Philadelphia Eagles Slight Favorite Over Jacksonville Jaguars In First NFL Pre-Season Game

August 10, 2010- By Jonathan Lowell

The 2010 NFL season is just around the corner, as pre-season football will be in full swing over the weekend. One of the marquee match ups features the Jacksonville Jaguars versus the Philadelphia Eagles from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Eagles suffered a disappointing finish to the 2009-2010 season after dropping back to back games to the Dallas Cowboys in the last week of the regular season, and first round of the playoffs. Before that, the Eagles achieved six victories in a row and finished 11-5 (4-2 in the NFC East).

A different story played out for the Jaguars in the 2009-2010 season. Jacksonville missed the playoffs last season after finishing 7-9 (3-3 in the AFC South). It is rumored that head coach Jack Del Rio could be on the chopping block if he is unable to produce a winning record next season.

Both teams are set among the underdogs according to BetUS sportsbook to win the 2011 Super Bowl. The Eagles odds to win a championship are set at +2000, and the Jaguars’ Superbowl XLV odds are set at +6000. In Friday’s pre-season game, the Eagles are set as three-point favorites over the Jaguars. The over/under for total points scored in the game by both teams is set at 33.

Kevin Klob will try to fill void left by quarterback Donovan McNabb, who left for the Washington Redskins in the offseason. Klob made two starts under McNabb in two years beating the lowly Kansas City Chiefs, and losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. Another gap in the offense is at running back where LeSean McCoy will fill in for the departed Brian Westbrook. The Eagles 2010 season preview has McCoy at the top of the depth chart, followed by Mike Bell. The Jaguars don’t have a strong defense to stop the duo as they lost most of their line to trades or free agency, and still have questions behind Kirk Morrison at linebacker. The secondary is their biggest strength as Derek Cox and Rashean Mathis are returning.

Maurice Jones-Drew has made it clear this offseason that he is determined to bring respect to the small-market franchise. He said he was tired of seeing the Jags get pounded on ESPN highlight reels. David Garrard has increased his completion percentage to above 60 percent over the past four years, but has posted a mediocre 30-23 touchdown to interception ratio in the past two. The biggest question is at receiver as Troy Williamson and Mike Thomas are at the top of the depth chart according to the Jaguars 2010 NFL preview section. The Eagles field one of the top defenses in the NFC last season, but have failed to find an adequate replacement for Brian Dawkins in the secondary. The addition of Ernie Simms will help their linebacking corps, while Darryl Tapp is expected to bolster the defensive line.

DeSean Jackson emerged as one of the premier kick returners in the league for the Eagles last season. Former Australian Rules Football player Sav Rocca has a big leg, but falters when it comes to pressure punts. David Akers made the Pro Bowl last season after it looked like his career might be finished.  Josh Scobee is one of the best kickers in the league for the Jags, but needs to add leg strength. Montell Owens could have easily made the Pro Bowl last season, but was beaten out by Kassim Osgood. Thomas will be the one most likely returning big kicks this season.

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