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August 27, 2016

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Colts preseason game

Eagles NFL
082716SamBradford Darron Cummings/AP

Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel watch the Colts' in-dome blimp, hoping it will drop treats near them.

Welp... The Philadelphia Eagles are 3-0 in the preseason again. Maybe this year we'll keep expectations in check. Or maybe not. As always, win or lose, we hand out 10 awards:

1) The 'Dress Rehearsal' Award: Sam Bradford

For the second straight "dress rehearsal" game, Sleevie Wonder came to play. Last year against the Green Bay Packers, Sam Bradford went 10 for 10 for 121 yards, 3 TDs, no INTs, and a 156.7 QB rating. Against the Colts, Sleeves was 17 of 20 for 167 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT that wasn't his fault.

2) The Survivor Award: Josh Huff

On a receiving corpse corps that lacks playmakers, Huff made two big plays. The first came on a quick slant in which Huff gobbled up a lot of yards after the catch. The second came on a jet sweep in which Huff scored a TD. Like him or not, Huff is going to make the team because he has the ability to make plays like that, whereas guys like Reuben Randle and Chris Givens have not shown much of anything.

3) The Fade Award: Dorial Green-Beckham

The fade route is so effective because it's a play in which defenses know it's coming, but if your receiver has a size advantage over the corner, it's still incredibly difficult to defend. On his TD catch on a fade pattern, DGB made it look easy over a smaller corner.

4) The Pressure Award: The Eagles defensive line

While they "only" had three sacks, the Eagles' defensive line pressured Colts quarterbacks all night, leading to off-target throws. If the Eagles' front four can get to the quarterback without having to blitz, opposing offenses are going to have a lot of trouble moving the football this season.

5) The Whaaah Award: Mychal Kendricks

Mychal Kendircks did not talk to reporters after the game, which could mean absolutely nothing, but it does at least raise eyebrows seeing as he was still in the game in the fourth quarter of a preseason game.

6) The Lockdown Award: The defense as a whole

In the first two preseason games, the defense produced nine turnovers and held opponents to 4.5 points per game. Against the Buccaneers, the Eagles' first-team offense only saw Jameis Winston and the Bucs' first-team offense for a few series. Against the Steelers, they did not see Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, or Le'Veon Bell, among others.

While the Colts eventually scored 23 points (13 in garbage time), the Eagles' first team D mostly shut down the Colts' first team offense led by Andrew Luck.

7) The Hot Seat Award: Doug Pederson

The last two times the Eagles went 3-0 in the preseason, the Eagles had horrible seasons, as noted by Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News (below). Andy Reid and Chip Kelly lost their jobs after those seasons, as noted by the great Sam Lynch.

Watch your back, Doug.

8) The Ruh Rowe Award: Eric Rowe

Jim Schwartz played undrafted free agent C.J. Smith before Eric Rowe got in the game. That's a very bad sign for Mr. Rowe.

9) The 'Nail in the Coffin' Award: Caleb Sturgis

When Caleb Sturgis hit a 47 yard field goal, he all but ended the Eagles' kicking competition. As we noted in our game preview, since the beginning of training camp, Sturgis was 44/48 (91.7 percent) in practice (the ones open to the media, anyway), while Cody Parkey was 37/48 (77.1 percent). Both Sturgis and Parkey were 1/1 on field goal attempts this preseason, with Sturgis hitting from 42 and Parkey hitting from 40.

With Sturgis hitting the long field goal and Parkey missing a PAT, it would appear that Sturgis has the kicker competition on lock.

10) The Preseason Champs Award: The Philadelphia Eagles

If the Eagles don't win three Super Bowls by Week 8, consider this season a major disappointment.

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