Nate Studfeld – Observations from Patriots 37, Eagles 20

Photo Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The original title of this story was “Not Great,” and that’s still probably the biggest takeaway from last night. That performance was… not great.

But I went with”Nate Studfeld” instead because I want to be positive as we head into a summer weekend. I didn’t want to start off your Friday morning with some ridiculous shit take like this one:

You’re right, Angelo, it’s disgraceful.

Anyway, Nick Foles did not have it last night. He hurt his shoulder on – ironically – a strip sack against the Patriots. He says he’s fine but you never know with this team. A laundry list of players were inactive and/or injured last night and didn’t sniff the field.

They were:

Carson Wentz, Alshon Jeffery, Jason Peters, Brandon Graham, Jalen Mills, Darren Sproles, Mack Hollins, Nelson Agholor, Chris Maragos, Donnel Pumphrey, Asantay Brown, Tim Jernigan, Markus Wheaton, Josh Adams

Add Foles, Bryce Treggs, Kamar Aiken, and Richard Rodgers to the list, four guys who left the game with various new injuries.

RE: the shoulder, here’s what Foles had to say about it: 

“I was getting ready to throw a deep ball and it got grabbed as I was following on through, so it sort of got a little strained,” Foles told reporters after the game. “So, you know, I was with the trainers, I’ll go in tomorrow and get treatment on it and sort of go from there. But it feels all right, feels pretty good. Hopefully, there are no issues.”

Yeah, hopefully there are no issues, because Carson Wentz is already on the shelf and hasn’t done an 11v11 drill this entire summer. We’re less than three weeks from the season opener. Anybody getting just a little bit worried?

The positive is that Nate Sudfeld looks like a player, which I’ll get to momentarily, but first some random notes that didn’t fit into the other sections:

  • Kamu Grugier-Hill played WILL with the 1st team defense
  • Rasul Douglas started at CB in place of Mills and Sidney Jones began in the slot. In the second half, Jones played on the outside a bit with Avonte Maddox in the slot. Jones whiffed badly on a flat pass that the Pats took in for a touchdown:

  • Matt Jones made his preseason debut in the second half and dropped three passes, including one that hit him in the helmet and bounced into the hands of a New England player. Yeah, the ball was a bit high and behind him, but he’s gotta find a way to adjust and at least make an effort on that play.
  • Big V – not a great night at left tackle
  • Ronald Darby could/should have had two picks on the same drive (well the first would have ended the drive, but you get the point), great coverage downfield though
  • Steven Means should be on somebody’s 53-man roster
  • Rashard Davis lost 11 yards on a punt return. Appreciate him trying to make something happen, but yeah. He returned the next punt for -3 yards. The gunners helped him out on a much better 4th quarter return.
  • Michael Bennett’s shoulder pads make me laugh for whatever reason
  • Jake Elliott missed another extra point
  • I didn’t get a great look at the offensive and defense lines other than seeing Big V’s big troubles. The O-line didn’t get much goal line push on several Wendell Smallwood runs and gave up five first half sacks.
  • Godspeed to the Pats corner that committed three first-half penalties. I’m surprised hoodie didn’t cut him at halftime.

More observations:

Shelton Gibson

Some more good kick returns tonight. The 46-yarder in the 1st quarter was superb and he was steady on three other efforts, putting up 30.3 yards on average.

He came off the field briefly with a leg injury and then scored his second touchdown in as many weeks with a nice sluggo route on a third down at the goal line. I don’t recall seeing him ever do that at West Virginia. He was a deep threat, a guy that caught a lot of 15+ yard balls, but he wasn’t a big red zone target, not in the slightest. Seeing him hit that slant and go really took me by surprise.

Gibson also made an excellent catch in stride from a play that began with the Birds backed up at the two yard line:

Great stuff from Shelton, who finished with 5 grabs for 90 yards and a touchdown on six total targets. Looks like he’s really making a push for that 5th WR spot and could jump Mack Hollins in week one if Hollins continues to miss preseason game time.

Helmet rule

Rodney McLeod lowered his head to initiate contact:

Nigel Bradham later lowered his head to initiate contact (followed by a Jordan Hicks form tackle on the same drive).

Jeremy Reaves got hit with another flag in the third quarter.

You might not like it, but that’s how they’re calling it. That’s five helmet infractions on the defense in two preseason games, I think..

My only real issue with the rule is that I haven’t seen it being called against offensive players. There have been a lot of instances throughout two preseason games where blockers and running backs are lowering their helmets to brace for contact, but is that somehow different than initiating contact? Both the runner and defender and moving forward with their helmet facing forward…

I dunno.

Nick Foles and Nate Sudfeld

Sloppy for Foles. He started 1 for 7 for 3 yards with a 39.6 rating. The offense put up three total yards on the first three possessions and he finished just 3-9 on the night with 3 sacks.

Might as well get it out of the system now, because it looked really bad.

Nate Sudfeld, however, looked so much more comfortable out there, and it started with him putting up a few balls in spots where his receivers earned penalty flags for pass interference.

On the play right before halftime, I think he gave Dallas Goedert a good chance to grab that ball on a back shoulder toss, but credit the linebacker for a nice pass break-up there. On the 4th down, he tried a shovel pass to a covered guy, which Doug Pederson didn’t seem happy about. The broadcast cut to Doug giving Sudfeld the business before going into halftime.

Whatever Doug said to him must have connected, because he looked great in the second half.

His best throw, by far, was the touchdown pass to Richard Rodgers. He was forced to release it early, put it over the right shoulder, and just dropped a dime into the corner:

He threw a really nice ball to Goedert right before this play, which was punched out of the tight end’s hands at the last minute.

I’d say the deep toss to Gibson was probably his second best throw of the evening, but he looked very good (against admittedly lesser competition) throughout the entirety of the second half. It should make Eagles fans feel better about the QB situation if Wentz is not ready for week one and Foles still carries this shoulder thing.

This entire post really could have just been smooth Sudfeld throws.

Next time.

National anthem

Malcolm Jenkins didn’t do the fist. He stayed in the tunnel with De’Vante Bausby and Michael Bennett remained in the locker room.

Mike Mayock

Big fan of Mike Mayock, but I swear I heard him pronounce Nate Gerry’s last name in five different ways. Am I partially deaf, or did you hear that too?

We also finally got the long-awaited handshake between Tom Brady and Foles:

That’s really it from me this morning. That game barely deserved 1,200 words, if we’re being honest.

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  • I know it's the preseason but Brady looks like he can play another 5 years August 17, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Ageless wonder.

  • JimmyCarville August 17, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    It’s all the Brazilian he is eating.

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