On Friday night, the Eagles face off with the Chicago Bears in the their first preseason game of 2014 ...
Friday night provided a lot of what the Eagles' coaches hoped for - teaching moments.
The Bears defeated the Eagles in the preseason opener by a 34-28 score at Soldier Field, but the end result isn't the most important aspect of the game. It was the first opportunity for the Eagles - both veterans and rookies, alike - to get into a game situation for the coaches to evaluate.
There were plenty of reasons for optimism.
Quarterback Mark Sanchez engineered two touchdown drives in his Eagles debut with both scores coming on runs by Matthew Tucker of 4 yards and 1 yards, respectively, in the second quarter. Sanchez finished the night 7-of-10 for 79 yards.
The Eagles posted 21 points in the second quarter after rookie wide receiver Josh Huff returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown. Rookie free agent David Fluellen caught a screen pass from Matt Barkley and ran 14 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to put the Eagles ahead 28-17.
The tight end group, as a whole, was strong. Zach Ertz led the entire team with four catches for 60 yards. James Casey had three catches for 33 yards.
Safety Nate Allen registered an interception as he got the start alongside Malcolm Jenkins. Linebacker Marcus Smith II, the first-round pick, had a nice tackle in space to take down wide receiver Josh Morgan for a loss of a yard.
Now, there are also things the Eagles need to clean up as they allowed 17 unanswered points to finish the game.
Quarterback Nick Foles saw two of his three drives on Friday night end with an interception. Foles' first interception came after a penalty wiped out a first-down reception by tight end Brent Celek. On the next play, Foles was under pressure and he forced a ball that sailed into the hands of safety Ryan Mundy. The second interception came as Foles threw into a crowded area of two receivers and it was nabbed by Bears cornerback Sherrick McManis.
Foles finished 6-of-9 for 44 yards.
The Bears did a good job of isolating Zach Miller on a linebacker as the veteran tight end hauled in two touchdown receptions. Cornerback Jaylen Watkins had his welcome-to-the-NFL moment after he missed the jam on Chris Williams and the receiver went past the rookie defensive back for a 73-yard score. Second-round pick wide receiver Jordan Matthews hauled in four receptions, but also had a couple of drops.
The Eagles are back in action Sunday at Franklin Field for the final Open Practice of Training Camp.