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The Regular-Season finally kicks off for the NFL Football Game, as the boy’s travel to Green Bay to face the Packers for the first of four exhibition games.
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The Philadelphia Eagles come into this years pre-season with their quarterback position cemented and a roster positioned to compete for a division title.
Keeping Wentz and the starters healthy will be most important aspect of the pre=season all while kicking off some rust and looking crisp on the field. Eagles coach Doug Pederson said “Wentz will play in Thursday’s preseason opener”, Zach Berman of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Look for Wentz and most of the starters to be on the field for one or two drives.
What to watch for on Offense
All eyes will be on Wentz. The Philadelphia Eagles signal caller will hope to score during the one or two series he plays in. When Wentz comes out, watch to see if Nick Foles comes in. Foles hasnt practiced in almost three weeks due to his elbow soreness.
Don’t expect prize free agent Alshon Jeffery to suit up Thursday, Jeffery hasn’t competed in full-team 11-on-11 drills since the first padded practice where he sprained his shoulder.
The Eagles have a lot of wide receivers in camp this year, there have plenty of talk about whats going to happen with Jordan Mathews. If Mathews plays a significant amount of time this game one would wonder if they are show casing him for a trade.
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Who to watch on Offense
Rookie wide receiver Mack Hollins has generated some serious buzz in camp thus far. With Alshon and Torrey Smith occupying two starting spots the other receivers in camp will want to impress this pre-season. Hollins, Gibson, Agholor, Mathews, Treggs, Marcus Johnson, Greg Ward and Paul Turner all are competing for roster spots on this team, whomever makes some plays versus the Packers will have the early lead.
What to watch on Defense
There are many questions about the Eagles secondary. Corey Graham was brought in a week abo but has only been mentioned to play with the safeties.
The corner back position may be up for the taking, like the receiver position, there are a lot of bodies battling for roster spots. Jalen Mills and Patrick Robinson look to be the front-runners to start but fans should keep an eye on the rookie Rasul Douglas, Ron Brooks, Mitchell White and Aaron Grymes as some of these players will make the team and will contribute to this Eagles roster moving forward.
Who to watch on Defense
First round pick Derek Barnett should play versus the Packers. The defensive end was drafted as a player the Eagles will expect production from, and early. Barnett will be lining up against reserve offensive tackles and Eagles coaches will hope to see Barnett in the back field on more than just a couple of occasions.
Thursday will be the 16th time the Packers and the Eagles will have met during the preseason with the Eagles leading the preseason series, 9-6.
Packers -1 (105) O/U 39
The Packers come into this match-up favored by 1 with a total of 39. With the Packers playing at home and back up quarterback Brett Hundley looking like a quarterback that could start for other NFL teams I will take the Packers -1.
Last season the Packers were 10-8-1 against the spread and with Nick Foles status up in the air, I think the Packers reserves will out perform the Eagles back ups. As of now there is a 40% chance of a thunderstorm tomorrow night in Green Bay with a 6 MPH wind. First pre-season games are usually sloppy, have a lot of flags and really no flow. With that said I will take the under of 39 total points.
Fantasy drafts are around the corner. The first pre-season game may not give too much information to change your draft boards but I have my eye on Wendell Smallwood and Jordan Mathews. Both these players could go from un-draft-able to Smallwood being a flex play and Mathews potentially being a WR3.
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