The Philadelphia Eagles and the Cincinnati Bengals are both 0-2 yet the tale of each season is very different. The Bengals are in a rebuild developing the number one pick in the draft, Joe Burrow. The Eagles are trying to figure out what is going on with their franchise quarterback. Will their absentee defense is going to show up? Here are my Keys to this Week 3 Matchup.
1. Schwartz vs The Rookie
This week, Jim Schwartz admitted the problem with the defense was his game plan. He said it was way too simplified which actually caused confusion. Joe Burrow has looked good in his first two games as a professional football player. Junk time yardage has inflated some of his statistics and he hasn’t really thrown the ball down field. The Eagles are 6-1 against rookie quarterbacks under Jim Schwartz with quarterbacks not having much success. Jim needs to make his game plan very complex for week 3 and try to confuse Burrow into a few interceptions. Make Joe Burrow prove he can throw the deep ball by taking away underneath.
2. Carson Wentz
The Philadelphia Eagles don’t need 2017 Wentz or do they need “Houdini” Wentz to win this game. Carson just needs to make the easy throws and stop pressing in the pocket. Hate or Love Carson, 4 interceptions in 2 games is very uncharacteristic of his play. The miss throws happen. NOT 20! 15 of those 20 came from a clean pocket too. Carson Wentz needs to play lose and get back to being himself. Take off for a few runs even. The Cincinnati Bengals defense should be one he can exploit and get the wagon going again. NO INTS!
3. Run the Football
The Bengals were unable to stop the run last season and the trend seems to be continuing. Through 2 games they have given up a whopping 370 Yards on the ground! I can’t imagine a game where the Eagles do not try to exploit this clear weakness. I would expect a heavy dose of Miles Sanders (cough cough fantasy football owners). Isaac Seumalo was place on injured reserve giving Matt Pryor the start. Running the football is the easiest way to help a banged up interior offensive line. Running the ball will settle Carson down as well, who checked into a few successful running plays last week. If the Eagles cannot run on the Cincinnati Bengals then I am not sure they will run on anyone this season.
I did some research and found out the Eagles are 3-9-1 all time against the Bengals. The last time the Eagles beat the Bengals was on Christmas Eve of 2000! I think the Eagles win on Sunday and everything looks a lot better. As much as we have criticized Schwartz he seems to have success against rookie quarterbacks. I also find it very hard to believe that Carson Wentz is suddenly the worst quarterback in football. The running game should run wild too!
Eagles 27 – Bengals 16
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