I don’t know if there has ever been another season for the Eagles where the expectations have been so high. From all of the additions the team made this offseason, to labeling themselves as a “dream team,” the bar has been set very high.
The Eagles opened the game by receiving the ball, and the high-powered offense took the field. They failed to get much of anything done, and were forced to punt the ball away.
Enter a defense with plenty of new faces, both through the draft and free agency. With the corners they have, the expectation is that teams are going to try to run the ball against them each week. The Rams followed this strategy, handing off to their bull of a running back, Steven Jackson.
The Eagles linebackers over-pursued, and the Rams made some nice blocks down the field, allowing Jackson to break loose on a 47 yard touchdown. The hearts of Eagles fans quickly fell to the floor.
However, it was still very early in the game, and there was a lot of football left to be played. The Eagles were able to bounce back and put together a nice drive capped off by a seven yard touchdown reception by LeSean McCoy.
Much like the offense, the defense picked up their game as well. Darryl Tapp forced a fumble on Rams quarterback Sam Bradford which was picked up by Juqua Parker and returned 56 yards for a touchdown.
Michael Vick was a bit shaky throwing the ball at times, but made a few great throws, and made a ton of amazing plays on the ground as he rushed for 98 yards.
Other top performers on offense included DeSean Jackson who had six receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown. McCoy was clutch at the end of the game like he has been in the past and ended up rushing for 122 yards on 15 carries.
Defensively, the Eagles got slashed by the run game often, and they were lucky that Steven Jackson left the game extremely early. However, they still gave up 91 yards on the ground to his backup, Cadillac Williams.
The defense did record five sacks with Jason Babin recording two of them. Tapp, Trent Cole, and Cullen Jenkins each added one as well.
Overall, it’s good to open the season with a win, but there are definitely some areas the team needs to work on if they want to be a real championship competitor.
More analysis on this game to come.