We've seen all we're going to see of the Eagles' first team offense this preseason, and it wasn't a lot, but Carson Wentz's performance was reassuring.
When I think about Wentz (16 for 23 for 241 yards, three touchdowns, one blocked-pass interception, three sacks, 125.2 passer rating) this preseason, I don't so much think about mechanics or better weapons, I think about how well he performed under pass-rush pressure.
The signature play of the preseason, that 38-yard catch-and-run touchdown to Mack Hollins, was possible only because Wentz somehow shucked Green Bay's six-time Pro Bowl linebacker, Clay Matthews, stepped up, and delivered a strike down the middle.
Wentz made it look easy, but the guess here is that it was not. Sometimes when Clay Matthews is chasing you, there are consequences. Just ask Kevin Kolb.
"One thing he does extremely well is, he continues to keep his eyes up even when he's moving in the pocket," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said, when asked about that play.
This is an underappreciated facet of Wentz's game. Very rarely does one pass rusher bring him down. Usually if Wentz is sacked, there has to be a second guy.
On the lone sack Wentz took last Thursday night against the Dolphins, he eluded Lawrence Timmons, who had brushed aside the blitz pickup efforts of running back Wendell Smallwood, but when Wentz stepped to his right, he moved into the path of Andre Branch, free on a twist that wasn't picked up by left guard Isaac Seumalo. Seumalo and center Jason Kelce were doubling defensive end Charles Harris.
Earlier, the 50-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith would not have happened if Wentz hadn't been able to ignore right tackle Lane Johnson being pushed back into Wentz's lap by Cameron Wake. Wentz stepped forward, away from Wake's waving arm, and heaved the bomb to Smith.
"He's always had a knack for that," Kelce said afterward. "There's been a highlight all over the place, where me and Brandon [Brooks, the right guard] leave the noseguard, and he makes the guy go up and over him, and then escapes for  yards, running the ball downfield. He's got a knack for being slippery and avoiding stuff like that, I think."
Kelce might have been referring to the Dec. 22 Eagles victory over the Giants, in which Wentz somehow ducked both Damon Harrison and Olivier Vernon before taking off up the middle and sliding for a first down.
Wentz also completed a pass to Zach Ertz for a nice gain Thursday after Seumalo seemed to trip Wentz as he dropped back. Wentz fought to regain his balance, then dumped the ball to the tight end, who broke a tackle and gained 17 yards.
Of course, the other side of the escapability coin is, the Eagles' offensive line is supposed to be far more settled this season than last, when Johnson's 10-game suspension and a bunch of injuries led to the team using five different right tackles. Yet in the preseason, there was not a big decrease in the amount of pressure Wentz faced.
"It's a little bit not being on the same page," Kelce said. "As we start preparing for opponents throughout the work week, start getting used to the different blitzes and things they have to offer, it just cleans things up a little bit better."
The Eagles practiced three times against the Dolphins before the game, but that apparently didn't help the o-line's cohesiveness.
"Yeah, there were a couple of unscouted blitzes, again, preseason games, things that they didn't show obviously — we didn't do any blitz periods in our sessions the other day, and a couple unscouted looks," Pederson said. "But it's no excuse. We've got to be ready for everything and anything, and [there was] just a lot of quick pressure on Carson. A couple times he was able to make some tremendous plays and get the ball out of his hand, but at the same time, we've got to do better, obviously, in that situation, and learn from it and move on."
Wentz, ever the leader, asserted after Thursday's game that "the protection has been solid," and added that "some of the things that have happened are on me. … Got to get rid of the ball."
The lone preseason interception came against Miami, when Wentz tried to hit Ertz with a quick pass, but William Hayes pushed Johnson back and got a big hand up just as Wentz threw. Jordan Phillips, 6-6, 333, came down with the carom. Wentz, knowing it would be stupid to get hurt trying to make a tackle in the preseason but not wanting to give up a pick-six, sort of halfheartedly ducked into Phillips' path, but Phillips cut inside him.
"It was interesting. I was trying to not get hurt, but, yeah, it was not my proudest moment trying to make that tackle," Wentz said.
The Eagles don't have to cut down from 90 to 53 until 4 p.m. on Sept. 3, but they got a head start Saturday by releasing wide receivers David Watford and Keevan Lucas and corner Tay Glover-Wright. Watford, a college quarterback at Hampton, showed enough promise to be carried on the practice squad last season, but this year he was competing against a much better group of receivers. Lucas and Glover-Wright came to camp late, in response to other roster moves. They never seemed likely to make the team.