Beating the Browns (who may wind up being better than we thought) in Week 1 was one thing, but what happens to Carson Wentz and the Eagles’ underrated offense when it travels to Soldier Field in Chicago?
In perhaps another verywinnable game thanks to a soft start to the schedule, Philly will need to show they are really in the mix for the NFC East Monday night in primetime on ESPN at 8:30.
Here are the three most intriguing storylines from the Philadelphia side as we approach the Week 2 finale:
The Wentz wagon continues
The numbers were impressive in Week 1’s 29-10 win, and the throws were even more impressive.
Wentz — rookie of the week last week — will get his first taste of a national TV game in hostile territory Monday and head coach Doug Pederson is expecting more of the same.
In fact, the coaching staff is stepping things up a notch, prepping Wentzand the offense with a silent count to get plays off cleanly amid the howling Chicago fans.
“It’s worked out really great this week,” Pederson said of the silent count.”We’ve worked it not only from the shotgun but under center as well, just in case. Sometimes it’s good, too, just to work it at home, in the home stadium, when your crowd is loud. It’s a good thing. It’s a good thing to have [that silent count] in your pocket at any time.”
A pair of important Eagles players will be sitting out Monday night.
First, tight end Zach Ertz, who hurt a rib near his collarbone last week, will be sidelined as he is listed week-to-week with the rare injury. Cornerback Leodis McKelvin, brought in from Buffalo this offseason is also unable to suit up.
Call them opportunities or call them setbacks, but tight end Trey Burton and cornerback Jalen Mills will be called on to fill the void.
“It’s a week-to-week deal,” Pederson said.”We’ll see how we get through this game. Both of those guys are feeling better, obviously. We’ll monitor it again next week. The downside, I guess, it’s a shorter week. So we’re trying to get the team ready to go. But we’ll monitor and we’ll evaluate again next week early.”
Eagles safety and defensive leader Malcolm Jenkins went on the record earlier this weekend and said he and other Eagles players would stage their own protest during the national anthem Monday — though he did not confirm what exactly they would do. He did imply the players involved would not sit or kneel, and also said they held off on the protest last week due to the fact that it was the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
“Everybody has their right to either protest or whatever they are going to do,” the coach said Saturday.”Malcolm and I have talked about this. It’s going to happen regardless of what I decide or say, and I respect the players’ decisions on it.The biggest thing is I just don’t want it to become a distraction to the rest of the team. That’s the biggest thing from my standpoint.”