The Eagles host their final home preseason game tonight (Thursday night) against the Miami Dolphins. PE.com‘s live coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with the Kickoff Show presented by Axalta which you can see on PhiladelphiaEagles.com or the Eagles Mobile App. They’ll have footage of the pregame festivities, one-on-one interviews with offensive coordinator Frank Reich and tackle Lane Johnson, as well as Merrill Reese and Mike Quick providing their “players to watch” segment.
The game is set for 7 p.m.
This is the NFL Network’s featured game of the night, so for the first time this season just about everybody with NFLN cable access can watch the Eagles live on TV. You can watch the Eagles Network Broadcast with Scott Graham and Mike Mayock in the booth and Dave Spadaro on the sidelines on NFL Network as well as locally on NBC10.
If you want to hear Merrill and Mike, they will be on SportsRadio 94WIP as well as the desktop version of PhiladelphiaEagles.com.
A lot of the starters are likely to play deep into the second quarter at the least, depending on how the game goes.
Here are Dave Spadaro’s Top 5 storylines to watch for:
- “Running back Wendell Smallwood sees his first preseason game after sitting out with a hamstring injury the first two weeks. He’s so hugely important to the Eagles’ running game. Smallwood brings the sizzle in the backfield and is being counted on for a large role in the offense this season. So tonight means something for him. He’s going to see a good amount of time and, hopefully, will get quality touches.”
- “The offensive line goes with its projected starting five players for the first time in the preseason –Jason Peters at left tackle, Isaac Seumalo at left guard, Jason Kelce at center, Brandon Brooks at right guard, and Lane Johnson at right tackle. The matchup tonight is a formidable one working against Miami’s excellent front, led by Ndamukong Suh, Cameron Wake, and first-round draft pick Charles Harris. Miami likes its defensive line to get up the field, so the offensive line has to win and limit penetration. This is a great test for Game 3 of the preseason.”
- Neither Jordan Hicks (quad) nor Brandon Graham (elbow) will play, meaning large roles for Joe Walker at middle linebacker and Derek Barnett at defensive end. The Eagles aren’t settled at all behind Hicks at middle linebacker, with Walker and Don Cherry competing for much of camp. Neither has distanced himself to win the job. The Eagles have been looking for some quality linebacker depth and they feel like Najee Goode and rookie Nathan Gerry have stepped up, but that middle linebacker No. 2 job remains open.
- “The Eagles have been really solid defensively in the preseason and tonight’s test is one to watch, particularly in the secondary. Quarterback Jay Cutler gets the football out quickly to a strong set of receivers led by Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker.”
- “Getting the running game going is an objective, for sure. LeGarrette Blount is going to get his touches and try to establish the north-south running game, the power game, that the Eagles need to bring to the table in the regular season. Again, no game plan is in place, so the Eagles need to win their battles up front and give Blount a chance to get out of the backfield.”
Not all, but much will be revealed tonight about any hunches you may have about how good this 2017 team really can be.
Looking for a new live game thread?
Our regular commentator and home-run king Ryan Lubrich (aka The Lubricator, aka GSXR Mustang) has created an alternative chat forum for in-game real-time conversation.
It’s on a site called discord.com. Here’s a link to his interesting new talk machine if you wish to give it a look:
As Ryan explains, it’s like a chat channel, primarily used by like-gamers that stream on twitch, but he figured we might be able to use it for gameday chats. I have found it to be very functional and very entertaining. It took me a few minutes to get the hang of some of the buttons and bells, but after a short while I was zooming along with the other EYE guys and Bored members there talking Eagles football.
See you at the game, let’s get out of this one real healthy, too!