Studs and Duds: Eagles Preseason Week 3

The Eagles going 0 – 3 in the preseason is not the start many fans were hoping for, but it is how it has gone so far. The Eagles have looked lost on offense, which have many concerned with Carson Wentz‘s status up in the air for the season opener. Thursday’s shutout was a frustrating game, but it did have a few players who excelled and some who contributed to the loss.

Wendell Smallwood – STUD

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photo via Philly.com

The top three running backs for this team are already solidified, and it doesn’t seem likely the Eagles will hold onto 5 running backs, making only a single roster spot available. Wendell Smallwood made a strong case for that spot last night. Smallwood racked up 53 yards on 12 carriers and 14 receiving yards for multiple double digit plays. Smallwood has been rather anonymous this preseason, but his strong showing last night could lock up his spot on the 53 man roster.

Nick Foles – DUD

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photo via Pro Football Talk

Nick Foles has made the Dud list two weeks in a row now, which isn’t exactly promising for the Super Bowl MVP. Nick finished the night 13/17 for 127 yards and two interceptions. Though he was not helped by poor receiver and left tackle play, there were decisions he made which were very poor and he looked like the Foles from the 2017 Oakland game. Nick has been notoriously poor in the preseason, but fans were expecting more from him if he is to start Week 1.

Avonte Maddox – STUD

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photo via NBC Sports

Avonte Maddox has been relatively quiet this preseason, but the 4th round pick made a splash last night. The rookie corner snagged an overthrown ball from Baker Mayfield and nearly took it for six but was cut short due to a shoestring tackle. It was the Eagles lone takeaway and Maddox flashed speed and gives the Eagles some depth at the corner position.

Halapoulivaati Vaitai – DUD

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photo via 24/7 Sports

Of all the duds throughout the preseason, this one may be the most concerning. Coming off a week where Halapoulivaati Vaitai said he was unprepared for the Patriots, it was important to have a bounce back game. Unfortunately, Big V was bounced back. It seemed as though every slow motion replay showcased Myles Garrett walking all over our back up left tackle, which caused a sack, safety, and constant pressure on Foles. Thankfully, Jason Peters looks to be fully healthy and ready for Week 1, but with him coming off an injury and being near the end of his career, Vaitai will need to step it up in order to gain confidence from fans and coaches alike.

First Team Defense – STUD

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photo via Cleveland.com

The one constant with this team so far this preseason is outstanding first team defense. The Browns first team offense went nowhere and was held to 3 points. Despite a few runs from Carlos Hyde at the beginning of the game, the ground game had little wiggle room. Corners were able to hold their man and stop both 4th down conversions the Browns attempted. The front 4 were able to get to the QB and some well orchestrated blitzes from Jim Schwartz caused fans to be very happy with what they saw.

Matt Jones – DUD

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photo via Philly.com

Matt Jones has but one obstacle to overcome to make the team, which is to hold onto the football. Jones coughed up the ball on a promising drive which very well could have cost him his roster spot. Despite being very talented in Washington, he fumbled over 8 times in the two years he was there, which led to the Redskins moving on to other options at running back. Jones was looking to prove his worth and clinch a roster sport, but will have difficulty finding one with the Eagles.

Deandre Carter – STUD

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photo via NBC Sports

For anyone who has been confused, DeAndre Carter is that wide receiver wearing David Akers‘ number. Though he has been relatively quiet this preseason, Carter had a great punt return on special teams and caught 4 balls for 73 yards. With most of the starting receivers out this game, Carter made a statement and could earn a role on the roster or be signed to the practice squad.

Wide Receivers – DUD

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photo via Valley Morning Star

Throughout most of this preseason, the Eagles receivers have been quiet. Mot balls feel like they are thrown to the backs or tight ends, leaving much to be desired from players like the newly acquired Mike Wallace. Shelton Gibson has been a star this preseason but had a bad game, running a route where he waited for the ball to get to him rather than coming back to the ball, which led to a pick. Though the Eagles can take these games with grains of salt without arguably their two best receivers, it is worrisome given the first team offensive struggles.

Josh Adams – STUD

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photo via NBC Sports

Josh Adams could be a steal for the Eagles. Though it is unlikely he will make the team this year unless they keep 5 backs, it wouldn’t be surprising if Philadelphia finds a way to keep him at all costs. The backs could be thin next year with Darren Sproles presumably retiring and the uncertainty of signing Jay Ajayi, Adams could develop and form a role along with Corey Clement to provide a 1-2 punch.

The Eagles play their final preseason game at Lincoln Financial field versus the New York Jets on 8/30.

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