Rothman’s First Look

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Week 5 – New Orleans Saints (1-3) @ Eagles (1-3) – October 11th, 2015

By Andrew Porter


First look for the Eagles: It was yet another devastating loss for the Eagles on Sunday at the Redskins, as they fell 23-20 in the final seconds of the game.

Kirk Cousins took his team 90-yards in 15 plays in 5:39, completing a touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon to give the Skins a three-point lead and the eventual win. The Eagles’ defense was solid throughout the game, but could not get off the field late. Furthermore, they recorded just one sack on Cousins all game.

On offense, the Eagles’ o-line was pitiful, allowing five sacks. On the ground, the Birds tallied just 18 carries for 87 yards as a team. Sam Bradford threw the ball down the field nicely in the second half and finished with 270 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions.

New Eagles kicker Caleb Sturgis missed a 33-yard field-goal and a 33-yard extra point.

Byron Maxwell, Mychal Kendricks, Jason Peters, and Lane Johnson all left the game early due to injury.

First look for the Saints: Drew Brees battled a shoulder injury and played terrifically in the Saints’ 26-20 overtime Sunday night win over the Cowboys. Brees finished 33-41, with 359 yards, 2 TD’s, 0 INT’s in the Saints’ first win of the season.

Brees connected with RB C.J. Spiller in overtime for a game-winning 80-yard touchdown catch and run.

Saints starting RB Mark Ingram finished with 128 yards from scrimmage and key players Keenan Lewis (hip), safety Jairus Byrd (knee) and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (toe) all played for the first time this season.

Saints kicker Zach Hocker missed a 30-yard field at the end of regulation.

First look for the game: Both of these teams, now 1-3, entered 2015 with Super Bowl aspirations after making vast roster changes this offseason, but neither team has gotten off to the start they wanted.

The Saints are coming off a big overtime win over the Cowboys and will take on the Eagles, who return home after two straight road games. The Eagles’ secondary, with CB Byron Maxwell potentially out, will have their hands full against Drew Brees.

Early line (via Eagles -4 vs. Saints

Sunday, October 11th at 1:00 p.m. E.T. – Saints vs. Eagles @ Lincoln Financial Field


Week 4 – Eagles (1-2) @ Washington Redskins (1-2) – October 4th, 2015

By Andrew Porter

First look for the Eagles: After taking a 24-0 lead over the Jets in the first half on Sunday, the Eagles held on for a crucial 24-17 win, notching their first win of the season.

The ground game got going as Ryan Mathews rushed for over 100 yards with DeMarco Murray out with a hamstring injury. The passing attack, on the other hand, struggled as Sam Bradford threw for just 118 yards. Key drops from the running backs and suspect play from the receivers did not help.

For the second straight week, the Eagles’ defense looked dominant. Most impressive were two rookies: ILB Jordan Hicks (with both Kiko Alonso and Mychal Kendricks out) and CB Eric Rowe.

First look for the Redskins: The Redskins have had an extra couple days of rest, after they were embarrassed by the Giants on Thursday Night Football losing 32-21 in an ugly, penalty filled game.

The Redskins lost the turnover battle 3-0, and Kirk Cousins struggled throwing two interceptions and one touchdown. Fighting from behind, the Redskins did move the ball late and third-down back Chris Thompson caught eight balls for 57 yards and a touchdown. The Giants bottled up the Skins’ ground attack with Alfred Morris and rookie Matt Jones, who combined for just 57 yards on 17 carries.

Defensively, the Redskins could not stop the Giants’ outside wide outs in Reuben Randle (7/116/1) and Odell Beckham Jr. (7/79/1).

First look for the game: Thanks to the Falcons’ win over the Cowboys, at 1-2 the Eagles and Redskins find themselves just one game back of the 2-1 Cowboys in the NFC East.

Both teams will likely be forced to throw the ball, as the Birds and Skins rank ninth and fourth respectively in total rushing yards allowed this season.

Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall is expected to miss about a month after spraining his right toe on Thursday night. Redskins coach Jay Gruden said “there’s a chance” former Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson will play on Sunday. Jackson suffered a hamstring injury in Week 1 and has missed the last two games.

Early line (via Eagles -3 at Redskins

Sunday, October 4th at 1:00 p.m. E.T. – Eagles vs. Redskins @ FedExField


Week 3 – Eagles (0-2) @ New York Jets (2-0) – September 27th, 2015

By Andrew Porter

First look for the Eagles: There’s not much to look at, honestly.

On Sunday, the Eagles suffered a 20-10 embarrassing loss to the Cowboys where they managed just seven rushing yards. Two costly turnovers in the second half—a Sam Bradford interception to Sean Lee and a botched snap from Jason Kelce—kept the Eagles from salvaging a potential victory.

While the defense played well, the offense struggled mightily. The Eagles enter game No. 3 with major questions at offensive line.

Injuries: Kiko Alonso (left knee) and Mychal Kendricks (hamstring) both left Sunday’s game in the first half and did not return. Their statues are still unknown, will defensive lineman Cedric Thorton will reportedly miss approximately 2-3 weeks with a broken hand.

First look for the Jets: The Jets beat up on the Browns in Week 1 forcing five turnovers, and then forced five more against Andrew Luck and the Colts for a 20-7 upset win in Indianapolis on Monday Night Football.

Defensively, the Jets are stout up front with Damon Harrison, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Sheldon Richardson. Richardson, luckily for the Eagles, is suspended for the first four games. At corner, Darrelle Revis—who had an INT and two fumble recoveries against the Colts—and Antonio Cromartie will make the Eagles’ receivers work.

For the game: The Jets will look to run the ball with Chris Ivory against a tough Eagles’ defensive front. The Eagles, who have struggled running the ball, will have to do so against a dominant Jets front-seven.

It looks like both teams will try to move the ball through the air on Sunday. Byron Maxwell has struggled in his first two games with the Eagles against Julio Jones and Terrence Williams. He’ll likely see a lot of the Jets’ No. 1 WR, Brandon Marshall.

Injuries: Eric Decker (knee) is believed to have suffered a PCL injury on Monday night and will have an MRI on Tuesday. His status is in doubt for Sunday’s game vs. the Eagles.


Early line (via Eagles +1.5 at Jets

Sunday, September 27th at 1:00 p.m. E.T. – Eagles vs. Jets @ Met Life Stadium


Week 2 – Dallas Cowboys (1-0) @ Eagles (0-1) – September 20th, 2015

By Andrew Porter


First look for the Eagles: In a game many expected the Eagles to win, the Falcons came out and smacked them in the mouth at home. Atlanta took a 20-3 lead into halftime, and while the Eagles bounced back nicely in the second half, ultimately fell short losing 26-24.

Sam Bradford was decent after a rocky start in his Eagles debut (36-52), 336 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT. However, the offensive line with new starters Andrew Gardner and Allen Barbre struggled.

Defensively, Byron Maxwell had troubled staying with Julio Jones, who caught nine balls for 141 yards and two scores. The Eagles managed only one sack on Matt Ryan.

Cody Parker missed his only field-goal attempt, a 44-yard attempt with under three minutes remaining that would have given the Eagles a 27-26 lead.

First look for the Cowboys: Thanks to an epic brain collapse by the New York Giants, the Cowboys rallied to beat the G-Men 27-26 on Sunday Night Football in Week 1.

Tony Romo orchestrated the comeback, as the Cowboys went 72-yards on six plays in 1:27 with no timeouts, ending in a Jason Witten touchdown pass.

The Cowboys dominated the Giants, netting 436 yards and allowing just 289, but three turnovers kept the game close.

The win did not come without a price however, as the Cowboys lost star WR Dez Bryant (right foot) and rookie DE Randy Gregory (sprained ankle) for four to six weeks.

First look for the game: After the Eagles’ loss to the Falcons and the Cowboys win over the Giants in Week 1, the Birds find themselves in a “got-to-have” Week 2 divisional game at home.

With Dez Bryant out, the Cowboys’ passing attack instantly becomes suspect with Terrence Williams, Cole Beasley, and Jason Witten. The Eagles secondary will need to improve from their performance against the Falcons.

DeMarco Murray, who rushed for just nine yards in his Eagles debut, goes up against his old teammates.


Opening line (via Eagles -4 vs. Cowboys

Sunday, September 20th at 4:25 p.m. E.T. – Cowboys vs. Eagles @ Lincoln Financial Field


Week 1 – Eagles (0-0) @ Atlanta Falcons (0-0) – September 14th, 2015

By Andrew Porter

First look for the Eagles: After an impressive preseason with his new team, all eyes will be on quarterback Sam Bradford, who makes his Philadelphia Eagles regular season debut on Monday Night Football in Atlanta against the Falcons.

With new weapons all over the field for the Eagles, on offense and defense, we’ll finally begin to get a feel of how Chip Kelly plans to use his assets. Tight end Zach Ertz is recovering from a groin injury and expects to be a game-time decision.

First look for the Falcons: Dan Quinn, after spending the last two seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks, makes his NFL head coaching debut against the Eagles.

The Falcons look to rebound from a disappointing 6-10 season. On offense, Matt Ryan and Julio Jones provide one of the league’s most dynamic QB-WR tandems. Veteran WR Roddy White is battling a shoulder injury and his Week 1 status is unknown.

Defensively, the Falcons hope to improve on their 2014 season, as they were ranked last in total defense.

First look at the game: The Eagles opened as just a one-point favorite, but many sports books have adjusted the line to Eagles -3.

The key for the Eagles will be to takeaway the Ryan-Jones connection and that duty expects to be handled primarily by new corner Byron Maxwell. Maxwell, ironically played under Quinn in Seattle the last two seasons. Atlanta’s ground game is young, but talented, with second-year back Davonta Freeman and rookie Tevin Coleman.

The Falcons will have their hands full on defense trying to contain a high powered Eagles offense.


Monday, September 14th at 7:10 p.m. E.T. – Eagles vs. Falcons @ Georgia Dome


Preseason Week 4 – Eagles @ New York Jets – September 3rd, 2015

By Andrew Porter

First look for the Eagles: It doesn’t get much better for the Eagles. After their 39-26 rout over the Packers, the Eagles have outscored their three preseason opponents 115-53 and a combined score of 52-3 in the all-important first quarter.

Sam Bradford was perfect on Saturday, completing all 10 of his passes for 121 yards and three touchdowns.

Offensive lineman Lane Johnson left Saturday’s game with a sprained MCL, but he is expected to be ready for Week 1. Linebacker Kiko Alonso (leg tendinitis) did not play on Saturday, but is expected to practice this week. Kicker Cody Parkey also did not play on Saturday (groin).

First look for the Jets: Replacing the injured Geno Smith at QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick was excellent for the Jets on Saturday night. Fitzpatrick was 9-14 for 127 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-18 win over the Giants.

After picking up 17 penalties in their second preseason game against the Falcons, the Jets had eight penalties for 50 yards on Saturday.

First-round pick DT Leonard Williams suffered a muscle strain in the game, but luckily there was no ligament damage.

For the game: It’s the fourth preseason, so we won’t see many of the regulars, as players from both teams compete to make their respective teams.


Thursday, September 3rd at 7:00 p.m. E.T. – Eagles vs. Jets @ MetLife Stadium


Preseason Week 3 – Eagles @ 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.

For the game: While Aaron Rodgers is likely out, Sam Bradford is expected to see extended time at QB for the Eagles. Let’s see how Bradford and the Eagles’ offense will fare against the first-string Green Bay defense.


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


Preseason Week 2 – Eagles 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.

For the game: After practicing against each other all week, these two teams will finally get a chance to really hit one another.


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


Preseason Week 1 – Eagles 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