After watching the tape (twice), a lot jumps off of the screen in the Philadelphia Eagles’ 31-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Game 1 of the preseason.
First thing’s first. Thank the good Lord above that NFL football’s back. For the first time in a little over six months, we saw ‘The Birds’ in full gear. We saw green grass, cheering fans and a lot of the guys we’ve been discussing this Summer running around in Philadelphia Eagles jerseys.
This should quench that thirst a little.
Now, let’s get down to the film.
There’s an old adage that states you learn more from a loss than you do from a win. Who cares if it’s the preseason? The score still said 31-14, and no one wants to see the other squad march up and down the field on reserves or anybody else.
Nonetheless, we, at ITI, combed through the footage, and we have some thoughts on what we would consider to be some of the highlights.
Let’s get this cracking. It won’t take too long:
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1. Hearing the name ‘Dallas’ in Philly is losing some of that familiar sting.
We expected ‘The Birds’ to get their rookie, Dallas Goedert, involved, but it’s hard to imagine they thought they were getting 66 yards on four receptions in his debut. Oh, and he looked pretty doggone good the entire time.
2. An 81-yard punt?
Who cares if it didn’t count? After watching Cameron Johnston shank a few balls in practice, some were calling for his head. After seeing him blast one for 81 yards in Philly’s first preseason game, it’s obvious why he was brought to Philly in the first place.
It would be called back thanks to a penalty, but if he can uncork one or two of those when the games count, look out.
Just for kicks. check this one out:
3. You have to love what you saw from the starting ‘D’.
Again, it’s the preseason, but seeing your first-team defense hold someone to less than five yards on their first two possessions is very encouraging
4. We’re not really discussing deflated footballs again, are we?
Stories are surfacing that the Steelers had some deflated ball in the third quarter, and Howard Eskin of Sports Radio 94 WIP-FM was definitely on the case. Oh no. Not this again!
5. 7 to 18 for 63 yards… touchdown Eagles
Seeing the maturation of Shelton Gibson has been a joy to watch. Let’s be honest, no Eagles fan wants to see someone Philly spent a fifth-round pick on led out to pasture.
Sure, it’s a fifth-round selection, but you hope to find contributors in those later rounds. A season ago, Gibson bombed. In Philly’s first preseason game, he caught the bomb. The spotlight’s back on him. Let’s hope the lights aren’t too bright.