The Eagles face the Jets in less than 24 hours for the final game of their Pre-Season Campaign, and whilst it’s often seen as game where the big stars get rested for week one..there are still some big stories to watch when it comes to the birds.
After sustaining an injury in training camp, Kiko Alonso has missed every pre-season game so far. However, the former Buffalo Bill expects to play in tonight’s final Pre-Season game against the Jets. DeMeco Ryans and Brandon Graham have both also missed extensive playing time and the rust was evident in last weeks game. This could be the first time that Eagles fans can take a look at the first team linebacker core in its entirety. No injuries, no setbacks..just elite pass rushing on a weak Offensive Line and an eight year veteran QB..what better way to warm up for a season?
Huff and Pufff
Josh Huff has said that he will indeed take snaps this weeks game following the loss of his God Brother. It will be great to see Huff return despite his snap count predictably being low. He has also spoken very highly of the team giving him support in such a tough time, that’s what makes this team so special. Huff is an extremely talented receiver and it will be fantastic to see another target for Barkley and co tonight.
Bradford’s Brief Barrage
The spotlight tonight is undoubtedly on Matt Barkley and Tim Tebow as they battle for the proposed final Quarterback spot on the 53 man roster, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see a surprise appearance from Sam Bradford. After excelling last week by going 10/10 and scoring on every drive, it’s important that he remains game fit and sees as much action as possible for week one. He may only be active for one drive, but it’s one more drive of experience, fitness, vision and knowledge that he can carry into the regular season. It would be easy to say he’s fully ready now following such a standout performance, but he still has to prolong that level of performance over an entire game..more experience will help that. A brief second half appearance may be on the cards for Sam Bradford.
With the regular season looming, the fourth game of pre-season is often called the backup bowl. Purely as the starters tend to get rested whilst the backups vie for their spot on the team. This game will be no exception. The battle at Nickel Corner will be as interesting as ever, especially considering the Jets lack of quality in terms of receivers..it’s the perfect opportunity to make a big play and grab Chip’s attention. Guys like Kenjon Barner may have already cemented their place in the final roster but expect Murray to sit back whilst Barner takes a few more reps in the backfield. The story rings true for Trey Burton who will take a lot of snaps alongside Brent Celek whilst Ertz remains on the sidelines. It’s the perfect way to evaluate depth for the team so instead of looking out for the big dogs..keep an eye on the backups, the guys who are trying keep their job, the guys who are grinding on the Offensive Line or are trying to make that one crucial interception.
Barkley Vs Tebow
There’s no denying that the biggest thing to watch out for tonight comes in the form of Tim Tebow and Matt Barkley fighting for the final Quarterback spot. Barkley will start the game and it’s projected that he will remain in the game until the end of the first half. But that’s not what to watch out for, because the winner won’t be decided on the field (unless one of the pair have a terrible game) as the two are so similar in terms of production. If Tim Tebow comes onto the field for a two point conversion and makes it, then does it a few more times then it’s over, regardless of how good Barkley plays. Purely because a third string QB won’t see game time, it’s a fact. But Tebow is a special teams wizard, if he can be versatile enough and effective enough to come out and convert 2PT’s each and every time then there is no question who’s going to win the roster spot..unless Barkley explodes and has a Bradford like game..watch out for Tebow on two point conversions