THE expectation was that this game would largely be boring, since both teams spent a week facing each other in scrimmages. Logic says that each team would know what to protect against, and how. Instead, due to some sloppiness on our part, the Dolphins were able to hang around in the game. Still, it was a pretty ho-hum event to say that 69 total points were scored in it.
Eagles 38 – Dolphins 31
The good news is that the passing game seems like it could be a force this year. That however, is largely dependent on whether or not QB Carson Wentz (10 – 6 – 60% – 129 – 2 – 1) takes as much punishment every week, as he took in just one quarter (that’s all the starters played) tonight. RB Corey Clement (9 – 42 – 4.6 – 1 – 0) looked very good leading the ground attack. OLB Mychal Kendricks (0 – 0 – 1 – 0) grabbed his third interception in as many games, bringing it back 31 yards to pay dirt.
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for these “Four Things” articles. We introduce an idea of what needs addressing BEFORE the game, so that fans have to honestly answer questions about those things, AFTER the game. This helps to get us, and keep us, all on the same page.
So, of the Four Things we were looking for in this last game, what exactly did we see? (Keep in mind, I talk about the starters in the Four Things section. I’ll address the back-ups, later. If at all.)
1) Impact from WR Alshon Jeffery: While I did notice one play with a Safety in the box, most of the time the Safety played deep. Jeffery did his part by catching 2 passes, one of which was a TD off of an inside release into the Safety’s area. That preseason play will have teams not wanting to get beat like that and, so open up room to run inside. This part, I loved. (DONE)
2) Man up: While I came into this game worrying about the Offensive Line’s ability to move men in the run game, I saw a line that also couldn’t keep players from hitting Wentz. (The batted ball that became an interception, had no business being caught. I could do an entire article on that play alone.) (NOT DONE)
3) Establish the Danger Zone: If you had told me that QB Jay Cutler would pick on CB Ronald Darby, I’d have laughed until I ruptured something. But he did, and it worked. Because the Dolphins decided to pick on Darby, there wasn’t nearly as much throwing over the middle as I anticipated. So while this wasn’t done, there really wasn’t much of a chance to do it. Sometimes I have to mark things “done” on a technicality. This time it goes the other way. (NOT DONE)
4) Back to basics: Our O-line didn’t drive men off the line, but they did block well enough for our RB’s to find holes. Tackling was effective enough, but we really weren’t great at getting off of blocks vs the run this week. (DONE)
The weekly score is 2 of 4, bringing our preseason total to 5 of 12. Next week we travel to the giants house, to take on their mentally challenged roommates, the New York Jets.
On The Whole:
The Eagles had 16 penalties for 147 yards. That’s a football field and a half worth of penalties. They had trouble with their run block synchronization early on. They also failed to keep pass rushers from touching Wentz, even at times when they saw and picked up the blitz. The starters looked undisciplined and rusty. It’s the sort of thing that happens when you don’t get enough “live” action during the preseason. With all the starters sitting next week, we run the risk of going into a VERY winnable Week One game against the Redskins and being too raggedy to beat a bad team.