Eagles defeat Packers, 39-26, Sam Bradford plays perfectly


The Philadelphia Eagles “dress rehearsal” for the upcoming regular season is in the books. It honestly couldn’t have gone any better for the Eagles as their starters dominated the Green Bay Packers’ starters in every facet of the game. But once the back-ups entered the game, it was a different story.

Luckily for the Eagles, tonight’s performance from their starters was so impressive, that’s all many of us will really talk about it. No player had a better performance than starting quarterback Sam Bradford as he was damn near perfect on the night. Despite failing to somehow receive a perfect passer rating, Bradford completed all 10 of his passing attempts for 121 passing yards and 3 touchdowns…that’s right, three touchdowns!

Bradford was absolutely on fire and looked much more comfortable than he did a week ago against the Ravens. Bradford delivered the ball quickly and spread it all over the field. It was also encouraging to see head coach Chip Kelly utilize all three running backs in the team’s “three headed monster” at running back in DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles. All three received touches on the game’s opening drive which was capped off by a Sproles’ touchdown via a dime from Bradford.

Here’s the beautiful touch pass from Bradford and it was all capped off with the all business handshake, gotta love it!

Speaking of Sproles, he was used once again in the slot, which is where he also caught another pass from Bradford which he quickly turned into a long gain. With Murray and Mathews ahead of him, that opens up snaps elsewhere for Sproles to be utilized much more as a wide receiver. That’s just another wrinkle that Kelly can add into his already tough to stop, uptempo offense.

Bradford’s night was done after three perfect drives that all ended with touchdowns. Mark Sanchez took over and looked solid once again, completing 13 of 19 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Sanchez had a rough start to the preseason but looks much more comfortable and should serve as a more than adequate starter if Bradford ever goes down.

Matt Barkley and Tim Tebow didn’t really do much when they were in the game, failing to throw for any touchdowns. Although both had an impressive start to the preseason game, they’ve fallen off quite a bit. It’s a bit disappointing considering many thought Barkley was building up his trade stock to possibly be moved for anything remotely valuable…but that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. Neither quarterback has impressed during the past two weeks and it wouldn’t surprise me to see both cut and the Eagles look elsewhere for a quarterback.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Eagles’ starters were impressive for the most part. The secondary played well, although Brett Hundley was basically a pop quiz for them compared to the test that Aaron Rodgers would have presented. Either way, they held up well against the rookie and the rest of the Packers’ first-team offense. Eddie Lacy was shut down, rushing 4 times for just 2 yards, that’s it. As a whole, the Packers ran the ball 22 times for 66 total yards, just an average of 3.0 yards per carry. That number just proves how stout the Eagles’ defense is up front.

In the back-end, the Eagles’ starters had a solid showing against Hundley and Green Bay’s aerial attack. Converted safety Walter Thurmond had another interception, this time he returned it for a touchdown. Although Hundley’s target slipped, it’s still great to see Thurmond making the transition to safety and playing well at his new position. Here’s a clip of Thurmond’s pick six:

Another new face in the secondary, Byron Maxwell, had another interception but it was nullified by a holding penalty on safety Malcolm Jenkins. Maxwell made a strong diving effort to secure the pick but sadly it didn’t count. You still have to applaud the effort in a preseason game though. Now it’s time to turn to some players that struggled on the Eagles’ defense.

After a somewhat shockingly good start to the preseason, cornerback E.J. Biggers finally returned to planet Earth. Biggers was just downright awful throughout the night and was getting picked on by Hundley at times. Rookie Eric Rowe also struggled a bit as he has given up way too much separation to receivers throughout the preseason thus far. That being said, Rowe is just a rookie and will get better with time and more film to learn from.

All in all, it was another solid overall showing from the Eagles. It’s unlikely that the team will play any of their starters against the New York Jets on September 3rd. While it would be nice to finally see inside linebacker Kiko Alonso finally suit up for the Eagles, that may not happen until the team opens up against the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football.

Now our attention turns to the roster cuts down to 75 players on September 1st at 4:00 PM EST. Until then, be sure to check back here at Inside The Iggles for all of the latest news, analysis and more!

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