With week one looming upon us ever so quickly, it is time to look what to watch for Thursday night. The Philadelphia Eagles are looking to continue their reign as Super Bowl champs against a hungry Atlanta Falcons team.
What Nick Foles will the Eagles get?
This game isn’t going to be without controversy. Throughout the weekend it has been Doug Pederson vs. the media. That is because NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport spilled the beans about who is starting this Thursday. Doug Pederson then decided to take all of his anger out on all the Philly media. #AngryDoug. But today, he has come to the conclusion of the fact that Nick Foles is indeed going to start Thursday.
With that being said, some fans are eerie that he will be the one starting. No one ever knows what Nick Foles is going to do. He is historically an extremely streaky quarterback. At his best, he can sling it with the best of them. But at his worse, he is an eyesore to watch. And Nicky six has looked terrible this preseason to leave some concern upon Birds fans.
Doug Pederson and the Eagles are hoping at the very least they can get a duplication from last time they faced the Falcons. Foles was efficient, with no turnovers, in route to a 15-10 victory in last year’s Divisional Round of the playoffs.
Foles also has $500,000 on the line Thursday, as pointed out by ESPN’s Field Yates.
Reminder: for each game this year that Nick Foles plays at least 33% of the snaps, he earns $250K. If Philly wins a game that he plays at least 33% of the snaps, he earns $250K more. Week 1 now has $500K of upside for him.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 3, 2018
Are the Eagles going to ride with a committee or burn out Jay Ajayi?
Last year, the Eagles ran a three-back system. Corey Clement, LeGarrette Blount, and Jay Ajayi shared most of the load last year. Blount got the most of it as he had 173 carries but he is gone now.
Jay Ajayi is in a contract year and very injury prone. So it will be interesting to see if they use all they can out of him or they go back to the committee. Right now it is uncertain whether or not Ajayi will be back in the city of brotherly love next year. Doug and the Eagles gotta decide whether or not they should use all they can out of him before the year is up.
Darren Sproles is looking to get back in the rotation this year but his snaps will for sure be limited. It will be more of an Ajayi/Clement rodeo if they go to a committee. There’s also a possibility that Wendell Smallwood can find himself getting snaps if they Eagles choose to activate him.
Who will the Eagles play at nickel?
One of the key position battles watched during the preseason was the nickel corner spot. The battle was between Sidney Jones and Avonte Maddox, with De’Vante Bausby also getting in on it. With Bausby now on the practice squad, it is now between Jones and Maddox. Both have had their moments during the preseason and both look like they can hold down a starting spot.
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said that Jones won’t be the only one to be in the slot on Thursday. As it is looking like the second year corner will get the start, he is not going to be the only one playing.
Whoever it is playing slot, they will most likely have to line up against the Falcons first-round pick, Calvin Ridley. He is a crafty player who will not make it easier for the nickel corner.