2013 Philadelphia Eagles Preseason: Thoughts After Game Two
The Eagles second preseason contest was much like the first one. There were a lot of things to be excited about and some things that are still a bit vexing as we head towards the first game of the year. So here is the good and the bad after the Eagles 14-9 win over the Carolina Panthers.
1. The best thing to happen for the offense was LeSean McCoy was in regular season form rolling up 47 yards on 8 carries. His evening culminated with a one yard touchdown run at the end of the second quarter. All tolled McCoy rang up 63 yards of offense despite only being in the game for 21 snaps.
2. Michael Vick is pulling away from Nick Foles in the quarterback race. Vick threw with laser like precision with his only incomplete pass on the night being an intercepted Hail Mary pass at the end of the half. Foles held his own out there as well, however, he threw an ill-advised interception in the back of the end zone to short circuit the team’s first possession and he had trouble with a couple of snaps. Foles did lead the team on a scoring drive capping it off with a lumbering 7-yard touchdown rumble.
3. Matt Barkley showed encouraging signs of improvement this week. It was clear that nerves got the best of him against the Patriots. He showed a lot more confidence and command against the Panthers. He still has a lot of work to do but it was good to see more consistency from him this week.
4. Allen Barbre bounced back and had a solid outing in his second start in lieu of Jason Peters. He already looks better than anyone else who suited up at tackle for the team last season.
5. Clay Harbor showed nothing to make me believe he is ready to play WR at the NFL level. It is a shame to see after he had such a strong outing against the Patriots.
6. Chris Polk ran the ball much better this week, however, his fumble inside the Panthers’ 25 cost the team what would have at least been a make-able field goal attempt.
7. One concern with the offense is the three turnovers in the first half.
1. The most positive thing to come out of this week’s game on the defensive side is the run defense really clamped down and cleaned up on the missed tackles. The Panthers ran for just 74 yards and only averaged 3.0 yards per carry. The Eagles only missed 3 tackles this week which is down from the 13 they missed against New England.
2. Vinny Curry and Bennie Logan continue to play better than the guys playing ahead of them on the defensive line. Curry was consistently harassing Panthers’ players in the back field when he was in the game and Logan knocked down a pass and got in a QB hit as well.
3. Billy Davis called Mychal Kendricks’ number a few times on blitzes and he was able to dial up the pressure on Cam Newton. It looks like Kendricks may be featured in the pass rush a lot more this season than last.
4. Patrick Chung and Nate Allen looked pretty comfortable playing together with the starting offense. They were big contributors in the improved run defense. These two would seemingly have the inside track to winning the starting safety jobs.
5. Brandon Graham continues to be the team’s best edge rusher notching 4 hurries in the 11 pass plays he was in the game for. Yet he continues to be featured with the second unit behind Connor Barwin and Trent Cole.
6. Bradley Fletcher seems to look lost out there at times and teams have been picking on him the first two games.
7. Brandon Boykin continues to be the most consistent corner in pass coverage.
8. A major concern for this defense is it has yet to force a turnover in the first two preseason games and the Eagles are currently -4 through the first two games.