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August 27, 2016

Good, bad and ugly: Eagles-Colts first half observations

The third preseason game is always the one that most resembles the regular season, when the starters generally work into the second half. For the Eagles first teamers, the final tune-up came in Indy on Saturday night against Andrew Luck and the Colts.

We learned about the dangers of putting too much stock into the preseason in 2015, but you have to admit, the Eagles again looked pretty good in this one. They head into the locker room with a 17-3 lead. Here's what I saw:

The good

• Josh Huff has generally been projected to make the 53-man roster because of his special teams prowess, but it would be nice for him to show something on offense. He did just that in the first half. Sam Bradford hit the third-year receiver on a slant route and Huff flashed his ability to run after the catch with a 38-yard reception.

Later in the half, Huff continued to run effectively, scoring a nine-yard jet sweep. On four touches, the Oregon product had 70 yards from scrimmage. Good night for him.

• Working against Indy’s starters, the pass rush continued to look strong. Brandon Graham, Connor Barwin, Vinny Curry, and Beau Allen had good moments getting after Luck.

Overall, the first team defense has looked very good in preseason.

• That's it, the Eagles won the trade:

(Sarcasm, but that one was remarkably easy.)

• Playing against a Colts defense missing a good chunk of its starters, Bradford was very sharp. Sleeves went 12-14 for 135 yards, one touchdown and a pick that was in no way, shape, or form his fault.

• We asked for more playing time for UDFA C.J. Smith (the other Eagles rookie from North Dakota State), and that's what Jim Schwartz and the coaching staff provided. The rookie held up pretty well against the likes of T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief.

The bad

• If you're looking for an idea into the coaching staff's thinking at receiver, Rueben Randle didn't play in the first quarter and only received two snaps in the second half. In the final tune-up, that might be telling.

The ugly

•    Darius Butler came up with the early interception, but that one was completely on Nelson Agholor. Bradford had first-down yardage after hitting the 2015 first-round pick with an accurate throw:

As Mike Mayock said on the broadcast, that ball has to be caught 100 out of 100 times.

• The offensive line rebounded nicely, but the first play was pretty brutal:

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann