The Philadelphia Eagles played their third preseason game of 2013, first on the road, against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday night. Despite an uneven performance from the first-team offense, which produced 16 points through three full quarters and turned the ball over twice, the Eagles were able to escape with a 31-24 victory thanks to a 99-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.
For the first time this preseason, the offensive line had its ups and downs from both a pass-protection and run-blocking standpoint. Right tackle
“It was good to get him back out there, but he'll probably be the first to tell you he was a little rusty at times,” head coach Chip Kelly said. “Things happen a little bit faster in a game. You try to simulate it as much as you can in practice, but the game work is good and it was crucial to get him back out there."
“The one (Vick) threw the pick on, he was trying to throw it away,” Kelly said.“We just have to make sure he understands what to do. We talked about it. But we have to put him in those situations. That's what this preseason is, hopefully we can get that stuff out of there. I thought he did a real good job keeping plays alive at times, but there are some other times where you have to cut your losses and get us back to the line of scrimmage and get the next snap.
“The one thing I don't think (Vick) did, besides the one he tried to throw away, he didn't force the football,” Kelly said. “I think he did a good job of making (the Jaguars defense) honest and picked up some real good yardage running after. They did a good job early in coverage. If you do that, then the quarterback can hurt you with his feet. … That's an encouraging thing when you have a guy back there that, when they do have coverage, he can then beat them with his feet, and that's what he did.”
On the ground, running back
On the fateful play, he exploded through a lane on the outside and raced down the sideline for 23 yards. Just as Brown was getting ready to dive into the end zone, Jaguars safety Dwight Lowery met him at the 3-yard line. Lowery got low and put his helmet on the football, which popped out of Brown’s grasp, went straight up into the air, and then bounced through the end zone for a touchback. Instead of the seven points it seemed were assured as Brown was galloping towards the end zone, the Eagles generated zero points and the Jaguars got the ball at the 20-yard line.
“He hasn't done that earlier in the other games,” Kelly said of the way Brown carried the football. “It was swinging there on the one he fumbled. We talked about that.”
Brown’s fumble was one of three turnovers on the game for the Eagles (including a
“We were, again, our own worst enemy on the offensive side of the ball,” Kelly said.
Kelly was, however, very pleased with quarterback
“That's what I expect out of Nick,” Kelly said. “I think he's an outstanding quarterback. I said that when we made the decision with Mike, and I feel like we have two quarterbacks who are NFL-quality quarterbacks. We expected him to do that, that's the type of player he is.”
While Kelly was sure to highlight the positives, he knows the Eagles are still a work in progress. As the game against Jacksonville showed, there is still a lot to be improved upon.
“There's no place where we can say 'Hey, we're good to go,’” Kelly said. “It's always a constant. We need to improve in every aspect of this football team.”
The Eagles will get one last chance to make improvements in the preseason, against the New York Jets on Thursday before opening the regular season against the Washington Redskins on September 9.
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