If the Eagles want to save their season — and get it right, Monday night’s prime time battle against the Packers is to save their season — the Birds need to rebound offensively and find the end zone.
The Eagles have not scored more than 24 points since their Week 3 win over the Steelers and will be facing an offense in Green Bay with very similarnumbers.
Still, with Aaron Rodgers under center for the opposition, Philadelphia will need to give its stellar defense some support.
This will be a difficult task as the team will hit the field with a well-documented undermanned wide receiving corps, a slowly regressing rookie quarterback and possibly their two best running backs out due to injuries sustained in a 26-15 loss to the Seahawks in Week 11.
Here are three positions the Eagles must see production from if they want to improve to 6-5:
In five of his last six starts, quarterback Wentz has failed to break the 90 point mark in QB rating. This after three of his first four games broke the 100 mark. He’s thrown four touchdowns and six interceptions in that span and has more resembled a rookie (once a book began to be written on his following the Eagles’ bye week).
The Eagles defense ranks fourth in the NFL in points allowed while the Packers are 27th of 32 teams. Wentz will get a rare opportunity against a weak defense to put up some respectable numbers again.
Wentzis a better quarterback at home and will have the help of favorable crowd noise Monday.
“There were some times where he was a little bit late or kept his eyes in a spot too long and could have gone other places with the ball,” head coach Doug Pederson said of Wentz’ performance in last week’s loss.”I think, too, it’s just the speed of the defense that he was facing, on turf and with the crowd noise, all that is huge. It does affect you. And then just knowing game situations: understanding down and distance, play calls, designs and everything, and what you’re seeing on defense and things that he continues to process through.”
Running backs/wide receivers
There exists a good chance both Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews are unable to suit up Monday. If both are sidelined, running back reasonability will fall to rookie Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner. Each has had a light workload this season but they have had work nonetheless.
“These guys have played a lot of ball, and this is everybody,” Pederson said.”You’re seeing around the National Football League I think with injury, and every team is faced with it each week.”
Not injured but just as wounded (metaphorically at least) is the Eagles wide receivinggroup, which will add training camp darling Paul Turner while Nelson Agholortakes a mental health day. Jordan Matthews and company will need to figure out how to become an assent and not a hindrance for Wentz.
The Eagles will line up a bruised and battered offensive line as well, with Big V out for the week and Lane Johnson’s suspension continuing. Lucky for the Eagles, they have a mostly healthy Jason Peters back at left tackle after an injury scare last week. Allen Barbre will start at right tackle with Stephen Wisnewski shifting to guard.
Pederson is glad to have a versatilelineman like Barbre who can help cover for a fallen teammate.
“He’s played tackle before in his past so he understands that positionand we experimented with this in training camp for a couple of weeks,” Pederson said. “It’s great to have guys like that, even when you’re putting your roster together through training camp or OTAs, all the way back to OTAs. You want to find those versatile offensive linemen, guards and centers, that can play those positions and guards that can play tackles or tackles that can play both sides of the ball. Allen is definitely one of those valuable players for us that can do both.”