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August 14, 2023

A look at all of Tanner McKee's throws in the Eagles' first preseason game

The Eagles appear to have their third string QB identified.

Eagles NFL
081423TannerMcKee Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports

Eagles QB Tanner McKee

In his first ever NFL Game action, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Tanner McKee completed 10 of 20 passes for 148 yards, 0 TDs, and 0 INTs, for a quarterback rating of 74.6. If you didn't watch the game, those stats would make it seem like McKee had a rather forgettable game. Of course, if you did watch the game, you already know that he made a lot of impressive throws.

For the folks who didn't watch, I cut up video of all of his throws. (Disclaimer: In case you're wondering why there's no sound, the audio and video on NFL+ was not synced up, and trust me it was annoying, so I cut it.) 

Anyway, Part I:

Aaaaaand Part II: 

His highlights:

• Part I, 0:00: After going all summer without throwing a ball over 20 yards in practice (albeit on a limited number of reps), he uncorked a gorgeous slot fade throw to Tyrie Cleveland.

"I was excited to come out and see that kind of coverage, gave [Cleveland] that certain route, and then just let him go up and attack the ball," McKee said of his first professional throw in a game. 

• Part I, 0:27: Another really nice throw toward the sideline intended for Cleveland, beautifully placed on his back shoulder. The play was there to be made by Cleveland but he couldn't hang on. But that's a great throw.

• Part I, 0:41: I don't love this slant route by Joseph Ngata, but McKee puts it on his body, and gives him an easy play to make on the ball.

• Part I, 0:49: McKee recognizes man coverage, lets Ngata go try to make a play, which he does, except he's dinged for OPI.

• Part I, 1:06: McKee recognizes zone, throws to a spot in the middle of the zone where there are no defenders, hits Johnny King for a big gain on 3rd and 11. It looks like he maybe didn't hit King in stride, but again, he's throwing to a spot in the zone. Outstanding awareness / placement.

• Part I, 1:17: Good back shoulder to Cleveland.

• Part II, 0:43: Good idea of where to place a throw to Ngata while on the run on a throw to the back of the end zone. If there's a quibble here, it's that you want this ball high, not low. This is still a play that Ngata probably should have been able to make, but he could not stay in bounds. 

McKee has already achieved the floor expectation, which was to beat out Ian Book for the No. 3 quarterback job. He has made this team. Looking forward, if he can continue to play like this, McKee can maybe be an extremely cheap primary backup to Jalen Hurts in 2024, 2025, and 2026. Or perhaps even better for the Eagles, they could potentially maximize their return on investment via trade at some point along the way.  

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