Chargers’ Edge Will Present Biggest Problem for Eagles
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — It hasn't been easy for Lane Johnson this season.
The Eagles' star right tackle has faced a murderer's row of pass rushers through the first three games of the season in Washington's Ryan Kerrigan, Kansas City's Justin Houston and Jason Pierre-Paul with the Giants. The hits keep on coming this weekend with the Los Angeles Chargers and second-year standout Joey Bosa.
"It's that way every week in the NFL," Johnson said when listing his competition through the first month of the season.
The theme at the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday had a distinct "letdown" theme to it, in that Doug Pederson is trying to prevent the Eagles from taking the 0-3 Chargers for granted after an emotional win over the Giants.
The best way to do that is probably to put on the film of Bosa and Melvin Ingram, perhaps the best edge-rushing duo in the NFL.
The Eagles are better equipped than most to handle the pressure thanks to their veteran tackles, Johnson and Jason Peters, who are both ranked in the top 15 of the league's tackles by ProFootballFocus.com (Peters at No. 8 and Johnson at 13).
That said, the line as a whole has given up a lot of sacks to this point due to the issues at left guard as well as Carson Wentz's propensity to try to extend plays.
That could be a toxic combination at the StubHub Center, the Chargers' temporary digs that figures to be filled with a lot of green on Sunday.
“Ingram, I believe is leading the NFL in sacks, and Bosa is -- gosh, he’s a high-motor, high-energy guy, relentless finisher,” Pederson said. “These two guys are tough to block. ...I thought both our tackles played extremely well Sunday against two elite pass rushers (Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon). They are going to have to do it again this week.”
Johnson will be dealing with Bosa for most of the afternoon while Peters has Ingram, the AFC's Defensive Player of the Month, on his plate but they also move around as Johnson cautioned.
"Ingram is usually on the open side (the weak side) so formationally you have to be aware. I'm sure I'll see them both," he said.
Seeing them is the easy part. Containing them is the key to an Eagles road win.
973espn.com Prediction: Chargers 24, Eagles 21 (2017 pick record 3-0, vs. spread 2-1.)
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen