One play can make all the difference.
On first-and-goal from the Eagles' 3-yard line early in the first quarter, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning tried to thread the ball into the end zone for wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez. Cornerback Asante Samuel got his hands on the ball before Gonzalez got in the way and the ball fell incomplete.
On the next play, Manning threw a perfect fade in the back corner of the end zone where Samuel never had a chance and Gonzalez had the touchdown. It was one of two touchdowns the Eagles' first-team defense surrendered in Thursday night's 23-15 loss.
Even though Manning finished 10-of-14 for 167 yards and the two touchdowns - the second a 76-yard pass to Reggie Wayne on a blown coverage - Samuel said that it's not time to push any panic buttons.
"It's the preseason. We're going to get it right. That's what we're going to do," a less-than-thrilled Samuel said. "It didn't look good out there (Thursday). It wasn't Eagles football. It wasn't how we normally play and it's not how we're used to playing. We definitely have to go back to the drawing board and get it right."
Head coach Andy Reid called the performance by his entire team "embarrassing" and "unacceptable." Both Manning and a week earlier New England's quarterback Tom Brady were efficient in their time against the Eagles' first-team defense. Samuel admitted that the defense has "a lot" of work to do. But, then again, isn't that what the preseason is for.
"It's like that every year," Samuel said. "It's the beginning of the season. You're trying to get the wrinkles out, get everybody to play on one page. That's what we're going to do."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 12:00 p.m., August 21