Jermaine Cunningham started at left end and was used as a rusher out of a two-point stance at one point. The rest of the starting defensive line was Ron Brace (LDT), Kyle Love (RDT), and Chandler Jones (RE). On the game’s second series, Cunningham and Jones rushed from two-point stances and along with DT Kyle Love were able to put pressure on Michael Vick; Cunningham hit Vick as he threw the ball and the Eagles quarterback appeared to injure his ribs. Rookie Nick Foles (third round) replaced Vick and was called for a false start on his first snap; Vick headed to the locker room. Cunningham recorded another quarterback hit on Nick Foles following a pressure by Ron Brace, who hit Nick Foles on the next play. Brace’s surprisingly disruptive play could give him the edge over the other defensive tackles competing for roster spots. Trevor Scott rotated in at left end early in the second quarter and was rushing effectively. Jake Bequette nearly sacked Nick Foles with just under three minutes remaining in the first half; later Bequette was flagged for a roughing the passer penalty. Tim Bulman saw some reps at defensive tackle in the fourth quarter.
In the starting 4-3 defense, the Patriots went with Bobby Carpenter at WLB, Brandon Spikes at MLB, and Dont’a Hightower at SLB. Jerod Mayo was inactive. Spikes made a number of big hits in the opening minutes of the game. Bobby Carpenter diagnosed a screen pass and blew up the play with a big hit, forcing a fumble which was recovered by a touchdown by Trevor Scott; the play was later overturned. New England’s second-team linebackers had trouble covering Philadelphia’s multiple tight ends; Rivera allowed a completion to Celek and a touchdown to Clay Harbor on the next play. Later, Rivera lost track of the ball; at this point he appears unlikely to make the final roster. Jeff Tarpinian seemed to struggle in coverage as well. On the bright side, Niko Koutouvides looked adequate in his drops and made a tackle for loss in the run game.
Sterling Moore was lined up at left cornerback with the first team. Ras-I Dowling started at right cornerback and was not targeted often during the game. The starting safeties were Steve Gregory and Patrick Chung. Marquice Cole got some snaps in the slot and gave up a big gain on his first target. Patrick Chung was shaken up on the second drive and replaced by Will Allen, who nearly intercepted a pass intended for DeSean Jackson in the second quarter. Clay Harbor caught a touchdown pass on a blown coverage by Nate Ebner. The rookie safety later intercepted a Nick Foles pass attempt before halftime. Sterling Moore got beat deep by DeSean Jackson in the third quarter.
Donte’ Stallworth was back deep to return the opening kick of the game; Julian Edelman was the first-team punt returner. Marquice Cole was active and made a nice play as a gunner on the opening punt. He was lined up as a jammer in the punt game as well. Stephen Gostkowski nailed a 53-yard field goal in the first quarter. Brandon Bolden muffed a punt which the Eagles recovered in the second quarter.