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August 10, 2017

Eagles vs. Packers: 5 things to watch

Eagles NFL

After two weeks of the Philadelphia Eagles' offense and defense beating up on each other through two weeks of training camp, the Birds will take on the Green Bay Packers in their first preseason game. Here are five things we'll be watching:

1) Can Carson Wentz keep it rolling?

Doug Pederson never did say how much Carson Wentz will play in the first preseason game, but he did at least acknowledge that Wentz will start. In 2015, Sam Bradford went into Lambeau Field and absolutely dismantled the Packers on a 10 for 10 performance that was probably the highlight of his professional career. As such, preseason performances should be taken with a rather large grain of salt.

Still, after a very good first two weeks of camp, it's certainly a better sign of things to come if Wentz continues to play well than if he doesn't.

2) Can Nelson Agholor build up his confidence?

Personally, I believe that Nelson Agholor's good play during training camp has been overstated to some degree. While there's no question that he has made more plays during this camp than in previous ones, his hands have remained inconsistent, as the drops are still there.

There was a time when Agholor had confidence, back when he was a rookie. Remember when he made the following play against the Colts in the preseason, and everyone went nuts?

Ultimately, Agholor will have to show something in games that matter, but a strong showing in the preseason could help his mindset heading into the regular season.

3) What will Derek Barnett show?

Throughout training camp, Barnett rarely showed his dip and bend around the edge, an elite pass rush move of his in college. Instead, he focused on areas of his pass rush that are nowhere near as strong, and as such, he failed to stand out in a positive way. I'm curious to see how Barnett attacks a game situation.

4) Can a cornerback step up?

After the Eagles' receivers torched the much-maligned corners all throughout camp, the corners will have their first chance to face receivers from another team, and the Packers obviously have some very good ones. It's clear that Jalen Mills will start at one corner spot. The rest seems to be up for grabs. Can someone like C.J. Smith prove to the front office that they need not make a panic trade for another Band Aid corner?

5) Were the Eagles' receivers simply feasting on bad corner play, or are they for real?

As noted above, the Eagles' receivers dominated the corners throughout camp. One of the concerns for many fans is that they may have only looked good because they've been playing against inferior competition. The Eagles' Week 1 preseason game will give the receivers a chance to shine against a whole new group of corners.

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