Eagles Fans, Step Off the Ledge

The kneejerk "start Mark Sanchez over Nick Foles!" palaver is coming out, albeit with a more tongue-in-cheek tone. Still yet, there'll be some Eagles fans disturbed by the errors in last night's loss at Chicago.

Fear not; one year ago at this time, the Eagles were decimated by the New England Patriots in preseason action, 31-22. There was very little in that game to indicate a 10-6 record, reclamation of the NFC East title, and a playoff game.

Here's some notes about that loss to the Patriots.

-Nick Foles went 5-for-6 for 43 yards, and lost a fumble. Despite the 96.5 passer rating for his minimal output, there was nothing to indicate the monster year that lay ahead.

-Michael Vick, on the other hand, was 4-for-5 for 94 yards, elevated by a 47-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson. You would have said, "Advantage: Vick" following this game, but the fate of the franchise would take a dramatic shift by late October.

-Best running back of the night: the forgotten Felix Jones, who went for 31 yards on eight carries. LeSean McCoy, eventual rushing yards king with 1607 yards, sat out the game with a knee injury.

-Riley Cooper made only one grab for 19 yards, a week after his verbal snafu at a Kenny Chesney concert. Jason Avant had the more productive night, catching three balls for 42 yards, while Jackson's lone catch was the 47-yard score. Cooper wouldn't hit his stride until Foles took over for a sore Vick in October.

-Patrick Chung was the Eagles' second-leading tackler, despite the fact that he'd become a bigger liability than asbestos insulation. Yet, Chung was actually one of the brighter spots in preseason for the Eagles.

-Damaris Johnson had himself a 62-yard punt return at one juncture. In other words, don't let Josh Huff's monster return lull you into the trap of, "He's the new DeSean!" just yet.

-Laughable now: Donnie Jones wasn't the only punter on the team last preseason. Australian Brad Wing was given a chance to unseat Chip's choice, and was soundly defeated. Today, *nobody* would be brought in to push Jones.

-Here's the kicker: the Eagles run defense gave up 248 yards on 31 carries (precisely eight yards a run), as LeGarrette Blount and Stevan Ridley steamrolled the D. In the regular season, the Eagles only gave up 3.8 yards a carry, good for fifth best in the NFL.

So, yes, back off of the ledge. There's plenty of football to be played.

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