It is Week 3 of the NFL preseason and in a unique twist of scheduling the Eagles play the Cleveland Browns this Friday night which just so happens to be the same team they will face on opening day of the regular season.
All that means is that this week's game will be as vanilla as it gets. Andy Reid decided to stage his team's final dress rehearsal this past Monday night and the reviews were mixed. We will probably have no idea what expect from Michael Vick until the team's second game against the Browns after he bruised his ribs early in the first quarter against the Patriots. Reid cannot be thrilled with the 16 penalties his team committed on Monday night with a few extending New England drives that resulted in scores.
The positive take-away was the play of rookie quarterback Nick Foles and the Eagles' defensive front seven as a whole. For the second week in a row, Foles was able to move the offense down the field while staying poised in the pocket. He is clearly a solid prospect to fill the role of 'quarterback of the future' but with the way things are going for Vick so far, the future may very shortly be now.
For the first time since the Birds lost Jim Johnson and waived Brian Dawkins, I am actually excited about the defense. It is loaded up front with guys that can not only get after the quarterback but stuff the run as well. The addition of DeMeco Ryans through a trade with Houston and Mychal Kendricks through the draft appears to have finally addressed the team's persistent problems at linebacker and Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie finally look comfortable in the secondary.
The following is a link to my complete preview and prediction for Friday night's game in an article that was previously posted on Doc's Sports Service as part as my ongoing series covering every Eagles' game this season.
Weekly Philadelphia Eagles Betting Picks: Preseason Week 3 vs. Cleveland