The Eagles have been one of the best teams in the NFL through six weeks. Although it has been a team effort in this phenomenal 5-1 start, there have been three players that have absolutely shown out for the Eagles.
Offensive: Carson Wentz
Going into the season, the Eagles were projected to go as far as Carson Wentz’s young arm could take them. With Wentz playing like one of the best QB’s in the league, the Eagles are playing like one of the best teams in the league. One of his biggest flaws last year was his decision making, and poor fundamentals leading to errant throws. Both have not only been fixed, but have become strengths of his.
Decision making is one of the biggest difference between a good NFL QB and elite NFL QB. Wentz has learned to not only avoid the rookie mistakes of trying to make a play when there isn’t a play to be made, but has become an elite level decision maker. Wentz seems to always know where the first down marker is, when the pocket is collapsing, and what the defense is trying to do each play. He has shown an innate ability to keep his eyes downfield while scrambling, but does not force the ball when he is in trouble. He now has confidence in his running ability to become a staple of the offense and now has him avoiding some killer interceptions.
His fundamentals have been tweaked over the offseason, and he is reaping the benefits of his hard work. Wentz has been able to thread the needle in the endzone, and of late, has been very accurate with his deep passes. Through Week 6, Carson Wentz is fifth in the league in passing yards, and second in the league with 13 passing touhdowns. His stellar play has elevated him into MVP consideration, but also the team into super bowl contention.
Defensive: Brandon Graham
There are many players on the defensive side of the ball that are very deserving of defensive MVP for the Eagles such as: Fletcher Cox, Jordan Hicks, Mychal Kendricks, Malcolm Jenkins, or even Jalen Mills, but Brandon Graham has been impossible to ignore. Brandon Graham has been excellent at getting after the passer, but he has also stepped up his run defense.
Going into the year, the defensive line was expected to be the strength of the team, and they have not disappointed. With players like Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernigan, Vinny Curry, and the teams number one draft pick Derek Barnett, production along the defensive line was going to be spread out. Even with the abundance of talent, Graham is still tied for 15th in the league in sacks, and has been a menace to opposing QBs. Remember Graham’s forced fumble was the game sealing touchdown vs. Washington. With Fletcher Cox missing time this year, teams were allowed to focus on Graham, and he was still able to produce at a high level. Graham and the defensive line have been a dream come true for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and have the Eagles playing at an exceptional level.
Special Teams: Jake Elliott
Elliott was not on the roster to begin the year, but after the injury to Caleb Sturgis, he was brought along to fill in until Sturgis returned, but now the Eagles might have found their kicker of the future. Elliott is 12-14 on the year, and perfect on extra points. Not only does Elliott have the longest field goal made for the year, but that 61-yard field goa was to beat the divisional rival New York Giants. Is there better way for a rookie kicker to make a name for himself in Philadelphia? Let me answer that, NO!
Elliott has looked like a 10-year vet since the minute he put on midnight green. After missing two of his first six kicks as an Eagle, he has calmly knocked through nine in a row. Elliott is not just becoming a solid kicker, but is becoming a weapon for the Eagles, especially in a year of shaky kicking in the NFL. Without Elliott’s four field goals vs. the Chargers, the Eagles would not have won that game. Obviously Elliott had his “Heisman moment” with his game winner vs. the Giants, but he has followed it up with three straight excellent performances. Hats off to this rookie.
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