The Eagles beat the Jaguars 33-32 with a nice 4th quarter comeback on Thursday night in their 3rd preseason game. The score does not indicate how poorly the Eagles actually played. They needed a 4th quarter comeback by Kevin Kolb to win the game.
The Eagles offense and defense really continue to be very average. They looked average in the first preseason game, but did some good things, so I wasn't too worried. They also did not look very impressive in the 2nd game against the Colts, and that trend continued last night in preseason Game 3.
The actual result of the game last night is not very significant, I wanted to see the players make plays, and see how the Eagles try to use Mike Vick. It didn't take long for Vick to see the field, he came on for the 2nd play of the game, and threw a shovel pass to McCoy. It became apparent fairly quickly that there was no flow to this almost alternating plays for McNabb and Vick, and the play calling was way too gimmicky, even when McNabb was under center. If this were the regular season, I would be yelling at Reid to run the ball more. Of course that isn't too easy when the offensive line in my opinion has been horrible this preseason. I understand there are multiple injuries on the offensive line, so lets hope that this unit gets better once the season starts.
Shawn Andrews and Todd Herramans did not play, and it was revealed after the game that Herramans will have surgery and will miss the start of the regular season, and will miss multiple weeks of the regular season. Stacy Andrews did start, and couldn't make it as far as the regular starters went, but apparently, it was more of a precaution as to why he was taken out. Jason Peters didn't play... ohhh he actually did play, you just wouldn't have known that he showed up. Peters has not been good this preseason. It's hard for me to tell how a center is doing, so I'm not sure if Jamaal Jackson looks good, but the overall unit flat out looks bad. McNabb has pressure on him almost every time he drops back to pass, and has to keep plays alive by getting out of the pocket and trying to make something happen. The O-Line run blocked well in the first preseason game, yet I haven't seen them open up a hole on an inside run in the past 2 games. The running backs are running into walls when they try to run up the middle. The offensive line is a unit that has to get back by the regular season.
The play calling was also an area of concern for me. Like I said earlier, if this were the regular season, I would be yelling at Reid to run the ball more. I understand you wanted to get Vick involved, and I liked that they did that, but the play calling just wasn't there, and it got gimmicky very quickly. I would like to Vick line up in the slot more often on multiple plays in a row, whether you plan to use him on a play or not. Keep McNabb under center, and have Vick in the slot. This way, you don't have to do anything gimmicky, you run the regular offense (yes, I want to see Vick go out for passes), you don't have to keep running McNabb and Vick on and off the field, and you have multiple weapons on the field at one time. I'm not sure who calls the plays at this point, probably Reid because he is so arrogant, but the play calling needs to get better in the regular season. I don't anticipate this however, as the play calling in my opinion has not been good for years. Morningweg is a below average offensive coordinator.
On defense, the 1st team is still getting points scored on them, and letting teams drive down the field. This defense was the 3rd ranked defense in the NFL, and 1st ranked in the NFC last season, and I think for the Eagles to be successful, their defense needs to be in the top 10 at worst. Losing Stewart Bradley is still hurting this team, as Joe Mays has been a non-factor at the middle linebacker position. In fact, the entire linebacking corps have been mostly invisible in the preseason, besides rookie Moise Fokou, who has been a beast. I will say the Eagles did a better job of getting to the QB, and disrupted many plays by getting in the Jaguars' quarterbacks faces. On the line, Trent Cole stood out, and was in the backfield a lot. Asante Samuel continues to play well, and had a pick last night. I think Quintin Mikell is also playing well, but you expect that out of him.
The Eagles do have some things to work on still, and need to improve in multiple areas. If they run this team and this game out in the regular season, they will be completely average. But this is what preseason is for, to work on the kinks, and get ready to play well in Week 1 of the regular season. Lets hope that the Eagles are ready to Week 1 against the Panthers.