It’s still unclear who the Philadelphia Eagles will use as their starting quarterback when the season begins, with Michael Vick and Nick Foles both getting a quarter to play and both players looking rather impressive despite ending their runs with mistakes and interceptions.
The Eagles beat the Carolina Panthers 14-9, showing some very promising signs on offense with both Vick and Foles, while enjoying the return of LeSean McCoy and a defense that seems to be doing very well against the run.
Nick Foles was the player who got the start, finishing with 6-of-8 for 53 yards, but also an interception on his final play, which came from fumbling the snap and then throwing a very bad pass in the end zone, resulting in the take away.
Michael Vick finished with 9-of-10 for 105 yards, running a no-huddle offense at the end of the first half, and also showed his usual scrambling ability that had nothing to do with the play that was designed (at least on one of the times), and his interception wasn’t a bad throw but just out of a desperation throw to end the first half.
The Eagles looked bad in the preseason opener against the Patriots, and the Panthers, a weakened opposition obviously, allowed them to look much better on both ends of the field, which included LeSean McCoy running for 47 yards on 8 carries, scoring one of the two rushing touchdowns by the team, the other one coming from Nick Foles of all people.
Stopping Cam Newton and in general the Panthers’ running game was another very promising side to their game, as Newton completed only 47% of his passes, and his time on the field led to only two field goals. He also ran once, stopped after five yards, and DeAngelo Williams, with only 33 yards on 12 carries, didn’t do much better.
The run defense in general, keeping the Panthers at 74 yards on 25 carries, did a great job with linebacker Mychal Kendricks, playing in a different role than he had last season, distinguishing himself as possibly the biggest playmaker on this defense. Vinny Curry and Cedric Thornton, both defensive ends, found themselves quite a lot beyond the line of scrimmage, and the Eagles are hoping it’s not about the Panthers’ offensive line having a weak day.
When will the question to the quarterback issue be answered? Traditionally, the starting QB plays half of the third preseason game and only a series in the final tune-up, so the face that starts in their third game might the one that start on opening day, but Chip Kelly isn’t exactly a traditional NFL head coach, especially when it comes to his decision on offense.
The Eagles are working out their issues in the offensive line, which was a complete mess last season. It seems that if they get that solved, mostly due to the arrival of Lane Johnson, than all these ACL tears (four so far) that seem to happening to them across the roster won’t be able to hurt them so much during the season, and they’ll find themselves out of the cellar in the NFC East.