The Eagles lead the entire NFL in some pretty prolific categories through two weeks of the regular season.
Among them is turnover differential (they are +5), point differential (+34)and of course margin of victory.
The 2-0 Eagles have made short work of the Browns and Bears, knocking each team’s starting quarterback out long term in the wake of two impressive victories.
On Sunday at 4:25 (on CBS) Eagles fans and NFL pontificators will determine whether the Eagles are for real or not after they take on the 2-0 Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field.
Here’s what we’re looking forward to seeing in Week 3:
A real defense
The Browns and Bears are NFL teams and have some talented NFL players — like Joe Haden or LaMarr Houston — but the Steelers are a real NFL defense and a force to be rekoned with.
“The biggest thing really, and it’s what you see on film, is the aggressive style,” Doug Pederson said on the upgrade in defense Philly is sure to see.”I mean, they love to get after the passer. They will bring those two middle backers, [Ryan] Shazier and [Lawrence] Timmons —they’ll bring both of those guys.
“One thing you notice, too, is they love to keep their eyes on the quarterback and vision on the quarterback, and so it becomes, for any quarterback, where you are looking in the progression of plays. You’ve got to be able to look off and do some different things that way.”
Containing Antonio Brown
The top wide receiver in the NFL over the past two plus years will have the Eagles’ secondary in fits, especially with Leodis McKelvin expected to miss his second straight game at cornerback.
With Nolan Carroll III a big, speedy and solid cornerback starting against Brown, the Steelers will try and utilize any mismatch they can when they catch the rookie Jalen Mills or journeyman Ron Brooks covering Brown instead.
“Well, you’ve got to know where he’s at,” Pederson said. “You see what they have done with him, moving him around the field in different spots. Single him up; put him in bunch packages; stack packages.One thing [Steelers offensive coordinator] Todd [Haley] does well is he moves his personnel around and he takes advantage of that. He knows what he has. You need to know where [Brown] is at, but they’ve got some explosive guys on offense that I think if you put all your attention to one guy, another one can beat you. You have got to pay attention to all those guys.
Wentz wagon rolls
Carson Wentz has continued to confound critics and the Eagles will go as far as he takes them this season. Can the rookie quarterback keep this up?
“He wants to be good,” Pederson said.”He wants to be one of the top quarterbacks in the National Football League at some point. He looks at the games and goes, ‘Man, I could have done that better on that play or my eyes could have been here or I could have sped my feet up on this drop.’ Those are all things that come with playing and with time.”
Another week, another window into the Eagles long-term future. With a bye week following the Steelers game, his performance in Week 3 will be talk shot chatter for quite some time leading into Philly’s trip to Detroit on October 9.