CHICAGO, IL (CBS) — It doesn’t count, and it really doesn’t mean anything, and it’s certainly no time to cue up promotion talk of Matt Barkley or Mark Sanchez, but the fact is, Nick Foles didn’t look too good against the Chicago Bears in the Eagles’ first pre-season game Thursday night.
The Eagles lost 34-28, and were rained on by a deluge of flags by both teams (23 penalties combined).
The final score didn’t matter.
What did, slightly, was Foles. He threw two interceptions—as many as he threw all of last year in the first 14:02. Foles completed 6 of 9 passes for 44 yards. Again, the numbers meant little. Foles’ uneasiness did.
For some reason, Foles seemed somewhat indecisive. He threw off his back foot twice. He rushed a couple of passes. Something just didn’t appear right about him. And the two interceptions were bad ones, no tipped balls that anyone had to dive for.
But that is what the pre-season is all about, isn’t it? Knocking off the rust?
Defensively, rookie nose tackle Beau Allen looked real good. He got great penetration and when the play was by him, he displayed endless energy in pursuing down field and making a tackle. Allen was a real enforcer in the middle, disrupting the Bears’ rhythm. Taylor Hart also played well, getting down field late in the third quarter tracking down a screen.
First-round pick Marcus Smith also looked very good. He showed some great athleticism batting down a Jordan Palmer pass. Smith read screen, and leaped up to smack the ball down, which was almost intercepted. Smith dropped in coverage, made plays in space and was light years from the unsure rookie wondering about everything around just a few weeks ago.
Sanchez also looked good. He directed two-straight touchdown drives in the second quarter, and completed 7 of 10 for 79 yards. More importantly, Sanchez looked really comfortable in Chip Kelly’s offense.
And rookie receiver Jordan Matthews was able to get leverage working out of the slot and coming over the middle. Matthews did drop pass that he should have had. But that didn’t discourage Matthews. He ran back and lined up for the next play.
All three tight ends, Zack Ertz, James Casey and Brent Celek, were factors. The trio combined to catch seven passes for 93 yards. Josh Huff’s second-quarter 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown was one of the game’s highlights.
One of the lower moments was a learning play for rookie cornerback Jaylen Watkins, who missed his jam and was beaten on a third-quarter 73-yard TD hookup from Jimmy Clausen to Chris Williams. Watkins stopped his feet and Williams tore right by him.
Later in the quarter, Watkins again was picked on, when Clausen threw a little out to Dale Moss, and Watkins took a bad angle. Watkins was a little late another out late in the third quarter. Watkins changed the course of his night with a great leaping interception with 12:13 left in the game.
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