Five bold predictions for Redskins vs. Eagles in NFL Week 1
3. Ereck Flowers allows two sacks, commits two penalties
What we know about the Redskins offensive line is that the right side of the line should be fine. The left side, however, is a different story.
With Trent Williams holding out, the left tackle position will be manned by veteran Donald Penn. He should manage, but the 36-year-old may be the worst opening day starter the team has had at left tackle in the last 20 years. And at guard, things aren’t much better.
Ereck Flowers is taking over as the starter there. While the former New York Giants first-round pick has the talent needed to be a quality blocker, he simply doesn’t have a lot of experience at guard. Even to begin 2019 training camp, the team was forced to use him at left tackle because Williams wasn’t there, they didn’t have Penn, and Geron Christian was dealing with an injury. That stunted his growth and while he has shown improvement over the course of the offseason, he hasn’t done enough to prove that he can be a solid starter yet.
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Still, the ‘Skins are rolling with him in the opener. And against a talented Eagles defensive front, that could be a problem.
Flowers might have trouble maintaining solid technique and has a tendency to stay high in his stance. That could allow Fletcher Cox to push him into the backfield easily if the Eagles choose to put him across from Flowers, which they should. Flowers will be no match for Cox, and he could allow a couple of sacks and commit some penalties to stop the bleeding as well. Expecting two of each is a bit bold, but it’s certainly plausible.
If Flowers can’t block the Eagles front very well, his performance could lead some Redskins fans to long for the good old days where Shawn Lauvao was the starter. That’s certainly saying something.
And, of course, if Flowers does have issues in this role, it will only make the shouts for fourth-round rookie Wes Martin to take over as the starting left guard louder.