1. Third Down Efficiency (on both sides of the ball)
In the first half, when the players who mattered were on the field, the Eagles were 5 for 8 on first downs. Meanwhile they held the Ravens to 1 for 7 on 3rd downs. That's a huge improvement over their defense on the Colts in week 1.
2. Sam Bradford Didn't Explode.
He was a little rusty but ran the offense well, handing off like nobody's business, lining the team up quickly, and seeing his open receivers. He also got the big hit he asked for, plus a cheap shot that earned Suggs a penalty.
3. Turnovers (or the lack thereof)
Last year, the Eagles seemed to give up a steady 2 INTs per game (the actual total was 21), and took 12. They had more offensive turnovers than any other team in the league. This year, they're grabbing two INTs a game, and returning to the careful ball protection they had in 2013. That's the way Chip ran his Oregon Ducks team, and his system doesn't work well without a good turnover ratio. Foles' fumbles and INTs last year were probably the main reason Kelly soured on Foles.
It's encouraging to see Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond III deliver in games the way they have in training camp. The interceptions on Baltimore's first two drives Saturday did a lot to break the Ravens' spirit and wow fans, but the fact that the Eagles have just one fumble (by RB Kevin Monangai, who won't make this team) and just one interception in two games is every bit as important.
4. RB Depth
Kenjon Barner has made this squad, barring a psychotic episode or felony arrest, after several great punt returns today, including a 68-yard touchdown. Or has he? Raheem Mostert stepped up to the challenge, ripping off several long runs (10 for 54) and catching another 3 passes for 44 yards. For the second week in a row, he showed explosion, power and toughness.
5. WR Depth.
Rookie Nelson Agholor was active and busy (4 of 5 for 49 yards), and Josh Huff's one reception featured nifty running after the catch, both power and some nimble footwork to stay in bounds and get the first down. Jordan Matthews and Trey Burton each caught both of their targets, and longshot Rasheed Bailey was 4 of 6 for 37 yards.
1. Cody Parkey remains a little shaky.
Yes, he made two short field goals. (If he had missed that 21 yarder full panic would have set in.) But his kickoffs were shorter than ideal (3 of 4 returned, the last two perfect for running start returns). He missed a 55-yard field goal, wide left though not by much, and that's a very long FG.
Still, the Eagles had Kip Smith, who's competing at punter with Donnie Jones, try two 2nd half field goals, from 30 and 34 yards. Smith made both, but they were two of the ugliest made field goals you've ever seen, leading Michael Mayock to compare him to knuckleballer Phil Niekro.
Most of the penalties were on Baltimore and technically helped the Birds win, but it made the game boring.
3. Non-starting Quarterbacks.
Sanchez had decent numbers and moved the team, but missed a LOT of plays. He didn't see Barner with a step and a half on a linebacker with 13:20 left in 2nd, though he was bailed out by getting a penalty on the tougher pass to Burton he threw instead. He missed Agholor wide open, missed Maehl open in end zone, and threw a bad screen to Barner on 3rd down that hit the turf. Then he threw a duck that was intercepted, except that the CB couldn't get both of his feet in bounds.
Sanchez got the ball out faster this week which is great, and it helped the offense roll. But any concept that there's a quarterback competition with Sam Bradford is absurd.
Tebow, meanwhile, had a couple of nice throws and a nice run on a read option keeper. but had continued problems reading defenses and avoiding sacks. In the red zone, he ran in hopes of getting a touchdown, for example,when he had a wide open receiver he should have thrown to. Instead, he was knocked out out of bounds half a yard short of pay dirt.
The Eagles' coaches started Barkley ahead of him for the second week in a row, indicating that Barks is the front runner for the third QB slot.
4. OL Depth.
Andrew Gardner and Allen Barbre look solid as starting guards. But John Moffitt really struggled off the bench, getting pushed back into Sanchez on one play and just falling down on another. Vandervelde was also called for a hold on a play where he couldn't handle a rusher.
5. 4th Quarter Defense
After shutting down the Ravens completely through three quarters, the Eagles bottom of the roster players started giving up big runs and long passes, such as the 28-yard touchdown pass Marc Anthony gave up with 3 minutes left.
But this is faint criticism for a team that was leading 30-0 after three quarters. Really, the biggest problem with this game is that the Ravens didn't give the Eagles enough real competition to really evaluate a lot of the players on the bubble.