Friday night’s showdown between the Eagles and the Bears produced a sloppy game from both teams as the first game of the season usually does. When you sift through the rough preseason play, there is still a lot to take away from the 34 – 28 loss.
Nick Foles threw 2 bad interceptions which is as many as he had all last season. He looked very rusty, but this doesn’t mean that this is any preview of what’s to come this season. This is the first time Foles has faced a defense that doesn’t wear green since they played New Orleans five months ago. There is no doubt that Foles will get his legs back under him and lead this offense well this season.
Josh Huff showed of his game breaking ability with a 102 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Albeit the return team opened up that lane wide enough for an eighteen wheeler, Huff still displayed his great speed bursting down the sideline. I predict Huff will be able to develop into not only a special teams contributor, but another playmaker for coach Kelly’s offense.
Zach Ertz was the team’s leading receiver hauling in four passes for 60 yards including a 34 yard pass from Mark Sanchez right down the middle of the Bear’s defense. It’s only a matter of time before Ertz has a more prominent role in Chip Kelly’s offense and Friday night’s game was a sneak preview of just that. The combination of size and speed Ertz showed is hard to defend.
Two interceptions for the NFL’s reigning second worst pass defense courtesy of Nate Allen and Jaylen Watkins. Especially Watkins displayed his raw playmaking ability with his leaping grab. Malcolm Jenkins stood out as a leader defensively delivering a few big hits. Jenkins instantly looks like an upgrade over any safety the Eagles had last season. Also, rookie first round pick Marcus Smith showed off his athleticism pressuring the quarterback.
Next up the Eagles take on the New England Patriots Friday, August 15 at 7:30 PM. It should be interesting how Chip Kelly handles his two rookie wide receivers, Jordan Matthew recording three dropped passes while Josh Huff exhibited his playmaking ability. Look for the birds to be much sharper overall than they did against the Bears.