Three things to watch for tonight vs. Bills
17 August 2017 Eagles News
The Eagles take on the Buffalo Bills tonight and with that, football is officially back in Philadelphia.
The Eagles might only play their first string a drive or two, but it should be a good test for them. Here are my three things to watch tonight.
First and foremost, tonight is going to be the first time wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and newly acquired cornerback Ronald Darby are going to be playing for the Eagles. These two are the Eagles problem solvers at wide receiver and cornerback, a lot is expected of them.
Watch out for Jeffery, he is going to want to come out with a bang. I expect him and Carson Wentz to connect on at least one deep ball tonight. It will be a nice little preview of things to come.
As for Darby, expect him to look sharp, like he has all week in practice. Fortunately, the Bills do not have a wide receiver that will really test him, but it will be refreshing seeing him on the field… a true cornerback.
2. Slot receiver outlook
With Jordan Matthews gone, we are going to see how the Eagles are going to operate the slot tonight. They can use a bunch of players in the slot, as well as a bunch of different packages. I expect Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, Torrey Smith, Trey Burton, and Donell Pumphrey all to get slot looks.
When the season comes around, one of those players is going to be getting the majority of the snaps in the slot. The front runner seems to be Agholor, but look out for Hollins. He had a great game last time out versus the Packers and look for him to build off of that tonight.
As the season nears, it is going to be interesting to see what the Eagles do with the slot because they do have a ton of different looks they can go with.
3. Defensive end battle
Much like the slot receiver position, the Eagles like to rotate their players in and out at defensive end. However, one player will be getting a lot more work than the others.
With that being said, there is a tough battle going on between Vinny Curry, Chris Long and Derek Barnett. We saw Barnett step up and get two sacks last time out versus the Packers. Will he be able to replicate that tonight?
I think Long is going to be a great depth player for the team, but I do not see him starting. But, Curry has a hungry rookie challenging him for the starting spot. He needs to step up tonight and fend off this hungry rook. Either way, this defensive line is looking formidable, but it will be fun to watch these guys duke it out.
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Imaging
Ryan Neal Alshon Jeffery, Derek Barnett, Mack Hollins, Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles, Ronald Darby, Vinny Curry