Wednesday Morning QB: 10 Thoughts on the Eagles-Bears All-22
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Time to dive into the film again with 973espn.com’s 10 weekly takeaways after ingesting the All-22 of the Eagles’ second straight impressive win to open the season, Monday’s dominating performance over the hapless Chicago Bears
-Carson Wentz’s first NFL road game came with a clean pocket for the most part. The rookie signal caller faced pressure on only seven of his 39 dropbacks, an excellent performance from an OL group that will soon be missing one of its best players, right tackle Lane Johnson.
-Speaking of that OL, the runt of the litter (not in a physical sense but from a reputation standpoint), Allen Barbre, has had two straight strong performances to start the season and has been the Eagles best overall offensive lineman this far. Whether the light has gone off for Barbre at age 32 and he turns into a late-bloomer like Evan Mathis remains to be seen. He’ll be kicking out to right tackle once Johnson is suspended but the coaching staff’s confidence in Barbe seems well-placed.
-Johnson has also played well, especially as a pass blocker, and his absence will be felt after the pending suspension begins. According to ProFootballFocus.com. L.J. has allowed just three hurries on 83 pass-blocking snaps and he nearly pitched a shutout in Chicago.
-Despite dealing with a balky left ankle that limited his touches and was still wrapped heavily at practice on Wednesday, Ryan Mathews ran extremely hard versus the Bears and broke a number of tackles. The Eagles need him right as the competition picks up.
-Brandon Graham has quietly turned into one of the better edge defenders in the NFC, a capable pass rusher who also sets the edge very well in run support. He doesn’t have the body type of a base 4-3 left end but Graham is performing the job better than anyone else in the conference right now.
-Fletcher Cox didn’t show up with the splash plays against Bears Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long but he garners so much attention that he continues to generate opportunities for his linemates.
-If you asked me before the season which Eagles LB would be on the field the most my answer would not have been Nigel Bradham but the Jim Schwartz favorite has been an every-down LB thus far and is producing even in his perceived weakness, pass coverage.
-The Bears did try to pick on rookie corner Jalen Mills as expected and Alshon Jeffery did get him on one occasion downfield. Overall, though, the seventh-round pick competed and showed one of the biggest traits a CB needs in the league, the ability to put a bad play in the rear-view mirror quickly.
-The other corner, veteran Nolan Carroll, had his second straight subpar game and the corner position as a whole is shaping up as a potential trouble spot for Schwartz as things ramp up.
-As Pete Thompson painfully knows, maybe the steadiest Eagle of them all, punter Donnie Jones, has a rare off night, booting one right down Broadway on the punt return for a TD. Don’t expect many more performances like that from the veteran.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen