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August 31, 2017

First half observations: Jets 13, Eagles 3

Eagles NFL

The first half of the Eagles' preseason finale is in the books. Here's a look at the good, the bad and the ugly from the first 30 minutes of football at MetLife Stadium, starting with what went right for the Birds.

THE GOOD

•  Jaylen Watkins got the start, and had a nice game in limited action. He dropped an interception that could've been a pick-six and also handed out this hit, one of his team-high four first-half tackles.

There weren't a ton of offensive highlights for the Eagles, but even Matt McGloin and the rest of the reserves were able to muster a few positive plays. 

And there was also this first-down grab from Mack Hollins, who got a little more playing time than one might expect and finished the first half with three catches for 25 yards.


That was pretty much the best offensive play of the first half for the Eagles, who finished with just 109 total yards in the half.

•  Oh, one more: The Eagles finished with just one first-half penalty. So, yeah.

THE BAD

•  The defense got off to a good start, but some cracks began to show as the first half wore on.

First, there was this play, featuring a pair of missed tackles by cornerbacks Aaron Grymes and Dexter McDougle, who was recently acquired from the Jets.


That set up the game's first touchdown, a 12-yard pass from Christian Hackenberg to Austin Seferian-Jenkins.


Matt McGloin … wasn’t great

And that’s unfortunate considering the Eagles are going to be basing some final roster decision on what happened in this game, like UDFA rookie Corey Clement…

McGloin would later fumble, setting up the Jets' second field goal of the half, and finished 14-of-21 for 90 yards.

•  Corey Clement and Donnel Pumphrey didn't do much to settle the running back battle. Pumphrey finished the first half with just six yards on five carries and one reception for three yards, while Clement led the Eagles with 16 yards on four carries and had one catch for minus-two yards.

• Speaking of Pumphrey, he didn’t do much to help himself on special teams. He returned three kicks for a total of 80 yards (26.7 per return) and two punts for 10 yards. On the final punt of the half, Pumphrey had a nice initial burst and looked like he might have a chance to break it but got tripped up from behind.

THE UGLY

•  Honestly, the whole first half should be in this category. However, the Jets really stole the show by not only deciding to play starting QB Josh McCown, but then allowing him to return to the game after he got hurt – and was lucky to avoid a more serious injury.


Christian Hackenberg briefly came in the game before the Jets decided to do the most Jets thing ever.


Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin

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