It didn’t feel like a dominant effort – but the score indicated it was. Either way, it was a great start to the season for the Eagles, as they beat the playoff-hopeful Rams on the road 31-13.
QB - Vick made some great plays, but there were a couple things that made me nervous. First of all, his 14 of 32 (43.8) was simply bad. Of the 28 QB’s who started yesterday, Vick had the worst completion percentage. He ran the ball well, but is that really what we want him to do? He also forced a couple plays including a throw to the endzone into quadruple coverage that probably should have been picked. This was the Atlanta-Vick, not the Philly-Vick. But, in the end, he played well enough to win the game and made some big plays when we need it. Game Grade: B-
RB – LeSean McCoy needed only 15 carries to have the most rushing yards in the NFL (so far) in Week 1. If possible, he looked more explosive and comfortable than he did last year. He could be primed for a monster season. Ronnie Brown showed very little and got rocked on his first wildcat play of the year. Dion Lewis had two carries and still looks, as he did in the pre-season, like he could be a McCoy-lite down the road. Game Grade: A-
WR – Well, I guess we know DeSean Jackson isn’t going to dog it without a new contract (by the way, we could even re-structure A LITTLE this year, and at least get him to $2 million for this season?). DeSean had 6 catches for 102 yards, including the back-breaking TD. Jason Avant once again had a couple big 3rd down catches and Maclin made his return with 1 catch for 20 yards. Celek was a non-factor yet again, as he has been since Vick took over QB duties. Game Grade: B+
OL – Perhaps the biggest question mark coming into the game. Given that this was the first time they played together, I’d say they did a heckuva job. More often than not, Vick was given time to throw the ball, and on the running end, we averaged a healthy 7.6 yards per carry. It looked like there was occasional confusion, and Vick was sacked 3 times and hit 11, but not all of that is on the line. Overall, a good effort based on the talent that was out there. Game Grade: B
DL – I thought the pass rush was very good as the game went on. The Eagles have a lot of depth here and it showed as they tired out the Rams OL a bit. They ended with 5 sacks (including 2 by Jason Babin) and 11 QB hits. The run defense was obviously horrible as the Rams averaged 5.9 ypc, even with Steven Jackson out. I most of that falls on the LB in our defensive scheme, but some has to fall on the DL. Game Grade: B+
LB – Just not good at all. Sorry. The Rams exploited this group as I expect most team to do this year. The LB were often nowhere to be found on run plays and a lot of the Rams completions came to TE and RB being guarded by the group. Moise Fokou had a couple nice plays, but Casey Matthews looked outclassed and Jamar Chaney was quiet. Lots of room for improvement here. Game Grade: D
S – Jarrad Page played a good game, making several notable plays and tying for the team lead in tackles. I can’t say I noticed much of anything from Kurt Coleman. Game Grade: B
CB – This is obviously a group that is going to be pressured into playing perfect every game. Nnamdi was only targeted twice, but he was called on a debatable PI call in the endzone and beaten on the long pass. Asante played well and you can see that he is going to get the ball thrown in his direction more with Nnamdi around. I’m not sure how DRC fits in right now – he gave up a couple plays in the slot, which isn’t his natural spot. Not a bad game by some standards, but not really these standards. Game Grade: C+
Special Teams – Dion Lewis foolishly brought the ball out of the back of the endzone twice on kickoffs, getting tackled around the 10. Alex Henery made his first professional FG and Chas Henry was so-so as a punter. Game Grade: B
Coaching – I thought Juan Castillo did a good job with the defense after the horrible start, but he needs to realize that the middle is a big weakness right now and adjust accordingly. Howard Mudd obviously did a good job of getting our patch-work OL together. Andy Reid showed that the time management thing is never going away with several unnecessary TO’s and a couple delay of game penalties. However, for the most part, he had his team ready to play. Game Grade: B
Overall – A good start for the team, but we showed a lot of room for improvement, particularly in run defense and Vick’s accuracy. Nevertheless, looking at how some teams got started (Steelers and Cowboys) – you won’t find me complaining about a 31-13 victory in a game with 4-point spread.
Next up: Atlanta (0-1) on Sunday Night, 8:20