Thoughts From Eagles-Bills

Ronald Darby Provides Instant Spark

It didn’t take new starting cornerback Ronald Darby long to make his presence known.

Darby came up with one of the biggest highlights from tonight’s game, pulling down an interception from Tyrod Taylor, and returning it deep into Buffalo territory. Darby also broke up a pass earlier in the quarter.

It’s clear Darby is such an upgrade over what the Eagles were previously prepared to begin the season with. He’s got speed, he seems to have decent instincts, and if he can be around the ball like he was tonight, the Eagles are going to have much stronger defense than they did a year ago.

First-Team Offense Out Of Sync

The starters on the offensive side of the ball had a bit of a rough showing.

The unit took the field for four possessions in the first quarter, and despite the defense providing a short field twice on turnovers, and three total trips into Buffalo territory, the offense finished the night with three points to show for it.

It wasn’t all bad, and the unit was playing without left tackle Jason Peters, but there are still some things for this group to work on. Carson Wentz and Alshon Jeffrey don’t appear to be quite in sync with one another yet, and could use more reps together. Jeffrey has missed a decent chunk of practice time with a shoulder injury, and was also held out of last week’s game against Green Bay. A new receiver and his quarterback need this preseason time to gel more, and I’m a little disappointed that Doug Pederson didn’t let his offense at least play into the second quarter.

In the running game, LeGarrette Blount managed just eight yards on five carries, but the team called a number of stretch plays that just aren’t suited to his running style. Blount isn’t fast enough to get around the edge before the defense catches up to him, he’s at his best when he’s able to run full-speed head up the middle. When the Eagles did call on Blount to go north-south, he was productive.

Blount’s best play, surprisingly, came on a reception that he took for 17 yards to pick up a first down. The veteran caught the pass, and then allowed his blockers to get set up to help him rumble for a big gain. Unfortunately, he fumbled away his next reception two plays later.

Quick Thoughts


  • Good lord, Matt McGloin is horrible. McGloin went 12-20 for just 131 yards and an interception. The former Raider never seems to get his feet set in the pocket. He’s constantly jumping around, and always seems to be throwing off of his back foot.
  • Fourth-string quarterback Dane Evans was a sight for sore eyes when he took over for McGloin in the fourth. Evans has a much stronger arm, and seems to have decent awareness of what’s going on around him. He was able to lead the team on the winning drive in the final quarter.
  • Corey Clement is making it very difficult for the Eagles to release him. Clement picked up 34 yards on 8 carries, and scored a touchdown. But what’s also impressive is his blocking. Clement picked up a blitz in the second quarter that allowed McGloin the time to deliver a strike to Nelson Agholor that got the team deep in Buffalo territory.
  • Rough night for Donnell Pumphrey, who ran the ball three times for -3 yards. Pumphrey did have two catches out of the backfield for 20 yards, but couldn’t get anything going on the ground.
  • Wendell Smallwood was unable to suit up once again, which puts the Eagles in a tough spot when it comes to sorting out the running back situation.
  • Torrey Smith doesn’t have a catch in the team’s first two games, but I’m not worried about him. There’s only so many opportunities to go around when the first-team offense has such a small amount of time on the field.
  • Marcus Johnson suited up, and his training camp success carried over to this game, recording two catches for 45 yards, including a 38-yard catch and run.
  • Nelson Agholor had a nice reception of his own, picking up 21 yards on a pass from McGloin to get the team deep in the redzone.
  • Byron Marshall also looked impressive, rushing for 21 yards on six carries, and scoring the winning touchdown.


  • Apart from Ronald Darby, the most impressive member of the defense from tonight’s game was Mychal Kendricks, who came down with another interception, and picked up a sack as well.
  • Another strong showing for Derek Barnett, who picked up a sack and was disruptive on several other plays.
  • Steven Means notched two more sacks of his own. He’s going to make the team, but I hope Jim Schwartz gives him a real opportunity to crack the team’s rotation this year, its clear he has some decent ability as a pass rusher.
  • With Darby now starting, Patrick Robinson is getting a look in the slot, but I still don’t think he’s particularly likely to make the team.
  • Rasul Douglas broke up a pass, and seemed to hold up well for the second straight week.
  • Tyrod Taylor played into the second quarter for the Bills. His numbers against the Eagles’ first and second units? 8/18 for 58 yards, two interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 12. That’s a good night for Jim Schwartz’s unit.

Special Teams

  • Caleb Sturgis went 2-3, missing another 40-yarder.
  • Mack Hollins drew two special teams penalties on the Bills.

Final Thoughts

So far, so good on the Ronald Darby trade. Howie Roseman’s latest move has provided promising returns.

We’re halfway through the preseason.

It’s ugly football, and the stretch where Matt McGloin quarterbacked this team is some of the worst, most embarrassing thing you can see watching the NFL preseason.

Next week’s game against Miami promises to be much more eventful, as the Eagles make their final tune-up before the regular season.

20 thoughts on “Thoughts From Eagles-Bills

  1. The D looked good but I would say that with the second PS the D’s around the league seem to appear more impressive offenses don’t plan. I would imagine that blogs all over the league read similarly

  2. What I saw was a team that still can’t run the ball with any consistency and Pederson’s poor play calling. I get it’s preseason and all that but sending Blount around the corner? Where is the push from the offensive line? At some point in time during a game you need to do that and it’s not happening. I can’t see them being successful with Wentz scrambling to save his life all season and no running game. I really hope it’s just not Andy Reid 2.0.

  3. Garry Cobb and his passionate CObbers And Please do not forget to remember MR .Albert Einstein on one his many quotes on racism /Racism is a disease of white people .. ( sic}

  4. For those of you yesterday that blasted running Blount outside I turned to BGN who demonstrated that he is fine outside and actually provided FACTs by way of stats that suggest he is actually quite good outside. I then listened to Jon Ritchie on WIP who backed my claim that the coaches were evaluating personnel and blocking schemes and were looking at specific things not necessarily the result of the play…again it’s a scrimmage. So finally I used that little thing called google and watched all 16 of his TD runs last year…. 9 of which were at the tackle or off tackle… dude is a load when he gets the corner.

    1. Agood analyisis of Of Blounts showing .You are exactly right as former baller jon ritchie pointed out, however always keep in mind these are the Philly fans, rush to judgement and are wrong ,way more that right, and have a very, very undeserved reputation as knowlegeable/That knowledgeable part is so far off base and so groundless it would annoy the hell of even the kindest of fans , The fans are at best ,about middle of the pack in knowwledge . Intolerant we win, every intolerant poll ever devised.

      1. More passionate than knowledgeable…. they overly praise good play with good breaks and overly criticize good play with bad breaks… blind passion and it’s cool

      2. How can fans that criticize a team that has never won a superbowl and only been to 2 of them rush to judgment and be wrong? Hows that work. Lol.

          1. Ahhh the generalization of eagles fans and how much they know of don’t vs other cities.

            And hac so Blount can run sweeps bc he scored tds outside the tackles ? Cmon man

            1. Or a generalization of all… just you 5-6 doom and gloom posters on gcobb. Statistically Blount was like 10th out of like 50 eligible (detertby # carries) over the last few years so there is that. Keep em coming negative dude

        1. daggolden a good one,At the moment i cant answer that one though. I love the Eagles but the fans get on my last nerve so bad.Even the racism parts, so many of these fans come across as they are so holy , that they never cussed out a minority in their life. Even in their mind I guess!! Come on G Cobbers, lets get real!Remember the beating GM cliff took from the Cobbers? He lied, he made stuff up, he exaggerated etc etc why? He wanted to be accepted as a Cobber, why ? my guess is just a lonely guy . looking to be a hero,, and what happened?So my point is there are many , many forms of racism, abuse, and most of us have a few or many things in life, we wish we could take away , My dog is my best friend. She never judges me , and I treat her the same .

          1. So cliff was outed by racists? WTF u talking bout. He was outed as a liar not as a black liar… hell he told so many lies his race is absolutely in question…. he was looking for attention

          2. Too many crazies here anymore. Patrick you need help. Gary do me a favor and ban me. This crazy people stuff may be contagious

  5. 1st and 10 with 4:15 to go in the first.

    Wentz play action to Blount, sets his feet right looking like a screen to Agholor when suddenly a slant the Jeffrey. Wentz was not looking at him but at Agholor.

    I’ve watched the play 3x and still think its going to Agholor.

    Sneaky dodge-ball play – stare at one guy while throwing to another.

    I thought it was very impressive.

    1. I’m looking for the fire to the Blount smoke. He’s 30 and low paid… could happen.
      I’m sure there will be hand wringing at trading experienced depth in Tobin!

    2. Blounts not getting cut. Just media driven speculation based on talking point what ifs. fake news.

      Thank god Tobin was traded for a 5th,,,magic by Howie. Tobin was awful.

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