Week 3 starts stretch of games against familiar faces for Eagles

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Five years ago this week, the Eagles were preparing to play Eli Manning’s New York Giants following a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. That game in Week 3 ended in dramatic fashion thanks to Jake Elliot’s 61-yard game-winning field goal.

The game also sparked a nine-game winning streak, which helped them earn the No. 1 seed in the NFC as they went on to win the first Super Bowl in franchise history.

Only eight players from that 2017 roster are on the current Eagles team.

But, don’t worry. Over the next several weeks, Eagles fans will see some familiar faces.

Week 3 of the 2022 season kicks off a stretch of games where the Eagles face the former head coach and players that were instrumental to their Super Bowl run in 2017.

For the first time since he was dealt in 2021, the Eagles will play former starting quarterback Carson Wentz, who’s now with the Washington Commanders. Philadelphia gave the North Dakota State Product the largest contract in franchise history after trading up to select him at No. 2 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Wentz has the Commanders at 1-1 after losing to the Detroit Lions in Week 2. On paper, Wentz’s numbers aren’t bad: 650 passing yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions on a 65.5 completion percentage.

But, as we learned over his time in Philadelphia — and last season in Indianapolis —  he’s still likely to make several mistakes through the course of the game that negatively impacts his team’s chances to win, especially if he’s pressured. 

After the 2017 season, many thought the Eagles finally had the quarterback position figured out with Wentz, who finished third in MVP voting that year. But, he continued to sustain injury after injury, and he was just never able to get to that same form during the Super Bowl run.

Wentz was benched in the 2020 season for Jalen Hurts after he played like the worst quarterback in the NFL. Following that year, Wentz requested a trade and landed with the Colts

But that relationship was short-lived after the team missed the playoffs, which led to Wentz being dealt to Washington earlier this year.

Wentz told reporters this week that you try not to make the matchup against the Eagles “bigger than it needs to be.”

But, that remains to be seen. Eagles fans are known to travel well, especially to FedEx Field. It’s probably a safe bet that plenty of fans will pack the seats at the stadium to see Wentz’s first game against his former team.

In Week 4, the Eagles will welcome Doug Pederson, the first head coach in team history to win a Super Bowl, back to Lincoln Financial Field with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the first time since he was fired.

Pederson currently has the Jaguars at 1–1 after an impressive 24-0 victory over the Colts.

Jacksonville has looked like a rejuvenated team with Pederson at the helm compared to last year’s Urban Meyer experiment.

The local crowd will surely give Pederson, a fan favorite, a nice ovation.

In 2013 when Andy Reid returned to Philadelphia in his first game as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, he received a standing ovation — expect the same for Pederson.

But, once kickoff starts, Pederson will be the enemy for those packed in the seats in South Philly.

The Eagles will travel west for Week 5 against the Arizona Cardinals.

It will be the first time the greatest tight end in franchise history, Zach Ertz, will face his former squad.

Ertz was the team’s leading receiver during the 2017 season — recording 74 catches for 824 yards and eight touchdowns. His touchdown late in the fourth quarter in Super Bowl LII gave the Eagles a lead over the New England Patriots.

Several plays before the go-ahead touchdown, Ertz also made a clutch catch from Nick Foles on 4th-and-1 just shy of midfield to extend the drive.

Ertz was emotional after being dealt last season, calling Philadelphia “home” in his final press conference before heading to Arizona.

Before the Eagles head on the bye, they’ll host the Dallas Cowboys at the Linc for Sunday Night Football in Week 6. The game always has juice but would have more if Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott didn’t sustain a fracture in his throwing hand.

The game will also feature a member from the Eagles’ Super Bowl team: future Hall of Fame left tackle, Jason Peters.

Peters tore his ACL and MCL in October during the Super Bowl run, but he still played a huge role as a mentor for the team. He’s yet to make his Cowboys debut, but it might happen soon.

It will be odd to see Peters, a two-time First Team All-Pro, in a Cowboys uniform after he donned midnight green for 11 seasons.

But, that’s life in the NFL.

Things change, and emotions could be high as Wentz, Pederson, Ertz and Peters face the Eagles.

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