Chip Kelly's Eagles have been a subject of intrigue all off-season. So naturally, there was a buzz before tonight's preseason game against the New England Patriots. You read that right. A buzz before a preseason game! If you don't believe me, the Eagles PR guy (along with James Kempski) noted that the press box was unusually packed for a preseason game.
That same excitement was seemingly shared by the fans. Well, at least until the game started. A 62 yard run by Stevan Ridley on the FIRST PLAY (2011 regular season opening game vs the Rams, anyone?) quickly changed that excitement to disappointment. A couple running plays later, the Patriots would punch the ball in for a TD. Yeah, it's only preseason, but it's no surprise to see the Eagles defense is a work in progress.
But who cares about the defense when there's a quarterback battle to be fought? Michael Vick got the start for the Eagles tonight. He immediately impressed with a 47 yard deep bomb to DeSean Jackson for a touchdown. Jackson's had a great camp and now an excellent start to preseason. It could be a very big year for #10. Credit to Vick as well. It was a beautiful throw.
The Patriots got the ball back and marched down field with Tom Brady at the helm. In case you didn't know, he's still very, very good. A 13 yard pass to Shane Vereen with Mychal Kendricks in coverage put the Patriots up 14-7. Hard to blame Kendricks on that throw. Brady's one of the best in the game for a reason. Kendricks did his best to make it close.
Vick got another series, but didn't do much with it. Then it was Nick Foles turn. Foles didn't have a great start. On his second play, he fumbled when trying to scramble out of the pocket. It wasn't entirely his fault, with Todd Herremans missing a block. Foles redeemed himself with a nice drive on the next series. He helped lead a 66 yard, 10 play drive down the field that was capped off with a Bryce Brown 8 yard touchdown run.
That about did it for the guys competing for the Eagles starting QB job. Vick and Foles left the game as they entered it: fighting neck and neck. No clear separation between the two.
The second half didn't feature much in terms of excitement. Vinny Curry looked like a beast rushing the QB at times. Emmanuel Acho looked active on the defense along with rookie Jake Knott. QB Matt Barkley, who also saw some time later in the first half, proved to look like a rookie with some questionable throws. He did connect with Greg Salas for a touchdown though, ending his night on a good note.
Dennis Dixon then took over early in the fourth quarter. He finished out the game along with Tim Tebow (!!!!!!) in garbage time.
The final score was 31-22, in favor of the Patriots. That leaves the Eagles WINLESS (0-1) in the preseason.
We'll have more in-depth coverage of tonight's Eagles-Pats game on BGN tomorrow morning. Stay tuned.