Well, I certainly feel a lot better than I did about a year ago. Last season the Eagles got rocked by the Packers in Philadelphia, lost Kevin Kolb and Stewart Bradley to injury, and lost a close game. It was far different Sunday, with the Eagles beating down the Rams 31-13. Each week I’ll be breaking down the good and the bad from all phases of the game. Let’s hit it.
– We’ll start off with the obvious. LeSean McCoy has turned into a stud. He runs with power, makes smart decisions. Had he been able to get by Quintin Mikell in the first quarter, he’d have ended with two long rushes for touchdowns.
– Jason Kelce had some nice blocks. Encouraging.
– For the most part, the offensive line was pretty solid in the second half. Very encouraging.
– Vick had some beautiful touch on a lot of passes. Yes, he missed a few. But so does every QB.
– DeSean Jackson’s first catch of the game. Wow.
– Vick’s touchdown lob to Jackson. That was perfect touch.
– Run blocking was very strong throughout the entire game. Towards the end, it became dominant.
– Third down conversion after third down conversion. The Eagles were 8 for 12 on third downs. That a 66% conversion rate. Spectacular.
– Also, no three and outs. That’s huge.
– The defense line was in command for nearly the entire game. The wide 9 formation proved very effective in pressuring Bradford.
– That constant pressure gave the Eagles the go ahead score when Juqua Parker picked up the ball and ran it 56 yards the other way for a touchdown.
– In particular, Jason Babin played like a man on fire. It’s a shame he wasted so much time in Houston as an OLB. He really has all you need to be an elite DE.
– For the most part, players swarmed to the ball well.
– Alex Henery played about as well as you could ask.
– For the most part, coverage was pretty good.
– Obviously there’s still some problems with the offensive line in pass protection. Todd Herremans looked rusty playing at RT, thought that’s to be expected.
– Drops. There were a lot of them. The biggest was by DeSean Jackson who could’ve had himself a 90 yard touchdown on a perfectly thrown ball by Vick. Rust.
– Vick still showed some issues in picking up the blitz.
– Down near the Rams’ goal line the Eagles ran a wildcat play with Ronnie Brown taking a direct snap. I don’t think there was a person watching/playing that game who didn’t know what was going to happen. Tricky plays need to be tricky. Not obvious. Obviously.
– You gotta hang onto that ball, Mr. Vick.
– As good as the wide 9 was in rushing the passer, it proved to be a huge liability against the run. For an example, see the Rams first offensive play of the day.
– At the same time, you can’t put all the blame on the line. The linebackers are going to be a huge liability at least for the first several weeks of the season my friends.
– The safeties are in a similar boat. Blown coverages and out of position on running plays.
– Nnamdi Asomugha committed what was just a stupid pass interference penalty. Rust? Likely.
– Dion Lewis as a return man…he seemed very eager. Be patient young man. He took out some kicks that he really shouldn’t have. Hopefully it was just first game nerves taking over.
– Chas Henry was okay at best as a punter. Again, hopefully it was first game nerves. Poor punting can kill a team.
I’ll never complain about a week one win. Heck, I’ll never complain about a win in general. The Eagles showed a lot of good things this weekend against a decent team. The Rams aren’t great, nor are they terrible. Granted, the Rams losing Steven Jackson was likely a lucky break for the Eagles. There’s things that need work but this is a good stepping stone. Onto Atlanta!