For the better part of three quarters Monday night, Philadelphia Eagle fans were treated to a best case scenario.
The thrashing of the Washington Redskins in their own backyard was done in large part because of concepts which have long been foreign around here—things loyal followers and talking heads alike have pleaded the former regime to implement for years: a focus on the running game, controlling the clock, increasing the tempo and aggressive defensive schemes resulting in turnovers.
It was simply a thing of beauty.
Once reality set in a bit come the fourth quarter, the desirable result of a W sustained, but several players may have found themselves on the hot seat moving forward. For every LeSean, DeSean and Mychal who find themselves on firm footing after Week 1 and beyond, there are others where the foundation has begun—or in some cases, continues—to crack.
One would think that at 6'2'' and 330 pounds it would be awfully hard to be invisible. However, defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga was practically nowhere to be found on Monday.
His size and experience may buy him a few more weeks, but considering that he's on the wrong side of 30 and has a couple of young, hungry guys nipping at his massive heels, the nine-year veteran's days as a starter may be numbered.
Waiting in the Wings: Bennie Logan.
A starter at strong safety for as long as he has been around—pretty much by default—Nate Allen is running low on chances.
Now in his fourth year, it can be argued that he has regressed each season that he's been in the league, and the stats would agree, as his interception totals have gone from three to two to zero, and his passes deflected and dropped concurrently, as well.
Too often, he finds himself positioned incorrectly on the field and lacking the hard hits that should be inherent in his role. Coach Chip Kelly may be chomping at the bit to find someone suitable to supplant him.
Waiting in the Wings: Earl Wolff
Technically, Bradley Fletcher may have already lost his starting cornerback gig due to concussion-like symptoms caused in Week 1. However, his hold on the job may have already been tenuous.
True, he had seven combined tackles in the game, but that also means the man he was covering necessitated being tackled because he caught the ball.
Plus, his mediocre reputation precedes him: According to Advanced NFL Stats, Fletcher ranked 72nd in the league at his position in Positive Win Probability, the measure of a defender’s impact on the outcome of his team’s games, on a per-game basis. The fact that he ranks below both Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie tells you all you need to know.
Waiting in the Wings: Brandon Boykin