The QBs were both very good last night (with Vick being better), the defense rebounded after a bad Week 1 performance, special teams are vastly improved, and feelings are good in Philly this morning. Here's what they're saying...
Nick Foles hasn’t been bad at all this preseason. He’s been accurate, he’s made mainly smart decisions and he’s moved the offense fairly effectively.
It’s clear he can play in the NFL. It’s clear he’s a pro quarterback.
Just not now. Not here. Not yet.
We’ve seen enough. Michael Vick has earned the job.
In the first two preseason games, Vick has a not-of-this-world .866 completion percentage and has averaged 13.3 yards per attempt. On the five offensive series in which he has been behind center, the Eagles have averaged 8.2 yards per play.
Foles hasn't quite been able to match Vick's impressive numbers, but he has come close. Close enough to force a third game in this best-of-three quarterback battle.
"We're going to have to make a decision," Kelly said. "We're not going to rotate them on every play. We'll see. One of them may sprain an ankle walking out of the parking lot. Then the decision is made.
"But I think it's a good situation. Both of them can move our offense."
Excellent instant film breakdwon from Derek.
The defensive line appeared to wear down against Philadelphia’s fast-break attack, which first-year coach Chip Kelly brought from the University of Oregon. The Panthers’ only two sacks were by a pair of defensive ends not expected to make the roster – Wes Horton and Louis Ngezwu.
Carolina coach Ron Rivera said the Eagles’ play-action passing game slowed the pass rush, but rookie defensive tackle Star Lotulelei said the Eagles’ rapid-fire approach left him winded.
“I got tired, but that’s all part of the game. Just got to fight through it, get to the next play and keep sound fundamentals,” Lotulelei said. “Get off the ball is what we teach in our defensive line room. So that’s what I have to do.”
Jimmy note: Interesting take from the other side.
The up-tempo offense is going to be fun to watch. The Eagles have blockers, skill players and apparently good QBs. Kelly mixes the run and pass and does a good job of keeping the defense off balance. The Eagles ran 69 plays for 401 yards. You may wonder how I can praise the offense so much on a night when they only scored 14 points, but the starters scored the TDs. It was the backups that were shutout.
Both QBs played well. Nick Foles had the one awful INT in the Red Zone. He admitted after the game that he was trying to throw the ball away and just didn’t put enough on it. I’d rather hear that than to find out he was trying to make something happen. I prefer bad passes to dumb decisions. Foles was efficient for the most part and ran for a TD. He did bobble 2 snaps. He admitted that he was taking his eyes off the ball to look at the defense.
Mike Vick had another great game. He threw the ball well and finally started running. My one concern with him is that Vick took a couple of shots when he was running and he got up slowly after the second one. He failed to slide on the one run, choosing instead to dive. That will drive Chip Kelly nuts. The other run he was trying to score so contact was inevitable.
I’ll write more about the QBs this weekend, but Vick should be the leader right now.
“I haven’t been this excited about football in a long time,” said center Jason Kelce. “The whole way the offense is structured and the scheming and all the stuff we are doing, it’s really exciting to see where we are going to go.”
Added Todd Herremans: “There’s definitely a buzz. We’re very excited about the way things have been going, but I think even back in the OTAs, we kind of had a feeling like, ‘Wow, this could really turn out well.’ But we’ve still got a lot of things we can cover and get better at. We’ve got a couple weeks to do that.”
Problems? The quarterback-starved Jaguars, Jets and Raiders can only wish they had problems like Eagles coach Chip Kelly faces in deciding between Michael Vick andNick Foles as his starter.
In Foles’s case, the second-year player looks quicker and more agile than he was in 2012 — running the ball two times for 13 yards and a score Thursday.
Vick, meanwhile, appears considerably more patient and confident in the pocket, even admitting Thursday night that he lost a bit of his swagger toward the end of last season.
Thanks to a supportive Kelly, the fearless confidence Vick had always been known for is back.
“When things don’t go well and everybody’s pointing the finger at you, sometimes it can hurt your confidence,” Vick said. “I read everything that was said. I lived it. But when I first sat down with coach Kelly — his main concern was getting me in tip-top shape. He wanted to get me to a place where I was believing in myself again.”
Running back LeSean McCoy, who missed the preseason opener with a sore knee, was dazzling on a 21-yard run in the first quarter. McCoy sprinted around left end, then made a physics-busting cut to his right that left several defenders clutching air. McCoy had 8 carries for 47 yards and caught three passes for 16 yards. He has said he expects to be a major weapon in Kelly’s offense and there was no reason to doubt him here.
And finally, The Count and Shady count Panthers broken ankles on Shady's 21 yard run last night:
One broken ankle... Ah ah ah!
Two broken ankles... Ah ah ah!
Three broken ankles... Ah ah ah.
Thaareee! Thaaaareeeee broken ankles! Ah ah ah!
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