There were a number of storylines heading into the final matchup of Week 1 of the preseason between the Colts and Eagles. Running back Frank Gore almost signed with Philadelphia at the start of free agency before he changed his mind and inked a three-year deal with the Colts a couple of days later. Longtime Eagles Trent Cole and Todd Herremans were suiting up against their former club for the first time, and, of course, Chip Kelly is either crazy or a genius.
But not so shockingly, Tim Tebow will likely be the most talked about player following the Eagles' 36-10 victory Sunday. He made his triumphant return to the preseason field in the third quarter, and the fans who stuck around Lincoln Financial Field were treated to plenty of Tebow Time thanks to three Colts turnovers while he was in there.
Tebow completed 6 of 12 passes for 69 yards, and took three sacks. But there was a highlight for all of the Tebow Maniacs out there when he ran in a 7-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter following Indy's second lost fumble of the contest.
But despite the Tebow touchdown run, Matt Barkley was the most impressive Eagles quarterback who took the field Sunday. He finished 12 of 20 with 192 yards and one interception, and led Philly on a five-play, 76-yard touchdown drive as the first quarter came to a close.
Sam Bradford was the only Eagles QB who didn't play, but Kelly says he will make his preseason debut next week.
3 things we learned:
1) The rookies stole the show
Both squad's first-round picks, wide receivers Phillip Dorsett and Nelson Agholor, combined for seven catches and 108 yards receiving in the first half. Agholor's blazing speed was on display in the Eagles' second possession of the game, as he grabbed a high screen pass from Mark Sanchez (surprise, surprise) and took it to the end zone for a 34-yard touchdown.
Cornerback Eric Rowe, who Kelly selected in the second round this spring, also forced a fumble at 14:27 in the second quarter.
2) In case you forgot, the NFL moved back the extra point
Cody Parkey became the second kicker to miss an extra point this preseason, as he hooked an attempt just to the right of the goalpost following the Eagles' second touchdown of the game.
All but two NFL owners voted this offseason to move the extra point to the 15-yard line, likely in an attempt to coax more coaches into trying two-point conversions. The extra-point had become automatic in recent years -- place kickers made more than 99 percent of PATs from 2010-2014.
Kickers have made nearly 93 percent of 33-yard field goals over the last five years, so it remains to be seen if this rule change will dramatically affect how the game is played. So far this preseason, clubs have converted 4 of 13 two-point conversions.
If those numbers hold out into the regular season, the two-point conversion probably won't become a bigger part of the game. NFL coaches are generally a conservative bunch, and the extra point remains a high percentage play. But it can no longer be taken for granted, as Parkey reminded us Sunday.
3) The Colts are treating the preseason like ... the preseason
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano removed Andrew Luck from the game in the middle of Indianapolis' second drive in the first quarter following two completions. That set the tone for what was a lackluster effort for Indy, which did not play T.Y. Hilton, Vontae Davis, Robert Mathis or Gore.
Backups were on the field for the duration of the game for the Colts, and it showed. Indianapolis turned the ball over four times (two interceptions and two fumbles lost).
But remember kids, the Colts went 0-4 in the preseason last year and wound up reaching the AFC Championship. There is a lot of football left.