With tonight's all-important third preseason game only hours away, here's a look on the top three storyline to keep an eye on when the Eagles take the field against the Kansas City Chiefs.
1. Red-Zone Offense
The first-team offense has been unable to punch the ball into the end zone on their three trips into the red zone this preseason. However, one touchdown was taken away because of an illegal formation penalty, and another because of an uncharacteristic Brent Celek drop. With the starters on tap to play three full quarters against a Chiefs defense that ranked 25th in the league in 2009 in Red-Zone defense, there should be chances for Kevin Kolb and the offense to hit paydirt. Celek and Jason Avant are both reliable weapons in the red zone because of their sure-handedness over the middle and the dynamic duo of Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson are always capable of making plays. It will also be interesting to see how LeSean McCoy handles the duties if the Eagles get in a goal-line situation.
2. The Offensive LineStarting left guard Todd Herremans returns to action for the first time this preseason the return is more than welcome for an offensive line that struggled last week in Cincinnati to open holes in the running game. There was some sloppiness from the line last week, characterized by the slew of illegal formation penalties, so the line will be anxious to be at their best. In pass protection, Kevin Kolb has had to do a lot of throwing on the move this preseason- something he's shown to be adept at - so the line will be looking to provide a more stable pocket for Kolb against a defense that ranked 31st in the league last year with only 22 sacks. Also make sure to watch the other guard, Stacy Andrews, as he continues to acclimate himself with Max Jean-Gilles now looking over his shoulder.
3. Brandon Graham
Dave Spadaro already covered Graham in his Players to Watch tonight piece, but the fact remains that this will be the first career start for the first-round draft pick who was brought in to bring more firepower to the defensive line. Graham has had a role with the first-team defense all summer, mostly in nickel packages, but he's simply been too impressive not to elevate to the starting left defensive end position. Graham has shown to be a high-motor pass rusher and his veteran teammates have raved about his advanced pass-rush technique, but his ability to play the run will be just as important in his quest to become a dominant all-around player. The next step in that journey for Graham comes tonight.
For more about what to look for in tonight's game, check out ourgame preview.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 1:35 p.m., August 27