The Eagles are gearing up for the all-import third preseason game where the starters get most of their work in. Nick Foles will be under center once again as the injury-riddled Eagles offense looks to get on track. Here’s what to watch tonight:
1 – Nick Foles and the starting offense did not look like they were on the same page in his first game action last week. The running game struggled to get into a rhythm averaging just 2.7 yards per carry on 16 attempts thus leading to 51 pass attempts because the offense couldn’t stay on the field. With guys like Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, and Corey Clement, the depth on the team needs to step up and start matching the intensity of the Eagle defense…which has looked very good.
2 – Not only did Halapoulivaati Vaitai struggle, but the entire offensive line looked bad. Vaitai said he was truly embarrassed about his performance against New England. He will have an opportunity to bounce back facing some young pass rushers tonight.
3 – The Two-Tight End Offense is something we could see the Eagles explore and utilize a lot this upcoming season with Zach Ertz and Zach Ertz Jr. (Dallas Goedert). While coaches typically keep the play calling vanilla, seeing what happens when both are on the field is something we could see tonight.
4 – Can Shelton Gibson continue to climb the depth chart? After 7 catches for 167 yards and 2 touchdowns in the first two games, its possible he carves himself out a role and has a few plays implemented for him each week if he continues this impressive work. He has also impressed in the return game.
5 – The 4th running back battle heats up again as Wendell Smallwood and Matt Jones will be accompanied by UDFA Josh Adams this week who looked good in week one with 5 carries for 30 yards. Isn’t it nice worrying about the depth of a team instead of weaknesses in the starting lineup when the team is coming off a Super Bowl?
6 – The Slot Corner battle has been the main focus on defense over the past few weeks as Sidney Jones has struggled to move to the inside and rookie Avonte Maddox is thriving. Keep an eye on the snap count for both as last week, as Jones outnumbered Maddox 47 to 30 in that category.
7 – The Browns have retooled and there is a lot of hype around what they might do this season. It’ll be fun to watch what they have in this game with extended time for starters.
Tune in to FOX at 8 pm for the third of four preseason games before the Eagles open the season against the Falcons on Thursday, September 6th. You can also follow the action and join the conversation as we live tweet from @BirdsInformer during the game.