Sep 7, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tackle Jason Peters (71), center David Molk (63), center Jason Kelce (62), guard Todd Herremans (79) and tackle Andrew Gardner (66) during game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Jaguars, 34-17. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Right Tackle Andrew Gardner vs Defensive End Arthur Jones
Andrew Gardner signed onto the Philadelphia Eagles during the off-season after having played on the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, Minnesota Vikings, Cincinnati Bengals, and finally the Houston Texans. That’s quite a feat considering he was originally a sixth round draft selection of the Miami Dophins in 2009.
At 6’6″ and 308 pounds, he’s nearly a clone of guard Herremans, but his history is hardly similar. While Todfather has been an Eagle his entire NFL career, Gardner’s nomadic life of the NFL has been the exact opposite. Similarly, Gardner’s previous five years of NFL experience has had limited game time, starting a mere three games for the Houston Texans.
Don’t let the lack of NFL game experience make you too skeptical, however. Gardner came in to face the Jacksonville Jaguars in a game the Eagles trailed, and played well in not one but two separate offensive line positions and give the Birds an opportunity to come back in the second half. That play was not given a grading curve, as Gardner showed up as a -4.2 in profootball focus grading.
Gardner has a week to prepare for the start, and knows the position he will be playing. That will be huge as he prepared to face a very good defensive end in Arthur Jones.
Defensive end Arthur Jones was signed to the Indianapolis Colts after playing three seasons for the Baltimore Ravens. Another productive player who showed up nicely in the box scores, Jones had a good reputation for run defense and also put up enough sacks from the defensive end slot to warrant some offensive planning. In his first game in a Colts uniform, Brown showed up in good position on several plays, but failed to make the tackle once there. Jones played 56 snaps, which was a heavier load than he had in his games with the Ravens. In the Broncos game, Jones failed to generate any pass rush.
And so, from the make up of the trenches of the Eagles offensive line versus the defensive front of the Indianapolis Colts, the edge appears to go in the Eagles favor. Hopefully, that means that the Eagles will find running lanes for their very explosive running backs, as well as sufficient protection as Nick Foles attempts to out duel his college nemesis in Andrew Luck.
It will be a good game, you won’t want to miss it.