The Philadelphia Eagles continued their 2021 preseason schedule with a home game against the New England Patriots. It was not their best night considering they weren’t even able to put up points! Final score: 35 to 0. Probably the worst preseason game I’ve ever watched. But, hey, at least it’s not the regular season yet? Read on for observations and also check out BGN Radio’s postgame coverage LIVE on YouTube.
Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, and Lane Johnson did not play.
First drive: For the second week in a row, the Eagles won the coin toss and elected to receive. Wonder if that’ll continue into the regular season for Nick Sirianni or if it’s just about wanting to see the offense first in the preseason. Joe Flacco (!), not Jalen Hurts, got the start. The Eagles quickly picked up two first downs with a run by Miles Sanders and then a catch by Kenneth Gainwell. Then Nate Herbig snapped a ball over Flacco’s head. Flacco briefly recovered it but got stripped as he tried to get a throw off instead of just diving on the ball to retain possession. After the turnover, it was announced that Hurts was out of this game due to illness. Weird since Hurts took all the snaps with the first team offense in pregame warmups!
Second drive: The Eagles went three-and-out after Jordan Howard failed to convert a first on 3rd-and-1. Nate Herbig and Jack Driscoll opened a hole but the veteran running back was too slow and upright to get through.
Third drive: Matt Pryor got called for a hold. DeVonta Smith finally saw a target as Flacco evaded pressure and the rookie ... dropped the contested catch opportunity. BUST. Just kidding. Would’ve been nice to see him make it, though it was well short of the sticks anyway. An 0-10 start for the Eagles on preseason third downs.
Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Josh Sweat, and Darius Slay did not play.
First drive: The Eagles allowed a 5-yard touchdown run.
Second drive: The Eagles allowed Cam Newton too much time to throw as he had all day to find open receivers. Newton threw to whoever Zech McPhearson was covering on three straight plays. Anthony Harris finally forced a stop on a third down by hitting the pass catcher as soon as the ball came to him to cause an incompletion. The Patriots missed their first field goal attempt.
Jalen Hurts: DID NOT PLAY
Really too bad we didn’t get to at least see a glimpse of Hurts.
Joe Flacco: 10/17 (58.8%), 83 yards (4.9 average), 0 TD, 1 INT, 46.9 passer rating
Flacco did not look very good.
Nick Mullens: 5/9 (55.6%), 27 yards (2.7 average), 0 TD, 1 INT, 16.7 passer rating
Mullens looked even worse than Flacco. Impressive.
Fourth drive: Flacco tried a back shoulder throw to Smith, who couldn’t get turned around fast enough and make the catch.
Don't wanna see anyone call Smith's targets that weren't caught "drops" in tonight's game stories. Dude had his upper body in a blender to try and bring in Flacco's wounded duck of a throw. pic.twitter.com/ZuhBj0nut5— Adam Hermann (@adamwhermann) August 20, 2021
Then Smith dropped a target from Flacco over the middle. The Eagles went back to Smith and he caught the ball on a slant for a 9-yard gain.
Jalen Reagor got SANDWICHED on a 5-yard reception but got right back up. The Eagles went for it on 4th-and-3 from the Pats’ 9-yard line and Flacco threw a bad ball meant for Quez Watkins that was knocked down by the Patriots. Womp.
Fifth drive: Flacco threw to Reagor, who was held but didn’t get a call. Flacco found Smith, who ran a nice route to get open, for the Eagles’ first THIRD DOWN CONVERSION of the preseason.
Jack Stoll used one outstretched hand to bounce a ball back into himself for a catch to set up a 4th-and-4. Flacco targeted Reagor, who was (legally) knocked off his route, and the pass was tipped into the air and picked off.
Sixth drive: The Eagles took a knee to end the first half. The team got booed as they entered halftime down 19-0.
Seventh drive: Nick Mullens entered the game to replace Flacco. Mullens had all day to throw and got sacked to bring up 4th-and-22.
Eighth drive: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside dropped a slant target. The Eagles went three-and-out after Matt Pryor gave up a sack.
Ninth drive: Three-and-out.
Tenth drive: Couple nice runs by Elijah Holyfield, with Mullens lead blocking on one of them! Mullens had a high pass go off Stoll’s hands and into a Patriots defender’s grasps for a pick.
Third drive: The Eagles already had their third string defensive line, which really struggled against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, playing late in the first quarter. The Patriots drove into Eagles territory and Newton hit Jakobi Meyers on a drag with no one picking him up. K’Von Wallace was the last one in the area and he passed him off to ... no one. Zech McPhearson whiffed badly on a tackle attempt that could’ve at least kept Meyers from getting into the end zone. Oof.
Fourth drive: Mac Jones entered the game with 11:14 remaining in the second quarter. He almost got picked off on a diving effort by T.J. Edwards. The Eagles’ defense couldn’t get off the field after allowing a 19-yard catch on 3rd-and-13. Milton Williams drew his second holding penalty on the drive with a good rush off the edge. Nice job by the rook. Alex Singleton made a real nice tackle to prevent a big gain on a screen play. And then he missed an open field tackle to allow a first down. McPhearson got flagged for a defensive holding, continuing his rough night. Edwards forced an incompletion by hitting a running back right after a screen catch was made. The play was actually ruled a fumble but Bill Belichick successfully challenged it to overturn a 5-yard loss. Thanks for drawing out a preseason game, Bill. The Pats drove to goal-to-go territory and got a rushing touchdown. The Pats went for two and McPhearson got his hands on a pass for a breakup. A positive!
Fifth drive: McPhearson got beat deep by N’Keal Harry but the receiver couldn’t hold on to the ball as he went to the ground. The Pats ended up having to punt.
Sixth drive: Jones carved up the Eagles’ backups with ease as the Pats drove for another touchdown.
Seventh drive: A combination of Jones throws and Patriots runs led New England to another touchdown drive. The Eagles’ reserve defense is ... not good.
Eighth drive: Brian Hoyer came in to replace Michael McCorkle Jones. Elijah Riley was in position for a tackle for loss but missed the tackle as the running back spun out of his grasp. The Pats got to 4th-and-goal from the 6-yard line and made a short field goal.
Ninth drive: Raequan Williams forced a fumble and Kevon Seymour recovered. Omg. A stop!
Tenth drive: Victory formation for the Pats.
With Jake Elliott not playing (ankle injury, day-to-day), Arryn Siposs handled kickoffs. His first one went for a touchback. Nice!
Reagor handled the first kick return and only managed to pick up 18 yards. His second went for 19 yards.
John Hightower was up after Reagor on kick return duty. His first return went for 18 yards.
Jason Croom, who only recently returned to practice, got hurt early in the second quarter. He was down on the field for some time and had to be carted off. The whole team came on the field to see him off. With Tyree Jackson hurt and Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert not playing, the Eagles were down to just Richard Rodgers and Jack Stoll at tight end.
K’Von Wallace was evaluated in the medical tent during the second quarter. He was ruled out with a groin injury. Wallace had previously been listed “week-to-week” as he missed practice time with that same ailment.
The Eagles have off tomorrow on Friday, August 20. Then they have a walk-through (closed to access) on Saturday, August 21, which is the same day as the Eagles Autism Challenge. They’ll return to practice in front of fans at the Linc on the evening of Sunday, August 22 (click here for tickets). Then it’s an off day on Monday before joint training camp practices against the New York Jets in Florham Park, NJ begin on Tuesday, August 24. As always, stay tuned to BGN for more Eagles coverage.