Coming into this game the Eagles needed to improve on defense after getting gashed on the ground by the New England Patriots. It also was the debut of the Eagles best offensive player LeSean McCoy who missed the first preseason game with a minor injury.
On offense we saw the same up-tempo offense that we saw in the fist game and can come to expect every game from here on out. Foles got the start and went 6-of-8 for 53 yards and an interception. He led the team down the field on his first series but threw an interception while attempting to throw the ball away through the back of the end-zone. On his second series Foles capped off the drive with a 7 yard scamper to his left. Vick started the second quarter picking up where he left off in the first game. He too was able to move the offense methodically down the field but only to have running back Chris Polk fumble the ball inside the 30. Getting the ball back with three minutes remaining until half the Eagles got down the field with a couple of nice throws from Vick that led to a 1 yard LeSean McCoy rushing touchdown. Vicks interception came at the end of the half on a hail marry. One thing worth noting is that Vick had a 10.6 yards per completion to Foles 6.4.
LeSean McCoy was his old self making his ankle breaking cuts and his tremendous vision that we are accustomed to seeing. He had 47 yards on 8 attempts including a dazzling run to set up the offense inside the 10.
Regardless of who starts at quarterback the Eagles should be able to put points up on the score board. Chip Kelly has confidence that both quarterbacks would be able to get the job done if either is asked upon. He said “I think we have two quarterbacks that can play in an NFL game.” Kelly also added “Put the pen down if you think were naming a quarterback now” in response to a question about when a starter would be named.
The defense was vastly improved this week only giving up 74 yards rushing compared to last week when they gave up 240 plus yards on the ground. Some of the things that they needed to fix for this week were knowing their gap responsibilities and assignments along with tackling. It’s safe to say they did better in every category. Kelly said “It’s a lot easier to tackle when you got people getting to the ball.”
Secondary issues have plagued the Eagles for the past three plus seasons. Patrick Chung provided run support which was very refreshing to see. Nate Allen looked like he and corner Bradley Fletcher got mixed up on a coverage scheme early that allowed a first down catch near the sideline. Making his debut for the Eagles, Carey Williams struggled to stay with Panthers receiver Steve Smith. The two got into a war of words with Smith at one point throwing Williams to the ground. Carey definitely didn’t back down and stuck to his words about toughness. It was after all his first game so we will have to give him a game or two before truly evaluating him.
Stock Up: Vinny Curry, Cedrick Thorton, Patrick Chung, Greg Salas
Stock Down: Felix Jones, Ifeanyi Momah
For highlights of the game click the link below.