It feels good to finally wake up on a Monday after an Eagles victory. I feel like it’s been years since the last time we won a game. Our Birds looked really good to start this game with points coming on our first two possession. However, we began to make mistakes and slowed ourselves down after the hot start. In the end we were able to pick up a win and that’s what really counts. We’re still in a good spot in the playoff race so we have to keep winning ball games and showing everyone we’re worthy. Let’s take a look at some of the positives and negatives I saw last night.
A Win – This is always positive but much more so when the game as labeled as a “must win.” It was also really a game the Eagles shouldn’t have lost and needed to win to stay in the playoff hunt. For a change it was nice to see the Eagles come out on the winning end of a close game. It was an ugly win, but an ugly win still counts as a win. The Birds need to review what they did wrong last night and move their focus to beating the Redskins.
Balanced Offense – The Eagles threw the ball 33 times last night and ran it 30 times. That’s crazy. These numbers were able to get closer at the end of the game when the Eagles were running the ball to kill the clock, but it was still a pretty balanced attack throughout the game. It’s also pretty crazy to see a running back got 20 carries. We usually get lucky if the Birds run it that many times in an entire game.
LeSean McCoy – Sure he had that fumble, but if you take that away he had a great game. Fell short of recording his first 100 yard rushing game by a single yard and recorded the go ahead touchdown for the Eagles. I’ve been expecting him to fumble for a while now but the way he lost it last night was not how I expected it would occur.
Michael Vick – He saw the field really well last night and was able to finally spring the big play we’ve all been waiting for. With Westbrook missing more time, I expect to see him to get more work in the offense and be a part of the running game. He also completed a pass last night but should have hit Celek right away instead of waiting as long as he did.
Bend but don’t break – Our defense did give up some drives but were able to limit the Bears to four field goals on the night, two of which were from 28 yards. Cutler did miss two touchdown throws on the one drive but that’s part of the game. He made up for it in the third quarter. However, holding teams to field goals is big, especially in games that end up being as close as this one. It’s part of the reason the Eagles lost to the Chargers last week and definitely part of the reason they won last night.
DeSean Jackson – He had a turnover (almost two), but ended up with a 100+ yard receiving night and a touchdown. It’s pretty scary that last night he recorded his shortest touchdown of the year and it was for 48 yards. The guy just consistently makes plays. It was a great catch as Donovan threw it a bit short and Jackson had a hand in his face. This was the big play we needed after the Bears had taken their first lead of the night.
Red zone production – After the Eagles marched down the field on their first drive and ended up kicking a 25 yard field goal, I thought to myself “here we go again.” However, they were able to put six on the board on their next drive on a great play call to Jason Avant. They were also able to pound the ball in on a 10 yard run with LeSean McCoy in the fourth quarter to take the lead.
Turnovers – The Eagles turned the ball over three times last night, something that hasn’t been a real big problem for them lately. Whenever you turn the ball over you put yourself in a bad position, and this is exactly what the Eagles did last night. Not only that but they failed to create any turnovers to the very end of the game last night.
Penalties – Again, the Eagles committed far too many penalties last night with eight. Many of these were mental error penalties that there is no excuse for committing. Bad penalties can put a damper on drives so the Eagles really need to start playing smarter football.
Special teams – DeSean had a nice punt return but if you take that away, I was very disappointed in the performance of the special teams. The coverage units were not good and gave up too much yardage, and Sav Rocca had some terrible punts when he really needed good ones. I have not been happy with the way he’s been kicking the ball this year.
Overall it was a good win for the Birds, not the prettiest, but a win. What positives and negatives did you see?