The Eagles won a thriller Thursday night against the Steelers with a game winning 51 yard field goal by Alex Henery. The final score was 24-23 at the Linc and I had 3 stars from each offense and defense that stood out the most. First I want to talk about the game quickly from each quarter.
First Half- The starters looked a little rusty especially the defense giving up a ton of third down conversions.
The d-line looked amazing as usual but the secondary had some miss communications.
The one touchdown the starting defense gave up was a pass to Emanuel Sanders who was being covered by Asomugha. I did not think this was Asomugha’s fault as Jarrett did not step up and swat the ball down when Sanders beat Nnamdi instead he just stood there and jogged to Sanders and was too late.
The offense was rusty as well only having 2 drives which were both three and outs. Vick gave us a scare on the last drive getting injured when he threw the ball and banged his thumb up against Jason Kelce‘s helmet. Luckily Vick is OK and will practice Saturday.
Second Half- The backup offense and defense played much better than the starters scoring 3 touchdowns and a game winning field goal. In the third quarter Nick Foles looked a little less than elite throwing two deep touchdowns. The first was an amazing play when he rolled to the right as he was being chased by a defensive end, he threw the ball on the run to Damaris Johnson who ran it in for the score. On the second scoring drive Foles threw a deep fade to Mardy Gilyard for a 44 yard score. The pass was perfect right between the defender and Gilyard who caught the ball and dove for the touchdown. Trent Edwards came into the game in the fourth quarter and was just as good as Foles was in the third. Edwards led a huge drive down the field and on a 4th and 2 he threw a quick pass to Jamel Hamler who made two guys miss and dove for the endzone. That drive put the Eagles in the lead late in the game. The Steelers came right back down the field and ate up most of the time and scored a field goal with 1:57 left. This was actually good for the backups to get some practice in a final drive situation late in the game. Edwards stayed comb and moved the ball efficiently down the field. Another fourth down came and Edwards threw a perfect pass to receiver Tiger Jones for the first down. Alex Henrey then booted a beautiful 51 yarder for the win.
3 Stars on Defense
1. Nick Foles- Foles really made me confident that we have some talent at the quarterback position behind Vick. He threw for 144 yards and 2 scores in his debut as an Eagle so he will push Kafka for the right to be Vick’s backup.
2. Trent Edwards- This is a good sign that our QBS are playing well. Edwards threw for over 100 yards and 1 touchdown and a last minute drive to seal the victory. I don’t know if he will make the Eagles roster but he is showing other teams that he can still play in this leauge.
3. Damaris Johnson- Johnson led the team in receiving and looked impressive punt returning so to me he is in the lead for the fifth and possibly last WR spot. His touchdown showed that he can create separation with the corner and get open in the open field.
3 Stars on Defense
1. Vinny Curry- Curry looked really good Thursday night throughout the whole game really getting after the quarterback and shutting down the running backs. He led the team in total tackles witch I am sure impressed Jim Washburn (Defensive Line Coach), if he can play like that he will get a lot of playing time during the regular season.
2. Mychal Kendricks- Kendricks was one of the few standouts in the starting group on defense. He had 4 tackles some for losses, he just looked really comfortable in the system and just went out there and finished all his tackles. If he keeps playing like that throughout the preseason he will for sure be the starting SAM linebacker come Week 1.
3. Whole defensive line- The d-line as dominant having 7 sacks, 2 by Philip Hunt, 1 by Brandon Graham, 1 by Cedric Thornton, 1 by Xavier Brown, 1 by Monte Taylor, 0.5 by Tapp, and 0.5 by Brian Rolle. So obliviously the sacks were spread around which is a great thing.
The Eagles next face the New England Patriots on August 20th at Foxboro. The Eagles starters on both sides of the ball need to have a bounce back game or Eagles fans including me will be worried.