Eagles vs Ravens Preseason Game 2 Recap

Eagles 40 – Ravens 17

1Q: PHI 14 BAL 0

2Q: PHI 10 BAL 0

3Q: PHI 6 BAL 0

4Q: PHI 10 BAL 17

The Eagles picked up right where they left off after beating Colts during the first week of the preseason.  Although still preseason Saturday nights contest with the Ravens had a different feel.  Fans were treated to the unveiling of Sam Bradford and DeMarco Murray.  It was nice to see Murray get some live reps and he played as we all expected him too.  This game however was all about Bradford.  How would he look in live game action?  Could he stay healthy?  We got the answers to these questions on the first series.  He took a couple of good shots which was important to knock the rust off.  He took a nice hard hit right under the chin strap on a pass to Agholor and took another shot low against Suggs.  Say what you want about Suggs but I personally didn’t think the hit was dirty.   A little low maybe but overall I didn’t think it crossed the line.  I guess that’s how they play at Hacksaw, Ball So Hard University (Suggs intro on SNF).

Bradford finished the game 3/5 for 35 yards including a TD drive as Ryan Mathews scored on a 10 yard run.  After Bradford I thought the QB play was average.  I wasn’t really wowed by anyone but they did come in and move the ball.  Sanchez was marketably better than last week.  I thought Barkley was ok as well.  He had a series in the 3rd quarter where he showed poise in the pocket, went through his progressions with eyes down field and completed a pass for a first down.  His best throw of the night.  I thought Tebow was awful.  Plain and simple.  I saw a lot of the same things I saw last week.  He held on to the ball a little long and missed a wide open WR flashing across the end zone.  On this play he had this head down and tried to score night quite getting the ball across goal line.  He did have a nice 25 yard run running the read option.  During this 3rd QB competition I go by the eye test.  Meaning what am I seeing on the field at this very moment.  To be honest Matt Barkley is head and shoulders above Tebow in this competition.  The way the offense runs under Barkley vs Tebow speaks for itself in my opinion.  Don’t get me started about these Tebow fans we see on TV with Tebow jerseys and phony signs with a clock telling us it’s “Tebow Time.”  That’s a blog for another day.

I thought Chip did a nice job getting the 3 horseman time with the 1’s.  It was good to see Murray, Mathews and Sproles get some time.  Between the 3 of them they saw about 15-20 plays including a handful of carries.  Murray is very underrated coming out of the backfield.  I think he will surprise some people this year with his receiving skills.  Both Mathews and Murray scored inside the redzone.  The only hiccup I saw came on a Darren Sproles drop, his second of the preseason.  Kenjon Barner continues to make his case for the 53 man roster.  He returned another punt for a score showing the explosiveness we all saw at Oregon.  At this point I still say it’s 50/50 whether he makes this team simply because of numbers.  The Eagles might not have a choice, his play has been so good they might indeed keep 4 RB’s.

The WR core had another nice outing.  There are a few guys that continue to flash.  Agholor, Matthews and D3 local standout Rasheed Bailey.  I’ll admit I was flat out wrong on Bailey.  I didn’t think at the WR position we would show enough to even be considered for a spot.  He continues to catch every ball, has a knack for getting open and honestly looks like he belongs.  If anyone knows where Riley Cooper is please let me or my blog partner know.  We haven’t seen him.  Now I know its preseason but Cooper has done nothing, along with Josh Huff to be honest.  Huff did catch a ball in this game but didn’t really do much after.  Nelson Agholor continues to impress with his route running.  He is solid in and out of breaks.  He is able to run corners off and is very smooth in and out of breaks.  He did have a fumble that was taken away by a defensive penalty.  A good learning experience because the play isn’t over until the whistle blows.  Jordan Matthews seems to own the middle of the field.  He had another solid game and I’m expecting an outstanding year from him.

I thought the offensive line was solid from Tackle to Tackle.  Good pass protection for Bradford and all the QB’s to be honest.  A little shaky when Tebow was in but part of the problem was him holding on to the ball.  Gardner is firmly intrenched as starter at RG.   He actually got some extended snaps with the 2’s for a bit.  Moffitt struggled Saturday turning in a Kevin Graf – ish performance.  Not all Moffitt’s fault because he is till getting rust off after two years away from the game.  Timmy Jernigan beat Moffitt on more than one occasion.  Last week I thought David Molk was awful.  I’ll give credit where it’s due as he had a bounce back game.  He was quick off the ball and did a nice job with technique.  We didn’t hear much from Mayock regarding the offensive line which is a good sign.  It’s usually a bad thing when you continually here an OL’s name mentioned.  It Usually means he’s getting toasted.

Like the offense, the defense has been better than advertised.  This is an excellent sign.  For two games the Eagles have been playing with backups at the ILB position.  A few guys stood out to me during the course of the game.  Emmanuel Acho has had a fantastic preseason.  He has been solid in coverage and in the box as well.  He teamed up with Fletcher cox on more than one occasion to make a tackle in the backfield.  Bennie Logan turned in another solid performance.  I can’t stress how impressed I am with his play.  Mayock referred to him at one point – paraphrasing here: “one of the better young NT’s in the league.”  Vinny Curry had a transition from 3/4 end to OLB.  He made some flashes but had some trouble keeping contain on play action.  This isn’t anything to worry about, at least for now.  After playing the first 3 years of his career with his hand in the dirt this is totally new for Curry.  He will struggle in pass coverage as well and did a little on Saturday.  The secondary was phenomenal in my opinion.  Nolan Carroll turned in one of the finest plays on a play on the ball.  He showed good technique and was with the Ravens WR step for step.  Cory Undlin has done a fantastic job with this group.  If you can look at a regular season game last year vs a preseason game and study the DB’s, it’s night and day.  Rowe was solid.  He didn’t jump off my screen as much as last week but that’s ok.  He’s still learning.  He was beat by Tom Nelson (ex Bengals DB converting to WR) across the middle but was able to recover make the tackle.

Cody Parkey had a bounce back performance which is always what you want to see from your Kicker.  He was perfect on PAT’s and only missed one FG.  It was a 55 yarder and I can’t hold that against him.

I’ve stressed this before and I’ll probably say it again after every preseason game.  Regardless of play the Eagles survived the game with no significant injuries.

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