A simple “night to forget” is quickly becoming a preseason to forget for the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles. In what is supposed to be the “dress rehearsal” for the starters – this game was anything but that. In another long night resulting in a 5-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians…I mean…Browns, here’s the few winners and losers from this one.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, who may need him to play Week 1, it was not another good week for the Super Bowl MVP. Granted, he didn’t get much help from his offensive line, but Foles still made some really poor decisions. When you look at both his interceptions, both were cases that were totally inexcusable.
The first was just lofted in the air in the middle of the field in the first quarter. The second was worse, as Foles tried to squeeze it in to Zach Ertz inside the 10-yard line and was picked by Jamie Collins. He was nearly picked again in the first quarter too. He also fumbled, totaling three of the Eagles four turnovers in the first half alone.
There’s now legitimate concern if he has to play the season opener, which is very disappointing.
Another rough night for Big V. With a tough matchup against Myles Garrett, yeah, it didn’t go well. Vaitai was constantly getting bull rushed all night right into Foles, putting him under duress most of the night. The biggest issue with Vaitai was his footwork. Its really disappointing to see him take this big step backwards after playing so well down the stretch of last season.
Starting Offensive Line
Vaitai might have been the worst, but its not like anyone else along the offensive line was that much better. Lane Johnson had some notable struggles too, but overall, there was no push to get the running game going consistently, and Foles was under pressure a good portion of the night. Definitely a legitimate concern heading into Week 1. Luckily, Jason Peters will be back.
Mills certainly showed his rust after missing the first two preseason games with an injury. He missed two open-field tackles on the first two series of the game badly. Hopefully he got all the cobwebs out. He did cover well during the defense’s goal-line stand on the second drive of the game.
After dropping easy passes in New England last week, Jones pretty much sealed his fate after fumbling on a drive late in the second quarter when the starting offense finally got something going. That was a huge deflator at the time.
After a Mills missed tackle on the first play, the defense buckled down and forced a punt after three plays. Then after giving up a few big runs, they displayed great coverage on four straight Browns pass plays from the 1-yard line for a goal-line stand. The run defense still isn’t perfect, but in the end, the unit only allowed three points all night after four turnovers by the offense. Can’t ask for much more.
Finally, the Eagles prized second round pick from last year finally had his best night of the preseason. He covered really well during the Eagles’ goal-line stand in the first quarter. He looked quick and fast and played the ball well.
The kid’s had a good camp, and he made another big play in Cleveland. With the Browns driving early in the fourth quarter, Maddox was in the right place at the right time and caught Baker Mayfield and receiver not on the same page for a pick. If he weren’t tripped up, that would’ve been six points. No doubt Maddox will be on the roster, but because Jones finally had his best game of the preseason, its going to be a tough call for the coaching staff on who wins the starting job at nickel.
Big catch on 3rd and 8 early in the second quarter when the offense needs some positives. He then had a nice run after the catch on a screen pass late in the first half, showing some really good acceleration. Carter finished as the leading receiver with 73 yards on four catches. He also was excellent on special teams, including a big punt return to near mid-field midway through the third quarter.
The Notre Dame product may have solidified his spot as the No. 4 back after another solid performance. Adams showed his unreal power he has in between the tackles in this game. Adams first earned a first down on a draw play on 3rd and 11. He then pushed the pile for a first down on a 2nd and 10 on the same drive. He finished with 33 yards rushing on four carries. This kid is impressive.
Smallwood certainly took full advantage of his opportunity to start with injuries hitting some of the other running backs, but it still may not be enough to make the roster, especially after another solid performance from Adams. Smallwood led the team in rushing with 53 yards on 12 carries.