Eagles Armchair: A Perfect Dress Rehearsal From Bradford and Company


The most comprehensive weekly look back and look forward at the Philadelphia Eagles. 


By most accounts, Sam Bradford was pretty darn good on Saturday night. He completed all 10 passes he attempted, three of which went for touchdowns. And yet, he wasn’t perfect. At least not according himself, he wasn’t.

“We’ll look at the film,” Bradford told reporters after the game. “I’m sure I missed a few things tonight.

“We had a great week of work, and I thought we’d be ready to go. We found our rhythm early.”

Bradford seemed relatively reserved for a guy who did everything he could to send the Delaware Valley into a frenzy of playoff aspirations and Super Bowl declarations. But maybe he saw his QB rating, which registered a pedestrian 156.7, a full 1.6 points below a perfect rating.

Chip Kelly on the other hand likes to think that Bradford staying even keel after a big performance is what will make him a great quarterback.

“I think, like anybody, we can always continue to improve,” Kelly explained. “So I think, every day, that’s the great thing about Sam, he’s not going to rest on anything. He’s missed a lot of football coming into this, but I think he’s playing good right now. He can always get better, be sharper, and you know, that’s the thing I love about him. He will be back out on the field on Monday, trying to get better.”

It has been almost two seasons since Bradford played in a real NFL game. He has played 16 games in a season just twice in his five years in the league and has never won more than seven games in a season. So he may be excused for not getting real excited about playing well in a game that won’t matter in two weeks.

But everyone else is excited. Bradford took advantage of short fields and and his huge arsenal of weapons to torch the Packers defense on three straight drives and put up 18 points in the first quarter, before retreating to the bench and donning a baseball cap for the remainder of the game.

But don’t be fooled, Bradford doesn’t expect to be this good on a weekly basis.

“I think it would be a little unrealistic to think you’re going to have that type of game every time out,” Bradford said, doing his best to squash the dreams of Eagles fans everywhere. “Like I said, it was good to see the work we put in during the week pay off tonight. I thought our guys up front did a great job of not only pass protection, but in run blocking as well. It seemed like we were firing on all cylinders tonight. We got into a rhythm and hopefully it’s something we will be able to continue to do.”

We won’t see Bradford again until the Eagles open the season on Monday Night Football in Atlanta, but after just four drives, it is easy to see why he was the top pick in the 2010 draft and why he was so coveted by Kelly.

Marcus who?


14 – Fourteen different Eagles caught a pass on Saturday night. Granted, it is the preseason and a lot of guys got into the game, but there is a lot of depth at the skill positions. The Eagles go three deep at both running back and tight end, assuming Zach Ertz is healthy, and have five quality wide receivers, which will help those players stay healthy and fresh down the stretch.

5 – The Eagles first team defense allowed just five yards on the ground to the Packers running back duo of Eddie Lacy and James Starks on nine carries. Just a heads up, the team’s top inside linebacker still has yet to play. The front seven is that good.

19 – The Eagles three-headed monster of DeMarco MurrayRyan Mathews and Darren Sproles combined for 19 touches on just 35 snaps played. Wheel routes and Sproles in the slot will be a common sight as the season goes on and Kelly tries to feature each one of his backs.


Kiko AlonsoAlonso fully expected to play on Saturday night, so it came as a big surprise that he did not suit up. Kelly told reporters that Alonso tweaked something in his leg during pregame warm-ups and didn’t feel 100%. It will be interesting to see if Alonso is given a few snaps on Thursday night against the Jets so he doesn’t go into the regular season cold. My bet is Bill Davis and company hold him out and unleash him week one in Atlanta.

Cody Parkey – Eyebrows were raised at Parkey’s absence, considering he also sat out the second half of the Eagles game last week against the Ravens. Kelly said the second-year kicker pulled something in his leg earlier in the week, but he would’ve played if it was the regular season. It definitely isn’t good for a young kicker who was struggling to miss time and it isn’t good for him to suffer an injury that can comeback later in the season, but alarms shouldn’t be sounded just yet.

Lane Johnson Johnson was the only player to get hurt during the game, receiving treatment from the trainers on the sideline after limping off the field following Bradford’s third touchdown. Kelly said Johnson was fine and could’ve come back into the game, but Johnson revealed after the game he sprained his MCL. An off week will do him some good and he’ll be ready to go when the games start to count.


This will be one of those things that will be interesting to track as the season goes on. But after Saturday, both fanbases feel pretty good about their quarterback.

Say what you want about Joe Banner, but he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to front office moves.

Who cares if it’s preseason or not, that’s flat-out domination.


Offensive Player of the Game: Sam Bradford

Bradford has done everything he can to calm nerves about his health and ability to be effective. He’s made big throws. He’s gotten hit, then he’s gotten up. If Saturday night is any indication, his name will become pretty common in this section.

Defensive Player of the Game: Walter Thurmond

How do you follow up an interception on a pass 60 yards downfield? A pick six usually works. If Thurmond’s transformation from question mark to playmaking safety continues into the regular season the Eagles may have finally found a pair of safeties that will solidify the back end of their defense.

Biggest Surprise of the Game: Trey Burton

Aug 29, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tight end Trey Burton (47) scores after catching a touchdown pass against Green Bay Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (21) in the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Every time Burton makes a play on offense or special teams, I am baffled by how he went undrafted. He caught a pair of touchdowns on Saturday and could be in line to put up some big numbers if Zach Ertz isn’t totally healed up by week one.

Biggest Disappointment of the Game: Eric Rowe

Rowe played the most snaps of anyone on defense and it looks like it can all be classified as a “learning experience.” Rowe got beat in man coverage a few times and had a couple of rookie mistakes as the game went on. Hopefully he can get it in gear, because the Eagles may be banking on him having a big role in their nickel package.


  • John Moffitt is a great story and an even better person. He may be the nicest person I’ve ever had the privilege to interview, but it looks like his days are numbered. He has been very rusty in his time with the Eagles and his lack of versatility makes it hard to believe Kelly will keep him as a backup. Maybe he can make a strong case for a roster spot before final cuts, but his best bet may be to keep working and hope for another shot next season.
  • The Eagles first team defense did a good job keeping Brett Hundley and his comrades in check, but they struggled to get pressure on the rookie. Hundley also capitalized on the Eagles’s second team’s over-eagerness by hitting big plays on a number of screen passes. I think the front seven is still the strength of the defense, but it is worrisome to see them struggle against a rookie fourth round pick.
  • Tim Tebow two-point conversions went just about as well as I thought they would. His inability to throw the ball makes it really easy for teams to stack the box against him and the run. I understand Kelly wanting to explore all options, but with the exception of interference from a higher power (it’s not out of the question), Matt Barkley will be the emergency quarterback come September 14.
  • Another week, another big return for Eagles special teams. This one didn’t go for a touchdown, but Raheem Mostert’s 62-yard return of the opening kickoff proved that anyone who lines up at the back of the Eagles return unit is capable of hitting a hole and breaking off a big chunk of yardage. That’s scary.


The Eagles have a quick turnaround as they will head up to MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Jets Thursday night. It seems like a lot of players won’t even bother to suit up so get prepared to watch Barkley and Tebow go to battle one last time for the coveted third QB spot.

Next: Tim Tebow vs. Matt Barkley Round Three

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