD pass to Agholor and that 23-yarder down the left sideline to Ertz — but the O-line has to be better and more consistent and has to be able to give Wentz time in the pocket. Wentz has the ability to stand in there and make plays when things are breaking down around him, and he did a lot of that Sunday, but over the long haul? This effort from the offensive line was simply unacceptable.
That is a common thread among the beat writers as Les Bowen wrote among his takeaways from Week 1 about the porous offensive line:
All that oohing and ahhing over Wentz’s amazing escapes against Washington is just great, but if the Eagles’ offensive line doesn’t play better than that in Kansas City, it will get Wentz killed.
Brian Baldinger praised the Eagles’ defensive front:
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) September 11, 2017
On Washington’s side of things, The Washington Post felt the Eagles’ ability to disrupt the passing game was more on the ineptitude of the Redskins than the Eagles’ talent:
One of the more perplexing areas of Sunday’s outing involved the offensive line’s inability to hold off Philadelphia’s pass rush. Yes, the Eagles are good, but the Redskins made them look better than they were. The Eagles registered four sacks and another 11 hits on the quarterback.
USA Today felt the Eagles Week 1 win was good enough to move up three spots in the latest NFL rankings, with one running back’s production being a sign for promise:
LeGarrette Blount caught a TD pass Sunday. Why is that noteworthy? He’d only done that one other time in his eight-year NFL career.
Sports Illustrated’s MMQB has the Eagles sitting at 10th in its latest rankings, moving all the way up from 18th in last week’s poll, with the team receiving two votes as high as seventh.
The Birds received a B+ from CBS Sports for their opening win, but they did knock Philly’s rushing “attack”:
The Eagles had zero running game in Washington, which means it was up to CarsonWentz and the Philly defense to win the game, and that’s exactly what happened. Wentz threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns, and on one of those touchdowns, he may or may not have morphed into Brett Favre.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell highlighted and analyzed several great performances from quarterbacks in Week 1 and mentioned Carson Wentz’s day as a notable one, despite some criticism for the sophomore quarterback:
Indeed, a closer look at Wentz’s day wasn’t quite as rosy. All brilliance on that one play aside, Wentz was wildly inconsistent during Philadelphia’s 30-17 win in Washington, showing some of the same problems that frustrated Eagles fans during an up-and-down rookie campaign.
As for the fans, some reacted negatively towards Howie Roseman and Co. for the lack of a quality, deep draft, based on how many snaps they played, or lack thereof, on Sunday:
Eagles 2017 draft, wk 1:
Rd1: 26 snaps
Rd4a: 5 snaps
Rd5b: PRACTICE SQUAD
Rd6: INACTIVE pic.twitter.com/o7JcLNqR3W
— Dan Roche (@RochesRWinners) September 11, 2017
Others are extremely optimistic about the Eagles and their divisional chances this season:
Eagles are the team to beat no doubt in the NFC East. If we can get our playcalling down, these teams will try to be catching us.
— Eagles Fans⚡️ (1-0) (@NoPhlyZone5) September 11, 2017
Overall, a positive reaction from the Eagles season-opening win, but the shaky offensive line and a couple of injuries to key players could quickly flip the script, and the opinions, after Week 2.