Eagles Inactives, Pick and Matchup to Watch vs Jaguars
The Eagles will be pretty healthy when they host the Jaguars in their season opener at Lincoln Financial Field. This will be the first meeting between the Jaguars and Eagles since 2010.
(Listen on 97.3 ESPN, coverage starts at noon).
The Eagles have won three consecutive season openers, all of which came on the road.
The Eagles will be missing only one starter, return man Josh Huff who is missing the game with a shoulder injury – they hope to have him back next soon. Backup lineman Matt Tobin will miss the game as well.
Running back Chris Polk and corner Jaylen Watkins are listed as questionable with hamstring injuries.
Overall, the Eagles find themselves as one of the healthiest teams in the league as they enter the the season.
On the Jaguars injury front, wide receiver Allen Robinson should play after missing time with hamstring issues. Meanwhile, Cecil Shorts will not play in the Jaguars' season opener against Philadelphia. Losing Shorts, who could be the Jags top offensive weapon is a big blow to an already anemic offense. That leaves rookie Marqise Lee of USC to serve as the primary receiver for Jacksonville, with fellow rookies Allen Hurns and Robinson playing bigger roles as well.
Tackle Austin Pasztor, Tight end Clay Harbor and Running back Storm Johnson did not travel with the team to Philadelphia.
Match-Up to watch:
It should be an entertaining battle upfront with new Jags running back Toby Gerhart vs. the Eagles 3-4 front. Can the Jaguars feed Gerhart the ball, control the clock and wear down the Eagles defense? Beau Allen should be called on often as a run-stuffer in this his first NFL regular season game. Allen and Bennie Logan will be matched up with Jacques McClendon who has been named the Jaguars' starting center over sixth-round rookie Luke Bowanko. The center position is a trouble spot for the Jaguars, a fifth-year pro, McClendon's lone two starts came at left guard last season and he was shaky in the preseason.
Eagles inactives: QB Matt Barkley, WR Josh Huff, RB Chris Polk, DB Jaylen Watkins, T Matt Tobin, T Dennis Kelly and DE Taylor Hart
Jaguars’ inactives: OT Josh Wells, WR Cecil Shorts, TE Clay Harbor, DE Chris Smith, OG Tyler Shatley, RB Storm Johnson, OT Austin Pasztor
Losing Shorts is a huge blow to the Jaguars, who will now rely on three rookie wide receivers in todays game. As for the Eagles, they will go with just two running backs in the game with Polk sitting out. The birds decided to activate four tight ends, with Trey Burton available to play some running back if needed.
With Tobin and Kelly both out the Eagles only have two available backup linemen - Davis Molk and Andrew Gardner.
This should be a great coming out party for the 2014 Eagles. The Jaguars finished last season just 4-12 but are improving. Jacksonville went 4-4 over its final eight games of the 2013 season and three of its four wins came on the road last season.
In reality, the Eagles have much bigger goals this season and should be able to handle the Jags handily with a heavy dose of LeSean McCoy. McCoy is taking on a Jaguars defense which was fourth worst against the run last season, allowing 131.8 yards per game.
Overall, the Eagles have to many weapons on offense and Jacksonville is very limited on offense. This should be a game the Eagles are able to control from the outset and shouldn't have to show too much.
The Pick: Eagles, 42, Jaguars 20