Here’s how Eagles' fans and experts graded DeVonta Smith’s preseason debut

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Eagles Wire 21 August, 2021 - 09:54am 26 views

Why didn't Jalen hurts play?

Participation Update: QB Jalen Hurts will not be playing tonight due to an illness. ... After the game, Eagles coach Nick Sirianni announced that Hurts was dealing with "pain in his abdomen." The Eagles sent him to the hospital to be evaluated, and he was diagnosed with a stomach infection. Sporting NewsWhy is Jalen Hurts not playing tonight? Eagles announce QB's absence vs. Patriots

What is wrong with Jalen hurts?

Eagles' QB Jalen Hurts was sent to a Philadelphia Hospital and diagnosed with a stomach infection and told to stay at home to rest for at least two days. He tested negative for Covid. There's never really a good time for a stomach infection. bleedinggreennation.comNick Sirianni explains why Jalen Hurts didn’t play in the Eagles’ preseason game against the Patriots

Where can I watch Patriots vs Eagles?

Fans can watch the game on NFL.com and the NFL Network app. USA TODAYNew England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles live stream, time, date, how to watch

Ted Johnson: Pump the brakes on Cam's performance vs. Eagles

NBC Sports Boston 31 December, 1969 - 06:00pm

In what was one of his better performances as a Patriot, Newton completed eight of his nine passes for 103 yards and a touchdown vs. the Philadelphia Eagles. He was replaced by rookie QB Mac Jones in the second quarter, but the veteran's brief showing was impressive enough to draw plenty of praise.

Former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson, however, isn't buying the hype just yet. In addition to Newton playing against the Eagles' backups, Johnson explained why his numbers don't tell the entire story.

"I think we need to pump the brakes on that," Johnson said Friday on 98.5 The Sports Hub's Felger & Mazz. "If you rewatch the film, and I did before the show, something just kind of jumped out at me. When you go back and look at it again, and you look at the plays in which he had success on. Everyone's talking about he had three passes in one drive, the second drive of the game in which the third pass that traveled more than 10 yards was Jakobi Meyers for a touchdown. Those three plays, all of them had something in common that nobody is really talking about.

"Those were nice throws, nice completions, he looked like he was in rhythm, very confident. Every single one of those were what they call a max protection play, meaning you only put two guys out into the pass routes. You keep more guys in to block than you would otherwise. It's a very simple read. It's two guys and they do crossing routes, and either one or the other is open or you throw the ball away."

One of Newton's glaring issues has been his tendency to hold on to the ball in the pocket longer than he should. That would explain the Patriots' decision to call max protection. But how many times did they call it for Jones in his two quarters of work?

"Not one. Not one play did they decide we need to keep more guys in for protection," Johnson said. "It was four and five guys into the routes for Mac Jones. ... So it's a little bit smoke and mirrors today and everybody's getting excited. Settle down. Those were basic plays and two of those max protection plays were on first down where the defense is thinking run.

"I will say this, his play-action looked a lot better last night, he was a little more deliberate, but those were plays in which they were designed to protect him and keep him clean to make those throws."

The Patriots blew out the Eagles, 35-0. They'll take on the New York Giants next weekend in their final preseason matchup.

What they're saying: Hurts' biggest endorsement came in his absence; WRs trending in opposite directions

PhillyVoice.com 21 August, 2021 - 03:10pm

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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (left) and wide receiver DeVonta Smith during training camp at NovaCare Complex.

Following that 35-0 drubbing at the hands of the Patriots on Thursday night, we're in a bit of a dead period when it comes to the Eagles. 

Following an off day on Friday, the Birds will only have a (private) walkthrough on Saturday before an open practice at the Linc on Sunday night. Monday will bring another off day as Nick Sirianni and his team makes the long and arduous journey up I-95 to visit the Jets for a pair of joint practices leading in to their third and final preseason game.

In other words, the Eagles will be having just one practice open to the media between Thursday night's loss and their first practice in New Jersey on Tuesday — coincidentally the same day the Eagles will need to make the next round of cuts by — and that won't be coming until Sunday night at the Linc.

So, with the preseason 2/3 of the way over and some down time for the team, we figured it's as good a time as any to take a look at what they're saying about the Birds in the aftermath of their 0-2 start in exhibition. Let's dive right in...  

Over at CBS Sports, Jason La Canfora offered up an interesting take on the Eagles' second-year quarterback, who was a last-minute scratch against the Patriots after playing well against Bill Belichick's team during joint practices. Essentially, Hurt's absence was arguably the strongest case he could've made as to why he should be the starter. I mean, just look at the Eagles' other options... 

Obviously, barring injury Hurts will be the starter when the season opens in Atlanta in three weeks, whether or not the team wants to make it official or not.

Of course, the evaluation of the quarterback will continue. I wouldn't anticipate any proclamations just yet. Philly's aggressive general manager Howie Roseman is always up for a blockbuster should there be a trade to be made for a proven young starter -- which seems a stretch at this point. But Hurts is displaying more than sufficient promise to indicate he can win games at this level, and is clearly their best option.  [cbssports.com]

We'll likely get to see our first taste of the Hurts-DeVonta Smith connection in an Eagles uniform against the Jets, given that the starters are likely to play in this one now that there are only three preseason games instead of four. 

Speaking of Smith, Ben Natan of Bleeding Green Nation took a look at all the Eagles rookies and graded their performances against the Patriots. Despite some drops, Smith, who is +1800 to win Offensive Rookie of the Year over at Pickswise, fared quite well in his NFL debut. 

Towards the end of the half, Flacco got DeVonta Smith the ball twice on short passes. Both times, Smith won early at the line of scrimmage, secured a catch and then picked up yards after the catch. 

Devonta Smith had 35 fighting for his life here. pic.twitter.com/yMgamloJmF

The game hardly seemed too big for DeVonta Smith, even with the early drops. He looked fast, aggressive and confident against a tough defensive backfield. This is an encouraging start to his career.  [bleedinggreennation.com]

Now we'll just have to see what he looks like with the starting QB under center. 

One of the staples of preseason football is the stock watch, where reporters determine in which direction certain players are trending. And right now, with the roster cuts rapidly approaching, it's as important as ever for players to be trending in the right direction. A great start to camp can be ruined if you're struggling at the wrong time. 

Over at NBC Sports Philly, Dave Zangaro took a look at a handful of players whose stock is on the rise and a handful whose is on the decline. Today, in an effort to keep you in a positive mood on this August Saturday, let's take a look at three of the players Zangaro has heading in the right direction, all of whom are rookies. 

The numbers won’t blow you away — 2 catches on 4 targets, 19 yards. And Smith even got off to a slow start with a couple drops. But the fact that he was able to play in this game and show off his route-running ability — and the knee didn’t seem like an issue — was a win. I think it was important for him to play in the preseason, and he at least got his feet wet. This play in particular was great. It’s exactly what Nick Sirianni wants to see at the top of routes: 

Folks... DeVonta Smith is good. pic.twitter.com/GjEASMvrlX

[nbcsports.com]

It's nice to see some positives surrounding the Eagles rookies, especially first-round pick DeVonta Smith, who suffered an injury in camp but didn't appear to let that hurt his early development. However, the most encouraging sign for the Birds might be the fact that Smith is hardly the only receiver showing out — and that's a dramatic change from what we've been seeing out of that position in recent seasons. 

Over at CBS Sports, Jeff Kerr didn't have Smith listed among his risers, but he did have a pair of second-year receivers, including Jalen Reagor and Quez Watkins. Since Watkins got plenty of press last week following his big touchdown in the preseason opener, let's take a look at what Kerr has to say about the former first-round pick... 

Philadelphia's wide receiver group is formidable if Reagor lives up to his first-round talent. He's looked the part over the past two weeks.  [cbssports.com]

Unfortunately, despite our attempt to avoid the flip side of this coin, we no longer can. That's because it hasn't been all positives for the Eagles receiving corps. Travis Fulgham, who spent a month last season as the best WR in the NFL, might be in danger of not making this roster, potentially losing out to guys like J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who has the fact that he was drafted by the Eagles helping him but who also has lower numbers in his entire two-year career (24 games) than Fulgham had in that epic four-game stretch last season. 

At this point, it wouldn't be a surprise if Fulgham doesn't make this roster. Just brace yourself, Eagles fans.  [cbssports.com]

And now, let's look even further into the future at next offseason, where the Eagles could be in danger of losing two of the top 25 free agents in the entire NFL. 

I'm not going to lie, it always blows my mind seeing how well respected Jordan Mailata is around the league. Not because he doesn't deserve it, but because he seems like one of those guys the local media and fans would hold in higher regard than the national media — not only because he plays offensive line, but because we're more attuned to his story and want so badly to see him succeed. 

But to see he's listed as the 14th best free agent in next year's class, nine spots ahead of Dallas Goedert and ahead of guys like Marshon Lattimore and Chandler Jones? That's pretty impressive, and speaks to not only the importance of the position he plays but also how much he's developed as a football talent in just a few short years of playing the game. 

The Eagles should want to re-sign Jordan Mailata and/or Goedert ASAP because they are both set up to see their value explode. Every team needs a tight end like Goedert, who can do it all and is just entering his prime.  [nfl.com]

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Philadelphia Eagles: One Zach Ertz trade proposal that make sense

Section 215 21 August, 2021 - 02:25am

Zach Ertz Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

There’s always a bit of truth in sarcasm, and if we all haven’t learned anything else in the football world, it’s this. Expect the unexpected from general manager Howie Roseman and the Philadelphia Eagles.

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick made news when he was caught on camera joking with tight end Zach Ertz and saying that he still had plans of adding Ertz to his own roster but that Roseman wanted too much in return. There was something about two first-round picks and some grandchildren.

It’s weird enough to see Bill Belichick cracking jokes, but when you read between the lines, it’s hard not to wonder if there was anything worth listening to in Belichick’s sarcasm.

This isn’t anything new at this point as Zach Ertz has seemingly been on this imaginary trade block for a while. It’s no secret that the Philadelphia Eagles have been taking phone calls and actually listening to trade offers for the superstar pass catcher.

Still, for the Birds to move on, they need their asking price met (maybe one grandchild would be enough). The New England Patriots make sense in this scenario as a trade partner. Everyone and their mother knows that Belichick loves the tight-end position. He also could care less about age if that player still has some juice to his step.

After watching week one of the preseason, Ertz proved his value as he looked healthy for the first time since 2020. That, along with his solid week at practice versus the Patriots could pique Belichick’s interest.

While the Philadelphia Eagles probably wouldn’t get two first-round picks and a couple of grandchildren for Ertz, they could turn the Patriots into an interesting dance partner. How’s this for an idea? What if the Philadelphia Eagles sent Zach Ertz to the Patriots and, in return, got a third-round draft choice and wide receiver N’Keal Harry?

We’re just throwing ideas out there. Maybe you have another, but this would be a win for everyone that’s involved.

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