Thoughts From Eagles-Jaguars

vickA Poor Effort From The First Team

The Eagles showed their share of positives and negatives on Saturday night.

The good news was that the Eagles had a lot of nice individual showings. Guys like Michael Vick, Mychal Kendricks, and Connor Barwin turned in good performances.

However, as a team, the Eagles were shown up by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Offensively, the first team was inconsistent. They had some nice moments, and went on four scoring drives in the first half, but stalled on three of those possessions, settling for field goals instead of touchdowns. The Eagles turned the ball over three times, providing the Jaguars will valuable opportunity and momentum. Jacksonville scored 10 points off of the Philadelphia turnovers.

The defense performed poorly, allowing 17 points in the first half to a Jacksonville offense that possesses mediocre talent.

The unit began the game by allowing a 12-play, 90-yard drive that ended with a touchdown. The defense offered little resistance, as the Jaguars marched down the field. The drive ended with a Chad Henne touchdown pass to Justin Blackmon on a play where Patrick Chung and Bradley Fletcher failed to communicate and didn’t pick him up.

Later in the first-half, the defense was gashed by running back Jordan Todman for a 63-yard touchdown. Its very alarming that the Jaguars, with the lack of depth and talent on their first-team offense, pushed around this Eagles defense.

Individual Efforts

For the most part, I thought Michael Vick played another good game.

Vick finished the game 15/23 for 184 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and also ran for 53-yards on seven carries. I thought Vick was the team’s best offensive player in this game. Almost all of his passes were precise and on target. He delivered some great quick strikes to DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant, and Riley Cooper, including a 9-yard touchdown pass to Cooper.

Vick did a great job eluding the pass rush and extending drives. There were several instances where Vick was able to find running lanes, and turn a third-and-long into a first down with a sprint. The former Pro Bowlers legs look fresher than they’ve been in recent years.

Vick’s only blemish came on a turnover in the second quarter. The veteran made a terrible decision, throwing a ball off of his back foot that went up for grabs and turned into an easy interception for Jacksonville. Throwing a ball off of your back foot or across your body is an act of desperation that almost never ends well for the offense. These are the kind of reckless turnovers that Vick has produced throughout his career. It certainly doesn’t overshadow all the good that he did tonight, but its worth noting nonetheless.

Mychal Kendricks was sensational tonight. The second-year man was all over the field tonight, and enjoyed his most active night of the preseason. Kendricks began his night by stuffing Maurice Jones-Drew for no gain on the first play the Jaguars ran. The linebacker picked up a sack on Henne in the second on a third-down blitz to end a drive. Later in the half, Kendricks batted down a pass from Henne on third and 1, nearly coming away with an interception.

If the Eagles turn Kendricks loose, he has a chance to be one of their most impactful defensive players.

Individual Concerns On Defense

There are three players in particular on defense that I’m particularly concerned about.

Bradley Fletcher, Nate Allen, and Trent Cole.

Fletcher was picked on for the third consecutive game. On the first Jacksonville possession, Chad Henne targeted him several times. The former St. Louis Ram missed a tackle on a bubble screen, and then gave up a 21-yard reception to Justin Blackmon on the next play. Fletcher was then caught up in a miscommunication with safety Patrick Chung that resulted in the first Jacksonville touchdown. The young cornerback has had a rough preseason, and his bright moments have been few and far between.

It’s pretty clear that the Eagles aren’t confident in Nate Allen. The team rotated him with rookie Earl Wolff throughout the first half, and neither safety was able to make a positive impression. Allen has been given every opportunity to prove that he should be a starting safety, and he’s done nothing to show that he deserves it.

Trent Cole can still help out as a pass rusher, but he was really struggling in coverage tonight. Receivers were getting away from Cole easily, as the linebacker whiffed on several attempts to jam his man at the line of scrimmage. Cole is the team’s best option right now, as the team just doesn’t have any legitimate challenge for him. Brandon Graham hasn’t made any kind of push for the job, and lone of the other linebackers on the roster have come close to sniffing the starting lineup.

Quick Thoughts

Offense

  • Nick Foles didn’t get in the game until the end of the third-quarter, but he helped engineer a 99-yard drive that ended with a touchdown. Foles went 10/11 for 112 yards. Most of his passes were short and intermediate routes.
  • The offensive line was pretty disappointing tonight. The Jacksonville defensive line gave them fits throughout the night. They struggled to create running lanes, and allowed the pass rush to get to Michael Vick throughout the night.
  • Lane Johnson missed a block on the second play of the team’s drive drive, which created a sack putting the Eagles in a second and long situation. Johnson did do a nice job later in the quarter, helping to spring LeSean McCoy for a 15-yard gain.
  • Evan Mathis called for a holding call that negated a reception from Brent Celek that would have given the Eagles a first down.
  • There was also a bad snap by Jason Kelce in the second, nearly created another turn over, and probably cost the team a chance for seven points.
  • The struggles weren’t just limited to the first-team offensive line. Allen Barbre was called for a holding penalty in the fourth quarter that negated a first-down.
  • Heck of a catch by Jason Avant. Avant made a one-handed grab on a tipped pass in the second quarter and turned the play into a first-down.
  • How can the coaching staff trust Bryce Brown? Brown had a 28-yard run in the third quarter, but didn’t protect the football and had it knocked out by a Jacksonville defender. The ball flew into the back of the endzone, resulting in the team’s third turnover of the night. Forget about Brown’s electric runs that he made during the game, he’s going to kill this team.
  • While Brown disappointed, Chris Polk turned in a nice performance. Polk picked up 28 total yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth.
  • Russell Shepard had a 29-yard reception on a bubble screen from Nick Foles in the fourth.

Defense

  • Great concentration by Connor Barwin on a turnover in the second quarter. Barwin tipped a pass, and managed to make a difficult play to come down with the ball for an interception, the first takeway of the preseason for the team.
  • Clifton Geathers had a strong pass rush in the second, pushing Luke Joeckel towards Henne.
  • Colt Anderson did not look good at all with the second-team defense. Anderson missed tackles and was blown away by blockers.
  • Why can’t Vinny Curry get a chance to run with the first team? Curry didn’t see significant action until the second half, and once he got his chance he was once again very active.
  • Kenny Phillips was a no-show once again. I don’t know how the Eagles can justify giving him a roster spot at this point.

Special Teams

  • Damaris Johnson has had a fine preseason, but the second-year man made a critical mistake, fumbling a punt return away in the second quarter. The Eagles defense had just forced the Jags into a three-and-out.
  • Johnson did have plenty of explosive returns in the game as well, including a 60-yard kick return.

Final Thoughts

Despite some impressive individual performances, I saw a number of flashes from the 2012 Eagles in tonight’s game.

Over the last couple of years, the Eagles have been a team that has been explosive at times, but killed themselves with careless turnovers and terrible defense. Tonight we saw the Eagles make a lot of backbreaking mistakes that allowed a team with lesser talent to get the best of them. Turnovers kill, and the three that the Eagles had gave the Jaguars’ starters the advantage they needed to outplay the Eagles’ first string tonight.

Denny Basens in the editor of GCobb.com. Email him at dbasens@ycp.edu.

54 thoughts on “Thoughts From Eagles-Jaguars

  1. Agreed and I would love to see Vinny Curry as a starter he brings it every game. If only Bryce Brown could hold on to the ball he could be special.This defense is terrible the S and CB will be the death of this defense.

  2. I still would of had Nick Foles as my starter it’s a shame this team needed to go with youth at that position because I think Nick Foles can get you just as many wins as Vick.

      1. kelly has been fooled by the skillset of vick just like so many before him. foles will be qb before the 9th game, whether it be injury or just because vick blows and isnt a good qb at all

  3. Something tonthink about when you mention about QB’s picking on CB Fletcher.. Most QB’s are Right-Handed, Most Teams Top Receivers line up on left side, more passes from Right-handed QB’s are to the left side of the field..
    Not making any excuses, just saying more passes are thrown that way, especially the 10-20 yard out patterns to the sideline seem to be a staple pkay by Right-Handed QB’s

  4. Did anyone notice that Brandon Graham isn’t starting? ..For heavens sakes WHY!??!!…..LOL!!!

    Vinny Curry, should get a chance to start as much as Cedric Thornton; Both have looked good this preseason.

    This defense should have been fixed in the draft last year. They can redeem by addressing it this year….You listening HOWIE!!!

    1. There are only somany draft picks to go around. You can’t “fix” everything at once.

      Chip Kelly came here because he was an “offensive guru”. It was obvious the early picks were going to be on offensive players (hence OL and TE early).

      Next year will again be OL, and perhaps QB early. Then on to the DL

      You won’t see DB picks early until year 3…maybe next year but I doubt it.

      This is a 3 year rebuilding project. Anyone who watches that D who can’t even begin to compete on the field must recognize this.

      1. So you better utilize them to improve immediately, areas of weakness. The biggest weakness on this team was obviously the defense.

        We can’t fix everything immediately. That makes sense because you generally have to wait for a draft pick to develop, but we could have drafted for stronger future success.

        The problem is Howie thought we were stronger in some areas we aren’t.
        Players like Graham, and our free agent signings were taken for granted as impact, and they’re not.

    1. holy shit vinnie just looked at that article, it really does sum up his career. he has at minimum 2 of those plays every game.

      the guy fucking stinks.

  5. I feel real good with Foles backing up Vick.

    At first was thinking we could get a real good player to help our secondary in a trade using Foles but I’d be good either way.

    Even though Foles was running against 3rd and 4th team players, he showed a calm demeanor on those drives we’ve come accustomed to seeing and I hope Vick is seeing that he don’t have to be the guy every play but use the talent within the offense to move the Ball.

    This run defense still scare me and I don’t believe this will change until Nate Allen is off the team.

    We need a safety that comes in to lay wood, so Colt Anderson need to be the guy until we get an all around safety.

    Nate Allen is a waste and liability because teams run when he’s in the game and he admitted himself that he’s in the game to defend the pass.

    Teams also target him in the passing game underneath knowing he want nothing to do with contact.

    Why are the Eagles still holding on to this bum?

  6. Im all about fairness. Vick has 3 games. That’s it. If hes running around like last night even though he had a pretty good night I am on board with bringing Foles in. I have to sometimes remember I defend Vick on principle and a unwritten code on this board, kinda like defending your kids even if they are wrong. Foles looked good last night(even if it was against backups). That’s Chips offense. I wan to believe Chip is holding what Vick is actually going to run vs Washington and unveil it Mon night but if Vick is running around like a chicken with its head cut off Foles needs to play. week 4 vs Denver.

    1. i agree 100%…we made have trade bait now that Sanchez went down in New York.

      What do you think the Jets would give up to reunite Foles with Marty?

    2. Unwritten code….defend him even though you know it is wrong? That is pretty pathetic, but I give you a lot of credit for being honest enough to admit it.

      From what I have read and heard, the Jags actually game planned form the Eagles last night, which is not normally the case in the preseason. I am concerned that the offensive line did not play as well as I would have hoped, and forced Vick into some plays that looked like last season. He made a poor choice on the interception, but also had some nice passes and runs.

  7. Good article “D” I told you before Nate Allen is some cut bait they need to let him go and just go with Wolf for the remainder right wrong or indifferent

    1. I am usually on board with the Nate Allen hate, but last night he didn’t play that bad, on that long TD run by Jacksonville, Wolf was the in and took a terrible angle and that kid ran right past him.

  8. interesting Denny that you say Vick had a good game. I saw an absolutely piss pour int and he also fumbled. clearly he is going to be a sack, fumble and int machine once again this year

    1. Mhenski I was at the game, other then that ridiculous interception he played really well, he may have missed on possibly two throws last night to Celek other then that he was on. The running around was the result of his ability to make things happen, also if Brown doesn’t fumble at the goal line the starting offenses night looks a little different. The defense is going to cost them far more games then Vick.

      1. lion i think you see a lot more at home then at the game but thats just imo

        he had a fumble and a interception, he ran around and was not decisive , he showed bad fundamentals many of times.

        all im saying is this is the same old vick. last night is basically the ceiling of how he can play….

          1. missed that play live but i see a fumble credited to him. if what you say is true then thats good. my mistake

          1. Seems to be a pretty consistent theme all preseason when one QB is in. Game pace slows down with the superstar, then picks up with Foles or Barkley. Strange that is.

            Must be Chip Kelly, or the oline, or the way the moon aligns.

    2. mhenski, I completely agree that its only a matter of time before Vick completely reverts to what he’s been for most of his career but even though he had some mistakes last night, he had a lot of nice moments. The interception was horrendous, but honestly I saw more to like than dislike last night. Even though there were times that he held on to the ball too long, he was finding open receivers and was able to keep drives alive with his legs.

  9. Vick didn’t play bad the whole game, but he had a couple lapses in judgment that you hope Kelly will jump on him for – and correct it NOW.

    Vick needs to start throwing the ball away sooner. The INT was bad but the ball Vick tried to throw away when Alan Branch was pulling him down was worse. He was just lucky the whistle blew… Those type things can be game changers – and they were last year.

    Where did McCoy go? He was in for only 25 plays – Vick 47 plays…

  10. Nick Foles should be the starter Vick starting doesn’t make any sense this is what he does looks great one moment then awful the next this guys has 10 years in the league why can’t they just start Foles you can’t afford to draft a QB next season in the first round because this defense is terrible they need a impact player in the draft next season.

      1. Yes Vinnie I’m sure about that. Foles looked good last night with this caveat the 2nd and 3rd string defense for the Jags consisted of a bunch of guys who won’t have jobs on Wednesday you can believe that.

  11. Only in Philly.

    Not a bad game overall on either side of the ball. And yet the negative nellies can’t help themselves.

    – over 65% completion
    – 184 in the air another 53 on the ground
    – 1 TD 1 INT

    And yet folk complain and see problems (indecisive, running around, predicting failure) where there are none. (not saying his game was perfect – saying some of the complains aren’t based on anything that actually happened during the game).

    – defense held Jags to 24 – and with the exception of the long TD run – overall didn’t look so bad. But they are the worst D ever and the sky is falling.

    It’s gonna be a long season – not b/c of the actual play on the field but because of the Chicken Little fans who will complain about everything unless it’s absolutely perfect.

    1. “complains aren’t based on anything that actually happened during the game).”

      you did see the picture of him heaving the ball while parallel to the ground…you know, the exact same thing he did in the Baltimore game last year (when he was bailed out by the refs for not calling intentional grounding)

      Or the other picture with him spinning left (blind direction) with the ball out and below his hip…in fact with the ball leading into the turn….primed for a swatted fumble…basically the exact same picture Paulman and I were making fun of 2 weeks ago….his back to the oline, spinning left with the ball out….the exact same move that’s made him 4th all time fumbler over his career.

      I know you didn’t see those things…..but that’s only because you don’t want to see them.

      Pace of offense slower
      bailing on pass plays
      scramble fest
      7qb hits in 2 quarters
      terrible int
      careless with the ball (didn’t cost him – yet)
      not checking down, always buying time for the big play

      This is the MV7 we’ve all come to know and love. On full display, in the first game where a team did a little game planning.

      What a surprise.

      BTW – wait till they start with the blitzes and disguising coverages!!

      1. “Pace of offense slower
        bailing on pass plays
        scramble fest
        7qb hits in 2 quarters
        terrible int
        careless with the ball (didn’t cost him – yet)
        not checking down, always buying time for the big play”

        Oh Vinnie you are SOOOOO good at making ish up and exaggerating what actually happened. Typical you.

        And as usual with you it’s all the QBs fault. Doesn’t matter what else happened or didn’t happen.

        Why are you here again?

    2. it’s those 5 awful plays per game by him that separates winners from losers. it’s a game of inches and when u got a goon out there u lose.

  12. I think the QB Position is fine with the Eagles Team
    Look at the Jets, Buffalo, Oakland, TB Bucs, Titans situations, these Teams don’t even have 1 Quality Starter among them..
    Eagles have many other concerns namely
    MLB, CB, Safety and RG that they have to improve on..

    1. Agreed paulman. QB is way down the list of concerns. Last night took a lot of wind out of many sails. You think long TD runs are bad now wait until we get a load of A Morris week 1 and that pistol offense. SMH.

      1. QB may be way down the list of concerns, but it takes 2-3 years to develop a QB before they’re ready to march a team to the SB. (there are of course the odd exception, but 2-3 years of pro development is usually the standard.

        That’s why the process must begin/continue now.

  13. The offense with Vick doesn’t much that different than last years o, but with foles the tempo picks up considerably, I don’t know if this is because of the play calling by Kelly or Vick not running the offense as orchestrated, but I am still waiting to see this great Kelly type offense as run by Vick, so far itlooks like the old offense with better play by Vick, but already starting to see glimpses of the old Vick

    The point needs to be hammered home again, that the eagles should have cleaned house when Kelly came in here, especially at qb, and Kelly will regret going with Vick, it’s almost a matter of fact to be

  14. One thing I noticed in the preseason games, and mostly last night…. When the Eagles run the inside zone read, there have been numerous times when the DE/OLB chased the RB inside. When that happens the QB should pull the ball and run through the gap that the DE/OLB vacates. That’s not happening, EVER.

    Either the Eagles QBs have been told not to keep the ball on the inside zone read, or the QBs are not very good at reading the DE/OLB. I guess we’ll see as the season progresses. It’s pretty important – it’s what makes the Zone-Read the Zone-Read.

    1. “Either the Eagles QBs have been told not to keep the ball on the inside zone read, or the QBs are not very good at reading the DE/OLB”

      If it’s not happening EVER I don’t think it’s ’cause it’s they aren’t good at reading the DE/OLB – it is pre-season and that run can open up QBs to some unnecessary hits – even though in theory they should be able to get about 5 yards before a defender sniffs them.

      They have a couple of weeks ot work things out. I think the Washington game will surprise some folk.

  15. WOW WHAT DENNIS SAYING SOMETHING POSITIVE ABOUT VICK? I must be dreaming. For the first time i actually agree with your post. Also two of Vicks drives were killed by Bryce Brown and Damarius Johnson fumbling the ball. The int Vick threw happened cause he was trying to throw the ball away

    1. 1st = 4 and out
      2nd – 4 and out
      3rd – nice series ( Vick misses Celek gimme TD settles for FG
      4th – Barwin interception 2 plays later Cooper TD
      5th – Vick interception
      6th- D. Johnson great return to Jack 44 Vick adds 33 yds settles for FG
      7th- D. Johnson anther great return to Jack 30, Vick adds 13 yards for FG
      8th – Vick throws one pass for 0yds while Polk and Brown take ball to endzone for fumble
      Vick leaves game

  16. Eagles cut their roster down to 78. Eddie whitley who was injured last night was cut and his was probably going to make the 53 man roster..

  17. I’m excited about RB’s. Bryce Brown despite his fumbles is on another planet running straight ahead. Shady wasn’t heavily used last night and that was smart. Polk is solid as well. Vick played well, he has to learn to just accept the sack sometimes. Anybody saying 2tds 2ints is ignoring that he threw a hailmary on his first int. I know Vick haters will hold every errant pass or mus connection against him like it was the difference in the game. Lol. Every game every QB have an over throw under throw here or there. You look at the body of work, and his contribution to the offense last night very good. Lane Johbson will get better after getting beat he seems to make the adjustment. I think once the defense finishes developing their identity they will be a player or two away from being really good. Kendricks, Barwin, Cox, and build around that, players like Boykins, Wolf have to come into their own and vets like Ryans and Williams are like constant prences.
    Damarius Johnson scarres me running full speed and catching it. I know that’s the new craze since they moving the kickoffs up but it’s bound to get muffed. Besides that he is a true weapon on special teams. Allen Rossum type, those players are hard to find because most aren’t good enough to help you in other areas. I think we beat Washington.

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