The Philadelphia Eagles lost another meaningless football game on Thursday night to the Cleveland Browns 5-0. There were sloppy plays, mistakes, turnovers, even a missed field goal.
Are people going to get all worked up over what happened tonight? Absolutely. Should they? Absolutely not.
Let’s take a look back at just how meaningful August football really is…
I’m sure even remembers Week 3 of the 2015 preseason right? The game where the ultimate fraud of a quarterback Sam Bradford set the world on fire with a picture-perfect performance against the Green Bay Packers?
How did that translate to the regular season? The Bradford from the preseason game was never seen or heard from again, and the Eagles turned in one of their most disappointing seasons in recent memory.
The same folks that got all worked up about Bradford that night telling anyone that would listen that the Eagles were a lock for the Super Bowl that year and touting the good old “In Chip We Trust” nonsense are the same ones that will tell you the sky is falling, Foles is a fraud, and the 2018 season is already over tomorrow.
Just a couple reminders.
There was no Jason Peters, Alshon Jeffrey, Nelson Agholor, Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, or Darren Sproles on the field tonight. Those are six HUGE pieces of the offensive puzzle.
Preseason is purely vanilla football.
Preseason is a time to work on things and identify problems so that they can be ironed out for when the games matter.
That’s not to say that some of the individual players are above criticism for how they performed tonight, but rather in the big picture, these games don’t matter.
- Big V played another terrible game, but the offensive line as a whole really got pushed around the whole night.
- Wendell Smallwood saw most of the first-team work at running back, but I was really much more impressed with Josh Adams, who was back in action tonight. Adams runs hard, and runs powerful. Smallwood is just an average guy across the board who doesn’t block well. Adams has come closest to replacing the power running style that the team will miss from LeGarrette Blount, I would have to give him the edge for the fourth running back role.
- Matt Jones is just a disaster, turning in yet another fumble. He’s been so bad that I feel bad watching him play.
- I don’t see how Donnel Pumphrey can still be in the mix for a roster spot after missing all three games to this point.
- Wide receiver DeAndre Carter may have a real chance to make this team. Carter opened up playing with the first-team offense, and also took punt and kick returns the entire night. Carter shined in all facets. He caught four passes for 73 yards, and looked sure-handed and electric with the football, and also turned in a 29-yard return.
- Can the Eagles keep six wide receivers? Alshon, Agoholor, Wallace, Gibson and Hollins have to be locks, but I don’t think it’s crazy to think that they could keep six, especially if Alshon won’t be ready to go to start the season.
- I really hope Steven Means can get a few snaps for a regular role in the defensive line rotation this year. For three years, all we’ve seen is him get to the quarterback in August. It’s time he got a shot to get to them in September.
- Avonte Maddox has really had a nice August, and came away with an interception tonight. It will be interesting to see who wins the nickel role between him and Sidney Jones. It’s tough to imagine a guy as talented as Jones restricted to just dime packages, but Maddox has looked strong all throughout camp.
- Fletcher Cox is primed for a huge season. He collected another sack tonight, and has been absolutely dominant so far.
- Jordan Hicks doesn’t look like he’s missing any of his explosiveness, Hicks flew in for a sack on Tyrod Taylor towards the end of the first half.
- Jake Elliot missed a 33-yarder tonight. For some reason, the chip shot field goals continue to be a problem for him. He’ll drill kicks beyond 50 yards in his sleep, but inside 35 are problems.