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August 10, 2017

Final observations: Packers 23, Eagles 9

Eagles NFL

As we noted earlier tonight, Carson Wentz was very impressive in Eagles' preseason debut at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers. That said, the backups didn't play very well.

The Eagles lost their preseason opener in Green Bay, 24-9. Here's what we saw:

The good

• More like YAC Hollins, AMIRITE? When the Eagles drafted UNC's Mack Hollins in the fourth round in April, there were two main talking points: snakes and special teams. And while both of those things aren't going anywhere, Hollins had an excellent night as a receiver. The touchdown from Carson Wentz on the first drive was a heck of a start, but Hollins also made a really nice play in the second half breaking off a route and getting open for Matt McGloin.

McGloin even pointed to his helmet after to effectively say, "Smart play, kid."

• Derek Barnett hasn't shown much in training camp, but as we have noted for a few weeks, he has essentially been working on his weaknesses in the same way that Roy Halladay would throw all curve balls in a spring training start. So, with all of that in mind, it was going to be interesting to watch the first-round pick in his first live game action.

Well, Barnett looked really good. He created consistent pressure against the Packers left tackles, finishing with four total tackles and two sacks. Positive performance from the rook, who could very well be an important piece moving forward:

• The Eagles have a very quality preseason broadcast with Scott Graham and Mike Mayock, who is one of the best football analysts period. A lot of teams have homer announcers that don't accurately portray what's going on, and while you can still tell it's an Eagles-centric broadcast, Mayock isn't afraid to criticize an Eagles player or indicate when they get away with a penalty.

• In general, I thought it was a pretty good night for Rasul Douglas (3rd Round) and Nate Gerry (6th Round), even if the latter missed an open-field tackle that could've ended a Packers drive on fourth down.

• I enjoyed Fletcher Cox photobombing most of Dave Spadaro's sideline interviews with his teammates.

The bad

• Last season, the Eagles got a pretty rough performance out of Chase Daniel in the first preseason game. That got a ton of attention because for some reason, Daniel was getting paid a decent chunk of change. Matt McGloin isn't making the same amount of money as Daniel, but I didn't think he had a great performance tonight: 28-42, 205 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 1 ugly interception.

• Shelton Gibson had a bad drop that halted a drive, and as Mayock noted on the broadcast, he probably had more drops in camp than any three other Eagles receivers combined.

• We noted Donnel Pumphrey's tough time fielding punts in the first half. Well, converted QB Greg Ward tried to catch a punt in the second half over his shoulder like Willie Mays (Google it, kids). Even though Ward was able to somehow recover the fumble, the ball initially clanked off his pads.

In general, the Eagles ball carriers were way too loose with the football tonight.

• Big V left the game with a left knee injury, which would be bad news for the Eagles if either Jason Peters or Lane Johnson went down. The Daily News' Les Bowen tweeted that the injury isn't expected to be serious, which is good news.

The ugly

• Scary scene, as backup Eagles safety Tre Sullivan crushed Packers receiver Malachi Dupre, forcing a fumble. It was a brutal, but clean hit. Dupre was taken off the field on a stretcher, but the good news is that he does have movement and feeling in all of his extremities.


Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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