The Eagles travelled to New York with the hopes of rounding out a perfect pre-season with a win. Their hopes were cut short early on following a Matt Barkley interception and a touchdown in the opening minutes. It was a lead they would never retrieve as they fell to the Jets 24-18.
The main focus was evidently on the Quarterback battle between Tebow and Barkley and quite rightly so. The QB’s would alternate Quarters to ensure they play with the same line and weapons. Barkley started the game with an interception in just his second throw of the game. He ended the game on 4/9 for 45 yards.
In comparison, Tim Tebow picked up 32 rushing yards alongside 11 completions out of 17 attempts for a total of 168 yards. Two touchdowns and one interception would accompany those stats. But it’s not the stats that tell the story. A 45 yard pass from Tebow stole the show before a last gasp touchdown to the far corner of the end-zone sealed applause from his critics. The battle is not over yet though, Chip Kelly was the first to say that the team will evaluate everything thoroughly post game.
Tebow. Touchdown. Magic. #PHIvsNYJ
— NFL (@NFL) September 4, 2015
.@TimTebow can't throw with touch?
— NFL (@NFL) September 4, 2015
Elsewhere a minor concern was Eric Rowe who consistently looked beaten when the routes hit their end. It wasn’t just for small gains either, a stumble cost the team valuable yards whilst he was often left lost at the top of routes when a receiver would turn around or cut back inside..it was a worrying sign, especially considering the tandem of Roddy White and Julio Jones will be facing the rookie in just over a week in regular season football. We will evaluate his performance thoroughly tomorrow.
On a positive note, Kiko Alonso was finally able to step out onto the field in an Eagles uniform. He only partook in one drive but picked up two tackles and shook off rustiness almost instantly. The vision when taking down the Jets running back early on was exceptional, Kiko looks healthy, primed and ready to make some big tackles.
Another positive was running back Raheem Mostert who was trying to force his way into the final 53. He carried no less than 15 times for a total of 69 yards whilst further highlighting how Chip plans to use his running backs as dual threats. Mostert was dominant on the outside, catching 8 passes for 93 yards. He is effective in both aspects of the game and even chanced his luck at kick returns.
The Eagles went into the half with the game almost sealed and Barkley failed to establish any kind of momentum in the third, leaving it all to Tebow in the fourth. The birds rallied back after a scoreless start to the second half with a 9 yard pass to Freddie Martino. It was a good catch by Martino in what was a sloppy pass from Tebow despite his elusive run to set the play up.
One glaring negative was the lack of Cody Parkey. It was a precautionary move to ensure that Parkey is ready for week one following a mild injury, but Kip Smith showed the efficiency of a Toyota Prius in a Desert. His Kunckle Ball style cost the Eagles some valuable points in a game where any kind of momentum could have tilted the balance.
It’s not so much the result that matters here as the majority of the Eagles starters were rested. Bradford, Murray, Matthews, Barwin and many more were all absent in tonights game, leaving the bubble players to duel for their position. Their efforts will be proven to be successful or otherwise tomorrow when the final 53 man roster is announced.
The game carried a lot of promise but some mild concern in other areas and those will be evaluated in detail in the coming hours so be sure to keep an eye out on our site.