Carson Wentz Will Have A ‘Memorable’ Debut

Plus: Which Eagles should you start on your fantasy team this week?

Fletcher Cox and Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

Fletcher Cox and Carson Wentz. (Jeff Fusco)

In this week’s installment of Weekend Reading, let’s take a look at some of the best Eagles stories on the internet before the Birds take on the Browns on Sunday.

But first, the Eagles re-signed linebacker Najee Goode, bringing the team back to the maximum of 53 players:

Vice President Joe Biden will be part of the 9/11 pregame ceremony in Philadelphia.

Carson Wentz will have a “memorable” debut against Cleveland, opines Nick Shook of

Carson Wentz accounts for four touchdowns against Browns

The future is now — maybe sooner than most expected — in Philadelphia, and while rookies tend to have average-at-best debuts (not looking at you, Marcus Mariota), Carson Wentz is set up for a memorable one. His opponent? The Cleveland Browns, which let both of their starting safeties go in the offseason, cut starting nickel back K’Waun Williams and traded former first-rounder Justin Gilbert. They’re left with Joe Haden, veteran journeyman Jamar Taylor, safeties Jordan Poyer, Derrick KindredIbraheim Campbell and Don Jones, and 33-year-old Tramon Williams. The latter is increasingly showing the effects of Father Time. It’s like a gift from the football gods. First professional game? Here are the hapless Browns, who kept their entire draft class (save for one) and jettisoned veterans with reckless abandon. Have at ’em.

Darren Sproles will be more of a receiver than a runner this year, from Paul Domowitch of the Daily News.

He is going to be an important part of Doug Pederson‘s offense, though not necessarily as a runner. Oh, he’ll get a few carries here and there, many of them probably on jet sweeps. But don’t look for him to come anywhere close to last season’s 83 carries. Ryan Mathews and Kenjon Barner will handle the ball-carrying load. Sproles’ primary role this season will be as a receiver.

In his three seasons with the Saints (2011-13), Sproles caught 232 passes, the most by any running back in the league during that period.

When Chip Kelly acquired him for the discount price of a fifth-round draft pick before the 2014 season, it was assumed he would use Sproles the same way Sean Payton did.

But Sproles caught just 40 passes his first season with the Eagles and 55 last year. Sproles’ 83 carries last season were the third most of his career. His 3.8-yard-per-carry average was the second lowest.

Look for Sproles to line up all over the formation and catch lots of screens and slants and underneath crosses, and maximize his ability in space against linebackers and safeties.

Ryan Mathews, Zach Ertz, and the Eagles defense are prime candidates to start on your fantasy team this week, according to Michael Fabiano of

Ryan Mathews vs. Cleveland Browns

Mathews appears locked into a featured role for the Eagles to start the season, and he’ll no doubt see a lot of burn with a rookie quarterback in Carson Wentz under center. Aside from volume, Mathews is also an attractive fantasy option due to what is a favorable matchup on paper against a questionable Cleveland run defense.

Zach Ertz vs. Cleveland Browns

Ertz has not been what you would call a fast starter from a statistical perspective, but you have to like his chances to produce in what could be a Travis Kelce-esque role under new coach Doug Pederson. With few proven options in the pass attack and cornerback Joe Haden on the field, Ertz should see a lot of targets in this contest.

Philadelphia Eagles defense vs. Cleveland Browns

Robert Griffin III might have looked good in the preseason, but he hasn’t been in a regular-season NFL contest since December 2014. He was also prone to turnovers in his last 22 games, tossing 18 interceptions and 20 fumbles (eight lost). That’s enough reason to stream the Eagles, who figure to be fired up at home.

But Dan Carson of thinks Ertz will be one of the most overrated fantasy players this year.

Zach Ertz

At this point you’re either on the Ertz Express or you’re not. But if you’re on the wagon, Ertz is facing an uphill battle with a rookie quarterback at the helm and the dazzling run relief of Ryan Mathews’ six-pack of hyper-aggressive carries per game.

Elliot Harrison of has the Eagles defeating the Browns, 23-14.

The Eagles’ defense looked too strong in the preseason for me to call a Browns upset here, and I think Philly will continue that trend throughout the season under new DC Jim Schwartz. But what to make of Carson Wentz, a rookie we barely saw in the preseason? Over the last 20 years, five quarterbacks have been drafted second overall: Wentz, Marcus Mariota, RGIII, Donovan McNabb and Ryan Leaf. Would you believe the latter four all won their first start?

For Cleveland to win, the Isaiah CrowellDuke Johnson concoction must take advantage of what was the worst run defense in the league last year. On that note, how do we feel about Duke as a sleeper stud this year? Browns fans? I like him.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman says he didn’t mortgage the future of his team for Sam Bradford, pens Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

One major criticism has come from the perception that the Vikings have fallen victim to a modern-day Herschel Walker fleecing, mortgaging their future by reaching to fill a need on the fly. Spielman believes, however, that the team still owns its own future, even after giving up a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick to add a starting-caliber quarterback at a time a starting-caliber quarterback is clearly needed.

“We do have a two, two three’s, two fours and a lot of draft picks,” Spielman said on Wednesday’s PFT Live, regarding the team’s other assets in the next draft. “We have eight draft picks coming up in the 2017 draft, and we have a history of moving up both into the first round and moving back and accumulating picks. You know, the scouting staff has done a great job finding Stefon Diggs and the Danielle Hunter and some of these young guys. Even in the sixth and seventh rounders we’ve found this year, they’re going to be contributors to our football team, so we’ve done pretty good in the second and third days. Where I thought it was going to jeopardize our future is our coaches do a great job developing a lot of the young guys that we bring in here and for us to put the time and energy to draft these guys to develop these guys and then give them away when they’re starting to just hit the prime of their career. To me that’s throwing away the future.”

The Eagles have a very slim chance of winning the Super Bowl, from Bill Barnwell of

Philadelphia Eagles

Probability of Super Bowl win: 1.1 percent

The path: I don’t think there’s a Super Bowl winner to have traded their starting quarterback a week before the season starts, but the Eagles may not actually be any worse at quarterback after dealing Sam Bradford given that Chase Daniel has spent years in the offense and can jump in if rookie starter Carson Wentz can’t settle in. Philly’s defense is also likely to improve with the arrival of Jim Schwartz as defensive coordinator, given how quickly he turned around the defenses in Detroit and Buffalo in years past. And god knows the NFC East is ripe for the taking …

The comparable champion: 2007 Giants. I know both Giants and Eagles fans recoil at the horror of being compared to one another, but that Giants team was built around a dominant front four getting pressure on defense, and that’s exactly what Schwartz is likely to do with Fletcher Cox & Co. The comparison admittedly worked better when I was comparing quarterbacks who appeared to have stagnated and didn’t have “it” — in Eli Manning to Bradford — but let’s just change the comparison instead to one of passers with low expectations. I guess Plaxico Burress is Jordan Matthews in this scenario?

You’ll hear a little more from former Eagle Brian Westbrook on gamedays, writes Rob Tornoe of

The former Eagles all-pro, who announced last month that he “was fired” from his role as an Eagles analyst on Comcast SportsNet’s “Eagles Postgame Live” show, will join Devon Givens and Michael Bradley on The Fanatic’s Pre-Game show each week, airing three hours before every Eagles game.

“I’m very excited to expand my role with The Fanatic,” Westbrook said. “Working on the Pre-Game Show will allow me to talk to the most passionate fans in the country, hours before kickoff.”

 Westbrook has been a regular contributor to The Fanatic since 2008. In addition the station’s pre-game show, Westbrook also appears on Mike Missanelli‘s show Fridays from 4-5 p.m.

Prior to being fired, Westbrook had been an analyst at CSN Philly since 2013. The former running back said he declined an offer from the network to host a 30-minute show on Thursdays.

The Week 3 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers is the most expensive ticket to get, according to TicketIQ.

• The Eagles will play their most expensive home game against the Steelers on September 25. The 79th installment of the Pennsylvania rivalry currently owns a $390 average, up 60% over their season average, and the get-in price is $175. No other game at Lincoln Financial Field this season will post an average price over $300 on the secondary market. The Eagles lead the series 47-28-3 all time dating back to 1933.

• All but three Eagles home games have sold out on the primary market. Those games are against the Falcons on November 13, Redskins on December 11th and Giants on December 22nd. The cheapest of those games will be against the Redskins, with tickets starting from $85.

• For those fans with hopes of getting the best deals on Eagles tickets this season, look no further than a November 13 matchup with the Falcons. That game is the least expensive Eagles home game on average, with tickets owning a secondary market average of $200. The cheapest available ticket is currently listed from $97. The lowest get-in price, however, comes against the Redskins on December 11 at just $68.