Teams are being very safe this preseason in terms of playing starters to prevent injuries and Jacksonville and Philadelphia are no different.
Doug Marrone confirmed Foles won’t play. Wentz likely won’t play. Most starting offensive and defensive lineman for both teams won’t play. Significant players with small injuries or even soreness leading up to the game can be pulled shortly prior to kickoff.
So what matchups between the Eagles and Jaguars players should you watch? We’ve got you covered with 5 matchups that are not only between good players but also can have huge impact on roster decisions.
1. Andre Dillard vs Josh Allen
The battle of first-round rookies! Both players had high praise going into the draft, and both players lived up to the hype in game 1.
Although the Jaguars had very little to be optimistic about after being shut out versus Ravens, 7th overall pick Josh Allen impressed head coach Marrone:
“I feel really good about where he is… it looked like he stepped up another level, which is what you want to see”
Dillard had a strong game himself, shutting down Titans’ veterans Kamalei Correa and Sharif Finch while displaying veteran-like technique in both the run and pass game:
Dillard will be presented with a different challenge today, as he meets a stronger and faster, yet more inexperienced player in Allen. This is a good one!
2. Josh Sweat and Daeshon Hall vs
Jawaan Taylor and Cedric Ogbuehi
Oh, what a week Hall and Sweat had against the Titans! What seemed like a major concern in 4th defensive end suddenly looks more encouraging!
Sweat, a second-year athletic freak out of FSU, showed exactly what we needed to see in game 1 vs Taylor Lewann: An improved getoff, more controlled execution of pass rush moves, especially coordinating punch, bend and rip:
Daeshon Hall, a former 3rd round pick by Panthers in 2017, had a standout week himself, making PFF’s week 1 team of the week after bullying Titans’ Austin Pasztor all game long:
Hall and Sweat will go up against some interesting players today, as Cedrick Ogbuehi, a 25th overall pick in 2015 for the Bengals, and Jawaan Taylor, 35th overall pick in this years draft, will look to battle for the starting right tackle spot. Neither were active last week, but with a wide-open spot at right tackle, and Cam Robinson coming back from a season ending injury, the two will have to start playing.
3. Alex Singleton and T.J. Edwards vs
The battle for depth at linebacker took a huge turn, as former practice squad journeyman and CFL All-Star Alex Singleton has created a serious competition.
First, Singleton earned notice in practice with a physical presence:
Then, he played lights out versus the Titans, making plays with an attitude on special teams, displaying solid flow and natural block sheds on defense, all while forcing an ever-important turnover:
As a result, Singleton has earned first-team nickel reps this week in practice.
Rookie linebacker T.J. Edwards, who had a decent game himself, will be looking to stand out versus Jaguars after getting the game 1 nerves out the way:
“There was a lot of hype around the first game and stuff like that… Now that I kind of got my feet wet more, I can anticipate more for this next one.”
The duo will look to keep momentum going against Alfred Blue and the Jags offensive line, as Leonard Fournette likely won’t see any playing time.
4. Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones vs
Chris Conley and D.J. Chark
Two of the biggest winners of preseason so far for the Eagles have been Jones and Douglas. The two young ultra-talented corners were on the outside looking in at this time just a year ago, however, with strong play in camp, they are pushing to remain in the starting lineup once Darby and Mills return from injury.
The Jaguars likely won’t play their starters today, as Dede Westbrook, who didn’t play against the Ravens hasn’t been practicing for most of the week, and Marqise Lee’s status even for week 1 of the regular season is up in the air.
That leaves last years second-round pick D.J. Chark and former Chief Chris Conley. But fear not:
These are really interesting matchups!
There is no denying Jones and Douglas are shifty corners with solid press ability and good change of direction, but both have to work on covering the deep ball.
What a fun coincidence Chark turned in a 4.34 second 40 time, while Conley ran a 4.35! This is an underrated, under-the-radar matchup to watch early in the game.
5. Clayton Thorson vs…. himself…
Watching Thorson play versus the titans left me with 3 thoughts:
- He looked bad in college, looked bad in camp, so why am i surprised he looks this bad in this game?
- Joe Callahan, the defending titleholder of “most boring preseason QB” from last season, really wasn’t THAT bad.
- Receivers on the bubble-like Marken Michel, Greg Ward, Charles Johnson, Carlton Agudosi, and Braxton Miller don’t have a shot of showing what they can while this QB plays.
The fifth-round pick Completed 2 of 9 passes for 7 yards, and an ugly interception. His best pass was a checkdown to a running back…for no gain.
Thorson, being drafted in the 5th round, has to show SOMETHING. With S(t)udfeld out, playing time won’t be an excuse. He and Kessler will likely get a half each, trying to establish a rhythm. He has been given every chance, it’s all on him now.
No excuse not to watch!
As you can tell, there are important, key matchups to keep an eye on throughout the entire game no matter the string of players being in there!
Follow me on Twitter @Thomasrp93 and yell at me throughout the entire game. I will gladly listen!
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports