Kevin Kolb and the Eagles first string offense moved the ball smoothly in the first quarter of tonight’s 28-27 win over the Jaguars, until they reached the redzone. Kolb was 6-11 for 95 yards and the Eagles gained 144 yards on 26 first quarter plays. Perhaps most impressively, Philadelphia held the ball for nearly 12 of the first 15 minutes. Despite all of that, Philadelphia led only 6-0 at the end of the quarter.
Eagles head coach Andy Reid felt content with the first string offense’s performance, but knows the redzone numbers need to improve. “All in all I think it was a good effort, obviously there are some things we can work on. We’ve got to do better in the redzone. It’s nice to give David some kicks, but not that many,” said Reid.
Kolb seemed to agree with his head coach, feeling that the mistakes will be easy to correct. “I thought overall it was a positive night. The thing I like about the redzone is, it was self-inflicted. It was a couple of things we did on our own. We had the holding call and then just didn’t execute on that first drive,” Kolb said.
The Eagles redzone troubles weren’t limited to the first string. The Birds got inside the 20 on nine of their first 11 drives, but came away with just two touchdowns. Michael Vick was at the helm for much of that stretch and turned the ball over twice, once in the redzone.
“I did some things pretty good; I did some things that I’m really going to pull my hair out tonight because of. I take those things and I learn from it, and that’s what being a great quarterback is all about,” said Vick.
Vick completed 11 of 17 passes for 119 yards and ran for 50 yards on six carries, including a 10-yard touchdown. The backup quarterback also threw an interception and fumbled twice (one was lost).
Overall, the Eagles outgained the Jaguars 496-316 and picked up 28 first downs to Jacksonville’s 12. The first string defense was impressive, so much so that they only stayed on the field for six plays. Philadelphia held Jacksonville to 10 yards on its first two drives.
“We didn’t really have that many snaps; we only had six plays. It was short lived, but two three-and-outs is what you want to do as a defense, so we feel really good about it,” said Stewart Bradley.
Free safety Antoine Harris suffered a Lisfranc sprain to his foot and will undergo an MRI in the morning. Free safety Quintin Demps had a knee sprain. Running back Eldra Buckley left the game briefly with sore ribs, but later returned.
LeSean McCoy had eight carries for 30 yards in the first quarter and was also split out wide on a few plays.
DeSean Jackson showed off his explosiveness in the first quarter with two receptions for 47 yards and one carry for 17. Jackson showed his slipperiness on the end around, making two would-be-tacklers miss.
Chad Hall demonstrated his versatility with three kick returns for 63 yards, two punt returns for 14 yards, two receptions for 60 yards and two runs for 22 yards.
Kevin Kolb showed off his mobility with two carries for 15 yards. Kolb also slid away from pressure in the pocket and bought time to throw on numerous occasions.
Jacksonville was 0-for-9 on third downs and 0-for-2 on fourth down.
The Eagles had 78 offensive plays, while Jacksonville only had 45. That helped the Birds hold the ball for 40:41. It’s tough to win games without the ball, as the Eagles know from past experience.
Note: Check back tomorrow for in depth coverage of tonight’s game, including more on the play of the offensive line and the mobility of Kevin Kolb.
Training Camp Coverage
Visit InsideTheIggles.com for training camp coverage, including practice recaps and scouting reports from Lehigh Valley. ITI’s Ryan Messick will be reporting from Lincoln Financial Field tonight for the Eagles first preseason game against the Jaguars. Ryan will be back in camp again when it resumes on Sunday. Twitter feeds will be available during both practices Sunday (8:15 AM and 2:45 PM). Check back often for updates and follow along at www.twitter.com/Ryan_Messick and www.twitter.com/InsideTheIggles.