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August 15, 2019

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Jaguars preseason game

Eagles NFL

The Philadelphia Eagles got in the win column in preseason game No. 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. For now, Doug Pederson's job is safe. As always, we hand out 10 awards.

1) The 'Dropping Like Flies' Award: Eagles backup quarterbacks

In their first preseason game against the Titans, Nate Sudfeld broke his wrist. He'll be out until sometime around Week 3 of the regular season. 

In the second preseason game against the Jaguars, Cody Kessler took a big blindside hit from DE Datone Jones. 

He stayed in for one more play, before coming off and eventually making his way to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion. The severity of Kessler's injury is to be determined. If it's expected that he'll be back for Week 1, the Eagles' plans probably won't change much, at least for the regular season.

However, the Eagles may need to add an arm just to get them through practices.

2) The 'Sit It Out' Award: The Eagles' offensive starters

For the second straight week the Eagles' offensive starters sat this game out, including Carson Wentz. As they should. The guess here is that Wentz will once again sit out their "dress rehearsal" game next week against the Ravens, but the rest of the offensive starters will get a little work in.

The defensive starters played briefly.

3) The 'He's Good' Award: Miles Sanders

Viewers at home got a taste of what we've seen from Sanders all throughout training camp on one of his runs against the Jags. Watch as he scoots to the outside, and then runs through contact for an extra 10 yards:

And perhaps just as importantly, he has been impressive this offseason in pass protection. This is well done:

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. He's the best running back on the team, and it isn't close. Just start him Week 1.

MORE: 4 Eagles who impressed in preseason win vs. Jaguars | Final observations: Eagles 24, Jaguars 10 | First half observations: Eagles 7, Jaguars 3

4) The 'Steven Means' Award: Daeshon Hall

In recent preseasons, former Eagles DE Steven Means would dominate opposing teams' second- and third-stringers. This year, that guy, so far, has been Hall. After a strong game Week 1 of the preseason, Hall had a strip sack in Week 2, and was consistently beating his opponent.

The Eagles' top three DEs this year will be Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, and Vinny Curry. Beyond them, Josh Sweat has been entrenched as the fourth DE, but Hall is making a case that spot.

5) The 'Maybe He Isn't the Worst QB in NFL History' Award: Clayton Thorson

Thorson had a horrendous preseason debut a week ago, but in Week 2 he settled down a bit and played much, much better. His stats on the night: 16 of 26 for 175 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and a QB rating of 78.2.

Thorson led TD drives of 95, 85, and 75 yards. OK, so the 75-yard drive was all runs, but shut up.

Thor, son.

6) The 'It's the Preseason for the Coaches, Too' Award: Doug Pederson

I was wondering if the Eagles would have an opportunity to test out the league's new rules in regard to challenging pass interference, and sure enough, in Game 2, they did!

On a play in which Jags DB Josh Robinson broke up a pass intended for Carlton Agudosi in the end zone, the call on the field was an incomplete pass. Pederson challenged, and it was determined that Robinson committed pass interference. The Eagles go the ball on the 1 with a fresh set of downs, and they punched it in on the next play.

Good for Doug to get one of those under his belt before the start of the season.

7) The 'Earl Campbell' Award: Boston Scott and Donnel Pumphrey

In the fourth quarter, the Eagles had a clock-bleeding, 8-play, 75-yard TD drive consisting of all run plays to Scott (5-foot-6, 203) or Pumphrey (5-foot-9, 176). In case you stopped watching in the fourth quarter, Scott and Pumphrey were basically like Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl:

8) The 'McGod' Award: Alex McGough

Alex McGough (pronounced McGoo) didn't just enter the game in the fourth quarter of the Eagles-Jags preseason game. He entered my heart. To begin, his last name is pronounced "McGoo," which is good enough, but he also made a number of impressive plays. He's 6-foot-3, 218 and looked like he had a good arm, can run around a little, etc etc. 

Get him now, Howie.

9) The 'He's Back' Award: Jake Elliott

Elliott has had a shaky camp, but he drilled a 52-yarder that had a good 10-15 yards of additional clearance on it. OK, I'm running out of things to write.

10) The 'Halfway There' Award: Everybody

Two more of these to go before they count.

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