Eagles Fly High in Win Over Bucs
Yesterday, the Eagles started the season off on the right foot, beating the Buccaneers 17-9. This game was the beginning of the Carson Wentz Era. Though the Eagles still have a lot to improve on, yesterday gave us a good glimpse into future of this franchise.
Firstly, the first team offense was only on the field for three snaps. Sam Bradford competed his only pass of the day to Brent Celek for a three yard gain. Running back Ryan Mathews capped off the drive with two nice runs, one of which resulted in a touchdown. Like I said, unfortunately, that was all we saw of the first team offense.
The first team defense was out for about two-three possessions. They were very sharp. The Eagles did a great job rushing the passer. On one play, Fletcher Cox got to Jameis Winston and forced a fumble, and yes, he also recovered it. From the little we saw of this unit, they were as advertised. We can only expect them to get better, they were missing Malcolm Jenkins and Mychal Kendricks as they were out injured.
After Cox’s fumble recovery, the second team was sent onto the field for offense. With the ball already in the red zone, the Eagles had a quick drive capped off by a 3-yard rushing touchdown by quarterback Chase Daniel. However, after that it all went downhill. The offensive line gave Daniel no time at all, he was under constant pressure. The wide receivers were not getting open either. With the culmination of bad receiver play and a shaky offensive line, the Eagles could get nothing going on offense. That is about all we saw from the second team offense, a lot of penalties and stalled drives.
The second team defense mixed with some starters did let up some big plays. Overall, they did not do too bad. With the second team defense in, Jameis Winston found Russell Shepard for a 26-yard touchdown pass. Buccaneers second round draft pick Roberto Aguayo missed the extra point.
With two minutes left in the half, the Eagles sent out Carson Wentz. The stadium went nuts. He had a nice little two minute drill, where he had a nice connection with tight-end Zach Ertz for a big gain. He finished the drive ⅖ for 22 yards.
Wentz stayed in at quarterback for most of the second half. He did throw an interception on a play where he seemed to have overthrown wide receiver Paul Turner. Wentz’s debut was promising, he showed a lot of potential. The first game jitters are now gone, I expect Wentz to only get better from here on out.
Eagles kicker Caleb Sturgis made a 42-yard field goal for the Eagles’s other points in the fourth quarter. Also in the same quarter, Roberto Aguayo also nailed a 38-yard field goal. The game was ended when undrafted free agent C.J Smith from North Dakota St. intercepted Bucs quarterback Ryan Griffin in the back of the endzone.
For a first preseason game, we saw what a lot of us expected to see. The Eagles first team offense and defense looked sharp, but the recent seemed to still be learning the new system. There is still a lot to improve on in Philadelphia. It is only up from here. Look for the Eagles this Thursday, August 18th, when they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers.