If I had heard that the Eagles beat the Rams by a score of 31-13, the immediate notion would be that the Eagles came out dominantly against the opposition. It sounds like it wasn’t even a game and that the Eagles’ flaws weren’t shown.
For those who watched the game, you know that the Eagles had some pretty glaring weaknesses, and from positions that any true fan of the Eagles could’ve predicted.
While the team struggled in some areas, they also showed great strength in others, so here are ten things that we can take away from sunday’s huge victory.
1. You shouldn’t go into the season with a starting middle linebacker that is undersized and has never played a down in a real NFL game.
Despite having four tackles, two of which were downfield, Casey Matthews struggled in his new position. The fact that Andy Reid has penciled him in as the starter, not having any experience at middle linebacker, or just in the NFL is appauling. He showed why the decision was the wrong one by struggling to play the run, and over pursuing most plays. He also showed weakness against bigger blockers by getting pushed over multiple times. He failed to plug holes on runs up the middle, but on the flip side, he played decently in coverage.
2. You shouldn’t go into the season with an offensive line who has never played together before.
The offensive line, which gave up 34 sacks on Michael Vick alone, 48 sacks on the year, let up three sacks on Sunday. They have a new offensive line coach, and three new starters, not including a position change for consistent starter Todd Herremans. This group had never played together before Sunday, and it showed. They came together in the end, but if the Eagles had played a dominant defense, they would’ve been destroyed in the trenches.
3. LeSean McCoy is an elite running back
122 yards on 15 carries, enough said. The third year player out of Pitt looked like a real stud against the Rams with those numbers. Turning yards lost into yards gained, juking his way out of tackles, plus his 49 yard rush for a touchdown proved his value as a top-tier weapon, on a team full of big time weapons.
4. Alex Henery will do
Alex Henery had only one kick on Sunday, but he made it count from 34 yards. He also added four extra points. His accuracy was called into question, but so far he has done just fine.
5. Jim Washburn was one of the most important acquisitions this offseason
This team, containing an above average defensive line, created 5 sacks during the game. The wide-nine technique has proven well for the pass rushers, mostly Jason Babin who had two sacks, and Cullen Jenkins who was able to push the pocket. This should be an exciting year for this defensive line, so keep them under your watch.