The Eagles' first preseason game is under their belt, and the team was able to squeak out a 28-27 win. Below are some of the observations I had in each quarter.
Kevin Kolb’s first pass of the game was a bullet over the middle to DeSean Jackson, put in a place where only he could get it. The play went for 17 yards and immediately got everyone excited.
Something we thought we’d be losing when Donovan McNabb left town was the mobility he had. However, Kolb was forced into a few situations where he had to make plays with his feet. The first time the team had a third down opportunity, Kolb was forced out of the pocket and was able to scramble for six yards to pick up a first down.
The offense kept settling for field goals in tonight’s game but had a nice touchdown opportunity in the first quarter when Kolb threw a ball to Brent Celek in the back of the end zone that went through his hands. It wasn’t the easiest catch to make, but it looked like Celek could have had it.
On a third-and-10 situation, Kolb was able to hit DeSean Jackson for a 26-yard pick up. Jackson also had a very nice end-around play where he made a defender look just plain stupid.
On a short yardage situation, we saw Michael Vick enter the game with the first team where he ran a bootleg play and hit Celek for a first down.
The Eagles' first team defense was something a lot of people wanted to see tonight. However, we only got to see them for a total of six plays. In the first quarter, the defense forced the Jaguars' offense into two three-and-out situations. Brodrick Bunkley, Ellis Hobbs, and Asante Samuel all made nice plays.
Riley Cooper is a guy everyone has had their eyes on in training camp and he made yet another big play tonight. On the first play of the second quarter, Vick hit Cooper on a 46-yard Willie Mays-like play.
As the Eagles moved into the red zone, the Jaguars forced Vick into a fumble.
Since the Eagles' defense limited the Jaguars' offense so much, the Jags' first team offense came out against the Eagles' second team defense. They moved a ball a bit but the second team ended the drive when Kurt Coleman broke up a pass on a third down situation.
Later in the quarter, Joselio Hanson was burned badly for the Jaguars' first touchdown of the game.
When the Eagles got the ball back, they got a favorable pass interference call against Kelley Washington, putting them in scoring position. From 10 yards out, the field opened up and Vick ran for a touchdown. You could tell that Vick was going to score as soon as he tucked the ball down. He had a ton of field to work with and only had one guy to beat. Vick is going to win this battle almost every time.
After the Vick touchdown, Coleman made a great play on kickoff coverage in which he fought off a block and made a solid tackle.
When back on defense, the Eagles sent a big blitz in which cornerback Dimitri Patterson was out of position and Coleman didn’t shift over early enough, which led to another Jaguars touchdown.
Throughout the third quarter, Vick continued to look good by making plays with his feet.
The star of the second half had to be Martell Mallett. He looked great running the ball and also displayed great hands. I think we will see a lot more from him this preseason, and he definitely has a shot to make a run at the third running back position.
Chad Hall has been an interesting guy to watch during training camp. He doesn’t seem to have a clear-cut role but showed he can do a lot of different things. He did everything from running balls as a running back to catching balls as a receiver to returning balls on special teams. He’s very versatile.
Something that caught my eye was when DeSean Jackson helped teammate Antoine Harris off the field after suffering an injury. It showed some leadership and I thought it was nice to see.
Geoff Pope was burned for a touchdown. I’m a bit concerned with the depth we have at corner.
Our coverage on returns looked terrible. Bobby April is going to rip into some people this week. There is a lot of room for improvement here, and there’s definitely opportunities for guys to make the team if they can step up and help improve this unit.
Mike Kafka was able to lead the team to a come-from-behind victory. Overall, I thought he looked solid.
One of my favorite things to see this quarter was Kolb having conversations with Kafka after he came off the field. Kolb doesn’t have a ton of in-game experience, but he is still the leader of the team and is embracing the role.