So Eagles fans, how are you feeling after last night’s performance by Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles’ first string team of dreams? Nauseated? Disappointed? Befuddled?
Wait, they played a game last night?
In case you missed it, yes they did. And lost, 24-14. More notably is that the Eagles’ first string left the field trailing 21-0.
Is there reason for concern?
Just keep saying to yourself over and over: “This is only the preseason, it doesn’t mean anything.” Wash, rinse, repeat.
The Eagles’ performance was a complete disaster as they were out-played, out-coached and simply just beaten down by a more physical team. Michael Vick and Nate Allen were the headliners in last night’s horror show.
But again, it was just preseason, it didn’t mean anything. Right?
The main thing I realized from last night’s game was that maybe a previous concern of mine was correct…that the lockout-shortened off-season has hurt the Eagles more than the average team.
Teams that have undergone as many changes as the Eagles have are at a disadvantage right now. Likewise, teams that remained relatively unchanged, such as the Steelers, have the advantage of continuity and familiarity.
This is primarily true for the Eagles defense. They looked a little lost last night. Not that they don’t look talented, it’s just that they don’t appear to be in sync yet. That will happen when you have a new defensive coaching staff with new schemes and new players.
They simply need more time to get things right and gel as a unit.
As for the offense, ‘m not worried in the least at this point in time. Michael Vick had an off night and made poor decisions throwing the ball. However, he did have the best hit of the game when he took out Troy Polamalu after an INT.
There isn’t nearly as much change on the offensive side of the ball as there is on defense.
By the time the regular season starts, I expect the Eagles offense to be ready to roll. Jeremy Maclin will be back and the offensive line will be settled. With the lone exception of Howard Mudd and his technique, the offense remains basically the same so there is a good level of continuity there.
They better be ready because they’ll likely have to carry the team for the first few games.
Adding to the problems on defense was that the Eagles were without their top two run-stuffers against the Steelers in Mike Patterson and Antonio Dixon. Trevor Laws also did not play last night.
The play of the defensive tackles also has a direct impact on the linebackers.
In general, their job is to keep the linebackers “clean” so that they can flow to the football and make plays. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen much last night. But with that said, Casey Matthews, Jamar Chaney, and Moises Fokou still have to make plays.
But again, perhaps they just need more time.
Patterson (hopefully) and Dixon should be ready by the season opener. They will make a big difference in our run stopping ability. Plus, defenses do not “scheme” for preseason games so it’s still difficult to get a true read on what to expect come September 11th.
So all in all, no reason to hit the panic button just yet. The Eagles are not as bad as they looked last night. The coaches and players will work hard to correct the mistakes. They still have just over three weeks to make improvements.
And one last thing…it was just preseason, it doesn’t mean anything.