“Hey. Hey! HEY! Remember me?”
Fresh off a comprehensive handling of the Minnesota Vikings, the suddenly-declared “best team in the NFC” heads to a nondescript tract of land somewhere between Baltimore and Washington to take on the franchise formerly known as the Washington Football Team.
(And also arguably one of the most polarizing Philadelphia athletes in recent memory. But you probably knew that.)
Joe pretty much nailed it last week, so he goes first.
Joe (1-1-0): Last week, I told everyone that Kirk Cousins sucked, that the Eagles would impose themselves offensively, and that Darius Slay would be the defensive standout of the game. Check, check, and ohbabycheck.
I also told you that the game would be a 24-14 win for the Eagles; it ended 24-7, and only because on the doorstep of the end zone, Cousins decided he was finished for the night and decided not to run another play. I live rent-free in his brain.
In two-plus seasons of Quick Picks, that has to be the closest anyone has gotten to a perfect prediction, so of course John goes halfway across the country to duck me. REAL COOL, BUD.
Anyway, onto this week. Speaking of milquetoast quarterbacks and rent-free living arrangements, Carson Wentz! Except this time it’s he who lives rent-free in the minds of the Philadelphia Eagles fan base. While we still talk about him like jilted lovers, I imagine Wentz doesn’t think about us at all, to paraphrase a Mad Men meme. Carson Wentz is the new Chip Kelly for Eagles fans, except a lot of us still bring up Chip Kelly from time to time on the podcast they co-host with the guy writing this paragraph. (Consider that shot fired.) (“Like Chip Kelly was!”) (Fair enough.)
Without having seen any more than the occasional in-game-break highlight, I haven’t seen the…the Comman…I can’t do it. “Washington Commanders” is so, so stupid. They are, now and forever, the Football Team.
I haven’t seen the Football Team play, but I feel like if ever there’s a franchise where you don’t have to see them at all for a month or two at a time but you can still guess pretty accurately exactly how they’re going to play, it’s the WFT. Or the Jets or the Lions, but for the purposes of this article, it’s Washington. The Eagles are better than Washington, and I have no qualms making that assertion sight unseen.
But winners and losers aren’t decided by who’s better; they’re decided by who wins the game, and sometimes games come down to more than just talent and game-planning and execution. I predicted in the preseason that the Eagles would be 2-0 heading into this game and would leave it 2-1. I also said that Carson Wentz probably doesn’t think about us, but I’m sure that come Sunday, he’ll want to make sure he outshines Jalen Hurts just to make a point. He can still do that while getting strip-sacked by Brandon Graham, which I feel like might be some sort of cosmic inevitability.
I believe in consistency of thought, and since things have gone exactly how I thought they would over the first two weeks, I feel it is my logical duty to continue down that path until proven otherwise. I hope it’s proven otherwise this week, but I have to stick to the marker I laid down a few weeks ago. Football Team 20, Eagles 16.
Offensive Standout: Carson Wentz
Defensive Standout: Brandon Graham
John (1-1-0): Well…I got last week wrong. Very wrong. What looked like a trap game may very well have been the Eagles first true step towards the elite of the NFC. Can they win on Sunday?
It’s hard to pick against them in their first matchup against the prodigal son. This week, however, is a W against the former WFT. Jalen Hurts will beat his predecessor and avenge the faulty construction of one of the worst stadiums in the NFL.
The defense will feast in a game that Wentz may not finish. Look for a confident Darius Slay to have another big game. Look for a big hit in the second half that dislodges the football from a Wentz who shows us that the more his teams change, the more he remains the same. Eagles 27, Commanders (lol) 17.
Offensive Standout: DeVonta Smith
Defensive Standout: Kyzir White