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August 27, 2021

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Jets preseason game

After some hairy moments prior to its start, the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets held their traditional final preseason game at MetLife Stadium. As always, win, lose, or tie, we hand out 10 awards.

1) The 'Almost Didn't Happen' Award ⚡: This game

Leading up to the start of this game, a severe storm hit North Jersey, with extreme rainfall. It was all fun and games initially, as Jason Kelce went for stroll around the field in his socks, and even slid head first (it was more like a belly flop) on the rain-soaked turf.

But as the rain accumulated on the field for more than an hour, about a half-dozen mounds formed around the field, which Jets employees inspected closely.

A closer look at the mounds: 

To underscore the severity of the storm, fellow beat writer Dave Zangaro of NBC Philly had his car struck by lightning on the way to game. Like, for real. And he still covered the game!

Ultimately, the game was delayed by about 20 minutes, but they got it in. 

2) The 'Rest Up' Award 😴: The starters

Defensively, no starters played. Offensively, Jalen Reagor, Quez Watkins, and Greg Ward started at WR, which was the only position in which a likely starter played. Otherwise, no offensive starters played.

And so, the Eagles achieved their easiest goal for the night, which was to keep their most important players healthy.

3) The 'Elite' Award 🥇: Joe Flacco

13 of 16 for 188, 2 TD, 0 INT, 155.3 rating. Elite!

4) The 'NJ Team Killer' Award 💀: Boston Scott

In two seasons with the Eagles, Boston Scott has saved his best moments for games against the Giants. Maybe it's just New Jersey teams in general that Scott kills, and not exclusively the Giants. On the Eagles' first drive, Scott caught a little dump down and took it 49 yards to the house.

By law, poor No. 49 has to retire after getting juked that badly. My condolences to him and his family.

MORE: Final observations: Eagles 31, Jets 31 | Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles' 2021 training camp

5) The 'Preseason Crusher' Award 👐: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside

The highlight of Arcega-Whiteside's professional career was a preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens in 2019, when he had 8 catches for 104 yards and a TD.

Fighting for a roster spot against the Jets, Arcega-Whiteside had a big game, particularly at the end of the first half, when he had a 15-yard reception on a 3rd and long, followed by a 42-yard TD with only seconds remaining. He made a contested catch, then got away from a defender and ran it in for the score.

And then he made the tackle on the ensuing kickoff! Could JJAW survive final cuts?

6) The 'Disruptor' Award 🛑: T.Y. McGill 

McGill has consistently made plays all throughout camp, and against the Jets he had two sacks. It feels like he cemented his roster spot with one last solid performance.

7) The 'Nervous' Award 😦: Travis Fulgham

On his first catch of the preseason, Fulgham was stripped of the ball near the goal line, and the ball squirted out the back of the end zone for a Jets touchback. He also saw his first action in this game late in the first half, after four other receivers — Reagor, Watkins, Ward, and John Hightower — got playing time before him.

After a lackluster camp, Fulgham had a good day in the first of two joint practices with the Jets on Tuesday, but is that enough? Fulgham entered training camp competing for a starting job. A month later he'll be sweating out final cuts. 

MORE: How many games will the Eagles win this year? Like that even matters... | Mailbag: Should the Eagles add a wide receiver?

8) The 'Early Contributor' Award 👍: Kenny Gainwell

Gainwell got off to a slow start in camp, but he's done some nice things in the preseason games. Against the Jets, he had 5 carries for 32 yards and a TD, to go along with 4 catches for 27 yards. Gainwell has a chance to to contribute immediately as a rookie.

9) The 'Winners' Award: Nobody

We should probably mention that this game ended in a tie, after a Jets Hail Mary, followed by a two-point conversion.

Better for that to happen in a preseason game than in the Super Bowl, I guess?

10) The 'Final Cuts' Award ✂: Howie Roseman

The Eagles have to cut down to 53 players by Tuesday. Final 53-man roster projection coming soon.

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