Philadelphia Eagles: The Early Verdict on the 2011 NFL Dream Team

Andrew Robeson@SportswriterguyAnalyst IIAugust 12, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 11:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles in action during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens during their pre season game on August 11, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

It may just be the preseason, but the Philadelphia Eagles are off to a good start.

Anytime Michael Vick can cruise down the field against the vaunted Baltimore Ravens, it's a good sign. It's an even better sign when Vick does it without his two main targets.

Receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin sat out the preseason opener, but Jason Avant and Riley Cooper filled in admirably. Avant caught a 20-yard pass on the first play, while Cooper came down with a 42-yard reception later in the series. 

Vick was then able to convert a three-yard pass to tight end Brent Celek for the touchdown. 

The Eagles may need to find a way to continue to succeed without Maclin, who has no timeline for a return after suffering from a mystery illness. However, head coach Andy Reid is hopeful Maclin will return in time for the season opener. 

On the defensive side of the ball, Asante Samuel lined up at safety, after the Eagles signed Nnamdi Asomugha and acquired Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie this offseason.

The trio helped limit the Ravens' first team offense to a field on their first drive.

Another bright spot for the Eagles was rookie place kicker Alex Henery, who hit both of his field-goal attempts in his NFL debut.

The lone new player who really struggled was running back Ronnie Brown, who carried the ball nine times for just 22 yards. In fact, the Eagles never got the running game going at all, as they rushed the ball 32 times for 88 yards, averaging under three yards per carry.

Verdict: The Eagles are going to be good, everyone knows that. The offense didn't miss a beat from last season and the defense looks like it is off to a strong start.

For the Eagles to be a Super Bowl contender, they need to develop a stronger run game than what they showed on Thursday night. But obviously there is time for that.