Week 2 of the NFL season kicked off on Thursday night as the Ravens thumped the Steelers 26-6. Eagles fans have to wait an extra day to see the team on Monday Night Football, but that provides more time to delve into the matchup with the Indianapolis Colts. Head coach Chip Kelly addresses the media at 11:40 AM for the final time prior to the primetime showdown and it will be streamed live online and on our app. Until then, here are the 5 Things To Know Today ...
1. Colts Have Questions Marks Along D-Line
The big story for the Eagles this week is how will the Eagles' offensive line respond to the loss of guard Evan Mathis and tackle Allen Barbre. The Eagles did score 27 points on offense in the second half against a good Jaguars front last Sunday. But the Colts have some concerns along their defensive line. Starting defensive tackle Arthur Jones (shoulder) and nose tackle Josh Chapman (ankle) did not practice on Thursday. Five players missed practice for the Colts. Meanwhile, the only two Eagles who were sidelined on Thursday were wide receiver Josh Huff (shoulder) and guard Matt Tobin (ankle).
2. Colts Put Former Top Pick In Spotlight
The Colts were already going to be without their top pass rusher in Robert Mathis for this game after he was suspended four games for violating the league's policy regarding performance-enhancing substances. Mathis is done for the year after he tore his Achilles training in Atlanta. Mathis was the league leader with 19.5 sacks last season. Last year's first-round pick, Bjoern Werner has been saddled with trying to pick up the slack.
"I can't replace Robert Mathis. I can just be that guy stepping in and try to create my own legacy," said Werner, who had 2.5 sacks as a rookie.
As Fran Duffy explained in the Colts preview edition of Eagle Eye in the Sky, head coach Chuck Pagano will bring pressure from unexpected places. That is something the Eagles will have to prepare for Monday night.
3. A Big Misconception About Luck
Andrew Luck turned the ball over 23 times as a rookie (18 interceptions, five fumbles). Known as a gunslinger who can will his team back from late deficits, Luck was actually very good at protecting the ball last season. He cut his turnover total in more than half with 11 (nine interceptions, two fumbles). No quarterback who started all 16 games had fewer turnovers. The Colts set a franchise record last year with just 14 turnovers for the season, the best in the league. Luck, much like Nick Foles, had his ups and downs in the season opener and threw a pair of interceptions. The Eagles didn't have any interceptions, but had Fletcher Cox's fumble recovery for a touchdown on Sunday.
4. Maclin: Foles Remains Poised
Quarterback Nick Foles' uncharacteristic first half of three turnovers didn't spill over into the second half. Foles threw for 183 yards and two touchdowns in helping lead the come-from-behind victory. Foles' ability to remain even-keeled has been praised by his coaches and teammates before and there's no difference in his demeanor this week.
"When he's facing adversity, he stays poised. That's what you want to see out of your leader, out of your quarterback," said wide receiver Jeremy Maclin on Thursday. "We don't want anybody else leading this team."
5. Jason Peters: The Prophet?
Tackle Jason Peters spent a lot of time after training sessions working with the young offensive linemen and rush linebackers behind the scenes to help craft their skills. Peters explained why in the cover story for Gameday Magazine.
"We need everybody to play," Peters said before the start of the season. "Whoever Chip Kelly decides to keep, we're going to need them this year. I want to make sure they know what they're doing and they have the tools when they come in the game, they're ready to play when somebody goes down."
Head coach Chip Kelly appreciates the leadership that Peters has brought to the team.
"I think he's that type of guy. I think sometimes it goes unnoticed. He's very quiet. He's not a boisterous-type player, but his ability to get across his point to our younger guys has been huge for us," Kelly said.