The Eagles are on a roll.
The final undefeated squad in the NFL enters their ninth contest with unrivaled momentum. They lead the NFL in overall PFF grade, with an 87.7 overall. They seem to have no apparent weakness, except for their run defense, in the absence of rookie mammoth defensive tackle Jordan Davis.
Furthermore, they are third in total yards per game this season and third in defensive yards allowed for the season. They seemingly have no holes on either side of the ball and have enjoyed the superstar development of their young franchise quarterback, Jalen Hurts. They are allowing just 16.9 points per game, good for fourth in the NFL.
We look at a few storylines that will affect this score.
Taylor Heinicke Gets The Start.
Jonathan Gannon should be patient.
Carson Wentz takes too many sacks. In his six appearances this season, he took a whopping 23 sacks. This tally included nine against the Eagles initially in Week Three.
Conversely, Taylor Heinicke is more elusive. While the backup quarterback has taken just six sacks in his three starts, he has constantly been evading rushers. The five-year signal-caller has been pressured on 51 of his 92 pass attempts, which should continue to be an issue in Week 10. The Eagles’ rush completely dominated the underwhelming offensive line in their first meeting this season, and there is not much evidence to suggest a change here.
Heinicke is struggling mightily under center in his limited opportunity thus far. His three games have resulted in a dreadful 39.5 PFF passing grade, and he is responsible for nine turnover-worthy plays. If he continues this trend, Darius Slay, James Bradberry IV, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson will likely make multiple game-breaking plays.
Expect the Eagles to cause a lot of frustration for the Commanders’ passing game and force them to be patient through the air on third and fourth down.
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The Eagles Must Limit The Commanders’ Defensive Line Interior.
The Eagles must focus on limiting the Payne.
Puns aside, Daron Payne makes up half of one of the most dominant pass-rushing interior duos in the NFL. His presence, with superstar Jonathan Allen, is destructive to a team’s pocket. They have combined for a sensational 57 pressures, ten sacks, and 21 tackles for loss. The tandem has a significant game-wrecking ability.
Puns aside, Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen are dominant. On the interior, the tandem can completely wreck a game. Their presence destroys opposing offensive game plans, as they seemingly live in the backfield.
Payne and Allen have combined for 57 total pressures, ten sacks, and 21 tackles for loss. In addition, they have 53 PFF credited stops and 24 quarterback hits. Their combined dominance jumps off the page and can have a massive impact on every NFL game.
Conversely, the Eagles have the best offensive line in the NFL.
Their interior blockers have been terrific thus far this season. At the center, they have one of the game’s elites in, veteran Jason Kelce. In 552 snaps so far this year, he has allowed just five pressures and no hits or sacks on the quarterback. His athleticism will let him help on one of the two and then bounce to the second level to ensure that the Eagles’ running game opens up as planned.
Seumalo and Dickerson are a terrific tandem at offensive guard. The two have combined for 1033 snaps and provided solid protection for their budding superstar quarterback. Dickerson has allowed six pressures and two hits, while Seumalo has conceded 14 total pressures and one sack. The two of them will have their hands full against Allen and Payne.
The two of them gave up just three pressures in Week Three.
Let’s hope they can replicate that fantastic effort here in Week 10.
The Eagles are on a roll. Divisional Games are often challenging, but the Eagles grind this one with a tough running game and stingy, patient defense. At Lincoln Financial Field, off a mini-bye, the Birds move to a 9-0 record and assert their NFC East dominance with a sweep of the Commanders.
Eagles 27 – 20 Commanders.