Semi-Coherent Philadelphia Eagles vs. Indianapolis Colts Preview


The NFL preseason is here! After months of inactivity, we’ll finally get to see the Eagles in action, even if that action is limited and doesn’t actually count in the standings. We haven’t watched our favorite players like LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin, and Trent Cole in action since January, so it will be nice to see them again, even if their appearances turn out to be little more than cameos.

Oh wait..McCoy, Maclin, and Cole aren’t on the team anymore. Neither are Nate Allen, Cary Williams, and Bradley Fletcher, but it’s tough to find many people who are especially upset by their departures.

The Offseason in Review

LeSean McCoy: Not an Eagle. Image Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

As you can tell by looking at the roster, it’s been a pretty eventful offseason. For those of who you somehow managed to avoid following the team in the off months, here’s a quick guide to help you catch up:

  • As expected, Chip Kelly replaced Nick Foles with a top draft pick. Less expected was that he replaced him with a top draft pick from the 2010 draft.
  • LeSean McCoy was traded to the Buffalo Bills because he was in severe decline (he was only 3rd in the league in rushing yards), and his running style was a huge detriment to the team’s success (They only won ten games with him).
  • Frank Gore was going to be an Eagle, but then he wasn’t.
  • The Eagles signed DeMarco Murray away from the Cowboys. Even if Murray sucks, this was a good move because we got to read a ton of amusing “DeMarco is a trader!” tweets from Cowboys fans.
  • Chip Kelly either is or isn’t a racist.

Token Discussion of the Indianapolis Colts

It doesn’t really matter who the opponent is in the first preseason game. The starters barely play, and schemes are kept relatively basic. (Except for the Baltimore Ravens. I used to hate when the Eagles played them in preseason because they’d always break out a ton of blitzes on defense, while the Eagles were all like, “Hey guys, we’re just trying to work on stuff here!”)

Aug 2, 2015; Anderson, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws a pass during training camp at Anderson University. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The schedule tells me that the Eagles are playing the Colts. You know what? Screw the Colts.

In week 16 of last season, the Eagles still had a shot at the playoffs, but they needed the Colts to beat the Cowboys. Since the Colts were a playoff team, it seemed within the realm of possibility.

What did the Colts do? They rolled over and got crushed by a score of 42-7. In the end, it didn’t really matter because the Eagles somehow lost to the Redskins. Still, thanks for nothing, guys.

The Colts are often described as a young team on the rise, thanks to one of the key rules of NFL media coverage: If a team has a young star quarterback, then it is considered “young” regardless of the rest of the roster. Andrew Luck‘s relative youth is more important than the eight projected starters over the age of 30.

The Colts made it to the AFC Championship Game last season. That game has received a bit of publicity since it was the one where Tom Brady was found to have orchestrated the deflating of balls. Or maybe he didn’t. Either way, he’s been suspended for four games, because Roger Goodell gonna Roger Goodell.

Many people think the Colts could make it all the way to the Super Bowl this season. I hope they don’t, because as I mentioned before, screw the Colts.

Quick Analysis of the Colts’ Backup Quarterbacks

Since the starters don’t play much in the preseason, we won’t see much of Andrew Luck. Instead, we’ll get plenty of looks at the guys who’ll be backing Luck up this season. So let’s take a look at them.

Matt Hasselbeck

Are you serious? Matt Hasselbeck is still in the league? I saw his name on the Colts’ roster and assumed I was looking at something from two years ago.

Matt Hasselbeck is somehow still in the NFL. Image Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

At age 39, the Colts brought him back for another season. (Which proves my theory that a good backup quarterback is the hardest thing to find in the NFL). Hasselbeck saw substantial action in the final two games, and played decently in both. His QB rating was over 100, although you wonder how well he could have really done against the Cowboys considering the team lost 42-7.

Like most backups, Hasselbeck would probably be fine if he had to step in for a game or two. But if Luck misses a substantial amount of time, then all of that “Colts are a Super Bowl contender” talk is going to go away really fast.

Bryan Bennett

The Colts signed Bennett as an undrafted free agent out of Southeastern Louisiana University. He likely won’t play much (at all?) this season, but Eagles fans might want to pay close attention when he’s on the field.

Before transferring to Southeastern Louisiana before his junior season, Bennett started his college career at the University of Oregon. Which means he was once a Chip Kelly recruit. Since we all know how Kelly likes his former Ducks, would it surprise anyone if Bennett is on the Eagles’ roster at this time next year?

And that’s apparently it. The Colts don’t have a fourth quarterback to give Bennett with some token competition or at least serve as a warm camp body?

Familiar Faces on the Colts Roster

Remember how I said Frank Gore wasn’t an Eagle? Did you wonder where he went instead, or did you stop paying attention to him once the Eagles signed DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews instead?

Most of you have probably figured out that Gore signed with the Colts, but he’s not the only familiar(?) face on the Indy roster. Old friends Todd Herremans and Trent Cole also signed with the Colts in the offseason.

It almost makes me want the Colts to do well this season. Then I remember week 16, and I’m back to my earlier sentiment: Screw the Colts.

The Week in TEBOW!

Every week – or at least every week in which he remains on the roster – I’ll check in with the NFL’s most famous would-be third-string quarterback.

Jun 17, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Tim Tebow (11) during minicamp at The NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Tebow is in a furious battle against Matt Barkley to see who gets to hold the coveted position of Eagles third-string quarterback. Normally, it doesn’t really matter who a team’s third-stringer is. It’s tough enough to find a good backup quarterback, so there’s very little chance that a third guy is going to play well enough for a team to succeed. (Yes, I remember what A.J. Feeley did in 2002. But that is a very rare exception to the rule.) Considering Sam Bradford‘s knees haven’t exactly proven to be the most durable body part in the NFL, it seems like there’s a chance the Eagles’ third-string guy does see some action this season.

Reportedly, Tebow has received more reps in camp than Barkley. Does this mean that he has the early edge? Does this mean anything at all?

It might be more telling to see which quarterback enter’s Sunday’s game first. I’ll assume that Sam Bradford starts and plays a couple of series. After that, I figure Mark Sanchez will finish the first half. But who will be leading the team huddle to start the second half?

Considering the usual lack of interest surrounding preseason games, this actually qualifies as high drama.

Important Eagles Issue of the Week – What’s Up with DeMarco?

If Chip Kelly was really excited to use his new star running back, he hasn’t shown it so far in camp. One of the biggest stories has been DeMarco Murray’s frequent absences from practice.

The team maintains that Murray isn’t injured. Kelly explained one absence by saying Murray’s hydration levels weren’t adequate (Try to imagine Buddy Ryan saying that!), but he’s missed a couple of practices since with little explanation.

It isn’t clear if Murray will play against the Colts. Even if he does make it into the game, I don’t expect him to get more than a few carries. Starting running backs rarely see much work in the preseason, as teams tend to concentrate more on the passing game.

Super Bowl Year Song of the Week

The Eagles have not made many appearances in the Super Bowl (Two, to be exact). I’m hopeful that this season will mark their third appearance in the “big game,” so each week I’m going to take a song from one of the franchise’s Super Bowl seasons (1980 and 2004) that somehow relates to this week’s game.

You Don’t Know My Name – Alicia Keys, 2004

The first preseason game features a lot of players who won’t end up making the final roster. We’re going to see guys like Mike Johnson and Raheem Mostert. Maybe one of them ends up making a name for himself, but chances are, we may never see them again.


It feels like this is Tebow’s time to shine. Facing a group of backup Colts defenders, he’s going to come out in the third quarter and lead the team to two touchdowns, giving the Eagles an easy win.

Eagles 24-10

Next: Eagles Roundtable: Which Player Will Disappoint in 2015?

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