Eagles

Eagles vs. Ravens 2019 preseason: Start time, TV schedule, live stream and storylines

Eagles vs. Ravens 2019 preseason: Start time, TV schedule, live stream and storylines

After facing the Ravens for two joint practices this week, the Eagles will host them in a preseason game tonight at the Linc.

Here’s everything you need to know:

6 p.m.: Quick Slants on NBCSP
6:30 p.m.: Eagles Pregame Live on NBCSP
7:30 p.m.: Eagles vs. Ravens on NBC10
10:30 p.m.: Eagles Postgame Live on NBCSP

The television broadcasters will be Scott Graham (play-by-play), Ross Tucker (analyst) and Dave Spadaro (sideline).

Merrill Reese, Mike Quick and Howard Eskin will have the call on 94 WIP.

Dress rehearsal no more

This third preseason game used to be the one that most resembled real football. The starters used to play into the second half. But even Doug Pederson noted this week that the league is sort of trending away from that. Even if starters play in this game, don’t expect them to play a ton. I suspect we won’t see Carson Wentz at all this preseason.

But there are plenty of other reasons to watch this game. Check out this list of 10 players.

I remember you!

The Eagles and Ravens had two joint practices against each other this week and Tuesday began to get a little chippy at the end. That should set up a fun matchup in this game. I know the Eagles game-planned a little bit for this week, so that means they game-planned for the preseason game too. From that perspective, we might be able to get a little more out of this game than others.

Quarterback shuffle

Josh McCown hasn’t been with the Eagles for long, but there’s a chance he plays against the Ravens. He looked pretty good for the two days we saw him this week and he’s been around long enough that throwing him into a preseason game early won’t be too much to handle. But after that, we’ll see Cody Kessler and Clayton Thorson. The Eagles should probably play Thorson ahead of Kessler this week because Kessler isn’t long for this roster and Thorson deserves reps with higher-string players.

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10 players to watch in Eagles’ third preseason game of 2019

10 players to watch in Eagles’ third preseason game of 2019

The Eagles will play their third preseason game tonight, which used to be the all-important dress rehearsal game. Things have changed.

After two joint practices this week and as the NFL (and the Eagles) continue to place more value on practice over preseason games, things have changed. Sure, some starters will play on Thursday night, but don’t expect to see Carson Wentz. If he does play, it would just be a cameo appearance.

With that in mind, here are 10 players I want to see against the Ravens:

Josh McCown

In his very first practice with the Eagles, McCown was already checking a play at the line of scrimmage. I think the 40-year-old vet will be fine to play in this game. After the injuries we’ve seen this preseason, maybe McCown shouldn’t play a lot, but I’d like to see him in there a little bit.

Clayton Thorson

After breaking out in last week’s game, the rookie quarterback had what was easily his best week of practice. He just looked way more confident than we had seen him before. It’ll be interesting to see if he can continue that in a live game. If Thorson finishes the preseason strong, he’s probably going to force the Eagles to keep him on their 53-man roster so he doesn’t get claimed off waivers.

Rodney McLeod/Corey Clement

I’m lumping these two together because they’re both coming off injury and I don’t know if they’re going to play. Both thought there was a chance they’d play but weren’t positive. We probably haven’t talked about McLeod enough, but he’s an important piece of this defense. While the team added Andrew Sendejo and Johnathan Cyprien, McLeod is really the only guy ideally suited to play that deep safety role when Malcolm Jenkins is up in the box.

Sidney Jones

This has been an encouraging summer for the supremely talented Jones. With Ronald Darby’s return, either Jones or Douglas are going to be heading to the bench and that’s going to be a tough decision. Despite what Douglas has done, I still think Jones is the more talented player with the higher ceiling. I’d like to see if he can flash in this game.

Daeshon Hall

This preseason, Hall leads the NFL in sacks (3), TFLs (4), QB hits (6) and forced fumbles (2). Let’s see if he can keep it going through the last two games. If Hall doesn’t make this roster, then we’ll know how little preseason games count in evaluations. But if Hall doesn’t make this roster, he’ll be on another 53-man somewhere.

Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Brandon Brooks was cleared to participate in 1-on-1s this week and from what I saw looked good. But we’re nearing Week 1 and it’s not definite that he’ll be ready. If he’s not, then Big V will step in. Vaitai has looked solid this summer, but I’ll be closely watching him again against the Ravens.

Josh Perkins

With the injury to Richard Rodgers, Perkins is now in line to be the Eagles’ third-string TE to start the 2019 season. Perk has had a good summer and is far ahead of where he was this time last year. But I wonder if tight end is a position the Eagles would be interested in upgrading after final cuts.

Stefen Wisniewski

The guy who started at left guard in the Super Bowl might get cut. It’s been a tough summer for Wiz, who all of a sudden can’t seem to snap the ball. The Eagles have even replaced him at second-team center in recent practice days. With a good game on Thursday, Wiz could either help his cause to make the Eagles roster or perhaps raise his trade value.

Josh Sweat

While Hall and Shareef Miller have shined so far this preseason, it’s been a quiet two games for Sweat. And then he even missed a practice day this week with a knee injury, which is even more notable for Sweat. There was a lot of hype around the second-year DE coming into the summer and he started off practices strong, but let’s see it in game action.

Miles Sanders

While I have already seen enough to know Sanders should play a ton in his rookie season, I’d still like to see more. A few more runs and a few targets his way would show everyone what those of us at practice every day have seen. I think he’s the most talented running back on the roster.

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Making the case for Eagles to play Miles Sanders from Day 1

Making the case for Eagles to play Miles Sanders from Day 1

Forget the future. 

The Eagles need to play Miles Sanders a ton this year. 

Sure, the Eagles also added Jordan Howard in a trade this offseason, but there’s no reason to hold back on playing the second-round pick from Penn State. Running backs, perhaps more than any other position, can contribute early in their careers. That should be no different for Sanders. 

During training camp and the preseason games, he’s been proving that. 

Based on what he’s seen this summer, how much does Doug Pederson think Sanders can contribute as a rookie? 

“As much as we give him,” Pederson said. 

They should give him a lot. 

I think he’s does a great job with us so far,” Pederson continued. “The biggest concern coming into camp was obviously the health issue with coming out of the spring being injured a little bit. But I think he’s checked that box. Obviously, he’ll have a role for us. It’s good to have those two guys back there who are different runners but at the same time give us that running game that was missed a year ago.

We’ve seen impressive things from Sanders all summer, but now that he’s doing it in games, I actually have some video to show you. So let’s take a closer look at the different aspects of his game: 

Burst 

Sanders can hit a hole and with what should be a very good offensive line in front of him, there will be plenty of holes. 

Check out the first play against the Jaguars last week. Sanders makes a nice move to find a huge hole in front of him, then he bursts through it. 

It’s great to be able to cut, but Sanders’ ability to accelerate after the cut is what makes this play. That hole was huge, but it would have closed way quicker on a lot of backs. 

This is where his 4.49 second 40-yard dash time (70th percentile) shows up on the field. 

Power 

We all think of Howard as the power back in the rotation and maybe that will be true on goal line situations. But Sanders has power too. This run from the Eagles’ 5-yard line shows that. 

On this one, Sanders goes for a gain of 16, but about 12 of those yards came after contact. By the end of the play, he’s dragging Jaguars defenders to the 21-yard line. 

We saw this from Sanders at Penn State too. According to PFF, he ranked eighth among qualified FBS running backs in yards after contact per touch (3.68). As a runner, he averaged 3.8 yards after contact per rushing attempt and 845 of his 1,274 yards in 2018 came after contact. His legs keep churning. 

Blocking 

As much as everyone else was happy to see his running ability last week, Sanders beamed when talking about his blocking. The ability — or lack of ability — to pass protect is what often keeps rookie running backs off the field. Coming out of college, Sanders was at least a willing blocker, but we’re seeing he understands his assignments too. 

This block on blitzing linebacker Joe Giles-Harris allowed Clayton Thorson enough time to deliver a 38-yard touchdown pass to Greg Ward against the Jaguars. While some might notice the blitzer coming off the edge, Sanders picked the right guy and stuffed the ‘backer. 

Elusiveness 

This is the most exciting part of Sanders’ game and it’s the part that has prematurely drawn Shady comparisons. No, Sanders is not LeSean McCoy. There aren’t many guys who are as shifty as Shady. But Sanders does have the ability to make tacklers miss and his jump cut has been very impressive. 

The jump cut in Thursday’s game wasn’t as draw-dropping as the one he pulled off at the Linc during the public practice, but it’s still a good example. 

This play went for a modest gain of three yards, but it could have been a loss. Aside from just the physical ability to move laterally, vision is so important in this instance. The ability to get to the hole means nothing if the back can’t find it. 

Receiving 

Through two preseason games, Sanders hasn’t been targeted, so you’ll have to take my word on this one. He can catch. Really, I’ve been impressed by how smooth he’s looked as a pass catcher this summer in practice. 

In 2018, he caught 24 passes for 139 yards as a Nittany Lion, so he wasn’t exactly LaDanian Tomlinson, but he already looks like a more natural pass catcher than Howard, who has averaged 24 passes per year in longer NFL seasons. 

Sanders’ ability to catch the ball combined with not being a liability in pass protection could earn him some valuable third-down snaps even as a rookie. 

Ball security 

This is the one category where we’ll have to wait and see. The Eagles have been working with Sanders on ball security, but over time he’s just going to have to show he can be trusted. 

At Penn State, Sanders fumbled 10 times (lost 7), which means he fumbled once every 27.6 rushing attempts. That’s obviously way too many. To put it into perspective, Howard has fumbled just four times in his three-year NFL career; once every 194.5 snaps. 

There’s nothing Sanders can do to prove to coaches in practice that his fumbling issues are completely gone. He’ll have to prove it when the real games start. 

He should have plenty of chances to earn that trust. 

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