The Eagles (6-1) travel to Landover, Maryland, to face the Chiefs (3-4) in a repeat of their Week 4 win.
Let’s get to the matchups:
Sua Opeta vs. Jonathan Allen
For the most part, the Eagles have been fine with Opeta at right guard while Cam Jurgens has been on IR for the past three games. That means there’s a good chance this could be Opeta Jurgens’ last start before he returns, although we’ll know more next week.
Despite Opeta’s hard work, he didn’t do well against the Dolphins on Sunday night. This was evident in the eye test and PFF called Opeta a sack with six tackles. Opeta was good enough to fill in for Jurgens in Week 4 when Jurgens suffered a foot injury against the Cardinals but this time around Washington has a full week to prepare for Opeta at right guard. And if there’s one strength on Washington’s team it’s up front on defense with Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne.
Jordan Mairata vs. Chase Young
The Rangers also have a couple of good runners in Montez Sweat and Chase Young, who are coming on strong. Young was the No. 2 overall pick in 2020 but hasn’t turned into the player the Commanders hoped for. But in 2023, they are starting to show more promise. In 6 games this season, Young already has 5 sacks and is on pace to complete his career total of 7 1/12 from his rookie Pro Bowl season. Last week against the Giants, Young had his first 2 sack game of the season.
Although it will be good to watch Lane Johnson vs. Montez Sweat on the other hand, is very excited about the matchup between Mailata and Young. Young only runs on the right side of the line which is why we should expect to see him at Mailata on Sunday afternoon only. Mailata is quietly putting together a great, even Pro Bowl, season but Young will be the big test.
AJ Brown vs. Commanders Corners
The last time these two teams played, the Commanders decided to put forward Emmanuel Forbes against Brown 1-on-1 and perform a prayer that went unanswered. Brown in that game caught 9 passes for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns and hasn’t slowed down his production since. Against the Dolphins on Sunday, he had his fifth consecutive game with 125+ receiving yards.
In the weeks since that first meeting, the Governors have been playing Forbes less and less. The Mississippi State quarterback played just five defensive snaps last week against the Giants. The top corners in Washington right now are Kendall Fuller and Benjamin St-Juste. Through seven weeks of the season, the Chiefs have the NFL’s 28th best defense.
As a reminder, here is what Brown has done in the last five weeks:
Week 7 vs. Dolphins: 10 catches, 137 yards, 1 TD
Week 6 at Jets: 7 catches, 131 yards
Week 5 at Rams: 6 catches, 127 yards
Week 4 vs. Managers: 9 catches, 175 yards, 2 TDs
Week 3 at Buccaneers: 9 catches, 131 yards
Eagles defensive line vs. Shaky Commanders OL
Back in Week 4, the Eagles sacked Sam Howell five times but three of those sacks came from Nicholas Morrow. They didn’t get to Howell like you would expect with their lineup. But every team seems to be coming to Howell this season. He has already been sacked 40 times (!) in seven games this season; that is the most players who have been dismissed this season. The next closest is Daniel Jones, who has been sacked 28 times.
Howell is being fired at the most alarming rate ever. Here are the top five in sacks through seven games since sacks became legal in 1982:
1. David Carr (Texans, 2002): 43
t-2. Sam Howell (Commanders, 2023): 40
t-2. Jake Plummer (Cardinal, 1997): 40
4. David Carr (Texans, 2005): 37
5. Paul McDonald (Browns, 1984): 35
And this week, there’s a chance the Chiefs could be without left guard Saahdiq Charles, who missed Wednesday’s game with a calf injury. That is the place where the Eagle can attack.
All of these margins are an advantage for the Eagles. Take Haason Reddick against Andrew Wylie all day and Josh Sweat has 6 of his 34 career sacks against Washington.
Eagles High School vs. Sam Howell
Give young football player Sam Howell credit. He played well against the Eagles in Week 4. In that game, Howell completed 29 of 41 passes for 290 yards and a touchdown. But he did poorly last week against the Giants, completing just over 52% for 249 yards and a touchdown.
The Eagles have beaten Washington four times in the Nick Sirianni Era and four of those wins have come against four quarterbacks: Garrett Gilbert, Taylor Heinicke, Carson Wentz and Howell. They will get a chance to beat Howell for the second time in the game.
Darius Slay vs. Terry McLaurin
In the first meeting between the two teams, Terry McLaurin had 8 catches for 86 yards but Darius Slay did a great job against him. McLaurin was 4 for 39 against Slay, per PFF.
Here’s a look back at all their head-to-head comparisons:
Week 4, 2023: 4 Targets, 4 Catches, 39 Yards
Week 10, 2022: 6 Targets, 4 Catches, 85 Yards
Week 3, 2022: 6 Targets, 3 Catches, 36 Yards
Week 17, 2021: 2 targets, 2 catches for 2 yards
Week 15, 2021: 3 targets, 2 catches for 51 yards
Week 17, 2020: 1 target, 1 catch, 3 yards
Week 1, 2020: 3 Targets, 2 Catches, 28 Yards
Week 12, 2019 (at Lions): 10 Targets, 3 Catches, 42 Yards
Rulers against organizational incompetence
After last week’s 14-7 loss to the Giants, former Commanders Jonathan Allen had enough and moved on. words full of profanity.
Perhaps the Commanders will call. Or maybe he’ll be hungry this week. We’ll see soon.
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