It wasn't perfect, but Sam Bradford did what mattered most in his first showing under center for the Philadelphia Eagles: Lead the team to points.
The veteran quarterback returned from back-to-back ACL tears to make his debut in coach Chip Kelly's offense, guiding the starters on a 12-play, 84-yard touchdown march that kicked off a dominant first half in Saturday's easy 40-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
"It was nice, man," left tackle Jason Peters said of Bradford's play, per the team's official website. "He felt good. He told me it felt so good for him to go out there and show everybody that he's back. It felt good to him, and it felt good to me, too."
Bradford showed a live arm out of the gate. A pair of his passes soared high, but the former Rams starter moved well and showed no obvious discomfort on his twice-torn-up knee.
"He was great back there in the pocket," said wideout Jordan Matthews. "He was able to take his first drive and score a touchdown. I think this is the start of something that could be really good for our offense. Everybody knows his talent. He's a great leader and an extremely great passer. I can't wait to keep working with him. It's going to be awesome."
It's not just Bradford. Philly's offense has operated as a juggernaut over two preseason games, rolling up 76 points, 54 first downs and 888 total yards. Along with the quarterback play, running back DeMarco Murray looked promising on the ground in his first action with the team, while Ryan Mathews appears to be an ideal fit for Kelly's up-tempo attack.
Still, last year's Eagles missed the playoffs despite double-digit wins. Philly finished 10-6 despite a rock-solid starter under center, something the team believes they finally have in Bradford.
"I was excited. I was nervous. There were a lot of emotions," Bradford said. "I think most of all I was just excited. It was a great feeling -- hearing the crowd, getting back out there, playing football again. It's been a long time and there has been a lot of work that has gone into it, and to get out there tonight and actually get to play again, it was just a lot of fun."
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