Philadelphia Eagles week 1 pre-season recap
By Lijah Spencer (@tweaked74)
The Philadelphia Eagles have been one of the more active teams this offseason. Chip Kelly has made many intriguing moves. From trading away star RB Lesean McCoy whom is the franchise leader in rushing yards, to trading away starting QB Nick Foles for often injured QB Sam Bradford.
In an offseason with such curious moves, the first pre-season game couldn’t come soon enough. Not all of the questions were going to be answered today, but we would start to get an idea of what to expect from the team this season. Here is what I saw:
1) Mark Sanchez looked off
Probably just chalk it up to 1st game jitters, or maybe a desire to outplay Bradford to win the starting job, but Sanchez was not especially sharp today. He went 2-7 and all of his throws were either too high or too far. He is usually more accurate than this, so I expect him to clean that up for the next game.
2) The starting secondary looked improved.
The starting unit did not play many series today, but they appeared to be pretty good in coverage. Maxwell and Carroll stayed close to their men, and rookie Eric Rowe showed an ability to make plays in his first ever game.
3) Kenjon Barner
In a very deep RB group Barner made some splash plays on special teams today. Mainly a return over 100 yards that went for a TD. He may have just solidified a spot on the 53 man roster, and if he didn’t you can bet other teams will pick him up.
4) The young receiving group is going to be a very good one.
Rookie Nelson Agholor showed why many considered him to be the most polished WR in the draft. He caught a very high pass from Sanchez, turned it up field and outran the defense on his way to a 17 yard TD catch. He did have a few drops, but I don’t expect that to be a common occurrence with him. Jordan Mathews also got open and made a few nice catches, with a steady QB these WR’s should put up big numbers.
5) The run defense is stout.
The 1st string run defense could be among the best in the league. The Colts today could not get any yards on the ground while the starters were in. With Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, and Cedric Thornton that should continue all year long.
6) Marcus Smith
Last year’s draft flop Marcus Smith played a fair amount today, and he was making plays. He looks more comfortable and confident in this defense, maybe he can be player that contributes this year.
It was only the first preseason game, and I never look at the score, but I do look at how players are developing, and today was encouraging. Of course we still have not seen Sam Bradford or Demarco Murray, but we should next Saturday night when The Eagles play The Ravens in week 2. Today the picture began to come into focus, next weekend that will be even more true.
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