Of course, as with just about any exhibition game, the final score meant little to nothing. This was about progress more than anything, and the Eagles certainly had some bright spots in this contest.
So, here are three burning questions for Philadelphia after its third preseason game.
3. Is JJ Arcega-Whiteside Ready to Be a Big-Time Threat?
The Eagles already had Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Nelson Agholor before drafting JJ Arcega-Whiteside, but obviously, Philadelphia saw something special in him, which was why it took him in the second round even though it didn’t really need him.
Well, Arcega-Whiteside should some of his immense talent on Thursday evening, hauling in eight receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown during Philly’s loss.
He has been playing consistently throughout the preseason, totaling four catches for 63 yards in his first two games before exploding in his third contest.
The question is, is he ready to take on a big role in the Eagles’ offense right off the bat? Again, Philadelphia’s receiving corps is pretty deep and experienced, so you wouldn’t think Arcega-Whiteside would get that much of a shot right away, but who knows? Perhaps his impressive preseason showing will elevate him on Doug Pederson’s depth chart.
2. Who Will Be the No. 2 Back Behind Jordan Howard?
The Eagles have made it obvious that Jordan Howard is their No. 1 running back, and even if he will be sharing carries with a bunch of other guys, he will be the primary ball-carrier.
But who will be No. 2?
Josh Adams, Corey Clement and rookie Miles Sanders all seem to be vying for that role, and there is also Wendell Smallwood, who appears to be on the outside looking in at the moment.
You’d have to think Adams is the favorite based on his 2018 production, as he had a solid rookie year, but there is no question that this will be a battle all year long, and you really have to wonder if Pederson will ever really appoint a No. 2 guy.
It’s entirely possible that game situations will dictate Pederson’s decisions on how to allocate touches in the backfield.
1. Which Quarterback Will Get Cut?
Nate Sudfeld went from looking like the clear-cut backup quarterback for the Birds to being on the roster bubble after suffering a broken wrist during his team’s first preseason game earlier this month.
The Eagles went out and signed formerly-retired Josh McCown for some insurance, and McCown looked fantastic on Thursday evening, completing 17 of his 24 passes for 192 yards and a couple of touchdowns.
He is obviously a lock to make the roster, and unless Philly wants to carry four quarterbacks (which seems unlikely), that means that someone will get cut.
Cody Kessler is almost sure to be a goner, which likely leaves it between Sudfeld and rookie Clayton Thorson.
So, do the Eagles just play it safe and go with the healthy, available guy in Thorson, or do they like Sudfeld enough to put him on the 53-man roster and risk rolling with just two healthy signal-callers?
It will certainly be a tough call for Pederson.