What Did We Learn From The Philadelphia Eagles Offense After Their First Preseason Game?
Friday night was the first time the Philadelphia Eagles fans got to see Chip Kelly’s offense in action and it was pretty exciting to see. The New England Patriots came into town with a pretty good defense, but was unable to stop Michael Vick, Nick Foles and Matt Barkley as all three quarterbacks lead their groups to a touchdown drive.
The one thing we learned from the Eagles offense is that they will squeeze in as many plays as they possibly can in every game. One stat jumped out at me and that was the Eagles had 86 offensive plays and the Minnesota Vikings had 52. That shows how fast paced this Eagles offense will be. We also learned that the Eagles will run out of the shotgun and run the read-option regardless of who is at quarterback. It’s good to see the Eagles pound the rock after so many years of continually throwing the football down after down. We didn’t get to see LeSean McCoy in the backfield due to injury which is fine because we already know what he brings to the table, but guys like Chris Polk and Bryce Brown will definitely help this offense by backing up McCoy.
Another thing that we learned is that the offensive line will be stellar this season if they stay healthy. When Vick was in the game, he wasn’t even touched. He was able to step up and make a clean throw every time. The offensive line’s run blocking needs to get better, but for the most part, they looked great and they didn’t even have Jason Peters in the line-up.
As far as the quarterbacks go, all of them did well, especially Vick. He showcased his talent as he walked onto the field and eventually connected to DeSean Jackson for a 47-yard touchdown pass on their first drive. Vick looked sharp and comfortable in Kelly’s offense and they ran a lot of basic read-option plays. It seems like this package will be their bread and butter this season since we’ve seen it all throughout training camp.
Another thing that I noticed is that Kelly had plays that designed Vick to roll out of the pocket to give him some breathing room. That is something that Andy Reid rarely ever did and made Vick drop back into the pocket most of the time. I like the idea of rolling Vick out because he is a threat on the run just as much as he is in the air. He also doesn’t need to worry about defenders swatting the ball when he throws it since he is only 6-foot. Vick would end the day going 4-for-5 with 94 yards and one touchdown. If Vick keeps up his game, he will have a strong chance of winning the quarterback competition over Foles.
Foles was next in line after Vick walked off the field. Foles started off on the wrong foot by fumbling the ball in enemy territory. You can’t fault him on that since there was zero protection on the play, so we’ll give him a pass on that play. Foles would eventually construct a 10-play, 66-yard drive that ended with a eight-yard touchdown run by Brown. Foles went 5-for-6 with 43 yards and also ran for 10 yards. Foles will get his first start next week when the Eagles will face the Carolina Panthers which will be a good test for him.
Barkley even looked good running with the three’s. He showed poise, leadership and constructed a touchdown drive that ended with a Greg Salas touchdown off of a screen play. Barkley showed promise and potential, but still may need some work to be involved in the quarterback competition.
So the main thing that we learned after Friday night was that the Eagles will certainly run the ball a lot more which surprises no one. We also learned that any quarterback can run Kelly’s offense successfully, fast or slow. Lastly, the starting offensive line looks to be a great group this year especially when Peters comes back. So, all in all, it was a great learning experience for this offense and they can definitely score points this season if they keep it up.
Sonny Bryan is a Philadelphia Eagles writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @SonnyBryan50