Ugly game. There were some positives to be sure, but penalties, turnovers and sloppy play ruled the day.
The biggest positive was the play of Nick Foles and the offense. Foles didn’t throw any picks and the starting offense was able to move the football. Things were far from perfect, but the offense at least started to look like the group we watched move the ball and score points last year. The O-line played much better and that helped a lot. The chief problem for the starting offense was receivers getting open. That’s what happens when you don’t have Riley Cooper or Jeremy Maclin playing.
Mark Sanchez had a terrific showing. He did throw one INT, but generally looked very good. He finished 11-12-117 with 2 TDs. Once again, I thought he looked good at running the attack.
WR Jordan Matthews bounced back from a bad showing last week. He was 9-104. Matthews caught a variety of passes and was able to keep the chains moving. He added RAC yards. Matthews looked good. Zach Ertz had another strong showing. He was 2-26, including a TD catch.
The defense did not have a good game. The pass rush was an issue. Tackling was an issue. Penalties were an issue. Missed assignments were an issue. And so on. It was discouraging to see the group struggle the way they did. I need to study the tape to know who is at fault. We can talk about a few individuals.
Curtis Marsh had a bad game. He gave up a couple of TDs and was beaten on several other plays. I give him credit for hanging in there. The Eagles were short some CBs due to injury so Marsh had to play a lot. Some guys fall completely apart when they struggle. Marsh kept battling even though not much was going right.
3rd downs were a major issue. The Pats were 10 of 15. They started off 7 for 7. Coverage has got to tighten up. Tackling has got to get better. Penalties were also a factor. As Chip Kelly said after the game, the Eagles must learn to not put their hands into players faces and the Eagles must quit making contact with receivers down the field. We can argue about the penalties, but the bottom line is that the NFL is set on making changes. You have to deal with the rules.
Aside from a missed FG by Alex Henery, the STs had another good showing. The highlight…Arrelious Benn blocked a punt.
Friday’s game didn’t get me too concerned with the team, but the defense’s struggles certainly have my attention. The Eagles have a lot of work to do before next week’s game with Pittsburgh.