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August 24, 2023

Final observations: Colts 27, Eagles 13

Breaking down the second half of the Eagles' preseason finale against the Colts, including Eli Ricks' inspired play, Tyreek Maddox-Williams' interception and more.

The preseason is over. I enjoyed every single second of it as a football sicko. If you're reading these takes on a preseason finale this late on a weeknight, you likely are too and I love that. Anyway, here are my thoughts from the first half of the Colts' 27-13 win over the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field..

The Highs

• Undrafted rookie cornerback Eli Ricks played his ass off with a lot of snaps against Indianapolis' first-team offense. He was holding his own against Michael Pittman, who totaled 2,007 receiving yards over the last two seasons. Ricks needs to be on the Eagles' roster. Here's how I'd rank the Eagles' healthy corners:

1. Darius Slay

2. James Bradberry

3. Avonte Maddox

4. Josh Jobe

5. Eli Ricks

6. Mario Goodrich

7. Kelee Ringo

8. Mekhi Garner

9. Josiah Scott

The first four are roster locks. I'd imagine Ringo is hanging around as a fourth-round rookie from a program like Georgia, too. Goodrich is likely the backup slot cornerback after Zech McPhearson's season-ending injury. Would the Birds really keep seven corners? I would. I have my doubts that Ricks would clear waivers and wind up back on the practice squad with this tape and his own pedigree coming out of Alabama. 

• Devon Allen had a good special teams tackle after the Birds punted following their first offensive drive of the half. He has Special Teams Player of the Game locked all the way up following his big first-half kick return!

• Tyreek Maddox-Williams, who most Eagles fans didn't know existed before Thursday night, had an interception off Colts QB Sam Ehlinger that he returned 42 yards. Maddox-Williams is a second-year linebacker out of Rutgers after spending last season on the Chargers' practice squad. He was born in Philadelphia and attended Timber Creek Regional High School in Sicklerville, N.J. 

Good for him. He also had six tackles and two pass breakups. Maybe he finds his way to the practice squad?

The Lows

• A would-be Gardner Minshew interception went just through the hands of Eagles safety Tristin McCollum. It would've been, without any real competition, the play of the summer for the second-year player out of Sam Houston State.

• An end-around to Allen went for a five-yard loss. I appreciate the Eagles' coaching staff dialing one up for him after how well he's played on special teams. He's not winning Offensive Player of the Game!

• Trey Sermon had a wholly 1997 stat line: 16 carries for 30 yards (plus a rushing TD). 

The Whoas

• College football will be on your TV in just over 40 hours. 

• The NFL opener is less than two weeks away. 

• There are 17 days until the Eagles play the Patriots in Foxboro. 

• Again, the preseason is over and real football is finally back.

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