We’ve seen a lot of bad football games, but that one was absolutely the worst. It began with the starting quarterback being ruled out before the kickoff, then a rag tag group of a few starters, but mostly backups, went out and stunk up the joint in a 35-0 loss to the New England Patriots.
This exercise was mostly a waste of time, though those of us watching at home were able to change the channel. We were able to turn on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills or Bubble Guppies for a better Thursday night viewing experience. But the fans who paid money to go down there and watch that slop got ripped off, and probably deserved better. We all know the preseason doesn’t mean anything, and you buy those tickets at your own risk, but imagine sitting through that nonsense. Those fans should get a partial refund for having to experience that.
One of the reasons you didn’t see a ton of starters last night is because the coaches feel like they’re getting a lot of great reps during these joint practice sessions. They don’t feel the need to put too much time and effort into these preseason games, because the work they did earlier in the week was deemed adequate. It’s a changing NFL world, and unfortunately we have to suffer through three preseason games while living in it.
He didn’t play because he ended up with a stomach infection and was a late scratch.
This is how Nick Sirianni answered four separate questions about Hurts after the game:
“He came in and wasn’t feeling great. We put him through pregame warmups. He wanted to go out there and go through pregame warmups. He came back in and still wasn’t feeling good. We evaluated him and we just decided it wasn’t in his best interest to play with what he was feeling. We evaluated him. He is fine now. He is doing okay now, but that is why we held him out.”
“He actually went to the hospital to get evaluated for his stomach. Like I said, came back, everything is good, and he is going to be okay.”
“He just had pain in his abdomen, which for a guy like that to tell us, he’s a tough guy, so it must have been hurting him pretty good for him to let us know about that.”
“(it was) just a stomach infection, stomach bug that was going on, that was causing some pressure in his stomach.”
The good thing is that there’s no COVID tie-in here, according to the Eagles. It was just funky because Hurts was taking part in pregame warmups and looked absolutely fine:
This was Jalen Hurts during pregame warmups and looked good
Eagles say he came down with an illness. Joe Flacco started pic.twitter.com/qttV7OG2MI
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) August 19, 2021
We didn’t get the QB1, but we did get the WR1, and DeVonta Smith made his debut in midnight green.
It was sloppy to start, with a couple of half-drops on some less-than-stellar Joe Flacco throws. He first tried to snag a short throw on a shallow cross with the pocket collapsing on Flacco, but couldn’t reel it in. They tried to find him in the second quarter, and threw a back shoulder pass that he couldn’t turn around and snag. His third target, on the same drive, was thrown behind him by Flacco.
But the fourth time was the charm, a nine-yard gain on a short five-yard route with a nice “get off” at the line of scrimmage:
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 20, 2021
Said Sirianni on the Heisman Trophy winner’s debut:
“(He) looked like he was a little antsy at first. Dropped a couple balls, and he was a little late with his eyes on the deep ball that Joe threw him. He made a couple plays there. That’s what happens with young wideouts. They have to play and go through the ups and downs a little bit, and the preseason is for that to happen. He ran a good route on that return route on a third down. Thought he ran a couple other good routes, too. Again, we will look at the tape to see totally how he played, but I’m glad he got in there and was able to play a good, meaningful first half and take a couple hits and have to go against some of those tight coverage looks he had to get.”
That seemed to be the overall takeaway. The route running and launch off the line of scrimmage was good.
He caught a second pass on a great little hitch right here:
📺: NBC10 pic.twitter.com/tbfLua32rI
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 20, 2021
When he’s working with Jalen Hurts and the first team offense and settles in, he should be fine. Good to see him out there and healthy.
Defense still vanilla
Only a handful of defensive starters played, just the linebacker group with some of the secondary, as Darius Slay sat for this game.
The starting D:
Williams-McGill-Ridgeway-Jackson is DL. Wilson, Singleton and Avery LBs. Nelson, McPhearson, Harris and Wallace in secondary #Eagles
— John McMullen (@JFMcMullen) August 19, 2021
We didn’t learn much aside from the fact that there is not a lot of defensive depth on this team. We were hoping to learn more about Jonathan Gannon’s scheme, and see some not-vanilla looks, but we didn’t get that.
- Miles Sanders did play in this game despite not playing the first preseason game. Sirianni said postgame they just wanted to get him a couple of preseason carries.
- Alex Singleton is all over the place. I hate when defensive coaches use the term “flying around,” but Singleton is “flying around” out there. It’s like the football is a homing beacon and he is magnetically attached to it, or something like that.
- Nate Herbig on that high snap? Oof. Flacco needs to just fall on that and live to play another day. That turnover was brutal and set the tone for the crap night.
- Isaac Seumalo was back from injury and started the game. Jordan Mailata was the only other starter on the offensive line.
- Arryn Siposs filled in for the injured Jake Elliott, but because the Birds stunk so bad he didn’t even attempt an extra point or field goal.
- The Patriots’ kicker stinks. He missed two extra points and a field goal.
- K’Von Wallace called Cam Newton the “Checkdown King” during joint practice and then got burned for a TD in this game.
- “Philadelphia has chosen not to extend the first quarter,” was the best line of the entire night.
- Bummer to see Jason Croom go down on a non-contact injury. No update on his status right now.
- Quez Watkins was only targeted once and didn’t log a catch.
- Fire this game into the sun. The Rock would have us take the film, turn it sideways, and shove it up our roody poo candy asses.