JACKSONVILLE - The Eagles picked up a 24-10 win over the Jaguars in their second preseason game, but more importantly, plenty of players looked good.
And a big winner was all of us who watched. This game was wayyyy more entertaining than the slopfest we saw at the Linc a week ago.
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The bar was pretty low for Thorson after an absolutely dreadful performance last week, but the fifth-round rookie cleared it by a miles against the Jaguars. Thrust into action much earlier than he anticipated because of Cody Kessler's injury, Thorson showed a little something on Thursday night. He completed 16 of 26 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown. He threw an INT, but it wasn't really his fault. What makes his performance even more impressive is that he barely got any practice reps during the week.
Greg Ward Jr.
While Ward would have been the next QB off the bench if Thorson went down, we have him on the list as a receiver. His 38-yard touchdown catch early in the second quarter was a beauty. He went up to get the ball and then navigated his way into the end zone, setting up a key block from Josh Perkins on the way. In his third training camp with the Eagles, Ward is pushing hard for a roster spot. But if it comes down to Ward vs. Mack Hollins, I'd still lean toward Hollins if he's healthy. Hollins caught just one pass for five yards against the Jaguars, but is a key special teams contributor and showed that again on Thursday night.
Big game for the rookie from Penn State. Miller had 4 tackles, 1 sack, 2 QB hits and 2 TFLs. His sack came from an impressive spin move to get to the quarterback. Daeshon Hall had another big game (he leads the NFL with three sacks this preseason), but we've already talked enough about him. Miller in his first two NFL games has 7 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 QB hits and 3 TFLs.
The rookie linebacker from Wisconsin looked way more comfortable in his second preseason game. He was flying around the field and made a big tackle for loss. Last week, I even noticed him get a few first-team reps in the dime package in a red zone drill. He's trending the right way.
Sorry, Jordan Howard, it's gonna be hard to keep Sanders off the field this season. The second-round pick flashed big-time against the Jaguars. He showed so much on Thursday. He showed his shiftiness on that 16-yard run. He showed his power by dragging a couple defenders. And he even showed off his pass protection on that touchdown pass to Ward. If he can pass protect, there's no reason to keep him off the field.
I don't know what's going on with Wiz, but he just can't seem to snap the football right now. It's really strange that an NFL veteran - a guy who has been a starter in this league at center - keeps having these wild snaps, but they've happened all training camp and now in the first two preseason games. Really, I think the Eagles' backup center is Isaac Seumalo, but the Eagles have always liked Wiz's versatility. That doesn't mean much if he's a liability at center.
With a chance to calm some nerves about his being the backup, Kessler lasted just seven snaps before he was crushed on a blindside hit and had to leave with a concussion. To make matters worse, Doug Pederson basically said it was Kessler's fault he took the hit. "You'd like the quarterback to kind of see that and get to his quick throw," Pederson said.
The veteran cornerback, who has looked good in camp, gave up a chunk play and then really whiffed on a tackle when he dove low at a Jaguars runner and might not have even touched him. But with Cre'Von LeBlanc still out, Scandrick still has a shot at the roster.
While 10 different Eagles caught a pass on Thursday, Thompkins was targeted just once and he basically handed the ball to the defensive back for an interception. The rookie from Penn State had a drops problem in college that I haven't seen in the NFL until Thursday night. It came at a bad moment.
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