It is no secret that the 2020 Eagles have tough position matchups.
Among these position battles, the Eagles’ secondary is set to face many challenging wide receiver corps. Under Jim Schwartz, the Eagles defense has struggled at times to slow down the opposition’s passing game.
Last season, the Eagles ranked 19th in passing yards allowed per game, letting opposing offenses throw for 241.6 yards per game.
Expect this season to not come easy for the Birds secondary.
5) New Orleans Saints
The pairing of a future hall of fame quarterback and an All-Pro receiver in his prime makes New Orleans passing attack lethal.
Michael Thomas is an all-around dominant wide receiver. Thomas had a career-high 1,725 receiving yards and nine touchdowns last season. He has never dipped under 1,000 receiving yards in his career.
In free agency, the Saints added veteran Emmanuel Sanders who can serve as a vertical threat to compliment Thomas’ abilities. Sanders is now 33 and may never be the 1,000-yard receiver he once was in Denver. Still, he is a solid number two option for the Saints, especially when teams, including the Eagles, will most likely focus on containing Thomas.
4) Seattle Seahawks
In recent history, the Eagles have struggled against the Seahawks. D.K. Metcalf’s impressive rookie season put the rest of the league on notice. He posted 900 receiving yards and seven touchdowns and proved to be among the best rookie wideouts in his draft class.
Metcalf fits in perfectly with teammate Tyler Lockett. Lockett had a career year in 2019 with 1,057 receiving yards. He and Metcalf combined for almost 2,000 receiving yards last season.
The combination of the two was on full display last season at the Linc. In the wild-card round of the playoffs, Lockett and Metcalf combined for 222 yards and a touchdown. Metcalf had a career-high 160 yards and caused headaches for the secondary throughout the game.
3) Cleveland Browns
Longtime LSU teammates Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. are both really good at football.
Last season the pair put up numbers that one would expect to see from two Pro Bowl wide receivers. Landry led the Browns with 1,174 receiving yards and Beckham Jr. close behind with 1,035 receiving yards.
Odell is no stranger to the Eagles, playing in nine games against the birds as a Giant. He averaged 81.3 receiving yards in those nine games. Not terrible, but also not great. However, when he gets going against the Eagles, his talents are on full display. Beckham Jr. has had two games of 150 receiving yards or more and two games of at least two touchdowns against the Eagles.
2) Dallas Cowboys
Uncommon to popular belief in Philadelphia, the Cowboys receivers do not suck. In fact, they are possibly loaded.
Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup both went for over 1,100 yards last season and the addition of CeeDee Lamb in the draft only adds to the group. At Oklahoma, Lamb saw an increase in production over his three years and by his junior season set a career-high in receiving yards, yards per reception, and touchdowns.
In the last eight games against Dallas, the Eagles allowed on average 248.9 yards through the air. The improved receiving core will be the biggest challenge the Eagles face in order to beat Dallas.
1) Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals have one of, if not the best wide receiving groups in the entire NFL. The addition of All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins this offseason gives Arizona a true number one wideout.
Hopkins should help bolster the production of third-year receiver Christian Kirk, who has seen an increase in production over his first two seasons. Ageless veteran Larry Fitzgerald serves as another reliable option, even at age 36. In 2019, he averaged 10.7 per reception and around 50 receiving yards per game.
The Eagles have yet to face the new-look Cardinals but expect the focus of Arizona to be around Hopkins. In two games against the birds, he put up over 100 receiving yards, averaging 109.5 yards.
The combination of Hopkins, Kirk, and Fitzgerald should present the most problems for the Eagles.
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