Observations: Eagles Vs. Colts
Here’s what we saw during the Eagles’ 36-10 preseason win over the Colts:
* Mark Sanchez got the start and struggled overall, finishing 2-of-7 for 52 yards and a touchdown. He went deep on the Eagles’ first play from scrimmage to Trey Burton, who was wide open initially. The throw got there a beat late, though, allowing the defender to catch up and force the incompletion. The opening drive stalled when Sanchez and Darren Sproles failed to connect on a crosser. That pair had trouble getting in sync last year at times as well.
Sanchez was unable to lead Nelson Agholor on a pass across the middle on the next series, and misfired on a throw down the left side to a wide-open Jordan Matthews. His quick throw to Agholor moments later was high, but the rookie receiver leapt for the catch, burned past his defender (who had over-committed), and zipped down the sideline for the 34-yard touchdown.
* Agholor led the team with three catches for 57 yards and a score on five targets. He dropped a well-placed Matt Barkley pass in the second quarter. Later in the frame, he drew a pass interference penalty that moved the offense into Indy territory.
* Andrew Gardner got the start at right guard and seemed to acquit himself well. He kept Kendall Langford blocked on a Sanchez scramble for the first down, then got some help from Jason Kelce on Ryan Mathews‘ 13-yard gain. Jason Peters had the key block on that run.
* Barkley took over late in the first quarter. Connected with Matthews for a 26-yard gain on his first throw of the day. Followed that up with a deep ball down the left sideline that Miles Austin was able to haul in for a 39-yard pickup. Kenjon Barner finished the drive with a nine-yard TD run. Barkley threw an interception his next time out. His pass for Josh Huff was tipped by Bjoern Werner and picked by Amarlo Herrera. He finished 12-of-20 for 192 yards (71.2 rating).
* Tim Tebow took over midway through the third quarter and drew a loud ovation as he ran onto the field. He twice had to signal the crowd to quiet down, including when chants of “Tebow!” broke out as the Eagles entered the red zone. The QB hit a wide-open Eric Tomlinson over the middle on 3rd-and-12 for the first down, then found Tomlinson again for gains of 11 and 12 yards. (A late hit on Tebow on the third connection added 15 to the play.) Tebow lowered his shoulder on Sheldon Price on his way out of bounds after a three-yard gain.
It wasn’t all pretty. His opening drive stalled after he sailed one over the head of Quron Pratt on third down. Later, he scrambled around haphazardly before eventually being sacked. The Tebow-led offense went three-and-out back-to-back to start the fourth quarter. Tebow rushed for a seven-yard TD late. He ended 6-of-12 for 69 yards through the air and rushed four times for 15 yards and a score.
* Barner ran for 29 yards on six carries, including his nine-yard rushing touchdown. He also spun out of a tackle and raced 92 yards for a punt return touchdown to end the half, giving the Eagles a 22-3 lead.
* Local product Rasheed Bailey made a nice one-handed catch along the left side, corralling a Tebow pass for an 18-yard pick-up.
* Raheem Mostert showed off his speed and elusiveness on a 40-yard catch and run early in the third quarter. He accounted for 73 yards of total offense.
* Bennie Logan had a strong showing. He stopped running back Zurlon Tipton for no gain on the Colts’ first drive. Got good penetration and chased Tipton down from the backside, leading to a two-yard loss. He was the Eagles’ most active player on defense, and finished with three tackles.
* The starting defensive front performed well overall. Fletcher Cox blew up a play for no gain. Cedric Thornton shed a block on the next play to stop Tipton around the line of scrimmage.
* Jaylen Watkins played first-team nickel. Emmanuel Acho and Brad Jones started at inside linebacker with Mychal Kendricks, DeMeco Ryans and Kiko Alonso inactive. Acho forced an incompletion with some good coverage on Phillip Dorsett.
Watkins was up-and-down. He had good coverage on the outside to force a Bryan Bennett incompletion in the third quarter, but whiffed on a tackle attempt near the goal line, allowing Josh Robinson to cruise into the end zone.
* Eric Rowe lined up opposite Watkins at second-team outside corner, then moved inside when the Eagles were in nickel. (E.J. Biggers came in to take over on the outside during those situations.) Rowe got beat by Dorsett, but recovered and was able to knock the ball loose, allowing Jordan Dewalt-Ondijo to recover. Dewalt Ondijo was the second-team outside linebacker opposite Marcus Smith before leaving in the second quarter with an injury.
* Smith had a solid outing. He got the better of tackle Denzelle Good and stopped Tipton for no gain early in the second quarter.
* Ed Reynolds came up with a pair of interceptions. The first was on a long Bennett pass intended for Ryan Lankford. He got his hands on another Bennett pass later in the fourth for the deflection, then made a good read and stepped in front of the intended target for another pick. Reynolds is competing for one of the final safety spots.
* Cody Parkey missed an extra point and later fired wide right on a 34-yard attempt. He was 3-for-4 overall with a long of 48.