I know you're excited about the 2019 season. I am too.
DeSean Jackson is thrilled to be back in Philadelphia, where it all began for him. Jason Peters and Darren Sproles are itching to make another run at a Super Bowl title. Alshon Jeffery will be looking for redemption after the way the 2018 season ended in New Orleans.
Howie Roseman and the scouting staff will be excited to see all of the new players in action. Doug Pederson and the coaching staff are eager to see how the team comes together.
More than anyone, Carson Wentz is juiced about the 2019 season. He rehabbed to get ready for 2018 and then didn't play as well as he wanted. Wentz got hurt and had to watch another playoff run from the sidelines.
Wentz is healthy and ready to show what he can do. He wants to get back to where he was in 2017, when Wentz was on his way to being the league MVP before he got hurt. That must seem like a lifetime ago.
The Washington Redskins come to Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday to take on Wentz and the Eagles. This could be an interesting game.
On the surface, this is a game the Eagles should win. The Eagles have more overall talent and are coming off consecutive seasons with postseason success. Washington has gone 7-9 in each of the past two years.
The X-factor is Washington's defense. Washington has been building that side of the ball for the past few years and now have one of the best young defensive lines in the league. If you watched the Packers-Bears game, defenses can be ahead of offenses early in the year.
The Eagles have one of the best offensive lines in football, but all it takes is one slip-up and someone like Ryan Kerrigan or rookie Montez Sweat can make a game-changing play.
We're all interested to see how Pederson attacks the Redskins' defense. Washington struggled to cover tight ends last season. The Eagles have the best tight end duo in the league so you should expect to see plenty of Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert.
Pederson will also want to unleash Jackson. That means throwing the ball downfield and using Jackson's explosive speed. That should open things up for Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. There will be a play or two for J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Weapons, weapons, everywhere weapons.
We haven't even gotten to the running backs. Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders will each make their Eagles debut. The Redskins have young inside linebackers. I could see Pederson testing them by throwing the ball to Sanders. I'm sure there will also be a screen pass or two to try and slow down the Washington pass rush.
The key to all of this is Wentz. He is more motivated than ever, wanting to prove to teammates, opponents, and all of us on the outside that he is all the way back. He wants the offense to move up and down the field like it did two years ago. Wentz knows the offense just didn't make enough key plays last season.
The offense struggled in the red zone and on third downs. They didn't play well late in games. Those areas were strengths in the Super Bowl season. We all learned just how frustrating a word “almost” can be last season.
If Wentz and the offense can improve in those areas, this team has a chance to go a long way. Sunday won't give us any definitive answers, but it will provide some hints.
This game isn't likely to be a shootout. Washington will have a new quarterback, running back, receivers, and a couple of new starting offensive linemen. With that much change, you don't know what to expect early in the season.
Running back Derrius Guice was a second-round pick a year ago, but missed the season due to an injury. Guice is a big-time talent. He is 225 pounds and runs hard. He also has the speed to create big plays if he breaks a tackle or two. From what the Redskins' coaches have said, they will be feeding him the ball.
Case Keenum will start at quarterback. Keenum can be an effective starter, but he also has limitations. For him to be at his best, Keenum needs a strong supporting cast.
The offensive line could be an area where Washington is vulnerable. Veteran Donald Penn will start at left tackle as Trent Williams holds out. He's 36 years old and only played in four games last season. Is that the guy you want protecting your quarterback's blind side? Ereck Flowers will start at left guard. He struggled at tackle for the Giants, but Washington seems to think he can play well on the inside.
This line doesn't get time to jell. They go up against the Eagles and one of the best defensive lines in the league. Derek Barnett and Fletcher Cox didn't play in the preseason, but they are healthy and ready to make plays. Brandon Graham and Malik Jackson looked terrific this summer and have to be excited about this matchup.
The player I'm most curious about is Daeshon Hall. He was great in the preseason. It will be fun to see if that can carry over to the regular season. He could prove to be a key player for the Eagles if he can continue to be disruptive.
Washington will run the ball a lot, so I'm interested to see if the Eagles play their base 4-3 or if they stick to the nickel defense they love to play.
It sounds like Jordan Reed may miss the game due to a concussion. If so, that makes things easier on the Eagles' defense. Washington still has Vernon Davis and he is a tough matchup. Davis runs very well for a tight end. The Redskins will use him creatively at least a few times in the game.
The Eagles cornerbacks won't be tested by any elite pass catchers, but Paul Richardson does have outstanding speed. You can bet they will send him deep to test the outside corners. It will be great to have Rodney McLeod patrolling the deep middle, making it tough for opposing teams to throw deep on the Eagles.
All signs point to an Eagles win, but strange things do happen early in the season. The Eagles better not come out and play sloppy or Washington can make them pay. That team has some holes, but also some very talented players.
I can't wait for the electric atmosphere at Lincoln Financial Field. That crowd is going to be crazy. If Wentz hits Jackson with a long touchdown pass, Eagles fans will absolutely explode. Sunday could be a very fun day.