Semi-Coherent Eagles Preview: Preseason Week Four vs. New York Jets


Aug 9, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Matt Barkley (2) passes the ball during the second quarter against the New England Patriots at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The end of the preseason is upon us!  After three weeks of pseudo games, we’ve come to the preseason finale, which most fans consider to be the most thrilling game of the preseason.

Actually, no, in reality, this game usually sucks.  Most times, the starters don’t even play.  Instead we get a contest to see which team’s second and third stringers are better.  But that’s good news for all you Matt Barkley fans out there.  We’re finally going to get a chance to see what he can do!

People complain about the preseason games, but in all honesty, I don’t think they’re that bad.  Sure, it’s not real football, but they can sometimes be a fun sneak preview of the season.  The only people who should complain about the preseason games are season ticket holders who are forced to buy tickets at full price.  At my old job, there was a Redskins season ticket holder who always tried to sell off the preseason tickets.  He’d put up a sign that said he was selling them for “FACE VALUE” as if that was a great deal.  By the end of the week, I think he’d ask for $10 or best offer.

Has an owner ever thought about trying this revolutionary move: Charge half price for the preseason games, and raise the cost of regular season games.  Selling tickets for regular season games doesn’t seem to be a problem for most NFL teams at any price.  If the overall price of season tickets didn’t change, I can’t see it having a negative impact on sales at all.  In fact, the team might actually sell more tickets to the preseason games since they’d now be somewhat of a bargain.

I’m sure there’s a logical reason why this can’t happen.  And by logical, I’m referring to NFL-style logic, not real world logic.  NFL-logic usually comes down to two factors:

1. Can we make money off of this?

2. Will we get sued?

What We Learned Last Week

The Eagles offense looked frighteningly similar to the one we saw in 2011 and 2012.  There’s plenty of talent on hand, and they’re capable of making big plays.  But the team continues to sabotage itself with avoidable mistakes like carelessness with the ball, and the quarterback’s tendency to hold onto the ball for too long.  After everyone raved about how good he looked in the first two preseason games, Michael Vick was back in 2012 form last week.

What’s the Deal with the Jets?

Mark Sanchez’s absence likely won’t hurt the Jets’ chances of victory. Image Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets are not in a happy place right now.  In last week’s preseason game against the Giants, coach Rex Ryan decided to put starting quarterback Mark Sanchez into the game in the fourth quarter.   His explanation for the move: He wanted to win the game.

While the Jets did indeed win, we should keep in mind that this was a preseason game.  I suppose they did earn city bragging rights by beating the Giants, but you’d be hard pressed to find someone who actually cares about that.  This might have been a soon forgotten amusing episode if not for the fact that Sanchez was injured in the game and may have to miss the regular season opener.  Apparently there’s some danger in putting your starting quarterback into a game when he’s :

1. Playing behind an offensive line consisting of all backup players.

2. Playing against defensive players who are trying to make the team and are therefore desperate to make an impression.

Jets fans are upset (which admittedly isn’t saying much, because Jets fans are ALWAYS upset) about the injury, but I’m not sure why.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few seasons it’s that Mark Sanchez sucks.  I figured this out in 2011 when the Eagles needed the Jets to beat the Giants in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.  I despondently watched Sanchez futilely try to play quarterback at a competent level, and soon realized that there was no chance that this guy was going to lead his team to victory.

I began to feel sorry for Jets fans who had to endure that feeling every week, so I don’t understand why anyone would be sorry that he might miss some time.  I realize that rookie QB Geno Smith has not looked especially sharp this preseason, but at least he’s got some potential.

On the other hand, if Sanchez plays, there’s always the possibility of this happening again:

Featured Opposing Player

Matt Simms proves that NFL talent evaluators favor bloodlines over talent. Image Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t really know who to talk about here.  Normally, starters don’t play in the final preseason game, so all of the Jets players that most people have actually heard of probably won’t even appear in the game.  On the other hand, Ryan might just play his starters the entire game just to send some sort of message to the league.  THAT’S RIGHT, NFL!  THE JETS AREN’T TAKING ANY PRISONERS THIS YEAR!

The Jets are expected to start Matt Simms at quarterback.  You might be asking: Who is Matt Simms? I’ll be honest with you, that’s an excellent question, and I had to do a little research on it myself.

If you guessed that Simms is the son of former Giants quarterback Phil Simms, you’d be correct.  Think having a famous last name doesn’t get you anywhere?  Despite a lack of success in college (He transferred twice, and lost the starting job at Tennessee in his senior year)  the Jets decided to sign him as an undrafted free agent.  And now, with injuries to the Jets’ top two quarterbacks, it is possible that he could start an NFL game.

Key Eagles Storyline of the Week

Um…don’t get hurt?

The coaching staff seems to be hoping that somebody in the secondary does something that makes them worthy of a roster spot.  Thus far, there have been very few positive impressions.  It’s becoming more and more clear that the final members of the opening day team are not currently on the Eagles’ roster and will consist of players cut from other teams.

Tweet That Sums Up The Week

I don’t know if Asante Samuel was the answer.  He was a mercenary who sometimes looked for interceptions to the detriment of the team.  Yet, it seems the team made a mistake by keeping Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie instead of him.

The Week in Andy

The scene: Andy Reid is in his office following the Chiefs preseason win last weekend when general manager John Dorsey enters.

Dorsey: That was nice!

Reid: What?

Dorsey: We got a win!  Our first win with the Chiefs!

Reid: Oh, right.  We won, didn’t we?

Dorsey: Yeah we did!  In overtime!  I know it’s only preseason, but that was exciting!

Reid: Was it?  I stopped paying attention sometime in the 3rd quarter.

Dorsey: You…stopped paying attention?

Reid: I’ve been coaching in this league for fourteen years now.  It’s hard enough for me to pay attention to real games, let alone exhibition games.

Dorsey: But weren’t you concerned about how the backups would fare?  Doesn’t that go a long way towards deciding who makes the team?

Reid: No, not really.

Dorsey: So how do you decide who makes the team then?

Reid: It’s mostly random.  For a while, I was just choosing the guys who I saw most recently.

Dorsey: That would explain why Reno Mahe kept making the team.

Uh…did we win? Image Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Reid: Yeah, that guy wouldn’t leave my side the last week before cuts.

Dorsey: So you don’t do that anymore?

Reid: Nah, guys started figuring it out, and the hallway outside my office began to look like a refugee camp.  I had one guy even follow me into the bathroom and offer to wipe my butt for me.

Dorsey: Dear god, that’s awful.  I think I just threw up in my mouth.  Who was it?

Reid: Let’s just say, his name rhymed with Jinston Wustice.

Dorsey: So how are we going to figure out who makes the team?

Reid: I don’t know.  The last couple of years, I just let that little Jewish guy do it.

Dorsey: You mean Howie Roseman?

Reid: Sure, that sounds right.

Dorsey: Well, would you mind if I did it this year?

Reid: Knock yourself out.

Dorsey: Sweet! (Leaves the office with a wide grin on his face)

Final Take

I don’t think we’re going to take much away from this game, but it will be interesting to see how Matt Barkley fares given some extended playing time.  Aside from that, just hope that nobody gets hurt.

For more thoughts on the Eagles, follow me on Twitter @MikeLacy_215