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Eagles Bounce Back With 24 - 14 Win Over Browns

They didn't always look pretty doing it, but the Eagles got themselves a convincing preseason win over the Cleveland Browns 24-14 at Lincoln Financial Field. Things started off scary as the young Eagles offensive line, namely rookies Jason Kelce and Danny Watkins really struggled and Michael Vick paid for it. Vick ended up being knocked down six times in the first half and nearly all were big hits. However, solid defense combined with some luck made this look like a blowout by the end of the half as the Eagles led 17-0.

The first bit of luck came after the Eagles first offensive series when ex Eagle Sheldon Brown ran into another ex-Eagle Jordan Norwood as the latter was trying to field a punt. The play was ruled a fumble that the Eagles recovered and Ronnie Brown punched in the games' first score with a 13 yard run. After Asante Samuel then picked off Colt McCoy, the offense put three on the board with a Alex Henery 37 yard FG. The last bit of luck for the offense came on a play where Michael Vick got absolutely hammered and ended up throwing an ugly looking pick. However, a very dubious roughing the passer flag was thrown and the play was called back. The offense played much better after that and drove down the field with a drive that was capped off by an 8 yard Vick TD run.

"It was great to be able to get back out there with the guys and play two full quarters and play with a different mindset." Vick said during a sideline interview. "We went into this game knowing that we were going to play at least three quarters and we wanted to put on a good performance. We started out a little shaky but we got it together."

On the defensive side of the ball, everything went pretty well. They got a turnover with the Asante Samuel pick, Colt McCoy was sacked three times and they kept the Browns off the scoreboard. Can't ask for much more. We'll get into some of the individual performances after the jump, but overall they bounced back in a big way from last week's debacle.

It's also worth mentioning the special teams, which made three big plays. They recovered two fumbles on punts and also blocked their second field goal of the preseason, this time by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

Solid win where the first team offense and defense win 17-0 and no injuries. There's obviously questions that remain on the right side of the offensive line, but all in all this is a game we can feel pretty good about after the poor showing last week.

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 Clay Casey Matthews

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.

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