Philadelphia Eagles News

Observations From Eagles-Bengals Game

CINCINNATI -- We were spoiled, maybe, by the first preseason game. All the points. All the highlights. Friday night's preseason game No. 2 was stymied more by mistakes, by some rugged hitting, by some missed opportunities, than by crisp execution. In other words, it was more like a preseason game than the opener. Within the ugliness of the 22-9 loss however, there were some important developments. Let's take a look ...

 The first-team offense was just plain off. Three times the offensive line lined up wrong and twice the culprit was left tackle Jason Peters. One time it cost the Eagles a touchdown. The Eagles started poorly and never really got untracked offensively. Kevin Kolb took a shot to the ribs on his first dropback and that kind of set the tone for things to come. Cincinnati won the line of scrimmage. The Eagles did not manufacture enough of a running game and missed on an important third-and-1 run by LeSean McCoy at the Bengals 45-yard line. The left side of the line did not get any push at all.  
  • Tough night for Jeremy Maclin, who fumbled away one possession and then took a shot to the shoulder and was knocked out of the game with a left shoulder contusion. Let's hope he isn't out for any extended period of time with the injury.
  • Kolb looked OK, but he never really got into a groove. He missed Jason Avant in the end zone on a play that appeared to have another option available in a crossing Riley Cooper. Kolb took a couple of nasty shots, too.
  • The running game really needs to get something going. McCoy gained 20 yards on 6 carries, with a long of 17 yards. You do the math on the other 5 carries.
  • On the plus side, the defense performed quite well. Cornerback Dimitri Patterson had an interception, a forced fumble and was involved in coverage on Quintin Mikell's interception toward the end of the first half. Nice job for Patterson, who is definitely pushing for more playing time.
  • Ellis Hobbs matched up pretty darn well against Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco. Joselio Hanson had good coverage on a deep sideline pass -- a perfect throw from Carson Palmer -- that led to the Bengals' first-half touchdown.
  • First-round draft pick Brandon Graham had a couple of pressures, a sack and a tackle for loss. He will play and contribute immediately.
  • Stewart Bradley looked good. Very good. It was his first game on artificial surface and he had no problems.
  • Keenan Clayton made a sensational interception on a screen pass and showed up again when the lights when on. The kid is a player. He tackled well in the open field and he has speed to cover sideline to sideline.
  • Michael Vick has to be much better with his ball security. He seems to be forcing his throws and that just doesn't cut it.
  • Poor tackling by Geoff Pope and a bad angle by safety Anthony Scirrotto on Cincinnati's fourth-quarter touchdown that gave the Bengals a lead.
  • Young left tackle Austin Howard was beaten by Carlos Dunlap, who sacked Vick and forced the Eagles to settle for an Akers field goal in the third quarter. Howard is a player, but he can't give up the edge as he did on that play.
  • The first-team offense was 1 for 7 on third downs. Yuck.
  • Playing without Asante Samuel, the secondary did a very good job other than the 43-yard pass to Owens. Hobbs and Hanson and Patterson really challenged the Bengals and their big receivers.
  • I love the way Akeem Jordan is playing. He is fast and physical and is tackling extremely well.
  • I know it is going to be tough to find playing time for Riley Cooper, but why not? The kid goes up and snatches the ball away from defensive backs. Maybe he can get a look or two in the red zone.
  • Injury report: Maclin suffered a left shoulder contusion, center A.Q. Shipley suffered a left knee injury and offensive tackle King Dunlap suffered a left ankle injury.
  • Rookie Ricky Sapp flashed a little bit with some speed off the edge and some plays in the run game. Not a lot heard from Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, who continues to play with the first nickel. Great effort and he just needs a reward.
  • Tough early holding penalty on Moise Fokou on a punt return. Not sure of the call, but it put the Eagles offense in a hole.
  • The Eagles took the ball away three times and threw four interceptions and lost a fumble. That's a minus-2. And that doesn't get it done.
  • Semi finally .. the only news that *really matters *... none of the injuries appeared overly serious late in the night. After a sluggish game like this one, that is really all that matters, right?
  • Nothing of note from either Clay Harbor or Cornelius Ingram. Harbor ran with the second team and Ingram ran with the third team. Who makes the team? It is still very much undecided.
  • OK, finally: Isn't this awful kind of game typical when a team breaks came and then goes on the road? I'm all for finding some kind of reason for such a lackluster game -- from both sides.
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