Preseason Form: Eagles vs Browns Week 3 preseason recap

Ron Schwane (AP)

The Philadelphia Eagles are in preseason form. They turned the ball over four times and Nick Foles, who threw a pair of interceptions, was sacked three times. The Cleveland Browns pitched a 5-0 shutout over the Birds as they moved to 0-3 in the meaningless preseason.

They look like a team that can’t wait for Week 1 to get here.

There were some positives. Derek Barnett had a really solid night. He caused consistent havoc in the backfield, showed a good nose for the ball while making a tackle on a screen play and showed fluidity and awareness while dropping in coverage, picking up the crossing David Njoku and putting him to the ground for a minimal gain on 3rd-and-long.

The other bright spot was DeAndre Carter, who is on his fifth team after going undrafted in 2014 out of Sacramento State. He had four receptions for a team-high 73 yards yards, including this out-and-up route along the left sideline. He also displayed some punt return ability, bringing one back for 29 yards.

The sixth wide receiver spot is completely up for grabs — if the Eagles decide to even keep six — due to ineptitude among the veterans and Carter could sneak onto the roster. Markus Wheaton hasn’t played, Kamar Aiken has had a case of the drops, Bryce Treggs has a hamstring injury and Greg Ward hasn’t taken the step I expected him to take.

Ok onto the not so good. Halapoulivaati Vaitai has looked abysmal and was abused by Myles Garrett tonight. Since preseason is vanilla and more about evaluation, Big V isn’t getting the help he’d usually get in the regular season and it hasn’t looked promising.

The offensive line has allowed eight sacks in the first half of the last two preseason games, three more Thursday after five last week. Foles underwhelmed for a second straight week. He lofted an ugly underthrown duck down the left sideline for his first interception, and his second came following a poor decision after escaping pressuring and throwing on the move to his left.

In some position battles, Sidney Jones got the start over Avonte Maddox in the nickel and Nathan Gerry got the not again at weakside linebacker over Kamu Grugier-Hill. Wendell Smallwood saw the bulk of the work at running back and totaled 53 yards on 12 carries. Undrafted Notre Dame product Josh Adams toted the rock four times for 33 yards.

It was a 5-0 snoozer, there’s not anything else to discuss. The preseason finale is next Thursday night in Philly against the New York Jets.


You can follow Adrian Fedkiw on Twitter (@AdrianFedkiw) and e-mail him at amfedkiw@yahoo.com. Subscribe to The Bitter Birds on YouTube here. Follow Philly Influencer on Twitter (@PHL_Influencer), Facebook and Instagram.

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