Nate Sudfeld Suffers Broken Wrist
Eagles Acquire Veteran Defensive End From Bills

Eagles Armchair: A Rough Start

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Eagles preseason opener against the Titans did not go as well as originally hoped.

As always, the game score doesn’t matter for these preseason games, but the development of players does. That also did not go exceedingly well for the team.

In addition to many of the roster battles yielding no results that would make the team think they have to keep certain players, the team suffered a huge loss due to injury.

While the hope is that there would be quite a few players making a clear push for the team, the game seemed to lower the stock for many players rather than raise it. Some of that may be due to the fact that the Eagles played almost entirely second-team while the Titans used many of their starters, but the point still stands.

Up-Down Drill

Up: Marken Michel

Marken only had one catch in the game, but it was a 75-yard touchdown reception. That is a game-changing catch. What makes it even more impressive is that the catch was over recent first-round pick and starting corner Adoree' Jackson. This wasn’t against some third-string defensive back, but the Titans top corner. With Mack Hollins not playing, Michel could be coming for his job.

Down: Josh Adams

Josh Adams was the Eagles leading rusher in 2018, but he would not seem to be in line to make the team. Adams had just three rushed for three yards and three receptions for 18 yards. None of the backs were good, but what makes Adams stand out is his fumbling, and subsequently losing, the ball. It’s unlikely that the team chooses to hang onto a player who can’t manage to hold onto the ball with so many other options.

Up: Dallas Goedert

Goedert caught three of the five passes he was targeted with in his extremely limited time on the field. He went for 50 yards on those catches. While it isn’t a huge surprise based on what we’ve been hearing from the Eagles camp, it is excellent to see Goedert show dominance similar to that of Zach Ertz when he was the only established pass catcher on the field (Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor and DeSean Jackson all did not play).

Down: Jeremiah McKinnon

None of the corners behind Avonte Maddox showed anything that would make them stand out positively, but McKinnon was perhaps the worst of them all. Finishing with six tackles in limited reps isn’t good for a corner, but he also got beaten for two touchdown passes. If you watch the Titans highlight reel from the game starting with the end of the first half, it seems like every other play is McKinnon getting beaten.

Up: Daeshon Hall

Hall was possibly the best defensive lineman to take the field for the Eagles in this game. He finished with six tackles (three for loss), a sack and two quarterback hits. He wasn’t perfect as he allowed a run right by him that ended up going for big yardage, but he looked good among an edge group that did well as a whole.

Down: Clayton Thorson

If you saw the game, you know. A 0.0 rating with seven yards and an interception. It’s unfortunate that what was arguably his most accurate pass was dropped, but he wouldn’t have looked much better.

Down: Matt Pryor

The Eagles moving Big V to starting guard in Brandon Brooks’ absence said a lot about what they thought of Pryor. His play seemed to agree with that move as he struggled in both pass and run blocking while also getting called for multiple penalties. When a guy who just learned the sport last season is looking better than someone the same age who’s played for much of their life, there may be a problem.

Injury Report

Nate Sudfeld suffered a broken wrist on a cheap-shot that was called for roughing the passer and will miss some time this season.

Blake Countess, who is definitely in the mix for one of the safety spots, was shaken up mid-game. So was defensive end Daeshon Hall, who would appear to be competing with Shareef Miller and Josh Sweat for a rotational role on the defensive line. Both had to leave the game.

Game Notes

  • With Kamu Grugier-Hill's injury, the Eagles need a young linebacker to step up. The team got some good plays from both LJ Fort and Nate Gerry. They also both got burned for easy touchdowns. The whole group of young linebackers remains bunched up with no one coming forward to distinguish themselves. It will continue to be a position to watch.
  • Much like the linebackers, we saw almost nothing out of the running backs. The highly anticipated debut of Miles Sanders resulted in three carries for three yards - with a long of three yards. Not good. To highlight just how bad the ground game was, the team's lead rusher was Donnel Pumphrey, who averaged 3.7 yards per carry. It is difficult to say how much of this is the backs' fault however, as the offensive line was not good early in the game, particularly in run blocking. The team will need to see better blocks from Dillard and Mailata to better evaluate the backs in the next few preseason games.
  • Despite Daeshon Hall having a stellar game, the defensive end position is far from decided with both Josh Sweat and Shareef Miller each adding three of their own solo tackles. Sweat also recorded a quarterback hit while Miller added a sack, tackle for loss and two QB hits. This may be the position battle to watch where the competition is more due to an excess good showings rather than a lack thereof.
  • What's Next

    The Eagles will play their second preseason game next Thursday when they head to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars and their new starting quarterback Nick Foles.

    The game could also become a bit of a revenge game for now-likely-to-be backup quarterback Cody Kessler as he will get the majority of the snaps against the team that released him just months ago.


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