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Eagles Win Preseason Opener 13-6 Over Ravens

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The first team offense marched right down the field for a TD on their opening drive, the defense racked up six sacks, two picks and gave no TDs... Overall, I think we have to say that this was a pretty satisfying start to the 2011 preseason. The Eagles starters had been scheduled to play a full quarter, but after Michael Vick marched them on a 12 minute, 80 yard TD drive, Andy Reid had seen enough and gave them the rest of the night off. Vick said he was happy to face another defense for once.

"Just to get back out for a preseason game after not having the OTA's and the minicamps and the offseason strength and conditioning programs, it was good to get back and to get out there to have an opportunity to just play against another defense. We play against our defense every day in practice, they blitz us every day and we just wanted to play against somebody else."

It's understandable that Vick would be sick of facing this Eagles defense day in and day out. The story of the night had to be the play of the defense overall. Now, it's not uncommon to see defenses ahead of offenses this year and certainly the fact that the Ravens played Tyrod Taylor for almost the entire game helped, but this defense looked scary and it really all started up front. They had six sacks on the night, with two coming from Darryl Tapp, who appeared to be in the backfield on every snap he was in the game, and one from Trent Cole who was also in the middle of everything in his short time on the field. Daniel Te'o-Nesheim got a sack and was one of the guys who helped give Ravens' OT Oniel Cousins a nightmarish evening. Trent Cole said that the plan seemed to work perfectly tonight.

"The plan work worked all together. What we learned in practice, learned to be aggressive and attack. That's our defense, like [defensive coordinator] Juan [Castillo], and our defensive line coach [Jim] Wash[burn], he wants us to get off and attack every play. No matter what it's all out. You see how we rotate in different lines, it's keeping everybody fresh. It's awesome to have that now. We've got a great group of d-lineman that can all play; they're all playing at the same level. We're going to keep this thing going."

Overall, the Eagles pass rush was simply stifling all evening. For all the big names the Eagles signed this offseason, I couldn't help but wonder while watching this game whether Jim Washburn was the most important. There's no doubt that that his unit looked more dangerous and ferocious than in years passed. It's only the first preseason game so we can't take too much from it, but it will be very exciting following that group as the preseason progresses.

Rookie safety Jaiquwan Jarrett got a pick in his Eagles debut as did free agent signing Jarrad Page.

The big play on the Eagles first drive came from Riley Cooper, who refreshingly showed that he's a big WR that knows how to use his size (ie the anti Hank Baskett). Cooper slipped past the corner against a zone defense, signaled to Vick when he saw he was one on one with a smaller safety Ed Reed and simply jumped right over top of the guy Ed freaking Reed for a 42 yard catch. Extremely impressive. Brent Celek would haul in a three yard Vick pass for the TD a few plays later.

Chad Hall had a nice game with 5 catches for 82 yards and really made some nice catches doing it.

Ronnie Brown got very little in the way of blocking, but I thought looked very quick, decisive and very good overall. Rookie Dion Lewis also looked a lot better than his stat line would suggest.

The first team offense line basically gave Vick all day, but the second team line wasn't terribly impressive, but I thought Vince Young did a reasonably good job using his athleticism to get out of trouble and make some plays. He was 3-5 for 40 yards.

There were six kickoffs in his game and only one was returned. The new rule moving up the kickoffs was certainly felt this evening. There's been a ton of touchbacks all over the NFL tonight.

Speaking of kicking, rookie Alex Henery was 2-2.

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