The Philadelphia Eagles take on the New England Patriots in Foxborough tonight at 8 ET in a pre-season show down. It will be a test for both teams, as the first team offenses underperformed in their first outing.
There will be several things to look for, but this game will be focused mostly on the first and second teams. Lets see who and what to look for when the birds land in New England.
1. The Play Of Nnamdi Asomugha Post Neck Injury
Last Monday cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and safety Nate Allen collided in 7 on 7 drills in practice when Vick tried to hit Jackson over the middle. Nate Allen walked away, but Nnamdi layed face-down, motionless for nearly five minutes.
Thankfully there were no serious injuries, as concussion tests were negative. He did however suffer a whip-lash type injury and hurt his neck. He was off Tuesday and Wednesday, as Curtis Marsh took reps in his place. Asomugha came back to practice limited on Thursday.
However, He is good to go for tonight vs the Patriots. Nnamdi Asomugha is 31 years old, so this will be a good test to see how he comes off of injuries this late in his career.
2. First Team Offense
The first team offense failed to score a touchdown against Pittsburgh two weeks ago. Largely in part due to the fact that Michael Vick went down on his second drive when he jammed his thumb on a teammates helmet, sending Eagles fans into a frenzy.
Thankfully, X-rays were negative and it was only a sprain. Vick will be in action tonight for a good amount of time. Since he went down so early against the Steelers, it will be his first true opportunity to show us as fans what he has learned this offseason.
Another player to watch for on the first team is Lesean McCoy who didn't seem to have any touches in week 1 and walked away with -2 yards. Not many people are too worried about Lesean 'Shady' McCoy performing this year, but clarification would be nice.
Also, look for Maclin to have a few catches, as he missed week 1 with a tweaked hamstring. Keep an eye on these players, as they will have a big part in the 2012 campaign.
3. Play Of The Left Tackle
Week 1 was a bad game for the offensive line, specifically much coveted ex-free agent Demetruss Bell, who the Eagles frantically acquired after Jason Peters went down with a season ending achilles injury. Unfortunately for Bell and the Eagles, he underperformed and let the Steelers disrupt nearly every play he was on the field for.
He will get a chance to redeem himself, but it will be as the number two left tackle behind the giant King Dunlap. King jumped Bell on the depth chart after week one and has already shown signs of being a starter. This will be a very important position battle, as it will have a huge impact on the 2012 season.
4. Tackles On Defense
If there was one thing to worry about after the game against Pittsburgh, it was the poor tackling by the Eagles defense. Something that the fan base had become all to familiar with. Jaiquawn Jarrett had a rough night to say the least. He was the one 'sure-tackler' on the defense, so when he missed tackle after tackle it worried lots of fans and coaches alike.
Asomugha also was the victim of missed tackling, as was the story last year. Not a great debut for Demeco Ryans as he looked hesitant and slow. Derek Landri looked good, but he was also part of the missed tackling when he and Demeco Ryans failed to bring down Steelers running back Chris Rainey.
Hopefully the defense can step up and make 2nd year offensive line coach turned D-man Juan Castillo look good, or else it could spell disaster for the upcoming season.
5. Can Nick Foles Match His Week 1 Performance?
Mike Kafka was the sure fire back up coming into 2012, but after a disappointing performance and an unfortunate broken hand it looks like it's up to Nick Foles to prove the Eagles do not need to bring in anyone else to solidify the quarterback roster.
He had the best performance of anyone racking up 144 yards and two touchdowns. Both of which were on back to back plays. He has shown more poise in one game than Kafka has so far in his whole career. Foles finished with an average 14.4 yards per throw. Something refreshing to Eagles fans as Kafka only averaged just 6.7 yards in his 4 games played last year.
Nick Foles may be a rookie, but he is way ahead of schedule. With Kafka out for the pre-season, it is Nick's time to show us why the Eagles drafted him so high.
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