Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Football is officially back and we’re onto Week 2 of the preseason here as the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Philadelphia Eagles. Nick Foles will be playing against his old team here, so this one should be fun. Neither Foles nor Carson Wentz played in their teams’ first preseason game, but they should see some action here.
Sudfeld Goes Down
The Eagles are coming off another pretty successful season. As they defended their Super Bowl title from the year before, the Eagles made it back to the postseason and even won a first-round playoff game on the road against the Bears. They lost to the Saints in the divisional round, but it was still a huge accomplishment just to get there considering they were once again playing with their backup quarterback.
A year after tearing his ACL, Carson Wentz missed the end of the season with a back injury. Nick Foles is gone now, playing for the Jaguars, so the Eagles won’t have the comfort of a top backup if Wentz were to go down again. Seemingly everyone is high on the talent that Philly has, but it’s all going to come down to whether or not Wentz can stay healthy. The Eagles completely redid their backfield this offseason, adding Miles Sanders in the draft and Jordan Howard through a trade. Wentz didn’t play in the first game, and he likely won’t play too much here as the Eagles want to be very careful with him.
Backup Nate Sudfeld got hurt in the first preseason game and won’t play here, which is significant as he likely would’ve played a ton here. Cody Kessler will now get the lion’s share of the snaps, and rookie Clayton Thorson. Eagles are a very modern team, which means they won’t be playing their starters too much here. As for their pass-catchers, we should see a lot of rookie receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and second-year tight end Dallas Goedert here.
Coach Doug Pederson like the preseason as it’s a chance to work on his coaching skills and he feels like he has grown in that respect.
“I think there’s a lot of areas that I’ve grown,” Pederson said. “Situational football, in the last three years, has really been a top priority of mine. I’ve learned a lot from in-game decisions, fourth-down decisions, when to go for it on two-point conversions, things like that. I’ve become better educated.”
Jaguars Steal Foles
The Jaguars are coming off an extremely disappointing season. After making it all the way to the AFC Championship Game in 2017, they took a huge step backwards last year, going 5-11 and finishing in last place in the AFC South. They made bold moves to retool this offseason, getting rid of Blake Bortles and replacing him with Nick Foles. The defense was one of the best in recent memory in 2017, but they also regressed last season.
They drafted Josh Allen from Kentucky seventh overall to bolster and already impressive pass-rush, and he already had a tackle for loss in the first game. This will be an emotional game for Foles, as he goes up against the team he won a Super Bowl MVP with. The Jaguars got smoked in their first preseason game, losing 29-0 to the Ravens. Foles didn’t play in that one, and we should get to see him make his Jaguars debut here. The first game couldn’t have gone much worse for this Jacksonville team, and they likely got chewed out by Doug Marrone afterwards. Despite the embarrassing effort, there’s some intriguing talent still on this Jags team.
Gardner Minshew warming up for his NFL debut
— Ashlyn Sullivan (@ashlynrsullivan) August 8, 2019
Rookie Gardner Minshew took most of the snaps under center in the first game, and he should be better here now that he has some pro action under his belt. The defense should also be improved here as more of their big-name starters suit up. As for the skill position guys, we should see a lot of young receiver D.J. Chark, a 2018 second-round pick who still needs to prove himself. Leonard Fournette might get a few carries, but they’ll likely still be taking it easy on him given his injury history.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I like the Jaguars a lot here. Philly suffered a very significant injury that I don’t think is being properly accounted for. Sudfeld would’ve played most of the game here, but now he’s out. The Eagles aren’t going to play Wentz much, which means the Eagles are going to get terrible QB play the whole game, and will possibly be playing someone signed fresh off the street. Jacksonville is coming back home after getting destroyed in their first preseason game, and I think they bounce back here.
Full-Game Total Pick
I also like the under a lot here. Without Sudfeld the Eagles are going to have a terrible quarterback situation here, and the Jags might have one as well. Foles won’t play a ton, and the depth chart behind him isn’t very good. Jacksonville scored zero points in their first game, and neither team has too many skill position guys that I’m excited about seeing here.