With the final preseason game behind them, the Philadelphia Eagles set their sights (and claws) squarely on next Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Birds’ starters have had nearly two weeks to prepare for this game, with quarterback Matt Barkley and the backups handling the Jet’s game this past Thursday. This is the first of 16 games that count, the offensive and defensive playbook opens up, and the team faces a team ripe for the pickings. With questions on both sides of the ball, the Jaguars don’t present a particularly intimidating opponent, however the Iggles must avoid letting the opener become a trap game with quarterback Chad Henne at the Jags’ controls. If the Eagles can maintain their focus, conditioning, and execute on the field, they could be off to a fast season opening start.
On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Nick Foles should have his full complement of weapons, beginning with All Pro running back LeSean McCoy. Add in running back Darren Sproles, and wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper to the mix for a lethal combination of size and speed. Behind them, rookie receivers Josh Huff and Jordan Matthews have the opportunity to make for themselves in a high-powered offense. Last but not least of the skill positions, tight ends Brent Celek and Zach Ertz bring additional reliable blockers and targets for Foles to spread the ball around to. All of these options give head coach Chip Kelly many different combinations of attacks. But without a solid line, this offense won’t function to its true potential. Tackle Allen Barbre fills in for suspended tackle Lane Johnson in an otherwise complete line, with left tackle Jason Peters looking for another solid year. Rounding out the offensive line, center Jason Kelce, guards Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans join together to provide a capable and strong line from which Foles can operate this explosive offense.