Instant Observations: Eagles Vs. Jets

Here’s what we saw during the first half of tonight’s Eagles-Jets game.

OFFENSE

* The Eagles’ offense was horrible. Nick Foles and company were shut out on their first six drives. They finally got on the board with a field goal with 2:34 left in the second. But that came after a turnover, and they only went 5 yards before Alex Henery set up for the 38-yard field goal.

* Foles was 6-for-17 for 63 yards. He averaged 3.7 yards per attempt and fumbled once. Of course, it wasn’t only Foles. Protection was bad, and I counted at least three drops. The first-team offensive line from left to right was: Matt Tobin, Allen Barbre, Julian Vandervelde, Danny Watkins and Michael Bamiro.

* Bryce Brown got the start at running back. He carried nine times for 29 yards and also had two catches for 29 yards. One was a 21-yard pick-up in which he broke multiple tackles. The starting wide receivers were Greg Salas and Clay Harbor. Jeff Maehl and Russell Shepard also rotated in. Rookie Zach Ertz started at tight end and had a pair of drops. James Casey also saw some action, but left the game with a hamstring injury.

* The Eagles huddled-up for much of the first half. I didn’t realize it until now, but after watching the first three preseason games, offenses that huddle completely bore me. Let’s not make a habit of doing that in the regular season, please, Chip. Thanks in advance.

* On the second play of the game, the Jets brought a blitz. Two former Eagles draft picks – Ricky Sapp and Jaiquawn Jarrett – sacked Foles, who fumbled. It was his third turnover of the preseason. Foles also had two other fumbles earlier in the preseason that he recovered.

DEFENSE

* Most of the Eagles’ players who will start next Monday night against the Redskins sat vs. the Jets. The first-team defensive line was Clifton Geathers, Damion Square and Bennie Logan. The outside linebackers were Chris McCoy and Brandon Graham. The inside LBs were Jake Knott and Casey Matthews. The corners were Brandon Boykin and Jordan Poyer. And the safeties were Nate Allen and Earl Wolff. One of those two is expected to start in the regular season with Patrick Chung.

* McCoy was the stand-out early. He nearly had an interception and then notched a couple sacks. On one, he came from the QB’s blind side and forced a fumble. McCoy has a good shot to make the roster as the fourth outside linebacker, although the Eagles will still likely look at that position closely when other teams make cuts.

* Graham got matched up with a running back on the first drive, trucked him and then got a hit on Matt Simms. Simms was called for intentional grounding in the end zone, which resulted in a safety.

* If jobs were really on the line tonight, Emmanuel Acho out-played Casey Matthews. Acho had five tackles (four solo), a sack, a tackle for loss, a forced fumble and a QB hit in the first half. He also had good coverage on a third-down incompletion and forced a punt. Matthews had one tackle and was also called for defensive holding in the red zone.

* No one in the Eagles’ secondary played well. Simms went 19-for-25 for 147 yards. Allen, a veteran starter going up against Jets backups, did nothing to stand out. Kurt Coleman saw some time as an outside corner with the Eagles thin at the position.

* Knott seemed to play well. It would be a surprise if he didn’t stick. He had six tackles (four solo), including one for loss and forced a fumble.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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