In 2016, the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive line was not equipped to handle the extended absence of Lane Johnson. The Birds went 5-1 with Johnson at right tackle and 2-8 without him in the lineup.
Will 2017 breed a similar result after losing Jason Peters on Monday night?
The 14-year All-Pro suffered a torn ACL and MCL when Washington’s Ziggy Hood rolled into his lower leg in the third quarter. Nearly every member of the Eagles roster and several Redskins wished him well as he was carted off the field to chants of “Ja-Son-Pe-Ters” from the boisterous Philly crowd.
According to NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo, early indications suggest that Lane Johnson will remain at right tackle and Halapoulivaati Vaitai will be inserted at left tackle. Vaitai was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft and started six games for Philadelphia last season as a rookie and one this year against Carolina.
The Eagles currently rank No. 4 in the NFL in rushing yards per game, and despite Peters’ absence, the running game might not suffer too much. According to Sharp Football Stats, Philadelphia will play the second-easiest schedule against opposing run defenses. Six of the Eagles’ nine remaining opponents are in the bottom-third of the league in rushing efficiency defense.
Prior to Peters’ injury, Carson Wentz was averaging 2.67 seconds to throw, courtesy of NFL.com’s Next Gen Stats. That was good for No. 12 in the league. Will Wentz be forced to speed up his mechanics, knowing that his nine-time Pro Bowler is out of the lineup?
The deep pass has been vital to Philadelphia’s success this season. Wentz ranks No. 2 in Average Completed Air Yards, No. 3 in Average Intended Air Yards, and No. 2 in Quarterback Aggressiveness.
The Eagles host the 49ers and Broncos over the next two weeks before heading into their Week 10 bye.