Eagles Handle Browns 27-10, Foles Shines Again
The Eagles easily beat the Browns 27-10 at Cleveland Browns Stadium Friday night, as Nick Foles had another strong game at quarterback and Philadelphia’s defensive line shined en route to five sacks.
Foles finished the night 12-of-19 for 146 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
“I thought he did a nice job. He managed the game well, he had a couple nice throws there,” Eagles head coach Andy Reid said of Foles. “There were a couple that I think he’d like to have back, but those were young guy mistakes and he worked through it. He came back and he kept firing.
“You’re looking at that as a coach. Does he get gun shy or does he continue to fire? And he did it; he stayed aggressive and he did a nice job of that I thought.”
After a bit of a slow start, Foles twice took advantage of a short field to engineer touchdown drives of 15 yards and 14 yards and give the Eagles a 14-0 lead.
After a somewhat promising start for the Browns offense, led by rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden, a nine-play drive ended on a sack and forced fumble by Eagles defensive tackle Derek Landri deep in Philadelphia territory. Trent Cole recovered and set Foles up at his own 30-yardline.
On his second play of the night, though, Foles underthrew DeSean Jackson deep down field and was intercepted by Joe Haden. After a pair of three-and-outs, the Eagles defensive line struck again.
Darryl Tapp recovered a fumble by Montario Hardesty, giving Foles and company the ball at the Browns’ 15-yardline. Foles hit wide receiver Jeremy Maclin for eight yards and no yards, then avoided pressure long enough to connect with tight end Brent Celek on a 7-yard touchdown.
On the Browns next drive, facing third-and-15, Tapp blew past Browns left tackle Joe Thomas, a five-time Pro Bowler, to sack Weeden and force another fumble, which Cleveland recovered. Keenan Clayton blocked the ensuing punt, though, giving the Eagles the ball at the Browns’ 3-yardline.
After a 1-yard run by fullback Stanley Havili, Foles hit Dion Lewis for a 2-yard touchdown through the air and a 14-0 lead.
Foles showed off his accuracy downfield early in the second quarter, hitting Damaris Johnson for a 23-yard touchdown on a beautiful pass down the left sideline into tight coverage. The play was reversed upon review, though, as replays showed that Johnson only managed to get one foot in bounds in the end zone.
Instead, Alex Henery connected on a 41-yard field goal to make it 17-0. The Browns answered with a 65-yard drive, but had to settle for a 33-yard field goal by Phil Dawson to cut to within 14.
Later in the half, Henery missed another 41-yard attempt, and the score stayed at 17-3 at halftime.
That was the end of Foles night, and through three preseason games he’s completed 36-of-57 passes (63 percent) for 507 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. While he hasn’t seen too many complicated looks from defenses, he did see a few blitzes tonight.
“You take what you can see and you evaluate that,” Reid said. “In the blitz game, [Browns defensive coordinator] Dick [Jauron] threw a few blitzes at us and it looked like he handled those well.
“He knew where the action was coming from, he knew where to go with the ball, so for what’s been thrown at him, he’s handled it well.”
Trent Edwards performed well at quarterback too, completing 14-of-17 passes for 127 yards and a 4-yard touchdown pass to Brett Brackett, who finished with three catches for 34 yards.
“I thought he played well too,” Reid said. “I thought he managed the game well, he made some nice throws, he was on time. He got knocked down a couple times and he got back up. He’s done well for himself in my eyes and he played a good game tonight.”
Reid said Mike Kafka threw with Michael Vick today in Philadelphia and could return for the Eagles final preseason game against the Jets next Thursday. Kafka and Edwards appear to now be battling for the final roster spot at the quarterback position.
Cleveland put together one more scoring drive, going 78 yards on 15 plays in the fourth quarter with Colt McCoy finding tight end Evan Moore for a 3-yard touchdown pass.
The Eagles added a 28-yard field goal from Alex Henery and finished off a 27-10 win to improve to 3-0 on the preseason. The Browns fell to 2-1.
Eagles safety Oshiomogho Atogwe tried to warmup but was unable to go with a hamstring injury.
Wide receiver Brian Hernandez left the game with a sprained ankle.
Michael Vick said yesterday in USA Today that he's at about 80 percent and Reid indicated that there's a chance Vick will be on the field Sunday night for Flight Night, a practice at Lincoln Financial Field.
Brandon Graham led the Eagles with 1.5 sacks and now has 2.5 on the preseason
Phillip Hunt added half a sack and has 3.5 sacks through three preseason games.
The Browns first five drives ended in: two fumbles, two punts and a blocked punt. Four of the five drives went three yards or less.
The Eagles must reduce their roster from 90 down to 75 by 4:00 p.m. on Monday. They next play on Thursday at home against the Jets.
Sorry, Tim Tebow fans, but the Jets backup quarterback has already been ruled out for next Thursdays game. So has starter Mark Sanchez. That means Greg McElroy and Matt Simms will likely split time.
Ryan Messick covers the Eagles for 97.3 ESPN FM. Follow him on Twitter.