The Philadelphia Eagles moved to 2-0 in the preseason with their 27-17 victory over the New England Patriots Monday night.
This was actually an exciting matchup considering it's the preseason. Both teams played well on offense, and each defense created havoc on their side of the ball as well.
The majority of New England's starters didn't play, and Michael Vick wound up leaving the game with a rib injury, but that didn't knock this game into irrelevance. Watching players like Nick Foles make the most of his extended opportunity behind center was worth it by itself.
Let's take a look at some highlights, and grade the performance of five offensive players.
We can make these quick. As I mentioned, Vick got hurt early in this one. You can see the hit by Jermaine Cunningham here:
That certainly didn't put head coach Andy Reid in a good mood, and he took it out on Cullen Jenkins later in the game:
Nick Foles, Eagles: A
Foles was nearly perfect Monday night after Michael Vick left the game with a rib injury. He threw the ball for over 200 yards and tossed two touchdowns, putting his preseason total up to four.
He did throw an interception in the second quarter, but that doesn't diminish Foles' value at this point. Vick continues to worry Philadelphia with his durability, and Foles has stepped up mightily as a rookie thus far.
He finished the night 18-of-28 through the air.
Ryan Mallett, Patriots: B-
Let's go from one quarterback to the other. Mallett started this game in place of Tom Brady, and he did a fairly good job. He wasn't as dynamic as his Philadelphia counterpart, but he didn't make any major mistakes.
He finished the game 10-of-20 passing for 105 yards and a touchdown. The key for Mallett, as it always is, is that he didn't throw an interception.
New England needs Mallett to provide quality insurance behind Brady. He must improve his decision-making in order to do that, and he did a solid job Monday night. He failed to really push the ball up the field, but taking care of the ball matters more.
LeSean McCoy, Eagles: A
McCoy is the centerpiece of the Eagles offense, and he played well in his limited time on Monday. He carried the ball seven times for 30 yards and a touchdown.
He also caught two passes for 12 yards, further displaying his already known versatility.
McCoy didn't have anything to prove in this matchup, but he showed his normally excellent burst against a patchwork Patriots defense.
DeSean Jackson, Eagles: B+
Jackson didn't catch a touchdown Monday night, but he did have four catches for 82 yards. Of those 82 yards, 40 of them came on a deep strike from Foles.
Like any star player in preseason, we weren't watching Jackson to see what he's capable of. You only want to make sure that he's doing his job and showing the proper effort, especially in his case.
Jackson played well on Monday and would have had an A if he had caught a touchdown like Clint Harbor managed to do twice.
Shane Vereen, Patriots: A-
I'll stick with the offensive theme here. Vereen fits the New England mold of running backs. He's versatile, fast and probably won't even be a household name.
But he did play pretty well Monday night. He had 10 carries for 20 yards, and he also caught four passes for 29 yards. None of that will jump out at you, but he displayed an excellent awareness of New England's offense.
The Patriots use a multitude of weapons on offense, and Vereen will play a role this season. I really liked what I saw from him Monday night, and he could play a big role in New England's rotation this season.
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