The NFL is back! Here are some of the latest NFL news and notes:
Eagles Win Season Opener
The Philadelphia Eagles have now officially done it on both sides. They won the very last game of the year last season, hoisting the Lombardi Trophy after a Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots. Now, they won the very first game of the NFL season after an 18-12 win over the Atlanta Falcons in Thursday night’s season opener. It certainly wasn’t the prettiest of games, but the Eagles got production when it was needed most. Nick Foles, last year’s’ Super Bowl MVP, went 19 for 34 with only 117 yards passing. However, after a sluggish start to the game, Jay Ajayi finished the game with 15 carries for 62 yards but, more importantly 2 touchdowns.
For the Falcons, Matt Ryan also was average at best, going 21 for 43 for 251 yards and no touchdowns. Julio Jones, though, had a pretty decent game with 10 receptions for 169 yards. It could have been more, but for some unknown reason one of his catches was ruled incomplete, even after video replay. While the concern in the preseason has been based around the new tackling rules, Thursday’s game did show that the NFL still is not 100% sure what a catch is or is not.
Eagles’ Stars Still Not Close To Return
It is always nice getting a win, but it is even nicer when you get that win despite not having two of your best players. Starting quarterback, Carson Wentz, and number one wide receiver, Alshon Jeffery, were both on the sidelines for the season opener. Reports from Ian Rapoport indicate that their returns still might not be in the near future. For Jeffery, he had offseason shoulder surgery. While he avoided the physically unable to perform list, there is a good chance that he is out again in week 2 for the Eagles. Early reports look at week 3 as a likely return.
For Wentz, it might be even more of a cautious approach. First, they have the luxury of having Nick Foles as the backup quarterback, someone who proved last year that he could fill in admirably in Wentz’ absence. Additionally, after tearing his ACL, the Eagles just do not want to push it and have a repeat injury. He has been able to practice in some non-contact drills, but until he can go fully in practice, we might not be seeing him in games.
Chicago Bears and Eddie Goldman Agree To Extension
The Chicago Bears defense might not be what it was in the mid-1980’s, but it might be getting closer. After the acquisition of former Defensive Player of the Year, Khalil Mack, there is all of a sudden a newfound buzz surrounding the defense of the Bears.
GM Ryan Pace made sure that buzz will be around for a while on Friday when he signed defensive tackle Eddie Goldman to a 4 year, $42 million extension. The new contract includes $25 million of guaranteed money. At just 24 years old, Goldman has started 32 games (playing in 36 total). In those games, he has 84 tackles and 8.5 sacks. While those stats have not screamed huge extension, Pace and the Bears’ front office envision him being able to take his game to the next level, hopefully starting this season.
Earl Thomas To Rejoin Seahawks Amid Trade Rumors
Earl Thomas, the 3-time All-Pro safety is back with the Seahawks. While he has reported, he still may not be overly happy with his situation. He was wanting either an extension or a trade, but it seems as if he won’t get either for the time being.
The Dallas Cowboys were interested in trading for the safety; however, they did not want to meet the Seahawks demands of a 1st round pick and when the Seahawks turned down a 2nd rounder, the Cowboys walked away. Still, it will be interesting to see how the situation plays out through the season. While Thomas is a professional, and will go out and do his job, the Seahawks may ultimately choose to move him, even if it is at a lower price, if their season does not go the way they want it to.
Paxton Lynch Already Trying Out For Other Teams
To say that Paxton Lynch has had a roller-coaster career thus far might be a bit of an understatement. He went from being a firs- round pick and the assumed quarterback of the future in Denver to now being on the unemployment line. That may not be lasting too long, though. He has already had visits with the Buffalo Bills and, on Friday, met with the Detroit Lions.
For the Lions, he may be seen as a better option at backup to Matthew Stafford than Matt Cassel, or at the very least, might be seen as a reclamation project that might strike gold and could turn into their quarterback of the future if he has the time to develop, something he really didn’t have a ton of in Denver.