The Philadelphia Eagles lost their first preseason game Friday night to the New England Patriots by a score of 31-22. While it was only a preseason game, there are some things you can take away from each game leading up to the season opener.
Chip Kelly now has his first game as an NFL head coach under his belt. It could be seen that Kelly's offensive system is still a work in progress. It won't be completely ready until the season starts and a starting quarterback has been named for the season.
The most noticeable difference with the new offense is the lack of time-outs called as the play clock ran down. Andy Reid was known for his bad time management and constantly wasted time-outs because the ball couldn't be snapped in time. It'll be nice to see better time management this season because time-outs can't be wasted.
If the opening drive of the game was any sign of what's to come this season on defense, then the Eagles are in deep trouble. Tom Brady and the Patriots easily made their way down the field for an 80-yard drive. It only took six plays, all runs, for the Patriots to score the first touchdown of the game. The opening play of the game was a 62-yard run by Patriots running back Stevan Ridley. The one downside to the new 3-4 defense is that closing the gaps will be harder for the defensive line and the running lanes will open up quickly.
On the second drive by the Patriots, Brady torched the Eagles secondary. Brady completed seven of his eight pass attempts for 65 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown pass.
The starting defense was finished after the Patriots first two drives. The second-string defense looked pretty good and the backup defense line held up well. It's good to know the the Eagles have decent backups ready and waiting in case something or someone goes in the wrong direction.
As Kelly stated, Michael Vick and Nick Foles each got their turn with the first team offense. Vick and Foles each played two series and each had one touchdown drive. Vick's touchdown drive came during the Eagles first drive down the field. Vick's second pass of the game was a 47-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson. Foles' first drive ended in a fumble, but his second resulted in a touchdown. Foles will be the starting quarterback on Thursday against the Carolina Panthers.
All throughout the offseason, Kelly's "up-tempo" offense was talked about a lot. The "up-tempo" offense wasn't seen that much, if at all. Yes, they ran a no-huddle offense a lot, but it seemed like it was mainly a conventional no-huddle offense. However, the tempo seemed to have sped up on Foles' second drive down the field. Hopefully Kelly shows more of the "up-tempo" offense later in the preseason. For now, Kelly said he is going to keep things simple. Even with things being kept simple, the Eagles showed that they still have work to do, especially the offensive line.
The offensive line seemed to hold up well for Vick and Foles. They blocked best when the Eagles were passing. Lane Johnson, the Eagles' fourth overall pick in this years draft, was impressive in his first start with the Eagles. Johnson provided a key block on Vick's blind side during the Eagles' second play of the first drive, giving Vick enough time to find Jackson for the touchdown.
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