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August 16, 2018

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Patriots preseason game

In the Philadelphia Eagles' second preseason game against the New England Patriots, the Birds looked, uh, less than awesome. They also had a significant injury scare that should make Doug Pederson and the gang re-think how much the starters play the rest of the way throughout the preseason.

As always, we hand out 10 awards.

1) The 'Ruh Roh' Award: Nick Foles

Foles' follow-up performance against the Patriots after his Super Bowl win wasn't quite as impressive. On the night, he went 3/9 for 44 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, and a passer rating of 50.2. But really, who cares? More importantly, he injured his shoulder on this strip sack that was returned for a touchdown. You can see Foles immediately grab his shoulder after the hit:

It turned out to just be a shoulder strain, which is ultimately a minor injury, on paper. There's a pretty good bet you'll see a heavy dose of Nate Sudfeld, Joe Callahan, and Christian Hackenberg in the last two preseason games.

2) The 'Lowering of Watchable Football' Award: The NFL

The new "lowering of the helmet" rule is horrendous. I know it. You know it. We all know it. Nevertheless, the Eagles now have five "lowering of the helmet" penalties through two games this preseason. They're going to have to make efforts to understand the rule and teach it to their players, and quickly.

3) The 'Maybe He's Good' Award: Shelton Gibson

One week after smoking a Steelers defensive back on a deep ball for a 63-yard TD, Gibson ran a great route in a goal line situation and got wiiiiide open in the end zone for a touchdown. Watch him sell the inside route, slam on the breaks, and bounce it back to the corner.

Jason McCourty got dusted.

Gibson also caught another deep ball for 57 yards on a perfect throw from Sudfeld, and was 5-90-1 on five targets. Oh, and he had a 46-yard kick return.

4) The 'Maybe He's Good, Too' Award: Nate Sudfeld

I can't wait to go back and show all of Sudfeld's highlights from this game. He made a minimum of six big league throws tonight. I mean...

The Redskins decided to cut this guy in favor of keeping just two quarterbacks. How stupid.

5) The 'Stone Hands' Award: Matt Jones

On the Eagles' first possession in the second half, Jones dropped two passes, one of which would have gone for a long gain, but was instead intercepted after it bounced off of his stone hands. He also had an embarrassing drop in the third quarter. All of these drops were on easily catchable passes. He'd have been better off not playing at all tonight.

6) The 'Human Turnstile' Award: The Eagles' offensive line

In the first half, the first- and second-team offensive lines gave up five sacks, and the run game was shut down with several carries that either went for a loss or no gain. It was mostly the second-team linemen who did not play well, but some of those guys are going to be on the roster as depth. The Eagles gave up eight sacks overall on the night.

7) The 'Whiff' Award: Sidney Jones

This won't go on Sidney's highlight reel.

8) The 'Too Little Too Late' Award: Tom Brady

After the game, Brady shook Foles' hand after like six months of ignoring Foles' Super Bowl win. He blew off Sudfeld though. Scumbag.

9) The 'Philly Ordinary' Award: Doug Pederson

At the end of the first half, facing 4th and Goal from the Patriots' two yard line, Pederson had a golden opportunity to run the Philly Special, or some offshoot of it. Instead, they ran a boring old regular play that resulted in Sudfeld feebly trying to complete a shovel pass to DeAndre Carter. 

Would running the Philly Special or some other version of it be bad sportsmanship? Yeah, maybe. But who cares? The Patriots are cheating cheaters. Rub their noses in your Super Bowl success. Come on, Doug.

10) The 'Silver Lining' Award: The Eagles

The Eagles played an ugly game, with a lopsided score... but at least they won the Super Bowl. So they have that going for them.

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