Alright, I know everyone has talked about the preseason game against the Patriots, but in case anyone is interested, these are my thoughts on the game. I narrowed Friday's game into three categories: The Good, The Bad & Don't Worry, It's OK. The Good, I threw in my opinion of what good things I observed. The Bad, obviously, what I observed was bad. The 'Don't Worry It's OK' category is basically dedicated to Kendricks, Fletcher and the entire situation of the game in general.
The Good, Bad & the ‘Don’t Worry It’s Okay’s’:
- Vick- Vick looked solid, answering back to a Patriots TD with a beautiful pass to DeSean Jackson. Credit to Polk though, for picking up the blitz on that play. Vick looked fast as ever, too, and more decisive passing the ball even though he only played two series.
- The OL- aside from a few bad plays by Todd Herremans, the OL looked solid. The pass protection was very good, even without Jason Peters.
- Foles- His first drive ended with a fumble, but on his second series came out and orchestrated a solid drive in the no-huddle. He managed 5 first downs on the drive, 4 through the air and 1 with his legs. Foles looked very comfortable on this drive and it ended with a Bryce Brown TD run.
- Greg Salas- Salas had a great one handed grab and scored a touchdown on a screen pass from Barkley. Give a lot of credit to Salas on the TD because he pretty much made everyone miss after no one decided to block.
- Clifton Geathers- looked like he kept getting some decent penetration in relief for Thornton who also played well at the DE spot.
- Fletcher Cox- got put on his back the first play on that huge run, but looked solid after that. He shed some blocks in the run game, but it seemed as if the LB’s didn’t fill their gaps properly after Cox got penetration (Lol) but in the pass game, Cox looked good, forcing Solder into the backfield.
- Bennie Logan- had a really strong showing in my opinion playing up and down the line. I feel like he can play any of the front three positions, but might be best at NT. He got good penetration, handled the double teams thrown at him well, and showed good hustle when he rushed the passer, saw it was a HB screen and doubled back to make the tackle on the RB. I know it’s early, but I see Logan starting Week 1.
- Vinny Curry- he looked very good at the DE position. Constant pressure and was in Ryan Mallet’s face fairly often.
- Chris McCoy- looked good rushing the passer and helped force Mallet into Curry, forcing an incompletion in the process.
- Knott & Acho- These two seemed to be all over the place when they got on the field, whether it was decent coverage, tackling or run support. These two look very competent, even if they got their reps against Tebow.
- Todd Herremans- Todd played questionably against the Patriot’s first team defense, missing the key block while pulling and his guy made the play for a loss, and another where the DE ran by him, forcing Vick to get the ball out quicker than he’d like. These are the two bad plays that stuck out to me, but Herremans played better against the second team D. Still, I was disappointed in his play against the Ones.
- Chris Polk- Polk didn’t have any big runs or plays in the passing game coming off a good week of practice that promoted him to the no. 2 spot. He had some decent pass protection, but Brown is still the clear no. 2 back for us.
- Matt Barkley- Barkley didn’t have a great night going 3 and out on his first two series, his second of which was saved by Brad Wing for getting a flag on the punt. He had one TD pass to Salas who should really be credited with the entire play. Barkley’s bad night can be credited to his receivers dropping a couple, but he still made some bad decisions and throws. I won’t harp on him too much though, he is a rookie and competing for the no. 3 spot once the Foles/Vick battle concludes.
- The Run Defense- Obviously, the most important bad thing. We got torn up in the run game on the first play, and that trend did not stop there. The run D was painful to watch, especially when a big guy like Blount changes direction, doubles back across the field AND THEN cuts back in, running right by a clueless Brandon Graham for a TD. Ugly night against the run.
- Jamar Chaney- Jamar, as usual, fails to impress. He got bullied in the run game and exposed against the pass. One run play, the offensive lineman pushes Chaney to the point it looks like Chaney is sprinting backwards. Chaney gave up 3 completions, one of which he missed a tackle on that ended up going for a first down and then some.
- Nate Allen- Now, I could be wrong on this one but there was a play where Mallet had an easy TD but overthrew his wide open receiver in the endzone. To me, it looked like Nate Allen was out of position. I noticed the LB underneath, and the CB going down the sideline with his man and a huge open zone between the two where I think Allen should have been. Either way, I didn’t like what I saw there, even if it wasn’t a TD.
‘Don’t Worry, It’s Okay’
- Bradley Fletcher- Yeah, Brady completed passes to a rookie WR on him, but Fletcher was in good position on each play. Tom Brady just throws too good of a ball, putting it where only his receivers can get to.
- Mychal Kendricks- also a victim of Tom Brady’s ability to put the ball in the perfect spot, as Vereen caught a TD against Kendricks down the sideline. Don’t let this make you think Kendricks can’t cover, though. He had Vereen covered like a blanket. Still needs to work on tackling better, though, like most of our Eagles D.
- Bryce Brown- Brown showed he’s clearly ahead of Polk at the RB position. Brown’s speed trumps Polk’s hard running, though I do expect Polk to see more carries and do more in the preseason. Brown still has to work on not bouncing every run to the outside, but he’s still the better option at no. 2.
- It’s the damn Patriots! And it’s week one of preseason- I wouldn’t be too upset about getting ran through in this game. Tom Brady and The Patriots are good. They knew how to game plan for us, we’re a new team with a new scheme and we’re gonna experience growing pains. Don’t worry, other teams won’t be throwing perfect balls to blanketed receivers week in and week out like Brady managed on Friday.
Week 2 & The Panthers
Thursday night, we play Cam Newton and the Panthers. After Friday’s performances, here’s a list of things I would like to see:
-Bennie Logan starting at NT. I feel that Issac Sopoaga will be unseated by the rookie. Although a lot of the game he was in on Friday was him having to play the run, I didn’t notice anything that could solidify him as a starter. I think that with Bennie Logan’s play on Friday, that he should certainly get more 1st team reps if Sopoaga is indeed the starting NT on Thursday.
-Earl Wolff starting at safety opposite Chung. Aside from Wolff letting Tebow go right through his arms on one play, I felt Wolff showed a lot of hustle getting to the ball and even came from the opposite side of the field to stop a run inside the five. Wolff just seemed to be around the ball more often than not when he was in the game.
-Knott and Acho should work with the second team over Matthews and Chaney. Those two in the middle just seemed to bring an intensity with them when they got in the game on Friday. Acho was knifing through the line to stop the run and moving pretty well in coverage while Knott tackled what seemed like anything that went his way. I think these two should be promoted to the second team ILB’s and maybe even get a few first team reps, if not in the game then certainly in practice.
-Improvement from Herremans against the first team D. Hopefully last week was a fluke. I expect more out of Herremans than what I got to see on Friday, and I’ll be expecting more on Thursday.
-Vick getting more reps running the no-huddle. Vick had two series so we only got to see him answer back with a TD and then go 3 and out after getting a first down on the first(? maybe second, can't remember. It was a Cooper reception) play of the second series. On those two series, I didn't notice much no-huddle. I saw one play get called in quickly but I would like to see Vick get more work in on it Thursday night.
I would like to know what you guys are going to be looking out for Thursday against the Panthers, as well.