Saturday, August 28, 2010

Preseason Report- August 28

The final score tells me the Eagles won last night, but the offensive stat sheet tells me that they will be no match for Green Bay on opening day if they continue to play the way they did against the lowly Chiefs.

The bright spot in this mess was the play of the first team defense. This ball hawking bunch was able to create some key turnovers that led directly to points. First round draft pick Brandon Graham and second rounder Nate Allen are already making an impact which is good to see. The main concern on this side of the ball was an ankle injury to Trent Cole. Fortunately at this time it does not appear to be serious.

There is not much to say about Kevin Kolb's performance other than he was mostly ineffective under relentless pressure, but what other NFL quarterback would not be under the same circumstances? Everyone's concern about the Eagles offensive line was and is still very valid. If this group does not tighten up their protection, Kolb and the Bird's offense are in for a long season.

Given the fact that the final preseason game against the Jets on Thursday night will be used to make some final evaluations of talent to see which players make the team and which ones do not, there will be little chance to work these problems out on the field before the regular season opener.I do believe in miracles, but the reality is at this point Philadelphia's offensive line will be no match for the Packer's front seven unless something radically changes between now and September 12.

The Eagles success this year does not depend of Kolb's ability to replace McNabb, DeSean Jackson's circus like catches, or the running of LeSean McCoy rather it depends on the five guys up front's ability to come together as a unit to provide the necessary run blocking and pass protection to make this high powered offense perform like it can.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Training Camp Report- August 21

Philadelphia's preparation for the regular season took a step backwards last night in an ugly 22-9 preseason loss to Cincinnati. Most of the positive takeaways from last week's win over Jacksonville were replaced with a number of negatives such as turnovers, costly penalties, blown coverages, and an inability to score touchdowns in the red zone.

Kevin Kolb looked very ordinary and Michael Vick looked down right bad. RB LaSean McCoy only managed 20 yards on six carries including one run for 16 yards.The Eagles secondary was torched by none other than Terrell Owens as he ended his limited playing time with three receptions for 67 yards.

The only positive of the night was the leg of K David Akers, who has accounted for the majority of the scoring in the Eagles first two games.

Maybe a good dose of reality is exactly what the Birds needed at this point of the preseason as they are certainly not ready to face Green Bay on opening day. Cincinnati was able to expose several problem areas on both sides of the ball that need to be addressed if they are to have any hope of competing in the division this year.

Next Friday night the Eagles head to Kansas City with a good chance of working out the kinks against a team that only managed to win four games last season. If they cannot straighten out some of these issues against the Chiefs we could be in for a long year.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

NFL Preseason Week 2 Matchup – Philadelphia vs. Cincinnati

The Eagles second game of this year's preseason is this Friday night at Cincinnati. With the starters expected to play the majority of the first half so we should get our first good look at both the Birds first team offense and defense against a fairly decent team.

Here is a link to a full preview of the game as originally posted on ATS Sportsline

NFL Preseason Week 2 Matchup – Philadelphia vs. Cincinnati

Saturday, August 14, 2010

2010 Training Camp Report-August 14th

While it is a little too early to annoint Kevin Kolb as the next Peyton Manning, you have to be encouraged with his performance in the Eagles 28-27 win over Jacksonville in their first preseason game last night.

Kolb played the whole first quarter completing six of 11 attempts for 95 yards. He was able to move the team down the field in all three series he played resulting in two David Akers' field goals.

While the Bird's did struggle in the red zone settling for three points instead of getting six, all told they looked pretty sharp for their first game with Kolb as their starting quarterback.

Another encouraging aspect of this game was the play of Kolb's backup; Michael Vick. Playing the second quarter and part of the third, Vick passed for 119 yards, completing 11 of 17 attempts. He did throw an interception and lose a fumble, but also showed some flashes of his former self by running for 50 yards including a nifty 10 yard touchdown run to give Philadelphia a 16-7 lead midway in the second quarter.

Batting cleanup for the Eagles was fourth round draft pick Mike Kafka. He went 3 for 7 for 76 yards including a 57 yard pass to Chad Hall in the fourth quarter that set up a 36 yard game winning field goal by Akers.

As an interesting sidelight,a few hours down the road Donovan McNabb was making his debut with his new team, the Washington Redskins. McNabb played the first few series and looked sharp, going 5 for 8 for 58 yards and a TD.

In a very limited window of activity it appears that this blockbluster trade has the potential to pay huge dividends for both teams, but only time will tell which team actually get the better of it.

Friday, August 6, 2010

2010 Training Camp Report-August 6th

The Eagles just completed their annual Flight Night practice which is held every year at Lincoln Financial Field. It is a series of practice drills along with an intra-squad scrimmage. The main idea behind the whole event is to raise money for local charities while giving the fans an early glimpse at the team.

The good news is that there is no bad news to report from last night. If you remember, last year the Eagles lost their starting middle linebacker Stewart Bradley to a fluky knee injury that ended his season. He is back and ready to go which is a welcomed relief, given the problems the Birds had at that position last year.

Two key players that did not participate in last night's practice were WR's DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Both have missed time this training camp due to some minor but nagging injuries. At this point in the season it is better to err on the side of caution than to take any unnecessary chances so expect them to sit out for as long as it takes them to get back to 100%.

The Birds first preseason game will be against Jacksonville next Friday night August 13th at the Linc starting at 7:30 P.M. It is hard to know what to expect in this first game as the starters are only likely to play a few series. As expected all eyes will be on QB Kevin Kolb, but I am actually more interested in getting a look at first round pick DE Brandon Graham and second round pick S Nate Allen. If the Eagles are to have any chance of competing with Dallas for the NFC East title, they need both these guys to make an immediate impact on this defense.