August 11, 2017
The Eagles lost their 2017 preseason opener in Green Bay by a score of 23-9, which was Doug Pederson’s first-ever preseason loss (what a run!). And with the smallest of sample sizes in a game that doesn’t even count, you bet there were takes. Hot takes, even.
Not really from the following writers, though, mostly on Twitter.
The Inquirer’s Jeff McLane focused on Derek Barnett’s strong night, and all of the trial and error this summer that led up to it:
Barnett’s first sack in an Eagles uniform may have come against a second-unit tackle. But it was an early sign that he could apply pressure without his signature outside speed rush. And when Barnett decided to unleash the patented move that led to so many sacks at Tennessee, he notched another takedown of Hundley in the first half.
Maybe there isn’t as much top-end star power among the Eagles receivers as other teams, but this a pretty deep group. The Daily News’ Paul Domowitch wrote about another receiver making his case, Bryce Treggs:
Treggs is going to need more performances like Thursday’s, both in the remaining three preseason games and also in training camp, to win a roster spot. And even that might not be enough. While NFL cutdown day still is 22 days away, five wide receivers – Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor and rookie fourth-round pick Mack Hollins – already appear to be roster locks.
Over at Iggles Blitz, Tommy Lawlor focused on a lot of things, but one of them was a poor showing from the Eagles offensive line:
The OL did not play well. To be fair, part of that was due to the Packers aggressive gameplan. Dom Capers blitzed a lot and ran creative pressures and fronts. The Eagles didn’t prepare for any of this (you never do in preseason) so that gave an advantage to GB. This is a catch-22 situation. If you are a 3-4, blitzing team, you need to practice that. Doing it in preseason makes sense. At the same time, you don’t always get an accurate evaluation of your players because there are times when your scheme wins and you don’t know if the player did.
Still, the Eagles need to do a lot better up front. There was no run game, whether starters or backups.
And at Bleeding Green Nation, Brandon Gowton touched on what was a non-disastrous night from the Eagles corners:
See? I told you the Eagles’ corner concerns were overblown. OK, so I never said that. I don’t plan on saying it anytime soon, either.
It’s true that the Eagles’ starters did a good job of keeping everything in front of them. That’s where guys like Jalen Mills and Patrick Robinson can handle themselves, though. The real challenge for them is defending passes deep down the field. They didn’t really get tested much in this regard. One of the longer passes the Packers attempted resulted in a Mills breakup that should have been flagged for pass interference.
1. 10 Awards: Easily the most popular post on our site, Jimmy some brand-new artwork for Mack Hollins.
2. Big Balls Doug: The Eagles are still going to be (Teddy KGB voice) verrrrry aggreesssive in terms of going for two.
4. Advantage. J-Matt: If there is a legit competition at Eagles lot receiver, Jordan Matthews outshone Nelson Agholor in Green bay.
5. Uh oh: It sure sounds like the Dallas Cowboys are going to be without their star running back to start the season.
QB Hope Index: Which young passers project to be franchise QBs? Aaron Schatz, Football Outsiders
According to this metric, there are decent odds that the Eagles already have a franchise quarterback. Carson Wentz ranks at the bottom of the top tier (Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota, Dak Prescott, Jameis Winston), but he’s far ahead of everyone else.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann
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