The Eagles played their first preseason game on Thursday, falling, 27-10, to the Titans at Lincoln Financial Field (see 10 observations).
Of course, it wasn’t truly the Eagles out there, as most of the key starters did not dress, including Carson Wentz. Nonetheless, there were a lot important performances to monitor, so we did our due diligence in this week’s report card.
Nate Sudfeld: 10/18, 177 YDS, 1 TD
Injury aside, Sudfeld showed an ability to extend plays with his feet and a willingness to push the ball downfield, connecting on one shot — a 75-yard touchdown. Now we wait to find out how long he’s out (see story). Cody Kessler was ineffective (3 of 6, 12 yards) behind Sudfeld, and rookie Clayton Thorson was somehow worse (2 of 9, 7 yards, 1 interception).
Josh Adams: 3 REC, 18 YDS, FL
Hard to judge, honestly, as there was no room to run. Eagles backs totaled 36 yards on 16 carries for a dismal 2.3 average. That being said, Adams’ fumble to kill a promising two-minute drive was a low point.
Wide receivers and tight ends
Marken Michel: 1 REC, 75 YDS, TD
Positive signs from some budding stars, as Dallas Goedert dominated the first few series with three catches for 50 yards, and JJ Arcega-Whiteside had a couple tough grabs for 23 yards. But the play of the night for the offense was CFL star Michel running past two-year Titans starter and former first-round cornerback Adoree Jackson for the 75-yard score.
Rock solid debut for the Eagles’ first-round pick Andre Dillard, who played pretty close to mistake-free in pass protection and was really getting after it in the run game, something he wasn’t asked to do much of in college. No complaints with Halapoulivaati Vaitai in his first game at guard, where he could start the season in place of a recovering Brandon Brooks. Jordan Mailata was just OK. And a rough outing for Matt Pryor, whose performance was marred by penalties and poor execution. As a whole, the unit created no running room.
Daeshon Hall: 6 TKL, 3 TFL, SK, FF
Monster game for Hall, who was around the ball and quarterback all night — it finally paid off with a strip sack in the third quarter. Give Josh Sweat the assist with a hurry on the play, and an active night overall (3 tackles). Notably not a lot of pressure coming from anybody else though.
L.J. Fort: 4 TKL
Fort had the hit of the night, but it was a lot less impressive once you realized it came on a 21-yard completion on 3rd-and-16. He and Gerry each surrendered relatively easy touchdown passes in coverage as well.
Andrew Sendejo: 1 TKL, 1 PD
Here’s all you need to know about the play of mostly third-string defensive backs — Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill was 12 of 16 for 130 yards and two touchdowns, and Logan Woodside was 15 of 20 for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Josh Hawkins tied for the Eagles’ team lead with eight tackles, and Jeremiah McKinnon was not far behind with six, which usually isn’t a good sign for cornerbacks. Sendejo shined on the opening series.
Jake Elliott: 1/2 FG, 1/1 XP
Typical Elliott game — good from 53 yards, but off the upright from 40. Cameron Johnston boomed five punts for a 47-yard average with two downed inside the opponents’ 20, and playoff hero Treyvon Hester blocked an extra point. Kick coverage was lacking though.
The only coaching decisions that matter in preseason football generally pertain to how long the starters play, and since most of the Eagles’ starters didn’t suit up, there are no complaints.
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