Friday, August 20, 2010

Positives and negatives from the Eagles second preseason game

After an impressive showing in their first preseason game against the Jaguars, the Eagles took a step back against the Bengals on Friday night, failing to score a touchdown while getting beat 22-9. While wins and losses in the preseason don't matter, the performance on the field does and the Eagles offense didn't come away with a lot of positives in the game. The defense, on the other hand, did show some jump and made some plays, building on their perfect performance last week against the Jaguars. Here are some more detailed positives and negatives from the Eagles first preseason game.


Eagles secondary Sure, they had their moments getting burned by the bigger Bengals receivers but the Eagles secondary had a pretty good game overall, picking off Carson Palmer twice and making several solid open-field tackles. Considering they were without Asante Samuel, that's about all you can ask for from a group that doesn't seem to have much depth.

Nate Allen The rookie got run over by Cedric Benson on a play early in the first quarter but made up for it on the very next play by putting heavy pressure on Carson Palmer and forcing an interception. He still has plenty of room to grow but Allen looks ready to start at free safety.

Brandon Graham Not to be outdone by his fellow rookie defender, Graham picked up his first sack of the preseason and also had a huge hit on a Bengals running back. Of course, most of the credit for the sack goes to Trevor Laws, who toasted his guy off the line and forced J.T. O'Sullivan to go into panic mode.

Eagles second team defense The Eagles defense was dominant in the third quarter, keeping the Bengals off the board in the third quarter despite the two turnovers by the Eagles offense that gave Cincinnati great field position. Between Graham's sack, Keenan Clayton's pick and pressure from all angles, the Eagles second team defense made life miserable for Bengals backup quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan. Of course, O'Sullivan is a pretty terrible QB, so some of the success of the defense should be credited to his poor play.

David Akers Akers went 3 for 3 on field goals, making him 8 for 8 in the preseason. Touchdowns would be nice but Akers is certainly ready for the season.


Eagles 1st team offense in the first quarter After looking great from the start last week, Kevin Kolb couldn't get much going with the first team early on, going three and out on the first two drives before managing just one first down before Jeremy Maclin fumbled the ball away on the third drive. Kolb was 5 for 7 passing early on but the running game failed, going just 6 yards on 5 carries. Fortunately, the Birds offense did start to pick things up in the second quarter but they still ran into problems with the....

Red Zone offense Once again, the Eagles first team offense failed to convert in the red zone, this time thwarted by an illegal formation call on a Jason Avant touchdown catch. While David Akers is always reliable with the field goals, the Eagles first team offense really needs to get the ball in the end zone next week.

The offensive line Not much blocking was happening along the line tonight for the Eagles. Let's hope this is just a consistency issue because of all the injuries and not a talent issue. Too many penalties, too many holes and too many blown blocks really hampered the offenses ability to move the ball.

Jeremy Maclin Rough night for Maclin, who had 3 catches for 16 yards but fumbled twice, although one of the fumbles was because he injured his shoulder. The initial report on his injury was that it was a left shoulder contusion, which doesn't sound too serious but I'm certainly no doctor.

Joselio Hanson He was burned once again this week, this time by Terrell Owens. With Asante Samuel out of the game, Hanson was simply asked to do too much. Hanson is a capable nickel corner but can't be asked to cover the bigger and faster receivers in the league.

Michael Vick I was all set to put Vick in the positives column after he showed a great burst of speed on his 13 yard run while playing with the first team. Vick's QB play with the second team, though, left much to be desired as he was completely inaccurate, going 1 for 5 with 2 interceptions. Just about the only thing Vick can do is pull down the ball and run, making him a nice weapon for a few plays a game. However, if Kevin Kolb goes down with an injury and Vick is asked to be the starting quarterback, the Eagles will be screwed.

Penalties I know it's the preseason and the Eagles are working the kinks out but there were too many penalties that negated nice plays by the Eagles offense. Where is the discipline??
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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