For a while there, it actually looked as though the Phillies would outscore the Eagles tonight...
The Eagles first teams continued to struggle in preseason game #2 on the road against the Colts. The first team offenses' struggles started up front with the patchwork offensive line. Only one starter on the Eagles' O-line played tonight, which made it pretty difficult to evaluate the skill players. When the QB doesn't have time and the RB doesn't have holes, there's not much to see.
This certainly isn't an excuse, because the injuries to the offensive line are very real and if we're forced to enter the season with this group starting things won't be pretty. The lone bright spot on offense was a perfectly thrown 23 yard TD pass to Desean Jackson, who had burnt two Colts defenders.
The first team defense was arguably worse than the offense giving up 14 points in the first quarter. The low point was a 76 yard TD to Reggie Wayne where either Ellis Hobbs got massively burnt or the team just blew the coverage. Either way, it wasn't pretty. The defense was missing both Sheldon Brown and Trent Cole, but their absences don't excuse how flat the defense looked tonight.
The team did start to show some life in the 4th quarter under the leadership of Temple product Adam DiMichele. The game was well over, but DiMichele did lead them on a couple good drives including one that culminated in a 21 yard TD to rookie WR Brandon Gibson.
Some player highlights and low lights after the jump.
Although King Dunlap generally did hold his own for most of the game, he was absolutely embarrassed on a play in the red where Dwight Freeney put a wicked spin move on him and stripped McNabb of the football.
The Eagles averaged less than a yard and half per rush tonight. The offense line was held together with tape but still... a yard and a half?
Jason Babin made a name for himself. A good portion of the nearly 1,300 comments in the game threads were suggestions for Babin nicknames. My favorite was Philly's Babin-Back Ribs. Babin had a sack and forced fumble from Manning early in the game. He spent most of the night in the Indy backfield and certainly earned the start he was given tonight.
Jeremy Maclin struggled tonight. Not only did he have another fumble on a return(that's 2 in 2 games) but he never really looked in the flow of the offense. To be fair, no one did... but still. He finished the night with 4 catches.
Another rookie WR who also caught 4 passes did manage to impress tonight. Brandon Gibson averaged twice as many yards per catch as Maclin and caught himself a TD. BTW, did anyone else constantly find themselves confusing Maclin and Gibson? They look very similar on the field and their numbers (18 & 19) are hard to differentiate. I actually yelled out Maclin's name on Gibsons' TD catch.
Temple product Adam DiMichele did a nice job out there and got himself a TD pass in what is likely his final game with the Eagles and maybe his NFL career. It would nice to see him get a shot somewhere, because I don't think he looked totally out of place playing in an NFL game. He completed 14 of his 22 passes for 130 yards and a TD.
While we're on QBs, I have to give a wag of the finger to A.J. Feeley. How do you a throw a pass to a back in the middle of the field with 11 seconds left in the first half and no timeouts? That's just poor clock management/decision making on his part. That ball needs to go directly to the sidelines or get thrown away. The last thing you want to do with it is to throw it directly to the middle of the field. As a veteran, he should know better.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention Lorenzo Booker, who really struggled tonight. Again, I recognize how poor the offensive line was... but Booker had 8 yards on 7 carries. The next tackle he breaks will probably be his first... He just never seems to get that extra yard he needs. With Eldra Buckley showing some good things(although he did fumble tonight) Booker's roster spot is looking more and more unlikely.
Leonard Weaver left the game with what Andy Reid called a "sprained MCL." Reid said he should be ok.
Next up is the always important 3rd preseason game at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The starters will likely play into the second half and the game will feature the return of Mike Vick.