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August 12, 2023

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Ravens preseason game

The Eagles' second and third stringers had their first opportunity to fight for roster spots Saturday.

The Philadelphia Eagles' and Baltimore Ravens' backups played a football game on Saturday. We laughed, we cried, we're glad it's over. Some of us now have a long drive home. As always, win, lose, or tie, we hand out 10 awards.

1) The 'Put Him In Bubble Wrap' Award 🫧: D'Andre Swift

Swift started at running back for the Eagles. He got two carries. This was one of them:

Cool, he can play. He shouldn't see the field during the preseason again until the regular season.

2) The 'Promising Start' Award 🙏: Jalen Carter

On a 3rd down, Carter got a one-on-one opportunity against OG Ben Cleveland, and he did this:

Carter beat Ben Cleveland, who is listed at 6'6, 370. With Carter's quickness, that's a mismatch.

Nolan Smith flashed some athleticism as well.

Encouraging start for the Georgia boys.

3) The 'Now You See, Too' Award 👀: Marcus Mariota

Throughout training camp, Mariota has shown that he can make plays, particularly with his legs. 

But if you're looking for him to string together a bunch of accurate throws in the intermediate to deeper parts of the field, forget it. We pretty much saw that against the Ravens. He finished with 4 rushes for 29 yards, and he completed 7 of 11 passes for 58 yards.

4) The 'Another Camp Battle Decided' Award ✔️: Tanner McKee

I'm not sure I've seen Tanner McKee throw a pass more than 20 yards down the field all summer, and then on his first pass of the preseason he uncorked this gorgeous slot fade to Tyrie Cleveland. 

McKee let it rip all night, and really showed something. His camp battle with Ian Book for the No. 3 quarterback job is over.


Book was brutal in the fourth quarter.

5) The 'Darkhorse Receiver' Award 🐴: Tyrie Cleveland

As we noted in our preseason game preview, the Eagles have five locks to make the roster at wide receiver.

  1. A.J. Brown
  2. DeVonta Smith
  3. Quez Watkins
  4. Olamide Zaccheaus
  5. Britain Covey

Watkins will very likely be the starting slot, but he is also the top backup on the outside. Zaccheaus and Covey are slot receivers only, which means that the Eagles' depth on the outside is thin. There's opportunity for someone to seize the moment.

Joseph Ngata has caught a ton of passes through the first 10 practices of camp, and he had a couple of moments during the first preseason game. He caught a pass for a first down, and he had a 31-yard reception wiped out by an offensive pass interference call (on him, but whatever).

But the guy who was very involved was Cleveland, who made 5 catches on 10 targets for 68 yards.

6) The 'Covering Ground' Award 🏃‍♀️: Sydney Brown

If the NFL's atrocious GamePass feature (or NFL+ or whatever they're calling it) allows me to rewatch this game, I'll be curious to take a closer look at Sydney Brown, who seemed to be all over the field in the second half. He led the team with 6 tackles, and was in on a few incomplete passes.

7) The 'Pick Ricks' Award 🥷: Eli Ricks

Ricks has had a quiet camp so far, but he made some noise in the fourth quarter against the Ravens when he intercepted a sideline throw and returned it for a pick six.

It'll still be hard for Ricks to crack the roster when the Eagles have so much depth at corner, but that'll help.

8) The 'Rest Up' Award 💤: The Eagles' starters

They didn't play, as expected. The starters will get their work in at joint practices against the Browns this week. My only quibble is that it would have been good to see Nakobe Dean get some reps in this game.

9) The 'Not Unscathed' Award 🏥: Shaun Bradley

The Eagles didn't come out of this game completely unscathed, as Bradley suffered a lower leg injury. A cart came out and took him away, but not before the entire team came out to wish him well. Bradley was clearly emotional while leaving the field.

10) The 'We're Going Streaking' Award 🔢: The Ravens

The Eagles lost this game, by the way. We should probably mention that. The Ravens extended their preseason winning streak to 24 games, which is simultaneously impressive and lame.

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