Eagles 21, Browns 20 in preseason battle of roster hopefuls

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Starters were rested by both teams. It makes practical sense.  The result was a virtual showcase of 40 other guys on each team who are trying to either upgrade their roles or simply prove they belong on an NFL roster.

Boston Scott got showcased big time. EYE liked Brandon Lee Gowton’s description of Scott’s workload:

“Scott looked good both running and catching the ball on the Eagles’ first drive, logging 11 (!) total touches. Scott made some defenders miss and also fought through contact to convert a 4th-and-short before eventually punching it in to the end zone. He’s just been better than Kenneth Gainwell, whom the Eagles seemingly want to be their RB2.”

With starting QB Jalen Hurts in street clothes on Philly’s sideline, Minshew directed a 14-play opening drive and followed it with a 17-play march, both ending in short TD runs for the Eagles.

Minshew finished 14 of 17 for 142 yards before turning things over to Reid Sinnett in the second half.

Sinnett hooked up with speedy rookie wide receiver Devon Allen on a 55-yard TD pass in the third quarter to put the Eagles ahead 21-20.

It was the first catch in an organized game in six years for the 27-year-old Allen, an Olympic hurdler trying to make Philadelphia’s roster.

“That was a sweet play, wasn’t it?” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said. “It was awesome. I was so happy for him. I think it’s hard to go and do what Devon’s done. He hasn’t played football in a while and he’s slowly getting into it.

“He’s getting into the groove right there. He hasn’t played football in five years, but for the whole time, we thought he was really fast. What a great ball by Reid. What a great catch and route by Devon.”

Allen was thrilled to make a big play, and celebrated by sprinting and pretending to clear two hurdles in the end zone.

“It’s hard to explain that feeling,” he said. “During the game, I feel like I blacked out kind of. It’s just fun. I was super excited. I saw (WR) A.J. Brown run down 60 yards down the sideline to celebrate, which was pretty cool. It was pretty amazing.”

Meanwhile Cleveland QB Joshua Dobbs made his case for an understudy role behind Jacoby Brissett who is filling in for Deshaun Watson.  Dobbs ran for a touchdown and led Cleveland’s offense on four scoring drives. Dobbs finished 14 of 20 for 141 yards before Josh Rosen replaced him in the third quarter. Dobbs, who signed with Cleveland in April, has been ahead of Rosen throughout camp and probably will stay there.

The BGN summary of the Eagles’ quarterback play performances:

Gardner Minshew: 14/17 (82.4%), 142 yards (8.4 average), 0 TD, 0 INT, 101.5 passer rating

“Minshew looked like what he is: a quality backup quarterback. He didn’t have to do a lot of heavy lifting with the offensive line and run game leading the way. To his credit, Minshew made some good throws and was mostly efficient. A dropped pick-six was pretty bad, though. Had that been an interception, his passer rating would’ve dropped to 77.0.”

Reid Sinnett: 4/9 (44.4%), 69 yards (7.7 average), 1 TD, 0 INT, 108.1 passer rating … 3 rushes for 16 yards

“Sinnett’s touchdown throw was pretty impressive. Legit arm. There’s going to be debate whether the Eagles should keep a third quarterback or not but methinks they value his potential. Not to mention Minshew will be a free agent after this season.”

Carson Strong: 0/1 (00.0%), 00 yards (0.0 average), 0 TD, 0 INT, 39.6 passer rating

“Strong was mostly in the game to hand off as the Eagles tried to kill the clock.”

Starting offensive line: Andre Dillard, Sua Opeta, Cam Jurgens, Jack Anderson, Jack Driscoll.

Cam Jurgens again started at center and played through the first series and again had a strong outing. Andre Dillard, who has worked  hard to improve his strength and has clearly done so, dominated at left tackle. And the rest of the line, backups, played cohesive, powerful football as the Eagles put together those impressive first two drives. Eagles OL is well coached.

Minshew and WR Deon Cain, battling to make the roster, connected on four passes for 59 yards on four targets. Quez Watkins had two catches for 19 yards, Jalen Reagor added a pair of receptions for 17 yards, and Zach Pascal contributed a 15-yard reception on the opening drive.

The bad reviews? Philadelphia’s defensive front of Jordan Davis, Marlon Tuipulotu, Tarron Jackson, and Milton Williams were pushed around and gashed to the tune of 174-yards on 22-carries by the Browns. In the defensive backfield,  Kary Vincent Jr. has lost out on reps to Josh Jobe, and on Sunday, he struggled in coverage after getting called for defensive holding in the second quarter. He also gave up a 32-yard catch to Browns wide receiver Javon Wims in the third quarter.

INJURIES—— Josiah Scott got hurt late in the second quarter. He was down on the ground but eventually walked off on his own power. Shortly after, Scott left the field.

• Patrick Johnson and Marvin WIlson got banged up early in the third quarter. They both returned to game action.

• Shaun Bradley appeared to suffer a shoulder injury late in the third quarter. He returned.

Matchup Eagles 21, Browns 20 in preseason battle of roster hopefuls Eagles 21, Browns 20 in preseason battle of roster hopefuls
1st Downs 24 26
Passing 1st downs 10 13
Rushing 1st downs 12 10
1st downs from penalties 2 3
3rd down efficiency 8-14 4-12
4th down efficiency 1-3 2-5
Total Plays 71 72
Total Yards 344 403
Total Drives 9 9
Yards per Play 4.8 5.6
Passing 200 229
Comp-Att 18-27 21-40
Yards per pass 7.1 5.7
Interceptions thrown 0 0
Sacks-Yards Lost 1-11 0-0
Rushing 144 174
Rushing Attempts 43 32
Yards per rush 3.3 5.4
Red Zone (Made-Att) 2-4 2-3
Penalties 6-50 6-27
Turnovers 0 0
Fumbles lost 0 0
Interceptions thrown 0 0
Defensive / Special Teams TDs 0 0
Possession 33:08 26:52


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