What a difference a week makes.
After the starters on offense and defense struggled against the Steelers, it took the special teams to provide a spark Thursday against the Cleveland Browns.
Special teams coordinator Bobby April's troops forced a pair of fumbles and blocked a field goal attempt as the Eagles starters exited the game with a 17-0 lead.
Michael Vick was 10-of-18 for 98 yards and scored on an 8-yard run. LeSean McCoy was dynamic with 69 yards receiving on seven catches and 81 total yards of offense.
On the first-team offense's opening series of the game, Michael Vick was sacked by defensive tackle Phil Taylor and fumbled the ball in the process. The Browns took over at the Eagles' 18-yard line, but defensive tackle Mike Patterson sacked quarterback Colt McCoy on the first play of the series. Patterson played in his first preseason game after suffering a seizure on August 3 at training camp.
The Browns settled for a 33-yard field goal attempt by Phil Dawson, but Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie rushed in and blocked the kick. It was the second straight game in which an Eagles cornerback (Asante Samuel) made a field goal block.
The Eagles offense got the ball just past midfield before a punt attempt. Chas Henry's offering was muffed by former Eagle Jordan Norwood as he was run into another former Eagle in Sheldon Brown. The fumble was recovered by long snapper Jon Dorenbos and two plays later Ronnie Brown ran off-tackle 13 yards to the left side for a touchdown.
That score was all the defense needed. After dealing with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers physical rushing attack last week, the Eagles contained second-year quarterback Colt McCoy. The Eagles gave up just 103 yards in the first half as McCoy was 9-of-18 for 89 yards with an interception by cornerback Asante Samuel. Peyton Hillis gained 18 yards on the ground for the Browns.
Kurt Coleman paced the defense with five first-half tackles and linebackers Casey Matthews and Jamar Chaney contained the middle of the field combining for four first-half tackles.
Alex Henery extended the Eagles' lead to 10-0 in the second quarter with a 37-yard field goal.
McCoy got the lion's share of the receptions, but the Eagles' second touchdown was set up by a key third-and-4 pass to Jason Avant over the middle. Vick finished off the drive running 8 yards to the right side for the score.
Early in the second half, Clay Harbor recovered a James Dockery muff on a punt return at the Browns' 17-yard line. Backup quarterback Vince Young capitalized with a 10-yard scramble for a touchdown to give the Eagles 24-0 lead.
The Eagles wrap up the preseason next Thursday at the New York Jets.
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