The third preseason game is in the books and only one more game remains before things really matter. We got to see the starters for a good portion of the game and probably for pretty much the last time before the Birds travel to Carolina. There were some definite positives and negatives that can be taken away from this game. Let’s take a look at some of them.
- The starters got to play a lot. This is good for a few different reasons. It helps work on their condition. They got more time to gel and work with one another. Those who are new to the starting lineups on offense and defense were able to get a lot of reps and get comfortable with the guys that have been there before.
- Jason Avant. No one ever talks about this guy but he is a stud. He had 5 receptions for 94 yards last night, and I feel that whenever Donovan is pressured and forced to leave the pocket Avant is always the one that comes back to the ball and gets open. He’s not afraid to plant himself in the middle of the field and look for the ball.
- Hitting. There were some missed tackles and poor efforts last night but the Eagles did bring the wood on many occasions. When Asante Samuel hits someone so hard that they stay down, you know the Eagles are hitting.
- Donovan. Yes he did have a terrible interception and did some typical Donovan things but overall I think he faired well. He was getting very little time to throw the ball and did a great job of escaping the pocket and making plays with his feet. Although he’s getting older, we have two quarterbacks with great feet.
- Red Zone Offense. This has been an issue for so long and it seems the Eagles can’t figure out how to score touchdowns instead of field goals.
- Run Game. I’m not saying that they didn’t run the ball well or anything, I’m saying that they didn’t run the ball enough. 58 passes compared to 19 runs last night. Again, same old Eagles here. First and goal on the one yard line and you’re throwing the ball. Is this a lack of confidence in the offensive line or not thinking any of your running backs can pound out one yard on the goal line?
- Linebacker Pass Coverage. This is something I’ve been looking for the LBs to improve the past couple weeks and it doesn’t seem to be happening. They got burned hard by a 45 yard screen play by MJD and had trouble covering tight ends again.
- Pass Protection. Donovan was pressured out of the pocket on many occasions last night. He had very little time before the pocket collapsed on him. Offensive line has got to do a better job of protecting him back there.
I’m not going to list Michael Vick as a postive or a negative. I was happy with the crowd embracing Vick everytime he entered the game. He had to be nervous coming into it with how the crowd would react. He only kept the ball himself one time out of his six plays on the field. When he looked downfield and threw the ball he looked good and that’s what I wanted to see. Everyone knows he’s going to do stuff with his feet but can he sit back and throw the ball if asked to do so. I think he showed he can and that makes him a double threat that defensive coordinators are going to hate game planning for.
That’s all the positives and negatives I’m going to list for now. Overall, I was disappointed with the performance of the team but hopefully they’re getting all the bugs out now.
What did you positives and negatives did you take away from the game last night?