2020 Week 1 Analysis: Eagles @ Washington
Ross Jacobs has been an FFM correspondent on NFL games and NFL Draft matters for the past few years. He is going to be writing up some of his notes on various games he’s watching/studying this year. Typically, he will have written/submitted his work before mine, so this is a look at the same game with different eyes...and you can compare and contrast or find some new takeaways.
-The media narrative after this game was that the Washington defensive line, stocked full of multiple 1st round talents, completely dominated the game and brought their team back to win from 17 points down with a combined 8 sacks. Honestly, this was the least impressive 8 sack game I've ever seen, and I would venture to say this Washington football team is one of the worst teams in the entire league.
-Washington's defensive line registered 8 sacks, but 3-4 of them were completely on Carson Wentz for holding the ball too long, 1 Montez Sweat beat a TE, 1 was a linebacker, Jon Bostic, on a blitz, and 1 was Ryan Kerrigan beating a slow-moving guard trying to pull all the way across the line to block him. The only impressive sack of the day was rookie Chase Young's sack around the left side. Every other sack only really happened accidentally or because Wentz played the worst game I've ever seen from him. Now I'm not saying the line isn't talented. They are, and they played a pretty good game. But they are not the world-beaters the media is claiming.
-And now to talk about the real reason Washington won this game. Carson Wentz. Good God that was possibly the sorriest QB performance I've seen since Nathan Peterman managed to throw 5 interceptions in one half of play. Carson Wentz was so bad here he made Dwayne Haskins almost look average by comparison, and Dwayne Haskins IS the worst starting QB in the league. Now I've never been a Wentz fan, but he's played pretty well at times when he's not hurt. I'm not sure what happened here, but he looked dreadful. He only logged 2 interceptions, but Washington easily could have had 4 or 5. Wentz also routinely missed wide open receivers. I should note the bad play started after halftime. In the first half he looked fine and was carving up the Washington secondary. Either way Washington really did nothing to win this game. Carson Wentz literally threw this game away by himself.
-As I mentioned above, Dwayne Haskins is the worst starting QB in the league, and his only competition is Sam Darnold. I cannot believe this guy was drafted in the 1st round. He's so sickeningly bad it's hard to watch. Alex Smith with one leg is a better QB than Haskins. If Alex could somehow play this year I think the Redskins could fight with the Cowboys for the NFC East title. They have a decently talented team otherwise, but Haskins is going to drag them down.
-Assuming Wentz can correct whatever his issue is, the Eagles aren't out of the race just yet. They are very banged up right now, but the rest of the division isn't very good so they may have a chance. Of course this thing could come crashing down in a hurry if they can't solve those problems.
-Personally I wouldn't want anything to do with anyone from this game other than Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. The two Eagles TE's should both get the volume they need to be good starts so long as the wide receiver corp is so injured, and should either go down the other instantly becomes a top 2 TE.
-Washington rookie RB Antonio Gibson looked ok but not special to me. His instincts running the ball seemed better than they did in college, but he also didn't look nearly as fast or explosive. Washington will be playing catch-up a lot this year so he probably isn't going to get a whole lot of carries either. There are better options.
-Terry McLaurin is so good, but I'm not touching him until Haskins is no longer the starting QB.