Ahhhh yes..Philadelphia Eagles football season is finally upon us. Been waiting months for this. I literally have a countdown in my phone. The last televised game the Philadelphia Eagles played was on February 4th….when they became SUPER BOWL CHAMPS for the very first time in history. Unforgettable.
With that huge win comes huge expectations. Yes, it’s only preseason, but there will be things to look for with the Birds and with the Steelers tonight especially with so many starting spots still open. Preseason is where they separate the men from the boys, the starters from the back ups! I’m going to keep it simple and to the point with my preseason preview and things to look for, so take notes:
- QB Nate Sudfeld #7 – Eagles
Of course Wentz isn’t playing tonight and most likely Foles won’t see more than a few snaps if not any at all. The two of them are the Batman and Robin of QBs for the Birds this year. So who is this Nate Sudfeld guy? Well, he’s a young talented quarterback the Eagles picked up in 2017 and we most likely will be seeing a lot of him tonight against the Steelers. Why is how he plays important? Let’s be honest, Wentz is the franchise QB so it’s inevitable that we can’t keep Foles forever, especially after his amazing Super Bowl performance in February there will be other teams eventually making him offers. This means the Eagles need to prepare for another back up quarterback. That’s where Sudfeld comes in.
- Who to watch out for on the Steelers tonight:
Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is confirmed out for week 1, which means one of these back ups is going to have to prove he can handle himself on the field and earn a spot. This will most likely be running back, #30 James Conner. This guys is a fighter. Literally, he beat cancer in 2016, was drafted by the Steelers in 2017 and has been working his ass off ever since. He showed up at training camp on a mission to replace Bell and he’s all the buzz right now for a top contender.
Also, rookie QB #2 Mason Rudolph will have his first career snaps tonight against the Birds. He is supposed to be the future of the Steelers when Roethlisberger is gone and has been his shadow since he joined the team. Roethlisberger knows all about being a rookie and about winning the big game more than once in his career so who better to learn from? Eagles need to watch Mason carefully this game to see how he does under pressure. The Steelers also have a new safety, #34 Terrell Edmunds. He was their first round draft pick in 2018 and apparently is very underrated. The Steelers are known for having strong safety’s so keep your eyes on Edmund tonight when he makes his NFL debut.
- What key spots will the Eagles be trying to fill?
Slot Cornerback. There’s a huge battle between Sidney Jones, De’Vante Bausby, Jalen Mills and DJ Killings and it’s been going on since training camp. All will be competing for that starting slot cornerback spot. Can’t wait to watch them fight for that spot tonight. My moneys on Jones and Mills.
Weak side linebacker. The Eagles need to get this one right. It’s between Nate Gerry and Kamu Grugier-Hill. Both been showing a lot of intensity at camp and Doug Pederson has been happy with both.
Defensive line. Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata faced off in training camp against the first string, Fletcher Cox and Chris Long. You want to earn your spot? You have to play against the best of the best. (If Fletcher Cox tackled me, I would be dead). Looking forward to seeing how the defense plays during preseason and who they bring up to be starters for their first official game on September 6th.
- Darren Sproles #43 – Eagles:
We most likely won’t see a lot of him in the preseason but I still need to point this out. With the new kick off rules this season Sproles is likely to get more kick off and punt returns than ever before. He’s only returned 3 kickoffs since 2013, but considering he announced this is his last season before he retires, and he’s on a mission to make the all-time list of all-purpose yards, I would pay close attention to him this year. He looks like he’s in the best shape of his life right now and I have a feeling he’s showing no mercy. I love Mighty Mouse.
The Steelers always come out pretty hot especially on defense. The Birds need to stay focused and hungry if they want to start the season off with a pre season win against a strong team. They got this!
One thing is for sure, EAGLES FANS ARE READY! 40,000 fans showed up when the Birds had an open practice during camp. Their first open practice as Super Bowl Champs and yes, you read that right-40,000 fans. Now that’s dedication. I really do love bleedin green!
My score prediction for tonight:
Eagles 20 Steelers 17
Keep a look out for more of my Eagles previews, predictions and insight for the games this year! I might be a chick, but I know my shit.
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