Friday, August 28, 2009
The Eagles played their 3rd preseason game, the most important one because the starters play 3 quarters, against the Jaguars on Thursday night. While the mere presence of Michael Vick made all the headlines, there were still some interesting performances by some players who are fighting for a spot on the roster. While the Birds won 33-32, and that is always a good thing, there still seems to be a lot of kinks that need to be worked out. Here is a quick look at some of the positives and negatives for the Eagles in their 3rd preseason game.
-The first team defense. Sure, they gave up a lot of points, but it wasn't the fault of the defense. They swarmed the Jaguars all night, with nearly every starting defensive lineman getting a hit on Jaguars quarterback David Garrard. Even DT Mike Patterson got in on the action, recording the lone sack of the night.
-Asante Samuel. He was everywhere on Thursday, getting an interception and a forced fumble. He got a little banged up at one point but Asante looks ready to start the season.
-Jason Babin. He has earned his spot by once again being a difference-maker on the field. Babin didn't record a sack this time but he constantly put pressure on and forced a fumble. Welcome to the team, Jason Babin. Sorry, Bryan Smith, despite your interception, you are a goner.
-Jason Avant. Everyone talks about DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis and Jeremy Maclin in the passing game but Jason Avant could have the best year out of all of them. He caught 5 passes for 92 yards and is really emerging.
-Kevin Kolb. He actually looked pretty good out there at times. Don't tell anyone I admitted that.
-David Akers. 4/4 on field goals is a good day. I wish he didn't have to kick so many.
-The first team offense in the first half. I don't know if it was Michael Vick or what but the first team offense looked off. Stop me if you've heard this before but they moved the ball well at times but they were stopped in the red zone and had to settle for field goals twice. The play selection in the first half was incredibly skewed with 3 times as many runs as passes. Most of the problems with the offense are likely related to...
-Donovan McNabb in the first half. McNabb looked out of sync until late in the second quarter when Michael Vick's night was done. After that, McNabb got into a nice rhythm and started hitting the open receivers with regularity. Was it a coincidence that once Vick was done McNabb got into a rhythm?
-Jason Peters. I guess 60 million doesn't buy what it used to. He needs to get it together.
-Discipline. It was better this week but 8 penalties for 62 yards still isn't great. There are too many plays getting called back and drives getting killed because of stupid penalties.
-Special Teams. This is still the least special unit the Eagles have. The Jags had too many long returns.
-The running game. Oh, wait, what running game? They only had 66 yards on the ground but when you have 19 total rushes, I guess you can't expect more. Obviously, when Brian Westbrook plays this will be better.