The first preseason game is in the books, with the Eagles and Bears playing, um, preseason quality football. Twenty years from now, when Jordan Matthews is the all time NFL leader in receptions, yards, touchdowns, and he's making his Hall of Fame speech, it will be fun to reminisce about his butterfingers in his first preseason game. But for now, let's review some things to like/dislike from the first look at the 2014 Eagles against another team.
Five things to like about the first preseason game:
Mark Sanchez: There's almost no doubt at this point that Sanchez will be the #2 QB heading into the regular season. His play Friday night was a continuation of what we saw in training camp at times. Sanchez was accurate all night, and one of his three incompletions -- a seam route to Jordan Matthews -- was a perfect throw. Another one of his misses was a Hail Mary. Maybe now there will be a QB controversy for that starting job. (Just kidding).
Malcolm Jenkins: The Eagles' new safety was around the ball quite a bit, and played physical football. Is there any doubt he'll be a significant upgrade over Patrick Chung? Bonus points for playing on the punt return team deep into the second quarter of a preseason game.
Zach Ertz: No surprise here, but Ertz had 4 catches for 60 yards working the middle of the field. Potential stud TE in the NFL.
Vinny Curry: His get-off at the line of scrimmage on obvious passing downs is so impressive. Can we please get some more snaps for Vinny this year?
James Casey, Ertz, Najee Goode, Brandon Graham, and Jason Phillips: Josh Huff got the credit for his 102 yard kick return TD, but there were some good blocks on that return by Casey, Ertz, Goode, Graham and Phillips that opened up an enormous lane for Huff to run through. Credit Huff for turning on the jets and running north and south, but that return doesn't happen without very good blocking.
Five things not to like about the first preseason game:
Nick Foles: Both of Foles' interceptions can be explained away to some degree. On the first INT, his arm was hit by a Bears defensive lineman which caused the ball to flutter into the arms of Ryan Mundy. On the second pick, there was likely some kind of miscommunication, as Ifeanyi Momah and Zach Ertz had their routes both end within a couple yards of each other, which could not have been the design. Still, Foles isn't completely absolved of blame on either instance, especially the second pick, in which he did not recognize that he was throwing into heavy traffic, even with the likely miscommunication.
Jordan Matthews: After dominating in training camp, Matthews' first performance under the lights was disappointing. Matthews had two clear drops, and a third if you're grading harshly. Matthews' hands were a big concern coming out of college. Those concerns showed up on the field Friday night.
Roc Carmichael: Poor Roc was toasted repeatedly.
Flags: The first quarter was almost unwatchable. 12 penalties. Sloppy football.
33 yard extra points: It's just a dumb idea. It adds no excitement whatsoever, and eliminates the potential for a fake PAT. Get rid of that nonsense please, NFL.
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