Rothman’s First Look

Preseason Week 3 @ Green Bay Packers – August 29th, 2015

By Andrew Porter

First look for the Eagles: In his first NFL action in a year, Sam Bradford’s Philadelphia Eagles debut was above-average. Bradford was 3-5 for 35 yards leading the Eagles on an 11-play, 84-yard touchdown drive. Maybe more importantly, Bradford responded to two vicious, one arguably dirty, hits. After the game, Bradford admitted he hopes to play more on Saturday night in Green Bay.

As a team, it was all smiles for the Birds, as they routed the Ravens 40-17. They have now outscored their opponents 76-27 in two preseason games.

Both running backs Ryan Mathews and DeMarco Murray had rushing touchdowns, while Walter Thurmond and Byron Maxwell picked off Joe Flacco in the first quarter, Thurmond’s coming on a spectacular breakup by Nolan Carroll. All four of those players (Mathews, Murray, Thurmond, and Maxwell) were acquired by Chip Kelly this offseason.

For the second straight game linebackers Kiko Alonso, DeMeco Ryans, and Mychal Kendricks did not play for the Eagles.

First look for the Packers: The storyline surrounding the Packers heading into Saturday night’s game is a devastating one.

The Packers fear they have lost star receiver Jordy Nelson for the season, who reportedly tore his ACL in the team’s preseason game against the Steelers on Sunday. If Nelson is indeed done for the year, Green Bay will turn to second-year wideouts Davante Adams and Jeff Janis, as well as rookie Ty Montgomery to step up. Pro Bowl WR Randall Cobb instantly becomes the team’s No. 1 weapon in the passing game.

The Pack’s starting ground attack was solid in their 24-19 loss to the Steelers, as Eddie Lacy rushed for 30 yards and a touchdown on just six carries. Unfortunately, veteran guard T.J. Lang left in the first half with concussion symptoms.

Defensively, the Packers’ first unit struggled against Ben Roethlisberger, who completed 11 of his 14 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown.

Saturday, August 29th at 8:00 p.m. E.T. – Eagles vs. Packers @ Lambeau Field

 

Preseason Week 2 vs. Baltimore Ravens – August 22nd, 2015

By Andrew Porter

First look for the Eagles: Finally, Sam Bradford will make his Eagles debut.

We hope.

Bradford, who has played just seven games in last two years, was held out of the Eagles’ preseason opener against the Colts. The same goes for new running back DeMarco Murray and their new linebacker Kiko Alonso. All three hope the make their Eagles’ debuts on Saturday against the Ravens.

The Eagles didn’t need them, however, routing the Colts 36-10.

The most precise Birds QB in the preseason opener was Matt Barkley, who completed 12 out of 20 passes for 192 yards. Mark Sanchez, who started the game for the Eagles, struggled completing just two out of seven passes. And then of course, there’s Tim Tebow, who looked fairly comfortable in his snaps completing six of his 12 throws for 69 yards, while also rushing for a score.

The battle for right-guard continues for the Eagles. Andrew Gardner got the start there on Sunday against the Colts, but John Moffitt’s play has been encouraging as well.

After an impressive debut, highlighted by a 92-yard punt return, Eagles backup running back Kenjon Barner will look to continue to make his case for a roster spot.

First look for the Ravens: It’s always fun when Ravens starting quarterback and Audubon, New Jersey native Joe Flacco comes to Philly.

The seven-year vet and Super Bowl champion QB went 5/6 for 33 yards, directing a touchdown drive, in the Ravens’ preseason opening 30-27 win over the New Orleans Saints. Flacco is expected to get a little bit more playing time on Saturday night.

With Justin Forsett as their clear starter, Ravens running backs Lorenzo Taliaferro and rookie Javorious “Buck” Allen continue to battle for the backup role behind one of the NFL’s top offensive lines.

Rookie receiver Breshad Perriman who is battling a knee-injury, hopes to make his debut for Baltimore.

Furthermore, the Eagles will have to deal with promising rookie TE Maxx Williams caught two passes for 36 yards, including a 22-yarder during the final drive against the Saints.

Saturday, August 22nd at 7:00 p.m. E.T. – Ravens vs. Eagles @ Lincoln Financial Field

 

Preseason Week 1 vs. Indianapolis Colts – August 16th, 2015

By Andrew Porter

First look for the Eagles: The new look Birds will step onto the field for the first time on Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field as one of the most intriguing teams in the NFL.

In his first offseason with complete control of personnel decisions, Eagles third-year head coach Chip Kelly went roster-crazy, trading Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy, and most recently Brandon Boykin. Never mind all the cuts and additions he made as well.

With new starters like Sam Bradford, DeMarco Murray, and Nelson Agholor shaping the new offense, and playmakers like Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell set to improve the defense, there will be plenty to keep an eye on.

Playing time is always limited for veterans in preseason game number one, but regardless, all eyes will be on the Eagles four QB’s. Bradford, the expected started, returns from back-to-back ACL injuries. However, a reliable Mark Sanchez looms, while Matt Barkley and the stirring Tim Tebow will fight it out for the third spot.

For the Colts: The Colts, one of the big favorites to win Super Bowl 50, have huge expectations after losing in the AFC Championship last season. However, just like the Eagles, Indy had a very busy offseason.

Two players Eagles fans are very familiar with, offensive lineman Todd Herremans and defensive end Trent Cole, will be on the other side of the field, after signing with Indianapolis this offseason. Furthermore, the Colts bolstered their skill positions by adding seven-time Pro Bowl WR Andre Johnson and five-time Pro Bowl RB Frank Gore.

Of course, fourth-year ascending star Andrew Luck runs their show.

First look at the game: It’s only preseason and who knows how much, if any, of the starters we’ll see, but football is back. These two teams both feature high-powered offenses, opportunistic defenses, and each squad enters the season with monstrous expectations.

Sunday, August 16th at 1:00 p.m. E.T. – Colts vs. Eagles @ Lincoln Financial Field