PHILADELPHIA — This night was all about Michael Vick, but as the Eagles’ offense continued to self-destruct, you could detect more of a sense of urgency toward the end of the first half and into the third quarter. The time for testing out new wrinkles was over, and the Eagles needed to show something.
I wrote earlier this week about begrudgingly still picking the Eagles to win the NFC East but becoming increasingly worried about injuries, losses and the lack of aggression on defense. Tonight, they moved the ball well at times against the Jaguars, but the situational breakdowns will make coach Andy Reid sick.
The Eagles were 2 for 8 on third-down conversions in the first half, suffered a critical fumble and Donovan McNabb threw a poor interception early in the third quarter. They committed some untimely procedural penalties as well. They had just 28 rushing yards. It just wasn’t a crisp operation — not good enough for the third preseason game (the real dress rehearsal) against a team that struggled last season.
The Eagles were without some key players because of injury and haven’t had good luck thus far. Veteran RB Brian Westbrook was a late scratch — a surprise for sure — and the offensive line remains somewhat patchwork with two starters out and others trying to work back from injury.
I like what rookie RB LeSean McCoy can give the team, Vick obviously is a unique talent and WR DeSean Jackson’s speed and explosiveness make him special. But if the defense takes a step back, as some scouts I spoke to believe it might, and the offensive line continues to suffer injuries, that’s not a good combination.