Instant Observations: Eagles vs. Jets
The Eagles beat the Jets, 14-6, to go undefeated in the preseason. Here’s what we saw:
*Lane Johnson isn’t playing tonight after all, which may mean the Eagles expect him to start next week when they open up against the Browns. Johnson missed a practice last week because of a lower back injury, so it’s possible that flared up again, but we’ll update his status as soon as we know more.
*With both Johnson and Stefen Wisniewski unexpectedly not playing, the starting offensive line from left to right is Matt Tobin, Josh Andrews, Barrett Jones, Darrell Greene and Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Greene, who’s on the bubble of making the Eagles’ 53-man roster, has one of his worst snaps of the preseason as he quickly gives up a quarterback hit and hurry in the second quarter.
*Paul Turner, who has captured the hearts of Eagles fans this preseason, looks like he may be playing his way onto the roster. Turner leads Eagles receivers in the first half with 49 receiving yards on four catches, but he also returned a punt 71 yards for a touchdown. He added two catches for 17 yards in the second half, giving him the game-high in both receptions (six) and receiving yards (66).
*We haven’t seen too much from Byron Marshall this summer, but he shows his elusiveness as he uses a nice cut to turn a quick swing pass into a 12-yard gain for the first down. He also did a great job of getting open early in the game against a linebacker on a wheel route, but Chase Daniel threw the ball out of bounds on what could’ve been a huge gain.
*Speaking of Daniel, he isn’t playing well at all. He made an awful decision to throw the ball on his interception, and his accuracy hasn’t been very good.
*Dorial Green-Beckham catches a couple of early passes in a row, and he does a good job on the second one of beating press coverage on a quick slant. His size makes it really tough on some cornerbacks to jam him.
*While Turner may be playing his way onto the roster, Chris Pantale could be doing the opposite. He drops multiple passes, and even though Doug Pederson has said he wants to keep four tight ends, I’m not sure Pantale gives you enough as a fullback and special teams player to justify a roster spot.
*Both Marcus Smith and Steven Means impress in the first quarter. Smith recorded two tackles-for-loss, including one where he used a beautiful swim move to beat the left tackle. Means also pressured the quarterback and caused an intentional grounding penalty, in addition to a sack he tallied near the end of the second quarter.
*Mychal Kendricks and Stephen Tulloch both played for nearly the entire first quarter, as Kendricks racked up a few tackles early on. Kendricks declined to speak to the media after last week’s game when he played into the fourth quarter in Indianapolis, so it will be interesting to see if he again doesn’t want to talk after playing in the fourth preseason game this week.
*JaCorey Shepherd is playing in his first NFL game tonight, but he hasn’t been able to recreate the success he had last summer during training camp. Shepherd allowed a 44-yard touchdown catch against Robby Anderson down the right sideline, as Anderson quickly and easily created separation.
*After a brief Beau Allen appearance, who clogs up the middle on a couple of run plays, Aziz Shittu and Destiny Vaeao get most of the first half snaps at defensive tackle. Both have success getting into the backfield and drawing what should be holding calls, while Shittu tallies two tackles-for-loss.
*It probably isn’t enough to earn him a roster spot, but Ed Reynolds turned in a nice performance tonight. He recorded a couple of tackles and two pass deflections, and he also returned an interception 90 yards for a touchdown after Bryan Braman hit the quarterback as the ball was thrown.