Three words come to mind after this game: glad that’s over. The Eagles did not make the impact they surely intended when they played last night’s game in New England, but there were a few standouts which could provide some hope for the regular season.
Jay Ajayi – STUD
The running game is going to be pretty good this year, largely due to Jay Ajayi’s vicious running style. He continued to make plays look sneaking out a few extra yards after looking like he was stuffed. With the return of Darren Sproles, coupled with the dynamic Corey Clement, the Eagles should benefit from one of the leagues scariest backfields.
Nick Foles – DUD
This has been the year of Nick Foles, but as Philly fans should know, he’s as streaky as they come. Foles finished the night 3 of 9 for 44 yards before leaving the game with a shoulder strain. The Super Bowl MVP looked off all night, throwing wild passes and holding on to the ball for far too long. Though this is not the Nick that fans wanted to see with Carson Wentz still injured, he still has the rest of the preseason to get back to form prior to any meaningful action.
Shelton Gibson – STUD
Shelton Gibson is this year’s Corey Clement. Every time the 2nd year wide receiver has the ball in his hands it’s exciting and productive. He continued to prove his worth as a special teamer and legitimate wide receiver option, going for 90 yards and a score. With Alshon Jeffery’s injury possibly lingering into the first half of the season, Gibson could see the field early and often.
Bryce Treggs/Rashard Davis – DUD(s)
Just a year after being thin at wide receiver, the position appears to be one of the Eagles’ strengths. The pair of receivers may be on the outside looking in come cut day as they have yet to find a role. Bryce Treggs’ speed has always been his greatest strength, but his inability to catch consistently nullifies his potential. Rashard Davis caught a single ball for a touchdown, which was more Nate Sudfeld than Davis, but his desire to do too much on a punt return cost the Eagles valuable field position. Davis appears more likely to make the cut than Treggs as he is in his first season, but looks to be practice squad material.
Dallas Goedert – STUD
Dallas Goedert makes this list for a second time, which is a relief due to the injury news which came out of training camp this past week. He made reads to help his quarterbacks, who appeared to be rushed throughout most of the game, find open areas and move the chains. The rookie tight end nearly caught a touchdown in the back of the end zone which was broken up by a good defensive play. Dallas shows promise and should be exciting to watch throughout the remainder of the preseason.
Flags – DUD
This was a VERY sloppy game. The flag was thrown 9 times for 97 yards and extended drives which led to scores for New England. The Eagles were flagged multiple times due to the new tackling penalties, which were crushing blows to momentum. Though the refs did appear more flag-friendly this game and often are in the preseason, it remains to be seen how the new rules will translate into the regular season.
Nate Sudfeld – STUD
Nate Sudfeld had no fear Thursday night versus the Patriots. Sudfeld showed off his arm throughout the night, throwing several passes of 20 yards or more. He went 22/39 for 312 yards, 3 touchdowns and a lone pick, with some great touch after being hurried throughout the game. It was rare to see Nate have any time at all to throw, which gave him a chance to show off his athleticism and mobility in the pocket.
Linebackers – DUD
Neither Nate Gerry, Corey Nelson, or Kamu Grugier-Hill made strides to decide who will get the starting spot. The linebackers repeatedly looked lost and over matched as the Patriots marched downfield on several drives. As opening day versus the Falcons approaches, the weakness in depth is starting to become cause for concern as the three could have major playing time with Nigel Bradham’s suspension.
The Eagles travel to Cleveland on August 23, 2018 for their third preseason game.