2013 Philadelphia Eagles Preseason: Thoughts After the First Game

There were a lot of ups and downs that came out of last night’s game against the Patriots. The offense looked pretty good while the defense looked downright atrocious at times. Here are a few observations I took away from last night’s game.

Offense

1. As of now Michael Vick appears to have the slight edge over Nick Foles but not by a lot.  Those championing Vick will point to the TD pass he had and the fumble that Foles had.  The fact of the matter is part of the blame on Foles’ fumble goes to the offensive line as the protection broke down in front of him.  Foles, however, needs to do better to secure that football.  He should have eaten it rather than trying to throw it away and cough it up in the process.

In the end, though, Foles did some really nice things and he proved what Kelly has been saying all along which is that he does not need a mobile quarterback to run the type of offense he wants to run.

2. There has been a lot of chatter this summer that Matt Barkley just might pull the shocker of all shockers and win the starting job at quarterback this year. That is not happening any time soon.  Barkley started poorly but finished strong once he got comfortable and found a rhythm out there.  He looked especially sharp when they switched to the no-huddle offense and he led the team to a touchdown in the 4th quarter.  Barkley flashed some potential last night, but he still has a ways to go.

3. Bryce Brown showed some nice versatility catching a pair of passes out of the backfield and not putting the ball on the ground once.

4. Clay Harbor made an awfully strong case for the team keeping 4 tight ends this year and the team very well may end up doing that given all of the injuries at the wide receiver this summer.

5. It is pretty much a given that DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, and Jason Avant are atop the depth chart at WR right now.  Greg Salas made the strongest case for being the #4 guy last night.  He was tremendous.

6. Ifeanyi Momah has a long ways to go if he is going to make the final 53.  My guess is we will not see much more of him in the pre season and the team will place him on the practice squad.

7. The offense is going to be in serious trouble if any of the starting offensive lineman miss significant time this year.  The starting five did a commendable job, although, Allen Barbre got beaten pretty bad by Chandler Jones on the Foles fumble.

8. I loved it when the offense switched to no-huddle mode.  They really seemed to struggle running plays at a slower place and really clicked when they went no-huddle.  All three touchdown drives were no-huddle drives.

Defense

1. The run defense was downright atrocious last night.  The Pats had runs of 62 and 51 yards in the first half.  Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount, New England’s top two backs, combined for 193 yards and 3 touchdowns on just 19 carries.  This team has a lot of things to fix with the run defense over the next four weeks.  It was disheartening to watch as linebackers were consistently out of place or over-pursuing ball carriers.

Unfortunately the defense did not look any better than it did last season.  I was never a fan of hiring Billy Davis in the first place and it is painfully obvious he has had little to no impact in coaching up his players or changing the way they play on the field.  The guy had no success as a coordinator in Arizona and Cleveland so I have pretty low expectations for this year’s defense.

2. The secondary was not much better.  Give Tom Brady his due for making some great throws, but there were a few times where Patriots receivers were running open with nobody around them and Brady was just shooting fish in a barrel at that point.

3. It was not all bad on defense.  Vinny Curry and rookie Bennie Logan really stood out when the second team defense got on the field.  Curry got a couple of good licks on the QB and was credited for half-a-sack while Logan racked up 5 tackles, half-a-sack, and a tackle-for-loss.

4. Brandon Boykin looked solid in coverage last night.

5. Fletcher Cox looks like he is going to be a beast of a player this year.  He disrupted a couple of plays in the two series he was on the field.  By the end of the year we may be looking at Cox, Curry, and Logan as the primary lineman when the team plays a 3-4 front.

6. Undrafted rookie linebacker Jake Knott was all over the field last night.  He had 4 tackles, half-a-sack, a pass break up and got two licks on the quarterback.

7. I have seen enough of Jamar Chaney and Casey Matthews to know they need to go.  Neither guy seems to be getting any better at reacting to the flow of the game and Chaney still has not learned how to wrap guys up and bring them down to the ground.