The Philadelphia Eagles came up short in their first preseason game of the 2014 season and fell to the Chicago Bears by a score of 34-28 on Friday night. Here’s our recap.
MVP – Mark Sanchez
Now that’s more like it, Mr. Wayne.
Mark Sanchez appears to be back to his peak 2009-2010 era form when he led the New York Jets to two straight AFC Championship games. Sanchez went through his reads, made sharp decisions, did not force throws, and did not hang onto the ball too long.
The big run came in the second quarter with Sanchez at the helm. In just a couple of minutes he led two touchdown drives and played quarterback flawlessly.
Sanchez completed seven of ten passes, averaged nearly eight yards per completion, and had a 93.3 quarterback rating. Tonight’s performance combined wih his solid training camp mean that the backup job is pretty much his unless he gets hurt.
LVP – Matt Barkley
Woof. Major woof.
Barkley was struggling in training camp coming in – he has not looked comfortable in the pocket and just hasn’t made good decisions. Those issues came out front and center tonight and he looked like he was in way over his head.
For the game Barkley completed seven of 15 passes, threw one pick and averaged just 4.9 yards per attempt. Even his basic footwork was out of sync.
There’s still some football left to play but based on the way Sanchez has been playing this position battle is all but over.
X-Factor – Zach Ertz
Second year tight end Zach Ertz was brilliant in the first half and made several big catches – he seemed to have a very nice rhythm going with Mark Sanchez. The biggest catch came on a big gain up the seam for 35 yards.
He finished with four catches for sixty yards on five targets.
Key Stat – 101
Tonight he made us look smart by running back a kickoff return for 101 yards in the second quarter. His speed is going to make him a dangerous weapon for a long time to come for the Eagles. He also has the added benefit of a couple years experience in Chip Kelly’s offense at the University of Oregon. All the buzz at camp has been around Matthews but Huff just might prove to be the real gem of the 2014 class for the Eagles.
Tweet of the game
If I took a shot of vodka for every flag so far I would have probably pooped my pants by now.
— Mike Lavin (@GoBirds_Lavin) August 9, 2014
It was an ugly game with far too many flags thrown. If the NFL is really serious about officiating the game this closely they’re going to see a major backlash from the fans.
What it Means
Preseason games don’t mean a lot but some legitimate concerns did pop up as the game went on. Barkley is all but finished in the backup competition but that’s no real loss. Far more troubling were the drops by Jordan Matthews, who had the same problem at Vanderbilt. Jaylen Watkins and the rest of the second string secondary looked awful in the second half and got burned every drive. There’s a lotof work to do, so let’s not just schedule the Super bowl parade just yet.
Friday, August 15, 2014 7:30 PM
At New England Patriots