The Philadelphia Eagles finished the second game of their 2016 preseason schedule with a win on Thursday evening. The Eagles advanced to 2-0 in the preseason by defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers by a final score of 17 to 0. There's a lot to talk from the game about so let's get right to it.
First team defense
Disclaimer: The Steelers were without Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell, and DeAngelo Williams in this one. Still, the first team took care of business and dominated the backups.
Nolan Carroll recorded a pass breakup as the Steelers tried to throw deep on their first offensive play. The Steelers got one first down but then had to punt.
Carroll came up with another big play on the Steelers' second drive. The veteran cornerback jumped a route and picked the ball for a 38-yard touchdown return. No reason why Carroll shouldn't be starting on the outside again this year.
Philadelphia's defense came up big again on the Steelers' third offensive drive. After allowing Pittsburgh to drive into the red zone, Leodis McKelvin broke up a pass thrown into the end zone and tipped it up into the air. Malcolm Jenkins made a diving effort to record the pick. You read that correctly: Jenkins actually caught it! This Eagles defense is really balling out under Jim Schwartz.
First team offense
First drive: Three and out. Thanks a lot, Chip Kelly. Not a great start for the new-look Eagles first team offensive line.
Second drive: Nelson Agholor had a nice catch for a first down but then the Eagles' offense stalled. Sam Bradford had a short pass over the middle intended for Brent Celek knocked down.
Third drive: Not a whole lot going. The Eagles tried to run a naked boot but the Steelers linebacker didn't fall for the play-fake and instead sacked Bradford to make it 2nd-and-22. Bradford's throw short of the sticks on third down to Celek was off target.
Fourth drive: Agholor made a great leaping catch to move the chains. Easily one of the best plays of his career to this point. And then he followed it up with a drop, though the pass was thrown a little behind him. Bradford checked down on 3rd-and-15 and the Eagles had to punt.
Fifth drive: The Eagles moved into field goal range with little time remaining in the first half.
Cody Parkey handled all the kicks since Caleb Sturgis suffered a concussion right before the game. Parkey booted the opening kickoff through the back of the end zone for a touchback. He also nailed a 40-yard attempt to end the first half.
Sam Bradford: 14 for 19 (73.7%), 115 yards, 6.1 average, 0 TD, 0 INT, 88.7 rating
Chase Daniel: 10 for 16 (62.5%), 82 yards, 5.1 average, 0 TD, 0 INT, 75.5 rating, 1 rushing TD
McLeod Bethel-Thompson: 2/4, 22 yards.
Bradford was meh. He wasn't terrible, but he wasn't great. His high completion percentage is a product of him checking down the ball so often.
Daniel was OK. Much better than last week when he looked pretty bad. Still had some accuracy issues.
MBT entered the game with a little over six minutes left. He failed to see a wide open Dorial Green-Beckham deep down the field.
Brandon Graham looked really good with the first team defense. As I've written before, he led the NFL in PFF's "Pass Rush Productivity" rating as a 4-3 defensive end in 2012. He's primed to have a good year.
Steven Means is making this team. He clobbered Landry Jones as the quarterback threw, which led to Jaylen Watkins easily plucking a duck of a throw out of the air down the field. That Means pressure came one play after Marcus Smith jumped offside. Guess who's making the team and who isn't. Smith recorded a sack later in the game when he was left completely unblocked by the backup left tackle.
Aaron Grymes had a really bad missed tackle early in the second quarter. He had his defender lined up but totally whiffed on the attempt. Grymes made people forget about his mistake by making an incredible diving interception in the back corner of the end zone. He might as well play receiver for the Eagles now.
Then Aaron showed up ... pic.twitter.com/3x7rijyBva— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 19, 2016
Paul Turner made a really sweet one-handed catch on a play where Daniel threw it up and gave him a chance to go get it. Turner is having a good summer and probably belongs on the final roster.
The Eagles put in Dorial Green-Beckham when the second team reached the red zone in the middle of the third quarter. Daniel immediately threw a jump ball to him but it was thrown too low to where the Steelers defensive back could knock it away. Could have been a touchdown if the ball was higher. DGB dropped a pass later in the game.
Good game from Kenjon Barner. Six carries for 41 yards (6.8 average) and one touchdown. He's not a star talent by any means, but he looks like he can be an effective contributor to Philadelphia's running-back-by-committee.
Josh Huff had a bad drop. It gets harder and harder to justify his roster spot.
Chris Pantale had a bad drop.
The Eagles continue to use Dillon Gordon at fullback. He doesn't look bad in that role.
Destiny Vaeao used a nice move to beat a guard and record a sack. Aziz Shittu also had one.
Cayleb Jones fumbled after making a short catch late in the game.
Nick Perry dropped an interception. Second week in a row he's done that.
Doug Pederson made a bad decision to challenge a Steelers catch in the fourth quarter.
Mike Mayock kept referring to the Eagles defensive coordinator as "Jimmy Schwartz." He kept raving about his boy "Jimmy" all night.
As mentioned earlier, Sturgis suffered a concussion before the game.
Grymes (shoulder) and Joe Walker (knee) left the game early with injuries and did not return. Les Bowen reports the prognosis on Walker's injury isn't good.
Rookie safety Blake Countess left the game early to get evaluated for a head injury.
The Eagles have off tomorrow on Friday, Aug. 19 before returning to practice on Saturday, Aug. 20. Until then, stay tuned to BGN for more Eagles coverage.