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Bears-Eagles Final Score: Mark Sanchez impresses in Philadelphia loss, 34-28

The Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Chicago Bears in their first 2014 preseason game on Friday night.

Jonathan Daniel

The Philadelphia Eagles didn't exactly start their 2014 NFL preseason strong on Friday night. Sloppy play, excessive penalties, and turnovers plagued the Eagles starters, especially on offense. Philadelphia's fortune seemed to change when the backups took over, however, but it still wasn't enough to win the meaningless exhibition affair. The Eagles lost to the Bears in Chicago by a score of 34-28.

There's a lot to talk from the game about so let's get right to it.

First team offense

Yikes, not so hot. Everyone got excited when Ifeanyi Momah, who started with Riley Cooper sitting out, caught the first pass of the game from Nick Foles. The excitement level dropped when Foles threw a pass that was dropped by Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs. Matters were made even worse when another Foles attempt appeared to be tipped and was picked off by Chicago to give them a short field. Needless to say, it was a shaky series for the Eagles starting quarterback.

The second drive didn't end in a turnover but it wasn't too much better. A plethora of penalties set the Eagles back and forced them to punt.

The Eagles first team came out on the field for a third drive and this one got off to a good start. Darren Sproles filled in for starter LeSean McCoy. The Eagles got the balling moving and drove into Bears territory. But then the drive ended abruptly yet again with another interception from Foles. Commence freakout: two interceptions is obviously the same total Foles threw in the entirety of the 2013 season.

First team defense

Despite working on a short field the Eagles defense forced the Bears to a field goal attempt. Good stand.

Second series didn't look so great. The Eagles run defense, just as it was in 2013, was strong. But the pass defense, just as it was in 2013, was not desired. The Bears drove 69 yards down the field on 13 plays for a touchdown.

Special teams

Eagles 2014 NFL third round draft pick Josh Huff started off as the team's kick returner. He returned the game's opening kick from 8 yards deep in the end zone and didn't do too much with it.

Damion Square made a great play to block the Bears first field goal attempt early on.

Kickoff coverage generally looked good.

Josh Huff kickoff return for a touchdown! (More details below)

The quarterbacks

Nick Foles: 6 for 9 (66.7%), 44 yards, 4.9 average, 0 TD, 2 INT, 38.4 Rating

Mark Sanchez: 7 for 10 (70%), 79 yards, 7.9 average, 0 TD, 0 INT, 93.3 Rating

Matt Barkley:7 for 16 (43.8%), 73 yards, 4.6 average, 1 TD, 1 INT, 52.3 Rating

G.J. Kinne: 7 for 9 (77.8%), 74 yards, 8.2 average, 0 TD, 0 INT, 105.6 Rating

Foles just didn't look as sharp as one would have hoped. Sanchez, on the other hand, was fairly impressive. Barkley looks a little improved from last year but not particularly encouraging. Kinne is still the fan-favorite for what he is.

The big plays

A Nate Allen interception! Doesn't always happen too often, but Eagles outside linebacker Brandon Graham made the play happen by getting a great pass rush and hitting the Bears quarterback as he threw.

An Eagles touchdown run by Matthew Tucker tied the game at 7-7. Great drive led by backup quarterback Mark Sanchez. The 27-year old veteran remained calm, limited mistakes, and made good decisions. I was also impressed with how fast he ran the offense despite being new to the system.

Yet another Sanchez drive finished by a Tucker touchdown goal-line run put the Eagles up 14-7.

Josh Huff! 102 yard kickoff return for a touchdown near the end of the first half by the rookie is a beauty. (Watch the GIF here). That's actually the Eagles first kickoff return since Quintin Demps had one all the way back in 2008 against the Ravens. (Yeah, the game where Donovan McNabb was benched.) Eagles up 21-14 at that point.

The refs

So many penalties! Too many, really. Especially early on.

More observations

New additions Darren Sproles and Malcolm Jenkins impressed early as far as limited preseason playing time goes. Sproles looked good on the run and Jenkins laid out some big hits.

Zach Ertz really could be poised for a breakout season in year two. He had four catches for 60 yards (15.0 average) on Friday night.

The pass rush the Eagles get from their starters... not so great. The pass rush the Eagles get from their backups... pretty good! Vinny Curry looked dominant. Brandon Graham predictably struggled in coverage but generated a good rush. Rookie nose tackle Beau Allen was active. Even 2013 practice squad member Brandon Bair showed up.

I like what rookie outside linebacker Marcus Smith II had to offer. The Eagles first round pick deflected a pass, looked solid in coverage, and even tackled well.

Second round pick Jordan Matthews was relatively quiet despite all the hype around him this offseason. He had three drops along with four catches for 14 yards on seven targets. A disappointing night but it's obviously super early at this point.

Matthew Tucker looked good for the most part but that fumble where he went down, wasn't touched, and just lost control of the ball... that was terrible. Unacceptable.

Fourth round rookie Jaylen Watkins has had a pretty quiet training camp. His performance wasn't exactly quiet on Friday night. He was burned for a long touchdown at one point and struggled in coverage at other times. He bounced back later on with an impressive interception, however.

Cornerback Roc Carmichael, a second year player, really, really struggled.


The following players left the game and did not return:

RB Matthew Tucker (hamstring)
ILB Casey Matthews (lower back)

Another seven Eagles players did not play in Friday's game due to injury.

Up next

The Philadelphia Eagles have off Saturday, August 9th, before returning to training camp on Sunday, August 10th. Sunday's Eagles practice will be special because it's being held at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. Tickets are already sold out, but find more information here.

We'll have more in-depth coverage of Friday night's Eagles-Bears game on Bleeding Green Nation coming shortly. Stay tuned.

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