The Eagles play an actual football game for the first time in six months on Saturday night, as they will travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens and try to end their 23-game preseason winning streak.

Action from the starters will almost certainly be quite limited, but there are still some players I will be interested in watching in live-game action.

Here are three names to watch.


Marcus Mariota

Mariota is a lock to make the roster, but he has had a rough training camp thus far. As to be expected, he has been able to make plays with his legs, but his accuracy has been quite poor. Watching him in person at the open practice at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, he was very inconsistent throwing the ball. One particularly alarming sequence came during the two-minute drills when he badly overthrew three consecutive receivers resulting in a turnover-on-downs. If Jalen Hurts is to go down at any point this season, they will need Mariota to be throwing the ball better than this if they want to compete in games.

In his defense, the Eagles have a deep defensive line, so the second-team pass rush is much better than the second-team offensive line. Still, a veteran like Mariota should not look this sloppy in training camp. To be determined if live game reps will get him back on track.


Joseph Ngata

Five receivers are definitely making the Eagles roster: A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Olamide Zaccheaus, and Britain Covey.

Joseph Ngata is making quite a compelling case for the team to keep six wideouts.


He very well might lead the team in catches throughout the course of training camp, and he is the bigger body at the position that the Eagles’ depth is lacking.


If he can prove willing to be a Zach Pascal-type of player – blocking and being an “enforcer,” as Nick Sirianni says – while also catching the ball when it comes his way, he has a strong case to make the team if he makes some plays in the preseason games.


Jalen Carter

Carter might have gone first overall in this year’s draft if not for his off-field saga. If the Eagles’ locker room can keep him in check, he should be an absolute steal on the field, especially joining such a deep defensive line rotation in Philadelphia.

Carter has been on the second-team defense during training camp, but he is frankly not dominating his matchups against reserve offensive linemen quite as much as I was expecting him to. Of course, he was drafted less than four months ago, and defensive tackles tend to come along slower than other positions, so it is far from time to panic.

Still, I am interested to see if he can make some splash plays in August to show the team something before he takes on a likely starting role in the regular season.


Photo: Heather Khalifa/Philadelphia Inquirer

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