I like winning. I like winning a lot. But, you know what I like more than winning? Winning a great game over the best QB to ever touch a football. Yes, my friends, the Eagles triumphed over the Indianapolis Mannings yesterday and as always I am here to break it down. We’ll look at the good and the bad of all aspects. As always, let’s start with the good.
- Opening with a TD drive is always nice. Opening the game with a 62 yard rush is even nicer. It set a tone for the game and kept the Colts defense on their heels from the get go.
- The Eagles came out firing early and often and it resulted in big plays throughout the entire game. They had plays of 62, 58, 32, and 34 yards throughout the game and that’s just four plays. The offense was explosive almost all day.
- I need to tip my hat to Michael Vick. I need to. He’s won me over. Yes, I am a believer. He threw maybe three bad passes all day. More importantly, he has yet to turn the ball over.
- See what a difference Jason Peters makes? Dwight Freeney was held to two total tackles. That’s it.
- Last week I said the biggest key to beating the Colts was keeping Manning off the field. The Eagles won the time of possession battle by nearly four minutes. Boom.
- I loved the play calling on the Eagles final possession. The instinct is for teams to just run the ball up the middle to kill clock and get a first. What did the Eagles do? Ran an end around with Jackson. Great play call.
- Brent Celek is getting a lot of unfair criticism. Yes, he’s not making plays in the passing game but he is a key piece in the blocking game right now. Until the offensive line improves then we’ll continue to see this play from Celek. From a fantasy standpoint it sucks but he is contributing to the team.
- Another play call I loved: We have 3rd and 7 from our own four yard line. Most people would run the ball or throw a short pass. What did we do? Just aired it out for a 58 yard strike. Big plays at the right time make statements.
- I was very harsh towards Sean McDermott after the collapse against the Titans and I stand by those comments. However, he deserves the game ball for this victory. He put together what is, in my eyes, the best defensive scheme we’ve had since he’s been the defensive coordinator.
- The biggest thing that worked was the defense’s ability to confuse Manning at the line of scrimmage. How did they do that? They never stood still. I noticed this when I watched the game again. Every time Manning would turn to bark and audible the defense would shift around again so when he turned to look at the defense again, he saw a new scheme. You could see receivers struggling to get on the same page as Manning and on many plays the offensive line was unsure of who to block.
- Yes, Asante Samuel is a terrible tackler. I don’t care. He shuts down whoever he covers. He picks off passes when he most need him to do so. The fact is that there’s only one complete CB in the league (Darrell Revis) but Samuel is among the few elite cover corners. He proved so again this past weekend.
- Ernie Sims was all over the place. It looks like he’s finally gotten a handle on this scheme. He should only improve and that’s a very comforting notion.
- Solid game by David Akers. He’s still automatic.
- The Eagles did a good job on kick and punt coverage and had a solid day in the return game as well.
- We’ve got to do a better job in the red zone. The Eagles were given the chance to go up 21-0 in the first quarter. We only went up 13-0.
- DeSean Jackson had a great game. But, my man, what were you thinking on 2nd and goal when you caught the ball at the two yard line and you ran backwards and lost a good eight yards?
- You know things are bad when you miss having Max Jene-Gilles in your starting lineup. Nick Cole was awful and once MJG was out we couldn’t run the ball.
- During the second quarter things got very scary. They let Manning get into a groove and he started making play after play. Luckily, that was the only real issue quarter.
- It’s funny really, usually when you give up 24 points it’s a bad thing. However, the defense rose to the occasion when we needed them to do so the most. They held Manning in check for most of the game. If you can hold Manning in check for one quarter it’s impressive. So, in all honesty, I can’t say too much about the defense that is negative.
- There’s the Sav Rocca we all know and love(hate).
- Dimitri Patterson nearly had a KR for a TD. The only issue? He couldn’t switch what hand he was holding the ball in properly. Fundamentals.
All in all, it was a great win and I earnestly think it was the defense’s best game of the year. The offense was a little off in the red zone but they made plays when it truly counted. Great win for our birds. Time to capitalize on it.