THE night belonged to fourth string, rookie QB Clayton Thorson (16/26 – 61.5% – 175 – 1 – 1). That wasn’t the plan, but after third string, journeyman QB Cody Kessler (1 /4 – 25.0 – 11 – 0 – 0) was knocked from the game, Thorson was all we had left. That’s because back-up QB Nate Sudfeld was out with the broken left wrist he suffered last week, and Starting QB Carson Wentz is still not being allowed to wipe his own ass, for fear of injury. (I wasn’t big on the Colin Kaepernick idea, but now I uh… mmm, uhhh… Maybe?)
DE’s Daeshon Hall (2 – 2 – 0 – 0) forced a fumble on one of his two sacks and practically sewed up the #4 DE spot. If we keep 5 of those, then DE Shareef Miller (3 – 1 – 0 – 0) has to have a wide lead on DE Josh Sweat (bupkiss – nope – zero – BONK!). DT/DE Aziz Shittu (1 – 1 – 0 – 0) got his hand on two passes, and did what he’s always done here since 2016: Flash in the preseason before getting caught in a numbers game.
HEY! Here’s a thought. It’s probably good that QB Nick Foles didn’t play last night. His 6th round, rookie, back-up, QB Gardner Minshew (19/29 – 65.5% – 202 – 0 – 0) left the game with a rating of 85.7. Last week Minshew was (7/14 – 50.0 – 46 – 0 – 0) with a rating of 57.4. We’d have made Foles look like goddamned Joe Montana out there.
For Thorson’s part, I already saw some growth in him. In my Ideal 53 article, I called him a poor man’s Wentz. In my 2019 Draft Report, I said he reminded me of Carson. I said he didn’t seem to have Carson’s willingness to stick the ball into tight spaces, I made the allowance for that to be a lack of trust in his college weapons. WELP! I nailed the hell out of that one.
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for these “Four Things” articles. We introduce an idea of what needs addressing BEFORE the game, so that fans have to honestly answer questions about those things, AFTER the game. This helps to get us, and keep us, all on the same page.
So, of the Four Things we were looking for in this last game, what exactly did we see?
1) Starters need to play a quarter: Players who wanted to play, played. S Malcolm Jenkins (2 – 0 – 0 – 0) and DE Brandon Graham (no stats, great pressure though), are two examples of that. Players who didn’t want to play, sat. If I start talking about that, this section will become an article. Let’s put a pin in that. (NOT DONE)
2) Go deep to Djax: Can’t if he doesn’t play! (NOT DONE)
3) Look good running the ball: Impossible to gauge with so many different players touching the ball, who won’t be touching it much when the games count. (NOT DONE)
4) Generate some pass rush up the gut: The line did a much better job of collapsing the pocket and clogging up the lanes, which allowed us to record 4 sacks on the night. (DONE)
Yet again we end with a score of 1 out of 4, which brings our preseason tally to 2 of 8. Next week the Baltimore Ravens run into the Linc, and we get to watch their QB move his lips as he tries to read our Defense. Should be fun!
On The Whole:
What is there to say? Three weeks from now, most of the sacrificial lambs who played that game, will be working in a call center, or learning how to operate a forklift. That’s not knocking honest, decent work. (I’ve done both of those myself.) However, we came out of that game with no additional information about the players who will impact the season. Particularly those new to the team.
It was a sloppy, entertaining exhibition, but on the whole it left me as a fan, more worried about this team, than I’ve been since Chip Kelly went 10 – 6 in his first year. That 10 – 6 record was built on an unsustainable model. While many fans were seduced by the immediate gratification of a playoff berth, I saw the cracks in the dam. I warned you about the flood. Well, now I see cracks again.
In a year where the Dallas Cowboys are undermining themselves and trying to hand us the NFC East, we seem intent on undermining ourselves and making sure they keep it.