Eight games down, eight to go. Who needs to step up in the second half? We’ll set Carson Wentz aside and focus on the rest of the roster.
6. LB T.J. Edwards
Edwards was the defensive MVP of the Eagles’ last game against the Cowboys (12 tackles, sack, forced fumble). He’s going to get a ton of playing time with Nate Gerry out of the lineup. He can take advantage of it and not only put his mark on this season, but make the decision when Nate Gerry gets healthy an easy one.
5. DT Javon Hargrave
Hargrave signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Eagles and so far has not played to that level. He has played as many games where he has had zero tackles (three) as he’s played with multiple tackles. Sure, he faces double teams, but not on every play. He has to make his presence felt in the second half of the season.
4. OT Jason Peters
Yes, he’s a future Hall of Famer, but he’s a few weeks away from turning 39 years old. If you told me a year ago that you could have an actual debate on whether or not to start Jordan Mailata in front of Peters, you would’ve been laughed at. No one’s laughing anymore. Doug Pederson will start Peters, because it’s Peters, but if Pederson's smart, he’s on a short leash.
3. TE Dallas Goedert
Coming out of this bye week, Goedert should be very close to 100 percent, if he’s not already there. He had just one catch for 15 yards against the Cowboys, his first game back after missing four games with an ankle injury. With Zach Ertz still out of the mix, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be a focal point for the offense over the next few weeks at least.
2. WR Alshon Jeffery
Setting aside the thought that the team put him back on the roster too early from Lisfranc surgery, now is the time for Jeffery to shine. With a second go-to receiver alongside Travis Fulgham, Wentz could get his rhythm back, just in time.
1. HC Doug Pederson
There’s been plenty of hand-wringing about Wentz’s bad season, and for good reason, but Pederson's play-calling and in-game decisions have been just as bad, if not worse. I understand you’ve had injuries galore, and that shortens the playbook, but he knew these players would be out of the mix well before kickoff in most of the cases. He’s gotta do a far better job of thinking on his feet, and fast.