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Philadelphia Eagles Preseason, Week 1 Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers

The reigning Super Bowl champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, are to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in their first pre-season match-up of the 2018-2019 season, Thursday night. The big question is: “how will the Eagles play in their first game since Super Bowl 52?”

Which Quarterbacks will play?

Another big question of the day is: “Who are the players that are going to be starting in this game?”

The answer for the Eagles is third-string QB, Nate Sudfeld. Quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Nick Foles are sitting to maintain their health. Wentz went down last December to a torn ACL and has made spectacular progress from then until now.

The QB situation seems similar for the Steelers. Head Coach Mike Tomlin stated that he was going to “play all three quarterbacks not named Ben Roethlisberger”. There was some controversy over the NFL Draft period when the Steelers drafted QB Mason Rudolph. Roethlisberger was teasing retirement, but when the Steelers drafted Rudolph, the veteran was shocked and saddened by the move. He said, “If he asks me a question, I might just have to point to the playbook.”

Things will be interesting to watch during the match-up if Roethlisberger is still upset about this.

Thing to watch

There are many things to watch on both the Eagles and the Steelers.

First, the cornerbacks on the Eagles. This first game will show how Jim Schwartz is feeling about who goes where. Sidney Jones will play this year and it’s a big possibility that he will end up in the slot. If he ends up there, it will be a good showdown between Jones and Antonio Brown.

Next, Quadree Henderson will make his debut tonight for the Steelers. The 2018 undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver has a noticeably strong return game, and could potentially make a statement tonight versus the Eagles to see if he could be one of the 53 at the end of pre-season. Henderson’s name has been circulating around training camp, so it’ll be interesting to see what the 21-year old does.

First look at linebacker battle

It’s no secret that the Eagles have a linebacker problem. After the Eagles let go of veteran Mychal Kendricks, it was unclear who was going to take his place. Tonight will be some competition between Corey Nelson, Kamu Grugier-Hill, and Nate Gerry. Of course, there will be more opportunities to see, but tonight will be the beginning of the show of who wants it the most.

Two teams with high hopes for 2018

Things will be interesting between these two teams. The Steelers, who finished 13-3 last season, added key players to help their team progress and are already listed as a playoff possibility. Of course, the Eagles are going into this season as reigning champions. A lot of media analysts don’t think the Eagles will get nearly as far this year, but the team refuses to rule out a repeat.

The showdown will take place at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Thursday at 7 PM.

 

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