Philadelphia 27, New England 17
Mike Vick has been promising the Philly faithful all offseason that he is going to slide more often. On the Eagles very first series Vick would scramble out of the backfield taking a head first dive into an oncoming defender. On the very next possession he would subject himself to a reckless blow to his ribs attempting to heave the ball down the field. Vick would leave the game, but x-rays have come back negative. I commend Vick’s toughness, but even the much bigger and much younger Cam Newton has already learned to hook-slide. Vick’s reckless play makes him a risky fantasy starter.
As Mike Kafka recovers from a broken hand the reigns were handed to rookie quarterback Nick Foles. Despite an interception at the end of the 2nd quarter, Foles was highly impressive putting together three touchdown drives delivering the ball with accuracy and velocity. The Eagles offensive line also deserves praise doing an excellent job creating a clean pocket allowing Foles added time to progress through his reads. Foles performance should excite confidence when drafting DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin.
Another surprise from this game was insertion of Ryan Mallet under center for the Patriots instead of Brad Hoyer. Mallet started slow, but aided by a few timely Eagles penalties was able to find a rhythm, scoring a touchdown early in the 2nd quarter.
We’ve been reading all offseason how Patriots’ running back Stevan Ridley is the leader in the clubhouse to start the regular season. Instead it was Shane Vereen taking 1st team carries. Vereen found little running room between the twenties, but punched in a two-point conversion from the one yard line. Brandon Bolden entered the game as the Pats’ second string runner, and easily the most exciting player with decisive downhill running. Stevan Ridley did receive carries beginning in the mid 3rd quarter, but failed to impress. Factor in Danny Woodhead and it looks like the same New England RBBC we have witnessed since the departure of Cory Dillon.