While the score of the game doesn’t matter, the Philadelphia Eagles are now one step closer to the 2012 regular season after a 24-23 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the pre-season opener Thursday night. During the pre-season, I will be breaking down the games with a “highs and lows” section. This will show what players/units shined and which still need work before the season opener at Cleveland.
QB Nick Foles: Rookie quarterback Nick Foles showed last night why the Eagles used their third round draft pick on him. Foles completed six passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns, including a 70 yard touchdown to wide receiver Damaris Johnson.
K Alex Henery: The second year place kicker started the pre-season off with a bang when he hit a 51 yard game winning field goal.
Henery, who set an NFL accuracy record for rookie kickers last season, seems to have picked up right where he left off last night.
WR Damaris Johnson: With Jeremy Maclin out because of a hamstring injury, Damaris Johnson got the opportunity to start. And he didn’t disappoint. Johnson caught four passes for 85 yards and a touchdown. He also received time returning punts and kickoffs.
The Backups: The Philadelphia Eagles started the game out of sync and found themselves in a 13-0 hole. The young backups showed heart and determination with a spirited comeback and a 24-23 win.
Pre-Game Ceremony: The Philadelphia Eagles held a moment of silence for the late Garrett Reid, Andy’s oldest son, who passed away last Sunday. The crowd chanted Any Reid’s name and a message from the Reid family was displayed on the video board thanking the fans for their support during this tough time. It was a special moment.
Starting Defense: The tackling in this game was terrible. The most egregious offender was safety Jaiquawn Jarrett, who looked lost and confused the whole time he was on the field.
Starting Offense: The whole starting offense was out of sync. The line missed blocks, Michael Vick completed three passes for a measly five yards, and the receivers struggled to get off the line. It was just a dismal night for the Eagles’ starters.
QB Mike Kafka: If Kafka wants to be number two on the depth chart behind Michael Vick, he will have to play better than he did last night. Kafka completed five passes for 31 yards. However, he threw a terrible pass that hit a Steelers defensive linemen right between the numbers for an interception. Right now, Nick Foles has the lead over Kafka for the backup spot.
Michael Vick suffered a thumb contusion when he hit the helmet of Jason Kelce during his follow through on a pass. He immediately came out of the game. Vick said after the game that his thumb had felt much better and that he could grip the ball without problem. He should return to practice on Saturday.
Jeremy Maclin tweaked his hamstring during pre-game workouts. He was kept out of the game for precautionary reasons and should return to practice soon.
The Eagles will return to practice on Saturday and square off against the New England Patriots on Monday, August 20 in Foxborough.