The birds are finally back, and they’ll take on the New York Jets in their first preseason game tonight at Lincoln Financial Field at 7:30pm. Normally, there is not much juice behind a preseason contest, but it sounds like this matchup will actually feature some snaps (probably minimal, though) for the starters for Philly. Even though the game doesn’t count, there will be some interesting things for Eagles fans to keep their eyes on as the 2022-23 team takes their first reps in an actual game. Here are the top 5 things to watch for tonight:

  • Cam Jurgens’ Performance At Center

    With Jason Kelce undergoing minor elbow surgery, there is some slight concern about the All-Pro’s status for the Eagles’ opening game in Detroit against the Lions. It’s very possible that Kelce is ready to go week 1, but if not, the responsibility of the center position could fall on the shoulders of rookie Cam Jurgens. The 2nd round pick out of Nebraska is a talented prospect, but it’ll be interesting to see how he stacks up in his first NFL game action tonight. We could be seeing a preview of a young player the birds are counting on come game 1.

  • Nakobe Dean’s First LB Snaps

    Dean is currently listed as a backup at LB on the Eagles’ official depth chart, meaning he should see a good amount of time on the field in tonight’s preseason game. Birds fans have been ecstatic since Howie Roseman and co. swiped Dean in the 3rd round of this year’s NFL Draft, but it’s still strange that he slid so far. If there is any unease when it comes to the Georgia product’s ability to play at this level, well, Nakobe will get a chance to quell that in tonight’s contest.

  • Jonathan Gannon’s Defensive Scheme

    There’s a good chance we see a very vanilla formation from the Eagles’ defense tomorrow, but we could also get our first clues in game of how Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon will be scheming his defense this year. With a bunch of new additions like James Bradberry, Kyzir White, Haason Reddick, Jordan Davis, and Nakobe Dean, there are exciting new options for Gannon to create a game plan for. It’s possible we don’t see it tonight, but it’s still worth looking for.

  • AJ Brown’s Debut?

    With the belief that the starters should get some snaps comes the possibility of AJ Brown’s debut in midnight green. He’ll be the best WR to put on the uniform since Terrell Owens, and we all remember what 81’s debut was like. There’s a secondary storyline though, and it will be the target percentage between Brown and his best friend Jalen Hurts. Will this offense really be AJ Brown centric? Tonight should give us our first glance.

  • Jalen Hurts’ Progression

    Ok, let’s not go jumping to any conclusions on Jalen Hurts based on a preseason performance. Tonight’s preseason game will teach us very little about what the 3rd year QB’s 2nd season as starter could be. That being said, he is the cornerstone of this season and one of the most important question marks in the entire NFL. Because of the amount of pressure and potential surrounding Hurts, every glimpse we get of him in game action is important. For that reason, all eyes will be on #1 when tonight’s action begins.