The Eagles opened their preseason on Friday night with a 24-21 loss to the New York Jets and coaches had to be thrilled with what they saw despite the final score.
Here are some stock ups, stock downs from the game:
STOCK UP: Jalen Hurts — The Eagles took a risk playing Hurts on Friday night — and that risk paid off despite one scary moment. Hurts was 6/6 for 80 yards, one touchdown and a 158.3 passing rating on his only drive of the game, moving the offense right down the field for a touchdown on their opening drive. Hurts capped it off with a 22-yard pass to Dallas Goedert, who jumped into the end zone from about two-yards out.
Hurts did a good job taking chances when they were there, hitting Quez Watkins for a 32-yard completion and Goedert from 22-yards out. He also took the check downs when there was nothing down the field. Even Hurts’ biggest skeptics couldn’t come away from his first drive of the preseason anything but impressed.
The Eagles need to improve their passing offense this season (obviously). There wouldn’t have been much of a benefit of the team coming out on Friday night and running it. Coming out and having Hurts pass it was a smart decision by Nick Sirianni and it paid off in a big way as the first-team offense can leave the stadium feeling confident about what they can accomplish this season through the air.
STOCK DOWN: Quincy Williams — Jets linebacker Quincy Williams nailed Jalen Hurts as he went out of bounds at the end of a run on the opening drive, a late hit that got a big reaction out of Sirianni and the Eagles sideline:
Not only was the hit late but it looked to be helmet-to-helmet as well. The Eagles are lucky Hurts wasn’t injured and you have to wonder if Williams will end up being fined for the hit.
STOCK UP: Jordan Davis — The Eagles almost everything they could have asked to see from Davis in his first NFL action. He looked just as physically dominant as he did in college, pushing back offensive linemen routinely and even getting double teamed on a few reps. Davis had two noticeable plays that should have Eagles fans really excited. On one, he got into the backfield and forced the running back to cut to the outside, leading him right into the arms of linebacker Nakobe Dean. The second was a hustle play from Davis, who didn’t make the play in the backfield, but chased the Jets running back about 10 yards until he was brought down. Considering a concern with Davis coming out of Georgia was his stamina, seeing Davis go all out on Friday night is a great sign.
STOCK UP: Jason Huntley — Special teams are a good indication of who will make the roster and who won’t, which is why it was noteworthy that Jason Huntley was the team’s kick returner to start the game. He took advantage of his role as kick returner, taking a kick back 43-yards in the 3rd quarter. Huntley faces a bit of an uphill battle to make the team but if he is special teams coach Michael Clay’s preferred kick returner that will go a long way in helping him land a spot on the roster.
STOCK UP: Tarron Jackson — Jackson’s outstanding camp continued on Friday night with a strong opening to the preseason as he was consistently in the backfield against the Jets. Jackson came into camp as a bit of a bubble player but he has likely played his way onto the roster. The question will be whether he gets any snaps in Week 1.
STOCK UP: Kyzir White — The Eagles saw something on Friday night they haven’t seen in a long time — a linebacker make a play. Starting linebacker Kyzir White jumped Zach White’s third pass of the game, picking it off and running it back 27-yards into Jets territory. White did a nice job jumping the route, sitting back and getting Wilson to throw it before coming away with the interception. The Eagles are loaded along the defensive line and in the secondary. If they get strong play from their linebackers they have the potential to be a top-five defense.
STOCK UP: Nakobe Dean — Dean hasn’t flashed much in training camp so far but it didn’t take him long on Friday night to stand out. Dean got a tackle-for-a-loss on the Jets’ second drive of the game, getting into the backfield and making the tackle after Jordan Davis made the running back cut it to the outside. Plays like that are how Dean can make an impact this season — trusting his instincts, getting to the ball and finishing the tackle. Dean likely won’t get a ton of snaps in Week 1, but with just under a month to go until the Eagles open their season, he started his climb to playing time on Friday night.
STOCK DOWN: Reid Sinnett — Sinnett has had a strong training camp so far, even stealing some second-team reps from Gardner Minshew. On Friday night, however, his quest to take the backup quarterback job took a step back. Sinnett was 8-of-15 for 57 yards and one touchdown. Sinnett ended the game with a nice drive, giving the Eagles the lead, but despite the strong ending the chances of Sinnett being the backup quarterback are likely over after Friday night.
STOCK UP: Josh Jobe — Undrafted rookie corner Josh Jobe got the second-team reps opposite Zech McPhearson, a good sign for where he stands on the roster. The Eagles are loaded at starting cornerback with Darius Slay, James Bradberry and Avonte Maddox, but the depth is a bit of a question mark. It seems as of now McPhearson and Jobe are the top backups on the outside. Jobe wasn’t great on Friday night but the fact he got the first crack at coming in with the second-team is a win for him this far into training camp.
You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org