Third-round pick Nick Foles got a chance to play with the first team offense after Michael Vick’s early departure with a rib injury. While we were learning that x-rays on Vick’s ribs were negative, Foles provided among the few positives from the Eagles’ second pre-season game, again throwing two touchdown passes as he did in the preseason opener.
Foles not only went 18 for 28 for 217 yards, he took a hit to be able to make a long throw downfield to DeSean Jackson for a 40 yard gain setting up the Eages’ third touchdown. As if that weren’t enough, Foles scrambled for 24 yards, which was the longest running play by either team all night until rookie Bryce Brown, a seventh round pick, popped a 27-yarder, en route to a 9-carry, 51-yard night.
Foles also took a late hit – seemingly right under his chin – in the third quarter from Jake Bequette, who was picked two spots after Foles in the 2012 draft, but showed no ill effects.
Is it fair to wonder whether the brittle Vick misses Jason Peters (out for the season with a torn achilles) so much that it’s inevitable that we will see a lot of Nick Foles this season?
DRC now MIA: After getting fined for a late hit on Byron Leftwich last week, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie left this week’s game with an unspecified shoulder injury.
Safe Harbor: Backup tight end Clay Harbor also made the most of his opportunity to play with the first team, sharing time with Brent Celek, who saw his first action after spraining his knee in training camp. Harbor got himself open near the goal line for two touchdown catches. All told, Harbor led all Eagles receivers with 6 receptions.
Ryans gets on scoresheet: After failing to make a tackle against the Steelers, middle linebacker Demeco Ryans made 3 solo tackles and assisted on 2 others.
Allen steps up, too: Nate Allen led the Eagles with 7 tackles, just days after a violent collision in practice with Nnamdi Asomugah.
Kendricks strong on strong side: Mychal Kendricks, the first of two Eagles’ second round picks in 2012, had a very good game with 6 tackles, 3 solo, leading all linebackers.
Defense continues to have third down problems: The Eagles’ defense allowed the Patriots’ offense to convert 7 of 11 third downs in the first half – including FIVE on one touchdown drive alone. And that’s without Tom Brady over center.
In your face: It did not escape the notice of TV cameras that Andy Reid was vehemently addressing the first-team defense on the sideline, when all of a sudden his shouting was directed at Cullen Jenkins, who soon was standing face-to-face with Reid, letting it fly right back. According to Demeco Ryans, Reid’s wrath centered on the Eagles’ pair of unnecessary roughness penalties in the first quarter, one to Darryl Tapp and another to rookie Fletcher Cox, which negated a Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie interception that would have ended the Pats’ five third down conversion touchdown drive. For his part, Reid said after the game that “it’s an emotional game…he was fired up; I was fired up. Those things happen.”
The Eagles continued the penalty-ridden sloppiness that plagued them much of last season, incurring a whopping 16 penalties for 131 yards.
Aussie punter redux? After having Sav Rocca on the team from 2007-2010, the Eagles are trying out former Cowboy Pro Bowler Mat McBriar, who also hails from Melbourne, Australia. McBriar impressed with 4 punts averaging a shade under 50 yards per. Incumbent Chas Henry got his shot in the second half, punting twice for a 36 yard average – but pinning the Pats on their 6 and 9 yard lines, respectively. McBriar pinned New England at their 7, but also punted a touchback – so the battle continues.
Next stop, Cleveland: Since the Eagles also open the season against the Browns, figure we will not see much of the playbook – and possibly not much of the players, either on Friday. With Vick’s back-to-back injury scares and Mike Kafka’s broken wrist, expect Trent Edwards (6-11 for 59 yards against New England) to see a lot of “action.”
Oh yeah, I almost forgot…the Eagles beat the Pats 27-17.