He’s okay! After being placed in bubble wrap against the Colts, Sam Bradford took a huge shot from Brandon Williams and a low hit from Terrell Suggs in his lone drive. After the Williams hit Bradford got up slowly but carried on. He finished the evening going 3-5 for 35 yards while leading the Eagles 84 yards for a touchdown. This was Bradford’s first game action in 364 days so he did look a bit rusty. He looked really hesitant on one play, stuttering as he delivered a ball to Nelson Agholor. He also left a couple throws high on the drive. Other than that, he looked calm in the pocket and was showing off his impressive arm strength.
The group that stole the show last night was the offense. This group is lethal. Well, as lethal as you can get for the second pre-season game. Bradford and Sanchez were kept clean in the pocket with plenty of times to make decisions down the field. The Eagles also have a three headed monster at running back. You have the reigning rushing champ in DeMarco Murray, who made his debut last night, rush for a touchdown. He was hitting the holes with a burst that was not seen by McCoy. McCoy is a good player in his own right, but for this offense, Murray is a much better fit. Then you have Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles backing him up. Matthews is a nice change of pace to DeMarco and showed what he could be if he stays healthy. Mathews rushed 3 times for 19 yards and a touchdown. Darren Sproles will come in and play a key role in pass catching for this team. He is also a game-changing punt returner. If last night was any indication, DeMarco Murray fantasy owners are going to be very upset with Chip Kelly this season. Nelson Agholor had an up-and-down game as he spent most of his time with Sanchez throwing him the ball. He finished with 4 receptions for 49 yards but he had some drops and got the ball ripped away while trying to fight for yards by a Ravens corner back. Had the play not been called back, that would have been an ugly turnover for Agholor. This offense scored on its first two drives against the Ravens first-team defense. Mark Sanchez bounced back great from his lackluster outing against Indianapolis. He completed 14 of 20 passes for 118 yards. This is a good Ravens defense they are going up against, made them look bad.
The defense played well last night as well. The first-team defense made life difficult on Joe Flacco, intercepting him twice as he went 3-7 passing. One of the interceptions was by newly acquired Byron Maxwell. The other one was a play that you would not have seen this defense make last season. One thing this defense struggled mightily with a season ago was that it was very susceptible to the big play. Every Eagles fan remembers getting sliced up by Aaron Rodgers and watching Dez Bryant embarrass Bradley Fletcher on Sunday Night Football. Last Night, Flacco challenged Nolan Carroll deep, he batted it in the air, and it was intercepted by Walter Thurmond. These two have been trying to lock up the safety and corner back spots in camp and looked good here. One negative from the defense last night was their front seven. They let Justin Forsett gain big chunks of yards when he touched the ball, at a 5.8 yards per carry rate. Even though DeMeco Ryans, Kiko Alonso, and Mychal Kendricks were inactive, this is no excuse for the strength of this team.
The special teams were once again as good as advertised. Kenjon Barner took another punt back for a touchdown. This will be the Eagles toughest roster decisions. It would be odd to keep four running backs and Sproles is most likely going to be the punt returner come the regular season. Barner is certainly making a great case for himself. Cody Parkey only missed one field goal this week. It was a 55 yard kick that would have been his career high. The kicker is the last position you want to have to worry about but we must still keep an eye on him.
And what would an Eagles article be without talking about Tim Tebow. It was reported earlier this week that Tim Tebow will make the roster if he avoids any major errors. However, Tebow did not play too well. He ended 2-5 for 13 yards but did run 3 times for 31 yards. Still, Tebow is showing an inability to make quick decisions with the ball. There were also times where he just made the wrong decision with the ball, blatantly missing open players, opting to throw somewhere else. And yes, he did receive another ovation.
After two games the Eagles have put up a whopping 79 points. Let’s pump the breaks on any Super Bowl talk since its the pre-season, but it is better than seeing them play awful. Now in the “dress rehearsal” game for the starters, we will see how the Eagles fair against the Green Bay Packers.