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August 31, 2017

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Jets preseason game

The Philadelphia Eagles' 2017 preseason is in the books, thank the Lord, after a 16-10 loss to the New York Jets.

As always, win or lose, we hand out 10 awards. To note, my 10 awards post after the fourth preseason game is probably the hardest article I write all year, so bear with me.

1) The One Last Hurrah Award: Matt McGloin

After a glorious showing in the first half in which he went 14 of 21 for 90 yards and one scoring drive resulting in a field goal, Matt McGloin jumped atop a dragon, started breathing fire, and exited the stadium in search of his post game meal, typically a half dozen live boars.

McGloin attempted 109 passes this preseason, all of which will be shown in the Smithsonian, per multiple sources. We are all better human beings for having seen them.

2) The 'Did Not Participate' Award: Nick Foles

The 109 passes that McGloin attempted were 109 more than Foles had this preseason. He missed the entirety of training camp with a "sore elbow." Not good. Foles' absence is a legitimate concern heading into the regular season.

3) The 'Jets Being the Jets' Award: The Jets

In the fourth preseason game, the Jets got starting quarterback Josh McCown hurt on a big hit from Joe Walker. Undeterred, after McCown came out and missed a few plays, the Jets decided it would be a good idea to put him back it. Because Jets.

4) The 'Improved Player' Award: Elijah Qualls

After missing most of the spring because his school is on the quarters system, and then a rough start to training camp, sixth round pick Elijah Qualls had a strong finish to camp.

In the final preseason game, he looked explosive at the snap, and was dominating Jets offensive linemen. His roster spot should be secure.

5) The 'Welcome Back' Award: Beau Allen

Beau Allen was one of the rare Eagles players to play in this game who will actually get meaningful snaps this season. This was Allen's first appearance in the preseason after returning from a torn pectoral muscle in March. In limited action, Allen was disruptive against the Jets' first team offensive line, which is a good sign for the Eagles' depth at DT.

6) The 'Red Shirt' Award: Donnel Pumphrey

There has been speculation that the Eagles could look to put Donnel Pumphrey on the IR and "red shirt" him for the season, giving him a chance to take a year to catch up to the speed and size of the NFL. After sustaining a head injury in the fourth quarter, they may get their chance.

7) The 'Maroon Shirt' Award: Alex McCalister

A season ago, Alex McCalister was placed on injured reserve with a "calf injury," essentially taking an aforementioned redshirt season. In the Eagles' final preseason game this year, McCalister sustained a hamstring injury. If the Eagles wanted to, they could IR him again. I'm not sure what you'd call that. A "maroon shirt" season? I've never seen that before.

8) The 'Life's Not Fair' Award: Byron Marshall

While the debate over the fourth running back spot was focused on Donnel Pumphrey vs. Corey Clement, it was Byron Marshall who was the probably best of the three in the preseason, and yet, he's almost certain to be cut.

9) The 'Kill Me Now' Award: Anyone who watched this game

The Jets averaged 3.8 yards per play. The Eagles averaged 3.7. Christian Hackenberg and Matt McGloin both attempted more than 20 passes. The were 17 punts, and none by the great Donnie Jones. Hell, there was even a guy on the Jets named "Armageddon." 

This dreck couldn't end soon enough.

10) The 'Fire Him' Award: Doug Pederson

Pederson's Eagles dropped to 2-2 this preseason, after finishing 4-0 last preseason. This fan base simply will not stand for regression. Worse, Pederson was calling timeouts in the fourth quarter, prolonging our viewing of some pretty awful football. For this, Pederson should be fired immediately, in my opinion.

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