Game Preview: Eagles open 2014 season at home against Jaguars

After seven long months of waiting, the Philadelphia Eagles return to the place where the 2013 season ended to open the 2014 season.

In a season where the Eagles took fans for a wild ride right to the wildcard round of the playoffs, they embark on another chance for a deep playoff run with a sound group in tact and ready to repeat the success from a season ago.

It all begins with an AFC matchup as the Jacksonville Jaguars sit as the first team on the slate for the Eagles. The opening kickoff of the 2014 season is at 1 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Eagles return with the core of Nick Foles at quarterback, LeSean McCoy at running back and wide receivers Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin.

Defensively, DeMeco Ryans returns as the mainstay in the linebacking core while Malcolm Jenkins headlines a list of newcomers to the Eagles defense that got a makeover in the offseason.

The Eagles will be facing Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne who earned the starting spot over Blake Bortles, the team’s first-round pick at third overall.

The Jaguars also bring in Toby Gerhart as their new running back. But their wide receiver group took a hit with the news that top receiver Cecil Shorts will not play on Sunday, leaving rookies Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson to carry the bulk of receptions.

Chris Clemons leads the Jaguars defensive line and Paul Posluszny, the former Penn State standout, leads the linebackers. Winston Guy and Dwayne Gratz serve as the top players in the secondary for Jacksonville.

Game Notes

  • This is just the fifth overall meeting between the Eagles and Jaguars. The Eagles are 1-3 in the previous four meetings including one loss at Lincoln Financial Field.
  • The Eagles won the last meeting between the two teams on Sept. 26, 2010, taking a 28-3 win in Jacksonville.
  • The Eagles have won the season opener in each of the last three seasons.
  • With 400 yards on offense, the Eagles will become just the third team in NFL history to record 400 yards on offense in 13 games in the span of 17 games. The only other teams to do so are the 2011-12 New Orleans Saints and the 2013-14 Denver Broncos.
  • The Eagles have at least one takeaway in each of the last 13 games, their longest streak since 2004 when they had at least one takeaway in 15 straight games.
  • In 12 straight games, the Eagles have held the opposing offense off the board on their opening drive.
  • Milestone Watch
    • Nick Foles needs 356 passing yards to move into 12th place all-time in Eagles history.
    • LeSean McCoy needs three receptions to take 14th place among Eagles runningbacks, passing Duce Staley.
    • Jeremy Maclin needs four receptions to pass Ben Hawkins for 17th all-time among Eagles wide receivers. With nine catches, he will pass Wilbert Montgomery for 16th all time. Maclin is also 41 receiving yards shy of passing Harold Jackson for 15th all-time and 80 yards from passing Keith Byars for 14th.

Injury Report


  • WR Josh Huff (shoulder)
  • T Matt Tobin (ankle)


  • RB Chris Polk (hamstring)
  • CB Jaylen Watkins (hamstring)


  • WR Riley Cooper (ankle)
  • WR Brad Smith (groin)


  • TE Clay Harbor (calf)
  • RB Westleigh Johnson (ankle)
  • T Austin Pasztor (hand)
  • WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring)


  • T Joshua Wells (shoulder)


  • P Bryan Anger (groin)
  • G Zane Beadles (calf)
  • C Luke Bowanko (quad)
  • DT Sen’Derrick Marks (shoulder)
  • WR Allen Robinson (hamstring)
  • K Josh Scobee (quad)

Where to Watch

TV: CBS (Broadcasters: Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker, Steve Beuerlein)
Radio: 94 WIP (Merrill Reese, Mike Quick, Howard Eskin)

Kevin Durso is a contributor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.

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