Philadelphia Eagles News

Big Question: How Close Is The Offense?

Dave Spadaro: I'm going to give Carson a chance to come back at his own pace rather than set enormous expectations for him so early in the season. That said, he looked mobile and strong and mentally fearless last week. His timing wasn't great and his field vision could be better, but all in all, I don't think he's that far away. I love the work he's put in and the commitment that he's made to being great. It's all going to pay off, but I will refrain from putting a timestamp on it. The pieces around Carson aren't all there yet, either.

Fran Duffy: I think Carson looked like Carson on Sunday against the Colts. Were the numbers outstanding? No. But outside of a couple of inaccurate or late throws, Wentz looked like himself in Week 3. He was mobile, he was decisive, he threw with great velocity, and he pushed his team up and down the field. I felt great about his opening touchdown drive, but when he spun away from the rush and dove for the first-down marker on the last possession of the second quarter, I thought to myself, "He's back."

Chris McPherson: I don't know about "how close," but it was certainly fun watching him back on the field. I, for one, was impressed with his performance after not taking a hit for nine months, getting no action in the preseason, and coming off a significant injury. Go back to the dive that Fran mentioned. That's exactly how he got injured and he wasn't afraid to do it in his return to action. He had command at the line of scrimmage. The velocity on his throws is higher than pre-injury. He's got an amazing base to work off of in the weeks to come.

Fran Duffy: This is a different team than 2017, we have to remember that. Not only are the players and coaches different, but with injuries taking a toll the offense hasn't looked quite the same, that is true. One of the things that stood out most about last year's team though was that, regardless of the circumstances, it found a way to win. When the offense needed to step up, it did. When the defense was called upon, it came through. As Doug Pederson said this week, the defense and special teams units have carried the team thus far through three games while the offense finds its identity, and I expect that will continue. As far as this week is concerned, 30 points may be a bit tougher to come by considering the opponent. Tennessee has a complicated, aggressive defense that brings a wide variety of coverage and pressure schemes to the table. The Eagles will have a lot to prepare for this week leading into the game.

Dave Spadaro: Tennessee hasn't shown a great pass rush and while the front is excellent, so is Philadelphia at the line of scrimmage. I don't think that it will take 30 points to win this game. I see a low-scoring game. I think it's going to be extremely physical and exhausting. It's hard to predict 30 points when you don't have wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (missed the first two games and is questionable for Sunday) and the running backs are in and out of the lineup.

Chris McPherson: This is a very good Titans defense. Jurrell Casey is an outstanding interior lineman. Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo set the edge in the run game, while rookie Harold Landry is a fastball who can get to the quarterback. Wesley Woodyard has been in the league for 11 seasons and still flies to the ball. The Titans used a first-round pick on linebacker Rashaan Evans. The secondary - led by cornerback Malcolm Butler and safety Kevin Byard - can clamp down on a receiving corps. Tennessee held a Jaguars offense that went up and down the field against the Patriots to just six points last week. Of course, that was an emotional division matchup. The Eagles get Jay Ajayi back this week and Wentz will have another week under his belt. Alshon Jeffery could also return in a limited role. The key is the stunts that the Titans incorporate into their defensive scheme. Those have given the Eagles fits in recent weeks. If the Eagles can block those up, there will be opportunities for them the capitalize.

Dave Spadaro: Sure, of course. The Eagles have the best run defense in the NFL. Now, the Titans are going to bring it and Mariota can bootleg a defense to death, so the discipline has to be there, but the Eagles certainly have the capability of winning up front and stopping Henry in his tracks. Mariota is more of a threat, perhaps, as a runner than as a passer right now, but you know how it works in this wacky early season: Just when you think you've got it figured out, the game goes the other way. The Eagles have to slow down Henry and Mariota or Tennessee is going to be hard to defeat on Sunday. The defensive front has to be disciplined watching for the Titans' misdirection.

Fran Duffy: This team wants to run the ball, there's no doubt about it, and it's not just Henry. Former Eagle Dion Lewis is a productive ball carrier and, I would argue, a better natural runner than the former Heisman Trophy winner. Henry is a big, strong, powerful man, and when he gets going in the open field he can be tough to bring down. Against this zone run scheme, the Eagles' defensive ends must do a great job of setting the edge, forcing Henry to stop his feet in the backfield. That will be a key to victory on Sunday. As far as Mariota is concerned, you have to bottle him up in the pocket. He's extremely athletic, and in their play-action schemes they will try and get him out on the perimeter to hurt the defense on the move with his arm and with his legs. The backside defenders have to stay disciplined this week and not allow Mariota to pull the ball on play-action fakes and roll the opposite direction.

Chris McPherson: Funny that Lewis isn't mentioned in the original tweet, but nonetheless, the Eagles must win on first and second down on Sunday. Knowing that the Eagles' defensive front is aggressive and likes to attack upfield, the Titans will do a lot to try and fool them. With Mariota's arm injury, I wonder if the Eagles will be tempted to play up even closer to the line to corral the run game and force the former No. 2 overall pick to throw to win.

Fran Duffy: Doug has always coached like he's got ice in his veins. I expect that to continue!

Dave Spadaro: Look, I'm a SWOOP guy. Nothing takes me away from my Swoopie. Gritty has gotten a lot of exposure, so it's a good marketing ploy. But let's leave Doug in the very capable wings of a Super Bowl-winning mascot like SWOOP. No need to get fancy here. Good luck to Gritty and the Flyers this season!

Chris McPherson: If Gritty can toss defenders around the way it was knocking over those youth hockey players the other night, that's another piece for the Eagles' jumbo packages. However, watching Gritty flop around on the ice, I don't know if the balance is there.

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