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August 17, 2023

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Browns preseason game

A forgettable night, but 10 awards for it nevertheless.

In a preseason game that fans will want to flush from their memories as soon as humanly possible, the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns played to an 18-18 tie. As always, win, lose, or tie, we hand out 10 awards.

1) The 'Yikes' Award 😱: Marcus Mariota

Mariota completed 9 of 17 passes for 85 yards, 0 TDs, and 1 INT, for a QB rating of 42.5. He was also sacked three times. 

Mariota's actual performance looked even worse than the stats would indicate, as he was wildly off target on many of his passes, and usually high.


But seriously though... yuck.

Mariota played the entire first half, and got seven drives:

  1. 2 plays, -2 yards, safety
  2. 9 plays, 34 yards, FG
  3. 4 plays, 16 yards, INT
  4. 3 plays, 0 yards, punt
  5. 2 plays, 18 yards, fumble
  6. 4 plays, 6 yards, punt
  7. 4 plays, 16 yards, end of half

The Eagles are unlikely to panic and start looking for some other No. 2 quarterback, but they obviously won't be encouraged by the way Mariota played.

2) The 'Bullseye' Award 🎯: Tanner McKee

For the second straight game, McKee's play on the field was better than what the stat sheet showed. He was 10 of 18 for 147 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, which are good numbers, but he also had a completed two-point conversion and his receivers dropped at least four good throws. 

McKee was aggressive and accurate throwing the ball down the field, and he has indisputably been better than Mariota so far this preseason. 

3) The 'Carnage' Award 🏥: Nolan Smith, Olamide Zaccheaus, Zech McPhearson, Moro Ojomo, Tyrie Cleveland, and Josh Andrews

• Smith looked to have injured his right shoulder on a pass rush, but he stayed in the game on the punt return units. He was in on the next series and seemed to hurt his arm further after colliding with a teammate while chasing down a Browns reverse.

Smith's desire to stay on the field is admirable, but in a preseason game he should probably tell the staff when he's hurt.

• Zaccheaus injured his shoulder and did not return.

• McPhearson hurt his lower right leg and could not walk off the field on his own. He was helped to the sideline and then carted off the field.

• Cleveland suffered a scary injury when he landed on his neck after going up high for a pass. He was put on a back stabilizer board and carted off. The Eagles later said that Cleveland has movement in all extremities.

• Ojomo suffered an injury in the fourth quarter, and like Cleveland above, he was put on a board and carted off. Ojomo waived from the cart on his way off the field.

• Andrews injured his ankle and did not return.


4) The 'Sigh of Relief' Award 😌: Nakobe Dean

In the Eagles' first preseason game against the Ravens, the majority of the team's starters did not play, and that included Dean, who missed about a week of training camp with an ankle injury. Dean played just 34 snaps in the regular defense as a rookie and he has not been an obvious standout this summer in training camp, so it was mildly surprising that he didn't play in that game.

Despite his inexperience at the pro level, Dean is the Eagles' top linebacker, which is very clearly the most tenuous positional group on an otherwise loaded roster. On Thursday night against the Browns, he put some minds at ease when he forced a fumble at the goal line. 

Impressive recognition and quickness through that hole.

5) The 'Rollercoaster' Award 🎢: Trey Sermon

Sermon fumbled in the first half, and ran for a 33-yard TD in the second half. Unfortunately, the former probably outweighs the latter in the Eagles' eyes.

6) The 'Not Bad' Award 👍: Zach Cunningham

Cunningham has shown some coverage ability in practices since joining the team nine days ago, and on Thursday night he was very active, making 7 tackles.

7) The 'No Competition' Award: Ty Zentner

The Eagles gave Zentner all the punting work, and he simply did not do anything to challenge Arryn Siposs, the Eagles' embattled incumbent punter.

8) The 'It's the Preseason For Them, Too' Award 🦓: The officials

If you watched this game until the bitter end, may God have mercy on your soul. But also, you got to witness the officials making an insanely weird procedure call on a missed Browns field goal attempt. The Browns got a do-over, and missed it again, lol.

9) The 'Thank God' Award 🙏: Preseason OT rules

This game took almost three and a half hours in regulation. THANK GOD that there's no overtime in the preseason.

10) The 'Bad Look' Award 🤦‍♂️: The fans

Above we noted that Tyrie Cleveland suffered a scary injury. Well, while trainers attended to Cleveland, preparing to roll him onto a back stabilizer and cart him off the field, fans were doing the wave. 🤦‍♂️

Not to be some sort of moral authority here, but when there's a guy laying motionless on the field, maybe don't do the wave. Also maybe just don't ever do the wave.

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