As Chip Kelly tries to determine who his quarterback will be for opening day, Michael Vick made about as strong of a statement as he could to win the job.
Vick put on a great performance tonight, finishing 4-5 for 94 yards and a touchdown. He made quick, decisive, effective decisions and delivered some smooth strikes with his passes.
On the Eagles’ first third down, Vick hit Jason Avant in stride for a 22-yard gain. Vick was protected well on the play and did a good job delivering the ball quickly. On the next play, Vick found DeSean Jackson for a 47-yard touchdown strike. Once again, Vick delivered a perfect pass, putting the right amount of touch on the ball while also delivering it quickly. On the team’s second drive, Vick rolled out after a play-action fake and found a wide open Riley Cooper for 19 yards.
Vick was on point tonight, and he looked great. There was no hesitation, no mistakes, no turnovers.
Foles Stays In The Race
Nick Foles’ night didn’t start as well, but he had some impressive moments that kept the . On his first drive, Foles caused a turnover by fumbling the ball away. The second-year quarterback was pressured on the play and tried to throw the ball away to avoid the sack. However, the ball came out of his hands before he could throw it forward. In that situation, Foles is better off taking the sack. The pressure of the rush got to him, forcing him into an uncomfortable position and he made a mistake.
Foles ran Kelly’s offense at very fast pace on his second possession. Foles delivered a nice quick throw to Bryce Brown on third down. Foles reacted well to the pressure, and had a quick strike to his running back to keep the drive alive. On the next play, Foles found Jason Avant for another first down. The quarterback then ran for a first down, and connected with Brown again to keep the chains moving. He made another precise throw to Avant to get the ball down to 8-yard line. It was a 10-play, 66-yard drive for the second year man that ended in a touchdown run for Bryce Brown. The offense had a great, quick pace during this drive.
Foles didn’t have quite as strong a performance as Vick, but he showed some important qualities tonight that will help keep him in the mix.
The Eagles defense looked particularly dreadful in tonight’s game.
Tom Brady and the Patriots made quick work of the Eagles, and Billy Davis was unable to so much as slow them down.
On the first possession, the Patriots ran the ball right down the Eagles’ throats. Stevan Ridley took off for a 62-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage, and the team scored a touchdown five plays later. On the second possession, the Patriots put the ball in Brady’s hands and he had no trouble picking the defense apart. Brady went 7-8 for 65 yards and a touchdown on the drive.
The defense looked just as soft as they were last season. There were missed tackles, blown coverages, and no fight or intensity. On the first two possessions, New England totaled 160 yards and two touchdowns, running just 16 plays in only
Brady and his offense moved the ball at will, and they could have scored however they liked. The Patriots only began to slow down once Brady and the starters took their leave and gave way to Ryan Mallet and the B-team. The second team defense had their issues too, as they gave a miserable effort on a 51-yard touchdown run by LaGarrette Blount. Blount, who is not exactly the fastest guy you’ll ever see, effortlessly cut back and made his way to the endzone.
Ridley and Blount combined for 191 yards and three touchdowns on just 19 carries. Preseason or not, that’s simply inexcusable and it may very well be a sad sign of things to come.
Its only preseason, but the way the defense played tonight was very reminiscent of the game last season against the Atlanta Falcons where it was simply no contest. This defense has a lot of issues that they’re going to have to work through.
- The Eagles defense got off to a brilliant start, getting gashed by Stevan Ridely for a 62-yard gain. DeMeco Ryans overran the play, and Nate Allen missed a tackle. Bradley Fletcher finally ran Ridley down.
- Connor Barwin made a nice stop on LaGarrette Blount several plays later on a 2nd down.
- Blount ran right through Mychal Kendricks on third and 1 to make a first down. Kendricks was in position to make the play, but he bounced off of the running back.
- Bradley Fletcher was picked on regularly by Brady. On the team’s second possession, Brady saw Fletcher and targeted him on almost every throw. Fletcher actually had decent coverage on a couple of plays, but Brady simply had his number.
- Shane Vereen beat Kendricks in coverage for a 13-yard touchdown reception on the second drive.
- Casey Matthews had a pretty nice game and helped his chances of making the team. Matthews was in a good position on third down of the third New England drive to break up a pass. The third year man was out in front of Shane Vereen, and his presence caused Vereen to lose his concentration and miss the catch. Matthews was around the football throughout the night, and was in on several solid tackles.
- Vinny Curry had a strong game of his own. Curry had good pressure on Ryan Mallet in the second quarter. Curry came untouched into the backfield, and forced Mallet to throw the ball away. Curry played with strong intensity tonight, and was another guy who was always around the football.
- Patrick Chung and Phillip Hunt made a nice play in the second quarter, breaking up a bubble screen to Julian Edelman. Chung shed his block and stopped Edelman’s momentum, setting up Hunt for a tackle to end the drive.
- Chung later blew a coverage and missed a tackle on a third down before the half.
- Kenny Phillips worked with the second team, and made a nice tackle in the second quarter.
- Jamar Chaney missed a tackle in the second quarter that kept a drive alive. Chaney was beat in coverage and then allowed running back Zach Sudfeld to go for 22-yards after failing to wrap him up.
- Third-round pick Bennie Logan had some nice moments. Logan did a good job hustling down a runner on a screen play, and he was involved on a sack later in the game.
- Brandon Boykin had nice coverage on Aaron Dobson in the redzone to break up a pass.
- Rookie Jake Knott batted down a pass in the second quarter. Knott was also involved on a sack several plays later, and finished the game with a handful of tackles. The Eagles don’t have great depth at the linebacker position, so the chance for Knott to make the team is there.
- Chris Polk got the start for LeSean McCoy tonight. Polk made a great block in pass protection on Jerod Mayo to help buy Vick extra time to deliver his throw.
- Bryce Brown looked great tonight. Brown ran the ball well, and hung on to the ball when it was thrown to him. Brown has had some issues hanging on to receptions in training camp, but that wasn’t a problem tonight. The second-year man finished off the team’s second drive with a six-yard score.
- Jason Avant made some nice catches for both Vick and Foles, and finished with three catches for 42 yards.
- Lane Johnson got pushed around a bit tonight, and some trouble in pass protection against the New England defensive ends.
- Matt Barkley took over midway through the second quarter. Barkley had a good throw on a third-down conversion to Clay Harbor. Barkley forced a throw that was nearly intercepted in the third. The rookie threw his first touchdown of the preseason in the fourth quarter, hitting Greg Salas on a bubble screen.
- Salas caught two passes for 19-yards and a touchdown. On his touchdown, Salas caught the ball and then avoided two tacklers on his way to the endzone. The young wideout finished the night with a spectacular one-handed reception at the end of the fourth quarter.
- Zach Ertz couldn’t hang on to a pass from Barkley on a third down. Barkley put the ball in a good spot, but the rookie couldn’t hang on. Ertz made a tough catch in traffic at the end of the half that got the team back in field goal range.
- Russell Shepard couldn’t get himself good position on third down, and missed a chance to make a reception to keep the drive alive. Shepard was later flagged for offensive pass interference at the end of the second quarter.
- Julian Vandervelde took snaps as the second-team center instead of Dallas Reynolds.
- Felix Jones missed an easy reception from Barkley at the end of the first half. It was a lack of concentration, as the pass went right through Jones’ hands. Jones dropped another pass from Dennis Dixon in the fourth.
- Running back Matthew Tucker had a couple of nice carries, and also made a tough catch on a two-point conversion attempt.
- Danny Watkins didn’t get in the game until the second half, and wasn’t particularly impressive.
- Donnie Jones made a nice punt in the first quarter that Eagles were able to down at the 1-yard line. Brandon Boykin made a nice effort to keep the ball out of the endzone and special teams ace Colt Anderson downed the ball at the one.
- Jon Dorenbos was knocked out of the game in the second quarter, leaving Brent Celek to handle the long-snapping duties. Celek botched a snap on a field goal attempt that cost the team a chance for three points.
- Damaris Johnson had a big punt return before the end of the second half. Johnson set the team up to score before the second half with a 61-yard return, getting the team to the New England 29 with 51-seconds to go.
Even though both Michael Vick and Nick Foles looked good tonight, its important to keep it all in perspective.
Stiffer challenges remain for both quarterbacks. What we saw tonight was a very limited sample of what both individuals are capable of. We saw them both operating at a good level tonight, but both guys have their flaws which will be exposed in due time. Praise both quarterbacks for their effectiveness tonight, but don’t go overboard.
I think Vick was the more impressive of the two quarterbacks tonight, and he’s on his way to winning the job. Foles played very well on his second drive, and there’s still some time for him to catch up, but this is clearly Vick’s job to lose.
We got our first look at what Chip Kelly’s offense could bring to the table, and it looked pretty good. The offense was fast paced and efficient. The unit looked organized, and the first, second, and third teams all enjoyed some degree of success.