If you're a Philly fan, the Eagles' Week 3 preseason performance against the Steelers was a much more complete, enjoyable experience than the first two games against the Bears and Patriots. Let's look at five things to like, and five to dislike from Thursday night.
5 things to like
Brandon Graham - Graham reminded everyone that he's a quality pass rusher. If the Eagles keep him, they can use Graham as a situational pass rusher in nickel sets. If some 4-3 team out there thinks they need help at DE, Graham put some quality work on film, and should be all the more appealing. Graham playing well and increasing his value in the preseason is a great thing for the Eagles in that regard.
The backup-backup running backs - The Eagles have some depth at RB, huh? Matthew Tucker was impressive against the first team Steelers D, scoring two TDs and bringing his total on the preseason to four, best in the NFL. Meanwhile, Henry Josey broke off a long run that was called back on a bogus penalty, and Kenjon Barner showed some promise after quickly assimilating into the Eagles offense. If the Eagles are worried that Chris Polk will always be an injury risk, it appears they may have other options.
Mychal Kendricks - Were there three of him out there? Kendricks always had tremendous athletic ability, but it appears the light bulb is beginning to go on as well, and what you see as a result is a player who is constantly around the ball.
Brandon Bair - Bair had a pair of batted passes at the line, and has had a tremendous preseason overall. He turns 30 in November, but so what? It will be really hard to keep him off the roster at this point.
The Eagles' first team D as a whole - Shutout (at least when the first teamers were out there). Nolan Carroll had a diving interception, Vinny Curry was disruptive again, Nate Allen continues to be solid, and Malcolm Jenkins flashed. Very encouraging performance all around.
5 things to dislike
The kicker situation - The Eagles have a major unsettled problem at kicker. We already knew Alex Henery wasn't a guy who would be a big threat from outside 50, or a consistent weapon on kickoffs, but now he's missing field goals well within the range of any kicker in the league. Henery's miss on a 31 yard chip shot is the most concerning blunder yet, and like his 47 yard miss in New England, it wasn't really close. The ball is circled in green. Note some of the fan reactions circled in red:
The officials - The garbage ticky-tack illegal contact penalties continued, as Bradley Fletcher was flagged on one occasion for doing little more than existing.
Matt Barkley's arm - This is nitpicking, as Barkley had a good showing overall, but when people talk about his questionable arm strength, this is what they mean:
That's a 20 yard sideline route that needs to be driven, and that ball simply doesn't have much velocity on it.
Again, Barkley went 4/4, which doesn't include a nice touch throw to BJ Cunningham for a TD that was called back. But there are going to be certain throws at the pro level that he'll struggle to make.
The Steelers - I know the Steelers have a semi-decent following around these parts. That game must have been tough to watch from your perspective, Steeler fans. I know it's just a preseason game, but when your first team defense gets shredded by a second team offense, you have issues. The Steelers looked really bad on both sides of the ball.
Ehhhh... Traffic? - Since I can't really think of much else that was really all that concerning, I'll just note that it took me forever to get to the stadium. That's all I got.
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