Connor Barwin and the rest of the Eagles defense failed to tackle well against the Patriots Friday. Credit: Getty Images
Yeah, it was preseason. Technically, the Eagles’ 42-35 loss against the Patriots in Foxboro Friday night was practice. But boy did the defense look bad.
In the first half, New England netted 246 yards and were 7-for-10 on third down, a week after the Eagles allowed the Bears to go 10-for-17 on third down.
Several Eagles, including Brandon Boykins and DeMeco Ryans missed tackles and several more, including Cary Williams left the game due to injury.
They also committed eight penalties on defense. That’s the one that really irks Chip Kelly.
“You want to be clean,” Kelly told the media Sunday morning. “Obviously, we’ve got to clean up the penalties and we’ve talked about that. We’ve turned the ball over too many times on the offensive side of the ball. But the other process is we’re making evaluations on who is going to make the 53‑man roster.”
The stats and win-loss record of the Eagles in the preseason has less to do with how they will perform in the regular season, and a lot more to do with who will make the Eagles when camp breaks. And some of the difficult decisions will be made by Kelly and his staff sooner rather than later.
“There are a lot of guys that played well against the twos and threes and you get them in the ones and they’re not as productive,” Kelly said. “What is the reason? Is it because of the other teams’ twos and threes or is it because of what they’re capable of doing?”