Philadelphia Eagles start preseason with a loss in Green Bay

GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 10: Carson Wentz
GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 10: Carson Wentz /

As the 2017 season starts for the Philadelphia Eagles, the first preseason was a roller-coaster of emotions for a team with such high expectations. As there was high and lows on both sides of the ball. The Eagles, in general, looked as if the Pack ruffled their feathers.

To kick off the beginning of the season the first drive saw The Philadelphia Eagles’ starting defensive unit take the field. The defensive line was anchored by all-star tackle Fletcher Cox per usual. The line was also occupied by Vinny Curry, Timmy Jernigan, and Brandon Graham. The middle of the field was patrolled by Michael Kendricks, Jordan Hicks, and Nigel Bradham. To protect them over the top was Jalen Mills, Rodney McLeod, Patrick Robinson, and the always ferocious Malcolm Jenkins.

On the first defensive drive, Jalen Mills lined up against Randall Cobb. This wasn’t a surprising move as Mills is better equipped to handle Cobb, but Patrick Robinson was the impressive defensive back during this drive. Sure, Robinson has struggled during OTAs and training camp, but he has excelled in his first preseason game this year.

He was beat off of a quick double move, but he recovered nicely and was able to keep the drive continuing. To finish off the drive, rookie running back Donnell Pumphrey took a risky hit on the punt return. He will need to improve on his awareness and know when its better to just fair catch it.

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To begin the first offensive drive, Carson Wentz supernova (see what I did there?) took the field. The second year gunslinger went four for four, tallying a possession time of 6:46. He rocketed a few passes to Jordan Matthews. Coming off of an unimpressive season a year ago, the eyes are on Matthews this season, as he will be bumped to the slot with the additions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. Matthews has seen better production from the slot and today was no different.

What was a little worrying was the play calling by offensive coordinator Frank Reich and Doug Pederson. On a long 3rd down, they elected on a running back draw for a medium gain. Wentz also did not throw a pass over 15 yards. When the games are pointless towards the season record, I would have worked with Wentz taking the top off of the offense. In order for this offense to succeed though, the running game must be a threat.

With the addition of LeGarrette Blount, some where expecting the Philadelphia Eagles to take the next step as a rushing team. Tonight, they were anything but that. The running game could not get going and often saw penetration through the line early on the right side. Reich must figure out a way to establish a solid run game that doesn’t force Wentz to throw 40 times a night.

On the second defensive drive, the defensive line took over. On the first play, Brandon Graham blew around the left side of the line for a loss. On the second, Jim Schwartz does what Schwartz does and hid a five-man rush excellently. Ty Montgomery was able to find some room up the middle, but Cox and Hicks combined for a strip and tackle to jar the ball loose giving the Eagles possession. Unfortunately, this would be the last time that the defense would show up until the third quarter.

After Wentz went four for four with a touchdown, Matt McGloin entered the game slinging the ball around similar to Carson’s first year. A lot of check downs and short yardage passes hampering an offense that could not move the chains on the ground. To finish the first half, McGloin showed good pocket awareness and avoided some hits, but it soon went all down in the second half.

The rest of the game was pretty unattractive. It became more sloppy by both teams with various drops, interceptions, and fumbles. Some notable rookies who stood out against Green Bay was Corey Clement and Mack Hollins who recorded a handful of catches against both the Packer’s first and second team defensive backs. I wouldn’t be surprised if both rookies find a way to make the team come September.

Next: 2017 Preseason Opener: A look at the Eagles offense

Final score: Philadelphia Eagles fall to Green Bay 24-9