Eagles-Ravens Game Preview: What should you watch for?


After practicing with the Baltimore Ravens this past week, the Philadelphia Eagles will now face them in their second preseason tilt on Saturday. Fortunately, a few training camp questions have been answered since last week’s victory over the Colts. To begin with, the starting right guard job is no longer a revolving door of four candidates, it is now Andrew Gardner‘s to lose. Secondly, first-round draft pick Nelson Agholor looks like a legitimate cog in Chip Kelly’s offense. That doesn’t mean Iggles fans can rest easy. This week’s test against the Ravens opens up a handful of new queries.

Waiting to exhale. He likely won’t play very many snaps, but quarterback Sam Bradford will face true competition for the first time since his second ACL tear (on the same knee) in week 3 of the 2014 preseason. Reports indicate that Bradford has looked good in training camp and that the starting job is all but his. The signal-caller will likely take a few bumps from a Ravens D that should test the extent of his recovery. The truth is, no matter how Bradford holds up on Saturday, we’ll still be holding our collective breath until at least a few weeks into the regular season.

Murray wants to play. Incumbent league rushing champion DeMarco Murray finally practiced this week and told reporters he wants to get some preseason reps in against the Ravens. The coaching staff has kept Murray’s workload almost non-existent following durability concerns while he played for the Dallas Cowboys. If Murray does play on Saturday, he shouldn’t be on the field for more than a dozen snaps or so.

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The development of Eric Rowe. After forcing a fumble a la Charles Tillman against the Colts, rookie corner Eric Rowe got first-team reps this week in joint practices. Rowe lined up opposite Ravens wideout Steve Smith several times, with the vet getting the better of their exchanges. The rookie did hold his own against Smith  on a couple of occasions and the experience will only benefit his development into a legit starting corner. He should see some real game time against the Ravens starters.

Vinny Curry at outside linebacker. With Marcus Smith out with a hamstring injury for the next two to three weeks, Curry now has the chance to become the D’s third outside linebacker. If he wants to pull that off, he’ll have to show he can stop the run as effectively as he can rush the passer. Don’t be surprised if defensive coordinator Billy Davis sends Curry in on early downs.

Parkey’s problems. Cody Parkey has not adapted well to the league’s new extra point policy, missing a PAT and a field goal attempt against the Colts. His field goal woes continued in the Eagles’ practices with the Ravens, making only seven of 10 attempts on Wednesday. Parkey needs to get it together, fast.

Battle to make the B-Team continues. This position battle is one few fans are invested in, but one that would steal the show if depicted on Hard Knocks. Mychal Kendricks, DeMeco Ryans and Kiko Alonso are all on the shelf, leaving their backup spots open for the taking. The only constant thus far has been Najee Goode, who’s played with the first team since before the Colts game. Free-agent pickup Brad Jones, rookie Jordan Hicks and, most recently, Emmanuel Acho have played as Goode’s partners. Keep an eye out for how their snaps are divvied up.

Kickoff is later tonight at 7:00 PM ET at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Be sure to check back here at Inside The Iggles for all of the latest news, analysis and more!

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