To help inform Baltimore Beatdown of the birds across state line, I linked up with Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation for a quick Q&A exchange. Make sure to check out BGN for my answers.
1. The Eagles quickly hit their Super Bowl window two seasons ago and still have an opportunity for a couple more years. Is this another season of Super Bowl expectations for the Birds?
Absolutely. The Eagles are in an aggressive win-now mode. They’ve assembled a roster that some believe to be the most talented in the NFL. They’ve put a special emphasis on improving their offense after the team had some struggles on that side of the ball in 2018. Carson Wentz arguably has the best supporting cast he’s ever had the chance to work with. If he can stay healthy, there’s ample reason to believe the Eagles are a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
2. The cliche question must be asked. How is Carson Wentz playing and is their confidence in his ability to stay healthy for this season and beyond?
Wentz has had some ups and downs in camp but the ups have been far more frequent. He especially looked good against the Ravens during the second joint practice this week. He earned enough respect from Earl Thomas for the Ravens safety to label him among the league’s elite quarterbacks.
As far as the Eagles’ confidence in his ability to stay healthy, well, I don’t think they would’ve signed him to a four-year, $128 million extension if they were majorly worried about that. Wentz has made an effort to try to prevent injury by living a healthier lifestyle and altering his diet. Ultimately, though, injuries can just be about luck and Wentz hasn’t been on the good side of that coin in the last two years. Maybe he’ll have more fortune in 2019 and beyond. Matthew Stafford was injured a lot earlier in his career prior to becoming the iron man that he is today.
3. What matchup in this game are you expecting to give the Eagles fits? On the reverse side, which matchup will be trouble for the Ravens?
The Eagles had a tough time passing the ball during their first joint practice against the Ravens. I could see Baltimore’s secondary causing some issues for Philly’s passing game.
The Eagles’ defensive line could make life tough on Trace McSorley, who really struggled during practice this week. Look out for defensive end Daeshon Hall (No. 74). He’s been destroying his blockers so far this preseason.
4. Who are the players Eagles fans are rooting for to make the 53-man roster? Do you see any UDFAs worth keeping for Philadelphia?
It’d be nice to see good outings from roster bubble guys such as Mack Hollins, Greg Ward, Marken Michel, T.J. Edwards, Johnathan Cyprien, Brett Toth, etc. Edwards and Nate Herbig are the Eagles’ undrafted rookie free agents with the best chances of making the roster. Herbig especially if the Eagles end up trading or cutting Stefen Wisniewski, who could be of interest to the Ravens.
5. What is your score prediction for this exhibition?
The line for this game is Ravens -5. I think Baltimore’s starters are going to end up playing longer than Philly’s starters so the Ravens are the easy pick, 23-10.