Observations and Notes from Eagles Preseason Opener vs. Steelers

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Observations and Notes from Eagles Preseason Opener vs. Steelers
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles won their preseason opener in dramatic fashion when Alex Henery kicked a 51-yard field goal in the final seconds to give the birds a 24-23 victory. In a game that was dedicated to Andy Reid's son, Garrett, it was the backups who came through in the clutch.

First, it was great to see some actual football action after the long offseason. Preseason is mainly about the first team guys getting into rhythm and knocking the rust off as well as young guys trying to earn a spot on the roster.

Well, as it turns out, the Eagles' first and second-team players are more rusty than the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz after a decade in the rain.

Michael Vick and the first team offense went three-and-out on their only two series of the night. Vick completed three of four passes for exactly six yards and was sacked once.

Our other offensive star, LeSean McCoy, netted -5 yards on one rush and one reception. DeSean Jackson had one catch for five yards.

The first team offense netted a grand total of -3 yards on two possessions. Not exactly powerhouse numbers there, huh?

And to make matters worse, it took all of six plays to get our initial injury scare for Michael Vick. On his final pass attempt, he whacked the thumb on his throwing hand against the back of Jason Kelce's helmet.

Thankfully, the X-rays came back negative, and we saw Vick grasping a football on the sideline in the second half. However, this goes to show you just how injury prone Vick is and highlights the importance of the decision on his backup.

The first-team defense looked eerily similar to the 2011 defense—excellent pass-rushing but significant break-downs in the run defense and in the secondary. Juan Castillo should not have been proud.

All in all, the first-team offense was terrible, and the first team defense wasn't that bad, but they were not an improvement over last year's unit at this point.

The first and second team offenses left a lot to be desired. Between both units in the entire first half, they netted a grand total of 54 yards and zero points.

On the other hand, the third and fourth team offenses accumulated 284 yards and scored all 24 points.

Mike Kafka didn't help himself to keep his job as the No. 2 QB behind Vick when he threw a really boneheaded interception in the second quarter.

Kafka dropped back and turned around to his left and threw the ball before even surveying the field. If he did, he would have noticed a Pittsburgh defensive lineman standing right there for the easy INT.

Overall, Kafka completed five of nine passes for 31 yards and the only turnover of the game for the Eagles.

Well, enough of that, let's move on to my notes and observations from the game...

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