Eagles-Bears Storylines: Unleashing Matthews

Eagles-Bears Storylines: Unleashing Matthews
August 8, 2014, 11:15 am

Alex Henery (left), Jordan Matthews (center) and Brandon Graham (right) have a lot to prove in the preseason. (USA Today Images)

Developing storylines for Friday night’s Eagles preseason opener against the Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago:

Real deal?
No doubt rookie wide receiver Jordan Matthews has been the star of camp. Question is: Can he do it under the bright lights, against another defense, when it (sorta) counts?

Matthews looks like a superstar when he's playing against the Eagles at the NovaCare Complex, but let's see if he can duplicate that success against an opponent in a game. The Bears have some good D-backs, including first-round pick Kyle Fuller, so Matthews should be tested.

Pass rush
Billy Davis won't be unveiling much of his playbook, so it'll be up to the front four to generate a pass rush. We’ll see if Cedric Thornton and Fletcher Cox have improved their pass rush and if Year 2 comfort in the scheme gets Trent Cole off to a better start. Then we’ll get a closer look at Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry and first-round pick Marcus Smith. These guys can’t hit the QB in practice, so now’s the time.

Kick off
The duel between Alex Henery and Carey Spear hasn't been much of a competition. Henery, the veteran, has simply outperformed the hotshot rookie nicknamed "Murderleg." At this point you're just hoping to see Henery be more consistent on his field goals and deeper with his kickoffs. Maybe the live competition brings out the best in Spear, but he’s unlikely to win the job.

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