PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 25: Asante Samuel celebrates his interception in the first half against the Cleveland Browns during their pre season game on August 25, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Some thoughts on individual performances after the jump.
Tough to evaluate Vick tonight
We wanted to see a big bounceback game from Michael Vick tonight, but I can't say as though we did. However, it's hard to say he every really had a chance. He had absolutely no time to throw and was knocked down six times in the first half... even worse, all six of those hits were hard. Nearly all of his productive passes were dumpoffs to LeSean McCoy, but it's worth noting that he wasn't helped by some drops on the part of Jason Avant and DeSean Jackson.
A scary night from the rookie lineman
There was panic in the game thread and rightly so with the play of rookies Jason Kelce and Danny Watkins early on in this game. Michael Vick was getting pounded and when he wasn't getting hit he was either running or being hurried. I believe the broadcast counted nine hurries on him in the first half. Both Kelce and Watkins seemed to have communication and concentration problems that unfortunately Vick paid for. They did improve as the half wore on though, which is positive. It also probably helped that they started to keep Brent Celek in as a blocker more often in the second quarter.
There's no doubt it's frustrating to see, but we have to put this in context. These guys have been learning this scheme for four weeks. It's really tough to expect rookies to not be making those kind of mistakes with that short of an offseason. Of course, the conundrum is that you need these kids to learn and giving them playing time is the only way you can do it. Hopefully, they catch up before they get Michael Vick killed.
At least they can run block
If there was one positive from the offensive line tonight it was they run blocked well. Actually, center Jason Kelce, who was the worst of the bunch in pass protection, absolutely mauled a guy and looked very athletic blocking downfield on the Ronnie Brown TD. Brown ended up running 6 times for 48 yards. Dion Lewis ran 9 times for 41 yards and also looked quite good.
Very encouraging night for
Frankly, Casey Matthews had no where to go but up after his performance last week, but I actually thought he played quite well tonight. He tied tackling machine Kurt Coleman for the team lead in tackles tonight with five and he displayed some nice coverage skills knocking down a screen pass. He was certainly helped by the fact that he wasn't getting smothered by blockers like last week, probably due in part to Mike Patterson's presence, but he also read gaps much better and seemed to be seeing the game clearer. Still a work in progress for sure, but better from him.
Asante Samuel doing what he do
I love Asante's description of the play he got the pick on. "They just tried to do a criss-cross route or something. I just hid a little bit, saw the ball in the air and I do what I do - go get the ball."
The weird challenge turned penalty flag
The Browns finally scored on a weird play where rookie Jaiquawn Jarrett made a great play to break up a pass in the end zone, but the bounced into the hands of former Eagle Alex Smith for the TD. The problem was that Smith had been out of bounds before coming back in to catch the carom. A receiver would ineligible on that play. Andy Reid wanted a review and threw the challenge flag. However, as we learned, all scoring plays are now subject to booth review and can not be challenged by the coach. So the refs threw a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct flag on Reid for throwing the challenge and said that as a result they could not review the play. Ross Tucker summed the scene up well.
Andy Reid got penalized for challenging a scoring play which is an automatic booth review but he was right on challenge. Can't make this up.
The penalty was assessed on the ensuing kickoff, which was taken from the 50 and went 10 rows up in the stands. Very odd sequence.