Ken Palmer: What’s been the biggest surprise with the Eagles thus far this season?
Chris Steuber: It has to be Brodrick Bunkley. After a disappointing rookie season, Bunkley really worked hard during the offseason and got himself in great shape. As a rookie, Bunkley took all elements of being a professional for granted. He thought he could come in and just get by on his talent alone and not work on improving his technique. With last year behind him, Bunkley has been dominate thus far and has proved that he was worth being a first round selection.
Palmer: What’s been the biggest disappointment?
Steuber: Jevon Kearse. He’s battled injury after injury since he’s been in Philadelphia, and I think the knee injury he suffered last season (Week 2 against the Giants) may have cost him his career. He’s not the same rush end he used to be and is looked at as a situational player. Kearse used to overpower the opposition and use his speed and quickness to terrorize the quarterback, but now he’s usually a step or two too late.
Palmer: Many picked the Eagles to win the division. Do you still think they can match up with the 3-0 Cowboys?
Steuber: I think they can match up with the Cowboys, because the Cowboys don’t have a great defense. The Cowboys are not very good in coverage and are susceptible to the big play. The Eagles offense, if they stay consistent, can challenge the Cowboys defense and give them a good game. The Eagles defense has also played well thus far. The defensive line has stepped up their game, and the linebackers have played well. The secondary is a concern with the injuries they have, but they’ve held their own so far. The Cowboys offense is scary. Tony Romo has developed nicely and uses all of his weapons in the offense, especially Terrell Owens. Romo and Owens seem to have good chemistry and work very well together. It would be a great game, but they don’t play each other until November 4th, and if the Eagles lose this weekend, that game won’t mean much.
Palmer: How’s our old friend William Peterson/Will James doing these days?
Steuber: He’s stepped in nicely for Lito Sheppard, but the ideal situation for the Eagles is to have Sheppard and Sheldon Brown as the starting corners. I think James is a good nickel corner, but as a starter he tends to get exposed. He plays overly aggressive at times and gives up big plays. When he stays disciplined and sticks to his assignment, he’s great.
Palmer: Who do you think will win this game, and why?
Steuber: The Eagles and Giants both need a victory in this game, because whoever loses will have two losses in the division, and neither team wants that. If the Eagles are going to win, they need Brian Westbrook to play and play well. He’s still nursing an abdominal strain, and he’s listed as questionable for this Sunday. Plaxico Burress has a sore ankle, and he’s also questionable. Burress plays a huge role in the Philadelphia/New York rivalry, and if he’s unable to go, that’s a big blow for the Giants offense. But in the end, I honestly think the Eagles will prevail. My prediction is Eagles 21, Giants 20.