Observation Deck: Philadelphia Eagles

August, 8, 2014
8/08/14
11:34
PM ET
Throughout the offseason and the start of training camp, Nick Foles looked confident and ready to be the Philadelphia Eagles' No. 1 quarterback.

Friday night at Soldier Field, there was no sign of that Foles. It was only a few series in a preseason opener, but Foles' performance against the Chicago Bears couldn't have gone much worse. Foles threw two interceptions, matching his total in 317 attempts in 2013, as the first-team offense stumbled badly.

Mark Sanchez led two second-quarter scoring drives and rookie Josh Huff returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown to jump-start the Eagles. They led 21-14 at halftime, but the Bears won the second half and the game, 34-28.

Foles' picks resulted from mistakes he rarely made last season. On the first, he faced a third-and-17 deep in Eagles territory. The Bears got some pressure in his face and Foles threw wildly over the middle. Safety Ryan Mundy made the easy interception.

On the second pick, it was hard to be sure who Foles was trying to hit. Ifeanyi Momah was running a crossing route. The throw was behind him, right in the hands of cornerback Sherrick McManis. But tight end Zach Ertz appeared to be in line for the ball. If it was for Ertz, it was underthrown.

Here are some other thoughts on the Eagles' first preseason game of the year:
  • Sanchez hit Ertz on consecutive plays after a Nate Allen interception gave the Eagles the ball at their own 48. The first went for 33 yards, the second for 18. After a throw to James Casey lost three yards, Matthew Tucker ran the ball in from the 4. Sanchez was at the controls for another touchdown drive. Tucker's 24-yard run helped set up a 1-yard touchdown run later in the quarter. Sanchez completed 7 of 10 passes for 79 yards.
  • After the Bears tied the game at 14, Huff raced through a huge hole on the left side of the field and never slowed down. The third-round pick was returning kicks in place of the injured Nolan Carroll. He just might get another shot at it. Huff is one of those players who just seem faster in a game than in practice.
  • Seventh-round pick Beau Allen, a nose tackle from Wisconsin, looked as good under game conditions as he has in camp practices. Allen pushed the Bears center back, forcing quarterback Jordan Palmer to stumble. Palmer lost the ball, but it was ruled an incomplete pass instead of a fumble. A few plays later, Allen disrupted a run play by tying up two blockers and allowing defensive end Brandon Bair to hold the runner to a 1-yard gain.
  • Jordan Matthews, who has looked really good in practices, had a rough first NFL game. Matthews dropped three passes and had trouble shaking the Bears defensive backs.
  • The Eagles made special teams a focus during the offseason and had to be happy with their first outing. Along with Huff's 102-yard kickoff return, Damion Square blocked a Chicago field-goal attempt in the first quarter. Alex Henery's kickoffs reached the end zone and the coverage squad was able to make tackles inside the Bears 20-yard line. Chris Maragos stood out on the coverage team.
  • The Eagles' first-team defense looked solid, if not spectacular. The backups had a little trouble. Cornerback Roc Carmichael was beaten by Josh Morgan for a 24-yard catch that set up the Bears' second touchdown. Rookie Jaylen Watkins, the fourth-round pick from Florida, got scorched on a 73-yard touchdown catch by Bears wideout Chris Morgan. Watkins later picked off a pass to give the Eagles the ball in the fourth quarter.

 

Phil Sheridan

ESPN Philadelphia Eagles reporter

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