August 18, 2016
After opening up at The Linc last week, the Eagles hit the turnpike to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers for the second game of the preseason. They'll play the Steelers, who were missing Ben Roethlisberger and most of their skill players tonight, for real in Week 3 of the regular season in South Philly.
The first half was much of what we saw last week, good defense and bad offense. The Eagles head into the locker room with a 10-0 lead. Here's what I saw:
• Leodis McKelvin has had one starting cornerback spot locked up for a while, and Nolan Carroll is playing like he'll earn the other one. Carroll successfully defended a deep ball on the first series. On the second, he stepped in front of Sammie Coates, picked off Landry Jones' pass, and took it back to the house:
• On one play, Sam Bradford didn't have anyone open and ran to the sideline for no gain. The play itself or Bradford's wheels aren't noteworthy, but it's good to see that he's 100 percent healthy this preseason.
• The Eagles intercepted Jones four times, and backup Aaron Grymes had an excellent one in the back of the endzone. He essentially ran Coates' route for him and then made a great catch in the back corner:
• After being under fire from seemingly all angles all week, Nelson Agholor made a couple of nice catches for 30 yards.
• Bradford wasn't great (and the offense didn't move much at all), but he finished 14-19 for 115 yards, despite not getting a ton of help from his receivers and line.
• After getting the Carroll pick-six, the first-team defense gave up a looonnggg drive (14 plays, 71 yards) against an offense that consisted of Pittsburgh's second-string skill players. Whether it was Brandon Graham losing contain on a run play, Ron Brooks not holding up in man coverage, or another individual mistake, the defense definitely struggled on that drive.
Pittsburgh couldn't score, though, as McKelvin and Malcolm Jenkins teamed up for a pick in the endzone:
• After a trio of short drives (with a combined 45 yards), the Eagles first-team offense needed to play the whole first half. Bradford probably could've made a better decision on an early 3rd-and-2 than a quick throw into coverage that was broken up. Later, a failed naked bootleg completely submarined a drive.
• Overall, the Eagles starting offense didn't move the ball past midfield on their first four drives. That's not great.
• Mike Mayock has been harping on the broadcast about the Eagles doing a poor job blocking opposing gunners on the punt return, and it does seem like Kenjon Barner has a player in his vicinity every time he catches the ball.
• Bad holding penalty on rookie Isaac Seumalo that basically ruined a drive at the end of the first half.
• This is no way to keep a lead in the kicker competition:
I've heard everything. #Eagles K Caleb Sturgis is out w/ a concussion. He suffered it when a punt hit him in the head. In pregame.— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) August 18, 2016
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