Tonight’s preseason matchup for the Philadelphia Eagles has the team playing the New England Patriots. I’m sure there are still many Eagles fans out there like myself who still have some salt in their Super Bowl wounds and relish any chance the Eagles get to pound the Patriots, even if it is just a meaningless exhibition affair.
Except…oh wait, it’s not meaningless for us. Reid has stated that the first teamers will all be playing for the first three quarters as a “dress rehearsal” for the regular season, which means it gives us an important look at how this team is going to function going into the 2012/13 season proper. The defense looked completely ineffective during the Steelers matchup, but if you wanted to see it improve against a good offensive team for four quarters, well, you’re just gonna have to wait. The Patriots are benching QB Tom Brady, TE Rob Gronkowski, TE Aaron Hernandez, LB Jerod Mayo, and WR Wes Welker for tonight’s game, and while some may see some playing time later in the game, for the most part, it’s a first-string team against a mix of second-stringers.
In other words, we’re just looking for the basics tonight out of the squad. As long as the defense doesn’t look like Swiss cheese, Vick plays up to his level, and nobody gets injured, I’ll consider the game a success.