By Roxana Herrera // @rxnlzbth
Yes, I know it’s only preseason. Yes, I understand head coach Doug Pederson isn’t going to waste his best plays on games that essentially don’t matter. And yes, I realize that the players aren’t necessarily going full force during the games.
But, goodness gracious, can the Eagles show a little glimpse of the Super Bowl winners they are?
I don’t want to get too carried away here but turnovers and the offensive line are two key components which need improvement before the season opener, which is in less than two weeks. I am not sure where to begin with assessing last night’s “game'” if that is what we are calling it.
We can start with the score. I mean, 5-0? What is this, baseball?
Quarterback Nick Foles took too long to find his groove and was picked off twice. I am still advocating he remains the starter while Carson Wentz heals to 110%, but Foles is going to have to find his rhythm a bit quicker if he wants to continue his MVP-esque streak into the 2018 season.
He was 13 of 17 with 127 yards, which isn’t too bad but he was either overthinking or maybe his shoulder was still bothering him. He just looked off. Foles’ performance in the first half obviously upset Pederson. He told Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews that he was “done. I’ve seen enough.” Ouch.
The offensive line sure didn’t make matters any better. They were getting run over by the Cleveland Browns’ defense. Left guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai struggled during the first half, often leaving Foles to fend for himself. Vaitai is a quality backup guard to Jason Peters but his inconsistency at the position just makes the return of Peters that much sweeter.
Some bright lights on the offense were running back Wendell Smallwood who rushed for 53 yards on 12 carries, and wide receiver DeAndre Carter, who is making a name for himself in Philly, finishing with a team-high 73 yards.
Wendell Smallwood made the most out of his time with the first-team offense on Thursday.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 24, 2018
Backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld underwhelmed also, with an abysmal 72 yards and only completed 11 of 21.
While it was a disappointing and frustrating game, there’s still some time to work on the mistakes and clean up the turnovers. I don’t think it is necessary to rush any of the players for game 1. I have faith that Doug Pederson knows what he wants out of these guys.
Fortunately, these games don’t count. The biggest concern will be if the way they played during the preseason ends up translating onto the field during the regular season.
Talk Eagles with Roxana on Twitter @rxnlzbth