Twitter is an amazing experience. One week ago the people whom I follow we all abuzz with talk of Kevin Kolb finally being a good QB and the defense rising to the occasion. What a difference a week makes. Now Michael Vick should be the starter, Kolb shouldn’t even be allowed to play in the CFL, and Sean McDermott is the worst defensive coordinator ever. To a degree those reactions are understandable but let me be the first to tell you all to slow your roll just a little bit. As always, we’ll start with the positives because, believe it or not, there were a few.
- LeSean McCoy is working his way up into being the best screen pass catching back in the league. That, combined with his continuous improvement in rushing the ball, is proving him to be one of the best picks in the 2009 draft.
- Riley Cooper made one of the grabs of the season on a bad pass from Kolb. He became the DB on the play and snagged the ball out of the air for a huge completion and kept it from becoming an INT.
- Chad Hall has some value as a trick player.
- Kolb’s mobility continues to impress me.
- Brent Celek, while not targeted very often, made some nice grabs and fought for yards.
- In the first half they played out of their minds, getting to Collins and shutting down Chris Johnson.
- In fact, they kept Johnson in check the entire game. He had no huge runs and only racked up a total of 73 yards, 66 being rushing.
- Asante Samuel continues to show that he’s among the elite players in the league at reading and jumping routes.
- He also had some nice tackles on the day. Refreshing.
- Quintin Mikell had a very good game. He had an INT and forced a fumble while keeping his targets in check.
- Antonio Dixon deserves to remain the starter when Bunkley is ready to come back. He is a force on the line and was a huge part of the pressure they had on Collins.
- Sav Rocca is quietly having his best year as an Eagle. Very few, if any, shanked punts so far and Sunday was no exception. He did an excellent job of pinning guys deep.
- David Akers redeemed himself by nailed 3/3 FGs and murdering the ball on kick offs. No pink shoes.
- Jorrick Calvin had a huge kick off return that should have given the team momentum. I think we’ve found our KR man for the season.
- The defensive game plan in the first half was darn near perfect.
- Initially it appeared as if Reid had made some half time adjustments to the offense.
- Kolb was off pretty much all day. He made poor decisions and forced balls. In the first half he could not adjust to the wind and as a result many passes sailed on him.
- The offensive line went back to who we knew they were all along. They allowed pressure during the entire game and as a result Kolb was rushing throws all day.
- Mike McGlynn is directly responsible for that McCoy fumble in the redzone. He didn’t take on his assignment and as a result the defender was able to blow through the line and disrupt the handoff. That play killed the drive and any momentum that we mat have been able to muster.
- When the pressure was on, this offense was able to do next to nothing. This was the total opposite of last week when they were able to respond to pressure with scores and big plays.
- Ellis Hobbs and Nate Allen covering Kenny Britt was clearly not working. I’ve never been a big fan of Hobbs and he showed why that was the case on Sunday. Allen’s inability to cover Britt is forgivable. He’s a rookie. What’s Hobbs’ excuse?
- In the second half they were not able to get pressure on Collins at all. It reminded me of when we faced Kurt Warner and the Cardinals in the NFC Championship game. We were getting pressure and making their offense look silly for a while and then we took our foot off the pedal. Once that happened the offense found its rhythm again and took advantage of our weaknesses. Same thing happened on Sunday.
- Amazing that that’s pretty much all I can see wrong with the defensive performance. Given the box score you’d think there’d be a lot more.
- Despite my raving on him, Jorrick Calvin did make one crucial mistake. When the defense forced a punt he fumbled the ball away on the return which pretty much sealed the deal for the Titans. He fumbled it when fighting for extra yards, something that we see across the league every year. Drives me insane.
- Sean McDermott….what were you thinking? When something clearly isn’t working (Hobbs and Allen on Britt) you need to change it. Put Samuel on Britt, move Mikell to cover over the top. Something. You did nothing and it killed us.
- We had 3rd and 3 and we were running the ball very effectively. What did we do? Pass it when the passing game was not getting it done. Further evidence of Reid’s inability to change game plans. Maddening.
All in all, it was an ugly game that we deserved to lose. Based on quality I truly believe the Eagles were the better team but they just didn’t play like it. The Titans took advantage of the Philadelphia lapses in coverage and you got to give them credit for doing so. Rough game, rough weekend and now we have two weeks to dwell on what could have been.