The Philadelphia Eagles left last week's preseason game with both signs of hope and room for question marks.
Entering tonight's game, then, there were two main areas to focus on. The first was obviously the quarterback battle. Nick Foles got the start, and he did a nice job. The Chip Kelly offense as a whole looked seamless on his first drive, moving the ball down the field at will. Then they got to the redzone, and well... not so good. Foles threw a interception in the endzone. It was a really bad decision, and a ball that should have just been throw away.
Foles rebounded on the Eagles second offensive drive. After an absolute nasty run by LeSean McCoy that featured him juking approximately 49543 defenders out of their shoes, Foles ran (!) it in 7 yards for a score. Foles would finish the night 6-of-8 for 53 yards with 1 rushing TD and 1 INT. Solid, but not spectacular.
Vick entered in the Eagles first offensive drive of the second quarter. He led a strong drive down the field until the moment Chris Polk channeled his inner-Bryce-Brown and fumbled the ball away to Carolina. Vick's second drive looked nice as well. He looked sharp moving the offense down the field into scoring territory. A couple Vick runs (where he didn't slide - surprise) set up a short McCoy touchdown run. Vick was 8-of-8, 96 yards at that point. He came in for a third drive with very little remaining in the first half. He threw a (meaningless) interception on a hail-mary-esque play as the first half expired, which left him with a final stat-line of 9/10, 105 yards, and 1 INT.
The second big thing to watch was on the other side of the ball. The Eagles starting defense certainly left cause for concern last week. They didn't stand a chance of stopping the New England Patriots' starters. This week, the defense got off to a better start. Instead of a big play, they got a stop on the Panthers first drive. And the second one! And the third one, where they only allowed a field goal! Sure helps not having to play against Tom Brady and the Patriots, huh?
Speaking of the defense... Cam Newton's favorite target was the wide receiver being covered by Cary Williams. I think it's fair to say Newton wasn't scared of him. I don't have the official number, but Newton threw at Cary often. That's Cary's game though. He plays off his receiver and tackles him after the catch, not allowing the WR to get behind him.
Still, the Eagles led at the half, 14-6. The second half wasn't nearly as interesting, which is usually how preseason games go.
Matt Barkley (AKA Batt Markley) started the second half and didn't do much to impress. I say it often, but he clearly looks like a rookie out there. He finished 8-14, 72 yards. Not a bad performance, but nothing particularly impressive. His best throw of the night didn't count. A pretty ball throw to Derek Carrier (who had a great catch and run, by the way) was called back on an illegal formation penalty.
Dennis Dixon entered the game with 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter. He didn't do much. GJ Kinne saw more time on the field this week, entering the game with about 4 minutes left. He had a nice run on a read-option keeper. (#KinneForPracticeSquad)
The final score was 14-9, in favor of the Eagles. That leaves the Eagles at .500 (1-1) in the preseason.
We'll have even more in-depth coverage of tonight's Eagles-Panthers game on BGN tomorrow morning. Stay tuned.
• Did not play: S Kenny Phillips, OT Jason Peters, RB Bryce Brown, LB Casey Matthews, LS Jon Dorenbos, OG Danny Watkins, OLB Phillip Hunt, OT Dennis Kelly and OT Ed Wang.
• Left game: TE Emil Igwenagu, head injury, did not return. CB Curtis Marsh, right hand, had x-rays, did not return. RB Felix Jones, left rib injury, did not return.