Preseason Game 3 Preview: Eagles at Green Bay Packers


Let’s be honest, this is the only preseason game that anyone really, truly, honestly looks forward to.  The third preseason game, by and large, will tell you—often for the first time—the identity of your football team.  This has never been truer than for the 2015 Philadelphia Eagles. 

The offense is to be captained by a new quarterback. That quarterback hasn’t played a snap in a regular season NFL game since October 20th, 2013. The offense will be paced by two new running backs.  One of those running backs was the NFL’s leading rusher last year: managing the distinction while accumulating nearly 500 offensive touches. The other is a big, but swift, bodied talent who has played only one (out of five) injury-free, sixteen-game season. The offensive line is replacing both guards: one of whom was a 2015 Pro Bowler.

The defense is replacing 75% of the starters in the secondary. One outside linebacker—replacing an all time great Eagle in Trent Cole—will step into a starting role just a couple years after being labeled, by most fans, a bust. All three of the starting inside linebackers missed significant time, or the full season, last season.

The good news is that the dress rehearsal is here. The guys above are going to play because, quite simply, the coaches are out of “wait-and-see” time. This week, we see the plan. This week, we see the starters.  This week, we see if the team can contend against the NFC’s elite. The Eagles are potentially primed for huge things this season. If the following things look good, get ready for something special in 2015:

Sam Bradford will be making his second appearance in Midnight Green during live action. The goal for him last week, against the Ravens, was to simply stay healthy. Against the Packers, it is time for him to start airing it out. He will, presumably, have some plays—with moving pockets and the like—designed to get him mobile. It will be interesting to see if he is more accurate than last week. With confidence, accuracy will come. If he looks good tomorrow evening, get ready for sports radio in Philly to come strong with fan Super Bowl predictions next week.

The inside linebackers. Last week, playing with Emmanuel Acho & Brad Jones, the defensive front seven gave up large chunks of rushing yards to Baltimore’s starting offense. Can the athletic pair of Mychal Kendricks & Kiko Alonso step it up and shut down Eddie Lacy? If yes, see above.

Jordy Nelson isn’t going to be playing this year: having blown out his ACL last week in practice. Aaron Rodgers will be sitting this one out: having already played over a half of football this preseason. Still, the Packers have no shortage of offensive playmakers/weapons: Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, rookie Ty Montgomery, Richard Rodgers, etc. This secondary will be tested for the first time against a starting caliber WR corps & elite QB. Remember, they missed Donte Moncrief & TY Hilton in Week 1: Breshad Perriman in Week 2. Against one of the best top-to-bottom rosters in the NFL, we'll see how this Eagles team matches up.

The game starts at 8:00—live from Green Bay, WI—and can be found on NBC10 & 94WIP.