Instant Observations: Eagles Vs. Patriots

Here are some instant observations from the Eagles’ 27-17 win over the Patriots.


* Michael Vick dropped back five times before injuring his thumb against the Steelers. Tonight? On his fourth pass play, Vick was knocked out of the game. Evan Mathis got beat by defensive tackle Kyle Love. Vick spun into pressure and took a hit from Jermaine Cunningham, who got around Todd Herremans and Brent Celek. Vick had X-Rays on his ribs, which came up negative.

* Nick Foles went 18-for-28 for 217 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He made a nice throw to Clay Harbor for a 1-yard touchdown in the second quarter. And Harbor did a nice job of keeping both feet in-bounds. The Eagles’ tight end finished with six catches (on six targets) for 30 yards.

* Did I see DeSean Jackson make a red-zone catch in the middle of the field? I think I did. Jackson had two red-zone catches in all of 2011. In the third, he came down with a 40-yard grab, fighting off the defensive back on what amounted to a jump-ball. Jackson had four catches for 82 yards.

* Foles threw an interception late in the first half, looking for Jeremy Maclin near the goal line. Nate Ebner picked him off. But perhaps the funniest part of the play was Jackson making the tackle, standing over Ebner and letting him know about it.

* Early on, Vick took off, tried to slide, but went head-first. Always looks awkward doing that.

* Stanley Havili had a nice 14-yard run to set up an Eagles touchdown. He also made an excellent tackle in punt coverage.

* Damaris Johnson fumbled his first punt return, but then picked it up and started running.

* LeSean McCoy had six carries for 26 yards and a touchdown in the first half.

* Bryce Brown had a nice 27-yard run in the third quarter. Overall, he carried nine times for 51 yards.

* Trent Edwards came into the game in the third quarter.

* King Dunlap played the first half, and Demetress Bell came in at the start of the third quarter.


* Cullen Jenkins and Andy Reid had a heated exchange on the sideline after the Patriots’ second-quarter touchdown and two-point conversion. Details and video right here.

* For the second straight week, Phillip Hunt had a sack and a forced fumble.

* Juan Castillo identified third down as an area where the Eagles needed to improve after the first game. But it didn’t happen tonight. New England was 7-for-11 on third down in the first half.

* Penalties were also a huge problem. The Eagles had 10 penalties for 91 yards in the first half and 16 for 131 overall. Darryl Tapp had a pair of personal fouls.

* The first-team defensive line had Jenkins at defensive end, Fletcher Cox and Derek Landri at tackle, and Trent Cole at defensive end. The second team was Brandon Graham, Cedric Thornton, Antonio Dixon and Tapp.

* Mychal Kendricks got beat by Alex Silvestro on a 7-yard touchdown, but overall, played well, with six tackles (three solo, one for loss) in the first half. He was the Eagles’ nickel linebacker, alongside DeMeco Ryans. Ryans had five tackles (three solo) in the first half.

* Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie left the game with a shoulder injury. Curtis Marsh replaced him at left cornerback. Rodgers-Cromartie had an interception negated because of a late hit by Cox. He also had another near-pick.

* The Eagles blitzed quite a bit and got beat quite a bit.

* Nnamdi Asomugha made a couple excellent tackles, including one for loss.

* Rookie Brandon Boykin got in the game early, playing slot corner for Joselio Hanson in the second quarter. Boykin was also the first man down in punt coverage, helping to force a muff, which the Eagles recovered.

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