Sharks can smell blood up to a mile away. On Sunday, the Washington Football Team defensive linemen were the sharks, and those sharks smelled blood from a mile away before the game even started.
That's when it was reported that the Eagles were starting a rookie at right tackle and another inexperienced lineman Nate Herbig started at right guard. Philadelphia had hoped Lane Johnson's ankle injury wouldn't keep him from blocking against the likes of Chase Young and Co., but he was pronounced inactive pregame.
Ultimately, Washington's defensive linemen did feast. With a couple strips from the No. 2 overall pick in the past draft in Chase Young along with two sacks from Ryan Kerrigan, the front line managed to sack Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz eight times. Washington's biggest strength helped the team comeback from a 17-point deficit and win its first season opener since 2014.
It seemed like Wentz got hit every other play. NBC Sports Philadelphia Eagles analyst Barrett Brooks agreed.
"What most impressed me about this Washington Football Team was their defense, especially their guys up front," said Brooks. "They really turned the heat up on the offensive line and once they saw a little bleeding they were just like sharks."
Brooks argued that with four years of NFL experience, Wentz should have known to throw the ball away more often to live for another down. With the pressure coming not only from right up the middle but also along the edges, Wentz had nowhere to step up.
But Wentz proved to be the tuna on Sunday, and Young led the swarm of sharks all game long.
"I like the fact that this defense is one of those that change from being a two-gap defense to now a one-gap defense and attacking defense. It really suits their players well," Brooks said.
"That defense will give a lot of teams, not just in the division but in the NFL, a lot of problems as they go forward."