Things that happen in the preseason shouldn’t be over emphasised, but the Philadelphia Eagles got a taste of what it’s like to put Tim Tebow on the field and see what it does to the game and the fans. So far, they’re probably quite happy with the results.
The Eagles beat the Indianapolis Colts 36-10 in the two teams opening preseason fixture. Sam Bradford wasn’t on call for the Eagles, while the Colts were missing a very big number of starters. Mark Sanchez started at quarterback for the Eagles, and it’s not too far fetched to assume he could get the #1 spot by the time the regular season begins.
Sanchez wasn’t very accurate (2-of-7), but he did throw one touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor, another former USC Trojan and was the 20th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Agholor finished with 3 receptions for 57 yards, including the 34-yard reception for the touchdown.
Speaking of former USC players, Matt Barkley completed 12-of-20 passes for the Eagles, but couldn’t connect with anyone for a touchdown and was actually intercepted by Amario Herrera.
The crowd was waiting for Tebow. The sound was so deafening when he stepped on the field for the first snap that it was a problem for the Eagles to execute the play out of the shotgun. It was his first game within the confines of the NFL since the 2013 preseason when he was with the Patriots. It wasn’t magical, but it was pretty good.
Tebow completed 6-of-12 passes for 69 yards, coming in midway through the third quarter. He rushed four times for 15 yards, including one for a touchdown to close the game with two minutes left in the fourth quarter. His throwing motion wasn’t embarrassing as before, even if it wasn’t completely accurate.
It’s worth remembering that Tebow played against the very end of the Colts’ depth chart. He still completed just 50% of his passes and overall, he remains a quarterback who is probably better at running the ball than throwing it. But did he make an important step towards winning one of the three spots on the Eagles quarterback roster? Probably.
Besides Bradford not playing, the Eagles also linebackers Kiko Alonso, DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks off the field, and running back DeMarco Murray was another notable no-show.