It looked bleak for Philadelphia from the first whistle, as Peyton Manning led the Colts on a 12 play, 81 yard drive, capped off by a three yard touchdown pass to Anthony Gonzalez. Manning never looked back, completing 10 of 14 passes for 167 yards.
One of the more eyebrow raising plays of the game came with 4:50 left in the first quarter, when Manning connected with Reggie Wayne on a 76 yard scoring strike. Ellis Hobbs, filling in as the starting cornerback for the injured Sheldon Brown, completely missed his assignment, leaving no green helmets within 30 yards of the wide open Wayne.
"I think [we need to] just get back to basics", said starting safety Quentin Mikell. "I think the main thing is we've got to fly around a little more. We've got to get our eyes on the right spot. It's always tough in the preseason, but that's no excuse. We've got to get this thing together. We're going to go back to work on Saturday and figure out what we need to do there."
When asked specifically about the Reggie Wayne debacle, Mikell said:
"That's a good play that they had. They had two guys running through the zone on one of our safeties and that's a tough position. Any time you have a great quarterback like Peyton Manning it's tough. But that point aside, we don't have any excuses. We've got to make the plays, so at the end of the day we've just got to get better."
Penalties were another huge problem. The Eagles registered twelve penalties for a staggering 87 yards. Several of these penalties were for silly "rookie" mistakes. Illegal formation, too few men on the line of scrimmage, false starts, etc.
"All in all, that was an embarrassing performance and way too many penalties, not enough intensity all the way around, starting with me," Coach Reid said after the game. "It was a poor performance."
On the other hand, there were some high points. The quarterback rotation of Donovan McNabb, A.J. Feeley, and Adam DiMichele combined to go 35 of 49 for 343 yards, with both McNabb and DiMichele registering touchdown passes.
"We are taking a step ahead," said McNabb after the game. "There were a lot of things we could take out of this. We weren't able to start the way we wanted to start last week. This week, we did. We can take some things out of this. The positive thing about it is that once we get all of our guys healthy we can get things really rolling."
The thing for Eagles fans to remember here is that although this was a boring, sometimes painful to watch preseason game, it was a preseason game nonetheless. Several starters, who would have normally played, sat with minor injuries. There were twelve players who didn't even make the trip out to Indy.
We should get a more accurate view of what to expect from this team next week, when the Birds host the Jacksonville Jaguars. Generally, you see the most of the starting group in the third preseason game. Also, Michael Vick is expected to make his Eagles debut against the Jags, so look for Andy Reid to try some different stuff and shake things up a bit.
Relax, Eagles fans. There's no need to panic...