PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Maybe something happened to the Eagles after February 8, when they partied down the Parkway to celebrate the team’s first Super Bowl. Maybe the Eagles forgot the fact that the NFL still continues after a Super Bowl champion is crowned.
Or just maybe the lightning in a bottle the Eagles were able to capture the last two months of last season can’t be put back in—and what we’re seeing now is the true Nick Foles and the true Eagles.
Maybe that the Eagles lost their third preseason game, an ugly-to-watch 5-0 defeat to the Cleveland Browns Thursday night at Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium, doesn’t matter. That they have shown no continuity on offense does, preseason or not. That there are lapses in judgment and fundamentals, preseason or not, is another point of concern.
In 10 drives this summer, Foles has led the Eagles to five turnovers, three punts, one safety and one loss of downs, with a grand total of 0 points. This preseason he’s gone 16 of 26, for 171 yards and two interceptions, without a touchdown pass—and not even a touchdown catch.
Foles has also been sacked six times for minus-31 yards the last two games.
In two weeks, again, none of this will matter.
But there are a ton of red flags to dislike.
Or maybe it’s Doug Pederson’s grand design that the Eagles look so bad this preseason, maybe everyone will forget that they’re the defending Super Bowl champions.
Here’s a preseason version of some of the good, some of the bad, and some of the ugly that took place Thursday night.
Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox looked in a regular season form with a sack and a pair of tackles.
Middle linebacker Jordan Hicks also showed flashes of himself, with four tackles and a sack.
Linebacker Nate Gerry’s jam that forced a fourth-quarter interception.
Rookie corner Avonte Maddox’s fourth-quarter interception.
Wide receiver Shelton Gibson looked good again. He caught two passes for 28 yards.
Running back Wendell Smallwood may have won himself another year with the Eagles by rushing for a game-high 53 yards on 12 carries—primarily against the Cleveland ones.
Running back Josh Adams showed why he was star at Central Bucks South and Notre Dame. He’s big, strong and fast.
The Eagles’ offensive line allowing 15 sacks for minus-84 yards. The only reason why this isn’t under the ‘Ugly’ category is because it’s the preseason.
Quarterback Nick Foles looked bad. If it’s possible, Foles looked indecisive, literally tripped over his own feet, which resulted in a safety, was stripped and threw two interceptions in the first half—one in the red zone. Foles hasn’t looked right this whole preseason.
The Eagles’ first-team offense. Their first five drives they turned the ball over on downs, turned the ball on a safety, Foles threw an interception, when he just tossed the ball up to no one, Foles fumbled on a strip sack, and Foles threw another bad pass in the red zone to end the half. It doesn’t get any uglier than that.
Running back Matt Jones couldn’t hold the ball in Washington, which got him cut, and he can’t hold it here, which will likely get him cut again.
Left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai may not have to rent himself out as a human turnstile. Myles Garrett made him a human sled on the Eagles’ last drive of the first half. It led to one of the Browns’ three first-half sacks. Vaitai left the field limping and his ego thoroughly bruised again.
Kicker Jake Elliott missing a 33-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter. He missed an extra point last week and has not looked good this summer.