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Eagles vs. Giants: Johnson, Wentz and more

Eliot Shorr-Parks
October 11, 2018 - 9:55 am

The Eagles’ must-win game on Thursday night against the New You Giants is not off to a great start. 

The team announced this morning that right tackle Lane Johnson has been downgraded to questionable with an ankle injury. The NFL Network has since reported that Johnson is a long-shot to play against the Giants. 

Here are some thoughts on the potential loss of Johnson, as well as some other final thoughts on the Eagles’ must-win game. 

Lane Johnson: The Giants do not have a great defensive line, but there is no sugarcoating it — the loss of Johnson would be a big one. Not only would Johnson’s loss be felt on the field, but it impacts the bench as well. If Johnson does not play the Eagles will start Halapoulivaati Vaitai in his place. That means the top tackle for them off the bench would be Jordan Mailata, who has never played in an NFL game. The Eagles’ other option would be sliding Isaac Seumalo from left guard to left tackle, and putting Stefen Wisniewski back into the game. 

Neither option is ideal, but there is a decent chance the Eagles have to end up going with one of them, as left tackle Jason Peters has been in-and-out of the lineup throughout the first five games. 

The bottom line is this — the Eagles’ offensive line is already the weakest part of the team right now, and without Johnson, things are likely only going to get worst. 

Week 6 in 2017: Last season the Eagles played on Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers in Week 6. Their 28-23 win over the Panthers that night was the turning point in the season — it was the moment where the coaches and players realized they were an elite team capable of doing something special. 

Well, the Eagles are once again playing on the road on Thursday night in Week 6. They won’t be exiting with a 5-1 record like they did last season, but it can be a turning point for them — for better or worse. If the Eagles win and move to 3-3, they can still have some hope for the 2018 season. Lose, and fall to 2-4, and realistically the expectations for this season have to drastically change. 

We will learn a lot about this Eagles team tonight — just like we did in Week 6 last season. 

Carson Wentz: At certain points in every season, teams need their quarterback to simply make sure they come away with a win. It is the franchise quarterbacks that get the job done. Carson Wentz needs to do just that on Thursday night. 

It won’t be an easy task for Wentz. Winning divisional games on the road are not easy, especially in primetime. The Eagles’ offense enters the game in a funk, scoring less than 23 points in every game this season. They have continually shot themselves in the foot this season with dropped passes, penalties and turnovers. 

Wentz can’t be expected to fix the entire offense, but this is a spot where he needs to make sure his team — somehow, someway — comes away with a win. 

Very tough spot: It is hard to think of a tougher spot for the Eagles on Thursday night in a must-win game. 

They are on the road. They are playing a divisional opponent. The forecast calls for pouring rain throughout the game. It is a short week. They are facing a Giants team that always plays them tough. They might be without Johnson. They are already missing a number of other key players.

The cards are stacked against the Eagles on Thursday night. How they respond will decide their 2018 season. 

You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at!