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August 24, 2023

Eagles future headlines: An iffy backup QB, a hometown hero and a kick return

Here's what they'll be talking about tomorrow, after the Eagles fell to the Colts to wrap up the preseason.

Philadelphia is obsessed with football. If you're reading this, you probably can't get enough 

Which is why we think it'll be a fun exercise each and every week this NFL season to pull out our crystal ball and see if we can predict for you what three storylines everyone will be talking about tomorrow.

Whether you're a sports talk radio person, a consumer of local sports coverage or someone who likes to get sports news off ESPN, these three headlines below will in some shape or fashion trickle across your screen at some point this week.

Here's a look at three future headlines following the Eagles convincing and meaningless loss to the Colts Thursday night, 27-13 to mercifully wrap up Philly's preseason slate for the summer:

1. Hometown hero makes plays

In a mundane fourth quarter of the final preseason game, the sparse crowd came alive when Tyreek Maddox-Williams nabbed an interception from Colts third-stringer Sam Ehlinger and returned it 42 yards.

Want a Philly story? This guy was undrafted, went to Rutgers and grew up in South Jersey, attending Timber Creek. He was signed by the Eagles less than a week ago and was getting mop up duty at linebacker against Indy as the starters watched from the sidelines. He made seven tackles in the game, one tackle for a loss, had two pass breakups and has now emerged as the most impressive linebacker this preseason.

It's probably not enough to get him on the 53-man roster — but it could make him an Eagles practice squader. He was on the Chargers squad last season.

2. Are we sure McKee is good? 

After Marcus Mariota played just one series Thursday, Tanner McKee got a long look at quarterback again and while his pocket presence and scrambles were seemingly elusive at times, he showed some slow decision making, inaccurate throws and took some really bad sacks inside the 15 yard line.

In all, McKee threw 34 passes, completing 19 for just 158 yards — a 4.8 yard per throw average. He really didn't have any touch in the game and his lackluster performance may slide him back solidly in the No. 3 slot a week after hype emerged about him maybe unseating Mariota as the backup.

3. Devon Allen makes a special teams play!

The game opened with some electricity (or as much as you can muster in a preseason game in August) as a 73-yard return from Devon Allen to open the game led to a Trey Sermon touchdown. The return was longer than any return last year (Boston Scott 66 yards against Giants in Week 14) and might clinch a spot for Allen on the practice squad. Allen has the speed — he's a track star — but his shifty moves and field vision the return was quite refreshing.

Many will remember the Eagles special teams unit — at least everyone involved not named Jake Elliott (who drilled 52- and 59-yard field goals in this one) — was the worst facet of the team last year. With injuries to special teams standout Zech McPhearson, there will be pressure on special teams to step up in 2023. Having Allen as insurance behind likely return men Boston Scott (kickoffs) and Britian Covey (punts) certainly wouldn't hurt.

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