Players to Watch Saturday- Offensive Edition

The Eagles got off to a great start on Sunday with a blowout preseason win over the Colts.  Next up the Baltimore Ravens come to town for a Saturday night tilt at the Linc.  Last week we gave you 3 guys to watch on the offensive/defensive side of the ball.  We’ll do the same this week with a few new faces.  The quarterbacks are the obvious guys to watch so this list will not include them especially Sam Bradford.

Ryan Mathews-

Mathews only played 8 snaps this past Sunday, but he had two impressive carries netting 18 yards.  This included a 13 yard run as well.  I expect starter DeMarco Murray to sit out again and possibly the rest of the preseason for precautionary reasons.  Because of this look for Mathews to get possibly double digit carries on Saturday including a few looks out of the backfield.  He is going to be a key member of this offense as the backup to Murray which allows Darren Sproles due to his thing in the passing game.  If the former Charger was going to thrive in any offense he picked the right one to come to.  He won’t be asked to carry the load and should have fresh legs based on Chip’s training program.  The Ravens have a strong defense especially at the linebacker position with Terrell “Hacksaw” Suggs, Darryl Smith, CJ Mosley and Courtney Upshaw to name a few.  This should be a good early test for Mathews and the Eagles o-line.

Andrew Gardner-

Speaking of the o-line the second guy on the list is current starting right guard Andrew Gardner.  It remains to be seen whether the journeymen linemen will be lining next to center Jason Kelce September 14th in Atlanta, but Chip has mentioned Gardner as a solid option and puts him as the lead dog right now for that guard battle.  Gardner played only 11 snaps on Sunday, however look for that number to jump for Saturday’s game.  He could play the whole first half based on how it shakes out.  The former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket faces some solid defensive linemen from Baltimore’s defense.  Outside guys Timmy Jernigan and veteran Chris Canty are solid players.  Inside nose tackle Brandon Williams is no joke either and very underrated around the league.  The Ravens felt comfortable moving on from All Pro Haloti Ngata so that should tell you what they think of Williams ability.  Let’s see if Gardner can increase his lead for the starting right guard spot or does he falter with increased snaps.

Miles Austin-

Austin had a nice 39 yard catch from backup Matt Barkley on a ball that was underthrown as well.  Austin adjusted his route and went up to make a nice catch over the cornerback.  He finished with two receptions for 41 yards on the day.  He only played 11 snaps which was even one behind starter Jordan Matthews.  Austin did not see any time on special teams and that could lead to his possible demise for making the 53 man.  The Eagles coaches really value special teams and Riley Cooper as well as Seyi Ajirotutu contribute in that aspect.  Austin faces an uphill battle to make the roster, but it’s not out of the question if he has a strong performance.  He could be lined up against Ravens backups like Kyle Arrington previously of the Patriots, Asa Jackson and Rashaan Melvin.

h/t @zberm

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