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For the most part, this was the first teams doing battle for a quarter and then both teams pulling their starting QBs and then ran with a mixture of first and second string skill players and defenders for the second quarter before it degenerated down lower in the second half.
Hard to say that either of these teams ‘dominated’ the other or looked overly sharp in this Week 3 preview. It was mostly lackluster defense of play featuring several missed tackles and bad coverages – hallmarks of a preseason. Probably hallmarks of these teams.
A note that I wrote reminded me of something that occurred the game prior and here – I know it is the preseason and it’s not full reality, but the Eagles defense looks really sloppy and it’s getting pretty well gashed against the run the last two weeks. 136 yards allowed last week the Buffalo…a lot for the preseason when it doesn’t come all in one chunk. Jay Ajayi (9-5-32) had his way the entire time he was in. Just something to note…the Eagles could be a soft target to push RBs against this season.
Fantasy player notes…
— A lot is being made of LeGarrette Blount (4-19-0) looking bad in training camp and/or looking sluggish and maybe overweight – I think that’s the difference of a guy wearing a Patriots uniform and what happens when they don a Philly jersey. When a guy plays for the Patriots it’s like the Yankees pinstripes – they just look faster in movement and more professional.
The lackluster Eagles blocking doesn’t seem to help how heavy Blount looks either. Running the ball is a lot different when you have Carson Wentz at QB as opposed to Tom Brady. I don’t think Blount has changed – the backdrop has.
Last season, Doug Peterson ran the most ‘hot hand’/RBBC system in the entire NFL. Blount will have his specific role as will Wendell Smallwood (4-28-0), and we forget about Darren Sproles. I wouldn’t bet on any Eagles running back for 2017 the best day I ever lived in Fantasy. OR EMERGENCY ONLY. I’m just going to assume this is what Doug Peterson likes to do based on what he’s actually done.
Which also means your Wendell Smallwood lottery tickets don’t have a lot of value. I’m sure there will be a week or two when one of these RBs breaks out/has a good game and makes all the analysts say, “The Eagles have found their running back!” — but then right back to hot hand/RBBC approach.
Avoid the situation for Fantasy.
— The most impressive player in this game, because they made the most impressive play…a play no one else on either roster could make was Miami second year WR/KR Jakeem Grant (1-69-1/3).
Grant caught a medium slant pass over the middle, and upon the catch was collided into by two defenders. Like two cymbals being clanged together with Grant in the middle. Grant absorbed the hit, stayed upright, pulled away from the aggressors and then took off for the end zone. The fact that he took two blows and shrugged them off and retained the catch was excellent enough, but what happened after that was ‘the thing’.
After Grant got popped, stopped temporarily, and then took off running — the defenders took off in hot pursuit – Grant looked like he had been shot out of a cannon and within a blink he was 5 yards ahead of the pursuers on his way to a wide margin, winning the sprint for a 69 yard score.
Grant has some mini-Tyreek Hill abilities if the Dolphins would care to pursue it. I’m not really sure they are.
— Another young WR is impressing me with each preseason game – Eagles rookie Mack Hollins (5-44-0/8). I wasn’t a big fan based on the analytics/measurables we had. Didn’t see anything to really concern myself with. Skimming over some tape ahead of the draft didn’t catch my attention either.
Once we got to see him working in the preseason, I could tell he was better than my dismissive original thought. I decided to take a deeper look at his tape back and I’m moving into the camp of being a fan. I’m not saying he’s a future star, but I think he’s a future worker…a solid WR you want as part of your rotation and on special teams. He may be a better NFL WR than a fantasy WR. However, Nelson Agholor is such a weak WR talent that Hollins may be more used in 2017 than anyone thinks today.
— Mack Hollins gets lost in the glow that is the long TD by Torrey Smith (1-50-1/1) in this game. Everyone so trying to get Carson Wentz ‘over’ and doing so by selling ‘new weapons’ as part of the features why you too should ‘believe’ – they constantly talk about what a deep threat Torrey is. I think Smith is an erratic, overpaid, getting sloppy WR. Maybe the change of scenery is going to change things. This one TD doesn’t change everything for me. It was a good play on broken coverage.
— My projection is that RB Damien Williams (4 carries for -1 yards) will be the Ajayi handcuff, but in reality it’s probably more a combination of Kenyan Drake (4-21-0, 2-2-0/2) and Williams…with the team kind of desperate for it to be Drake.
Drake will never be a main carry guy in the NFL. He works in spurts if he works at all. Plenty of talent, but stinks running the ball between the tackles. Not to mention a little nutty off the field. He’s just not a reliable RB.
— I haven’t heard the drumbeat of the Eagles trading Mychal Kendricks (1 INT) lately. It probably helps that he’s had interceptions in each preseason game, getting his third one here. The guy deserves better treatment that he’s getting. Maybe he’s going to break out in this make or break contract season.
— I can’t comment on the Miami game without mentioning my BFF Devante Parker (2-78-0/3). The Twitter war has all but come to a cease-fire/no one cares anymore. His 72-yard catch in this game may have satiated his masses?
Jay Cutler under threw a pass up for grabs to Parker…and Ronald Darby tried to jump up and knock it away but he mistimed his jump and fell, while Parker reached up for the catch and came down nicely and took off down the field. I love Devante Parker in those situations – throwing it up for grabs and keeping him away from traffic. He’s going to break everyone’s heart if you slant him across the middle too much or try to use him for bubble screens (as he has failed on all preseason). Use him as a tall deep threat like whatever that other guys name was who used to play in tandem with Michael Irvin with the old title hounds, Jimmy Johnson’s Cowboys. I just thought of it – Alvin Harper. Right? I’m not looking it up. You know who I’m talking about. Parker could be that sweet second fiddle that will have moments that will leave you drooling with highlight reel catches. He’s not your workhorse or future star #1 – I just haven’t see the whole package in him at the NFL level.