Detailed Game Review – PHI 17, CLE 16

Posted: September 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 57 Comments »

When  you think of Cleveland, you might think of  old phrases like “the rust belt” or “the mistake by the lake”.  Both would be apt in describing the Eagles opening game.  Michael Vick was definitely rusty and his game was full of mistakes.  He was not alone in that category.

Ugly win. All wins are good in the sense that you need W’s to get into the playoffs. That said, I was hoping for the Eagles to play good football and set the tone for 2012. If that’s the tone for 2012, I’m gonna need a lot more beer. Heck, I might be sniffing glue by Halloween.

The offense looked as though it was playing preseason game #5. Vick was the most guilty of this, but there were mistakes by a slew of players. Vick was limited in the preseason so he had reason to be rusty. The other players got plenty of work this summer. I don’t know what their problem was.

The defense was outstanding. They played clean, crisp football. There were no blown assignments. CLE would shift and Eagles defenders would communicate and adjust accordingly. This is light years different than last September when there was pointing going on before, during, and after plays as no one knew where to be. The tackling was outstanding. There were a couple of misses, but each due to offensive players doing something right. These weren’t sloppy whiffs like we saw last fall.     

STs was good. Josh Cribbs had a couple of good returns, but he’s Josh Cribbs for a reason. He’s one of the best RS’s in the league.

2/3 of the Eagles impressed me. They looked ready for action and showed the signs of being a top flight football team…a playoff team. The offense? Color me confused. That unit has produced yards and points for several years so I tend to think of this as an anomaly, but I’ll be honest and say that the group has me a bit nervous. They didn’t exactly look great in the preseason either.

My hope is that the offense can build on the strong finish to the game. The final 2 drives were good. One resulted in a missed FG, the other a TD. Penalties went away. Blocking was better. And Vick mostly looked better. Sunday is going to be a key test…can the offense move the ball and score on the Ravens? If so, I’ll go right back to being confident. If the struggles continue, I’ll remain a Nervous Nelly.

Coaching

Andy Reid didn’t have many critical decisions to make that weren’t obvious. I had no issues with him. We went for it on 4th down once, but we had to so that was a no-brainer. The timeouts were there to be used at the end of the game, but thankfully we didn’t need them.

I think the offensive gameplan was to do a lot of ball control stuff. There was a focus on protection. We did a lot with rollouts and play fakes. The coaches used RBs, WRs, and TEs to help block. My guess is that they wanted to get Vick in rhythm and get the best of the Browns with a short, controlled passing attack. This would let the OL get comfortable and protect Vick. The penalties and mistakes of the early drives seemed to change things and we went pass happy. The run/pass balance got way out of hand.

Shady ended the game with 20 carries, but many of them came in crunch time. With Vick struggling, you wish the coaches had leaned more on the running game. CLE had some good plays, but for the most part Shady was able to do his thing. As I’ve covered many times, Andy believes in letting players work their way out of slumps. His metaphor is that you don’t tell Michael Jordan to quit shooting because he’s 1 of 12. There is some truth in that logic, but Andy always neglects to say that you can at least tell Jordan to let his teammates help him out since he’s cold. I’d rather have had Shady running the ball than Vick throwing it to Browns LBs.

Some people questioned the GL plays at the end of the game. No touches for Shady? First play was a run to Bryce Brown. You can argue the ball should have gone to Shady, but I think the other 2 plays needed to be passes. The clock was down to about 90 seconds. The Eagles had all 3 timeouts left. Had they not scored, the team could have played D and used the timeouts to get the ball back at midfield with about a minute to work with. Throwing the ball was smart.

Juan Castillo and the defense had a very strong day. Part of that is on a rookie QB, but the fact he was awful (even compared to other rookies) tells you that the Eagles had a lot to do with it. Castillo seemed to keep things simple and trust his players. That worked. I think he wanted to save any creative ideas for the Ravens since he felt our players were good enough to beat the Browns straight up.

Per Sheil Kapadia, the Eagles only blitzed 3 times. The DL got regular pressure. There were only 2 sacks, but Weeden didn’t have a clean pocket very often. Some of his 23 incompletions are due to being hurried or hit as he threw the ball. The DBs played a lot of press coverage, which I loved. This is what Juan wanted to do last year, but couldn’t as he tried to fit Asante into things.

Before you think I’m being too pro-Juan, I’m just trying to give the guy credit on a day when his plan worked. Clearly this game doesn’t prove anything. Juan will be tested when he faced veteran QBs and smart play-callers. That’s when you’ll see if he can adjust in games. That’s when we’ll get an idea of whether he can be good enough or not.

Misc

Field position hurt us. CLE averaged starting at their 37. We averaged starting at our own 23. 14 yards may not sound like much, but it adds up. The Eagles only began one drive beyond their own 26, and that was just at their own 36. Final drive was in CLE territory, but was just for kneel downs so that’s irrelevant.

The Browns scoring drives started at their 49, our 43, and our 22. The drives netted a total of 43 offensive yards. All of the drives came after turnovers. The fact the defense responded so well to quick change situations and tough field position is really impressive.

The defense didn’t allow a TD. This hasn’t happened since JAX game in September of 2010.

Playing behind the chains made for a rough day:

1st drive: 2nd/16, 3rd/15
2nd drive: 2nd/15, 1st/20, 2nd/16, 3rd/11, 2nd/11, 2nd/21
3rd drive: none
4th drive: none
5th drive: 2nd/20, 3rd/11
6th drive: 2nd/20, 3rd/13

Just look at that. On 4 of the first 6 drives the team had to overcome 2nd/long. Ridiculous. This was due to TFLs, botched snaps, and way too many penalties. It really did look like a 5th preseason game for a while early on.

The Red Zone was a nemesis in 2011. It was a good place on Sunday. The offense was 2 of 2. The defense held the Browns to 0 for 2. That’s huge. The RZ defense was 32nd (and historically bad in 2010). It improved to 30th last year. Now the team has 2 RZ stops and even one of those was a takeaway.

Eagles were 8 of 19 on 3rd downs. Solid. Browns were 2 of 13. Bad.

OFFENSE

PLAYS

* Shady recovered a botched snap. No idea who was at fault on that. Great job by Shady to get on the ball.

* 3rd/1. Ran play-fake rollout to the left. Vick hit Shady with a short throw and got 10 yds on the play. Simple design, good execution.

* 1st/10. Late in half after Mac’s big play. Lined up both WRs to the right. DeSean was in the slot and ran sort of a dig route. Mac ran a post-corner-post. It was just a 2-man play. Joe Haden got turned around by good route from Mac, leaving him wide open. Vick had lots of protection and a clean pocket. Easy TD. Bullet throw from Vick that Mac got at the back of the endzone. Not sure why Vick read the play so slowly, but he did have the arm to get the ball there.

* 3rd/1. Ran Shady to the left from 1-back set. Got hit early, but rolled over LB for the 1st down. I hate short yardage with no lead blocker. Risky.

* 3rd/GL. Game winning play…Jimmy Bama wrote a whole post on it that is worth checking out.

* Mixed in plenty of rollouts to help with protection.

* No screen game whatsoever. They shut us down. Lots of former Eagles on team/staff. Had to help.

* CLE blitzed off backside on run plays a lot of the time. Guy either chased Shady or was able to pressure Vick on play fakes.

PLAYERS

QB 

VICK – Bad game. I’d love to tell you that he was rusty early and then righted the ship and led us to a win, but that would be ignoring the pass he threw prior to the TD that should have been picked off. Vick did play better on the final 2 drives, but he got away with a careless, critical mistake that a veteran QB just can’t make. Ugh.

My biggest issue with him is that he made poor decisions and/or played slow. Guys would come open, Vick would see them, and then he’d throw the ball. By that time, defenders would either have the player covered or would be on the way. If this was 2009, I’d understand. Vick started 25 games over the last 2 years. He is a veteran QB. You must anticipate plays and throw the ball when the player is about to be open or is just coming open. You cannot wait until he is wide open and then throw. That’s too late.

Vick did play better on the final 2 drives. Made an excellent read and throw on the TD. Hit Celek prior to that to set up the TD and that was good. He seemed more under control. I hope that’s a sign that what we saw for 3 quarters was an anomaly and won’t be repeated.

The strangest play of the final drive was a run. It was 3rd/10. Vick took off since he had lots of room. Got near the line and had defenders to deal with. Tried to go through them. Got hit hard and the ball fell to the ground, as did Vick. He alertly recovered the ball and set up 4th/inches. That wasn’t a time to slide and I’m glad he sold out to try for the 1st down. Vick is tough.

Final numbers: 29-56-317 … 2 TDs, 4 INTs … 7 rushes for 32 yds (3 kneel downs).

The INTs

#1 – Got pressure from the left side. Went wide of that and had some time. Saw Celek over the middle. Threw across his body and back to Celek, but it was a pass that shouldn’t have been thrown. Can’t lob balls across your body and over the middle.

#2 – Tried to get the ball to Clay Harbor on an intermediate route. Clay was open, for maybe half a second. Vick made a slow read and late decision. By the time the ball got there, 3 defenders were there. 1 tipped it, another picked it off.

#3 – Tried to hit Maclin on a crossing route. The ball was just a bit too wide. Mac got a hand on it and the ball bounced into the air. Joe Haden picked it and took off down the sideline. This was more poor execution than poor decision-making. I can live with mistakes like this, but don’t want to.

#4 – Vick wasn’t under much pressure, but just forced a ball into coverage. Threw it right to LB D’Qwell Jackson, who picked it off and ran it back for a TD. This pick was the worst. Made no sense.

Another issue for Vick was pocket presence. Sometimes he held the ball too long and didn’t respond well to actual pressure. Other times he got nervous when he did have a clean pocket and created pressure for himself by not just staying put. Vick is inconsistent with this on a regular basis, but it was a problem on Sunday.

* Ran for 16 yards up the middle on 3rd/15. Browns left it wide open. Smart choice.
* Made a really impressive throw on the run to DeSean. Threw it sidearm and led him nicely. Ball was a tad high, but considering Vick was on the run, it was impressive.
* Ran up middle for 11 on play where he had good protection and saw a gaping hole to attack. Didn’t slide, but dove to protect himself a bit.
* Fired a “rocket ball” to Celek on screen pass where blitzer had come free. Dumb. Brent had not shot to make the catch. You don’t want the ball being thrown recklessly in traffic.
* Made a terrible throw late in the half. Tried to hit Shady when he was tightly covered by a LB and the pass was very close to being intercepted. Botched screen pass.
* Tried to hit Shady with a dump pass over the middle late in the half. There were 2 Browns on him. Luckily the ball was off target.
* Great deep ball to Mac late in the half. Accurate. Touch.
* Never question his toughness. Dove at DT on run play where Shady cut back. Vick isn’t shy or timid.
* Forced the ball to Clay Harbor over and over. Most passes were late so defenders had a chance to play the ball. One 3rd Qtr pass was way late and ended up going into triple coverage. It was deflected by one LB and picked by another.
* Forced ball to Mac on next to last play. Almost a disaster. LB should have picked it off. Don’t know how Vick didn’t see him.

It was ugly, but he did enough to help us win.

RB/FB

SHADY - Good game. 20-110. Made one huge mistake. Ended the opening drive with a fumble. Started to his left. There wasn’t room to run so Shady tried to reverse his field. S T.J. Ward had lined up on the LOS and flew off the edge at the snap. He knocked the ball loose. Shady should have seen him prior to the snap and known that cutting back wasn’t going to be a good option. Got greedy and paid the price for it. As for why he fumbled, Shady didn’t anticipate contact so he didn’t have the ball tucked in tight. He wasn’t being careless and swinging it, but didn’t have it ready for contact. Showed good natural power when he lowered his shoulder into Sheldon Brown and knocked him out of the game for a bit. Most of his running success came to the outside. I thought he showed good speed and vision. Read his blocks well and maneuvered through traffic. Converted on 3rd/1 and 4th/inches. Didn’t try for big plays. Got the yards we needed. Last year had a bad habit of looking for big plays.

Outstanding day as pass blocker.

B BROWN – Backup RB. Saw time on run and pass plays. Got a very casual chip block on DT early on. You could tell Brown was just figuring things out as he hit the guy. Kinda funny to see. Sloppy block on blitzing LB on the next play. Went too low and the LB was able to use his hands to get by Brown and hit Vick. Ran straight upfield on play in 4th for gain of 4. Tackled by DE in pursuit. Good lesson for Brown about the speed of the game. Coaches shocked me by giving Bryce the ball on little trap draw on 1st/GL with 2 mins left. Penetration blew up the play. That showed a lot of trust by the coaches. My guess is that the coaches hoped Brown’s size, burst, and N-S running would help him to get in if there was a hole. There wasn’t.

HAVILI - Good game. Had some good blocks on run plays in the 4th Qtr. Attacked his targets aggressively. Encouraging to see this. Had key block on 4th/inches. Took DB and sealed him, giving Shady room to get a few yds.

TE

* A couple of times we had Brent, Clay line up in the backfield. They would then move out as wings prior to the snap. They chip blocked the DE and then released into the flat as receivers. Simple, effective.

CELEK - Good game. 4-65. First catch was over the middle on the opening drive. Nothing fancy. Best play was a seam route in the late 3rd Qtr that went for a gain of 28. Made a crucial catch on final drive that got us down to the 4. Got open by force and Vick hit him with a good throw. Then Brent took on half the Browns team as he tried to score, but couldn’t get free. Had a good day as a blocker. There were some really good blocks and some were just so-so.

HARBOR - Good game. Used creatively. Lined up out wide. Also slot. TE. And almost in the backfield at times. 3-16 with a TD as receiver. Targeted 6 times. Had a pretty good block on the end around. Pulled and got on a LB. Lined up like H-back on a run play and then pulled and acted as the lead blocker to the backside. Good job on LB. Lined up at offset FB on pass play and then tried to block DE on far side. Didn’t work at all. Play action pass that penetration killed. Stayed in to block on 3rd/11. Did a good job on the DE and when Clay saw Vick roll from the pocket he released and went upfield. Wide open. Vick never saw him. Ran the play where he pulls and acts as lead blocker. Whiffed on the LB. Shady made the guy miss anyway. I liked the fact Harbor didn’t freeze/panic. Went upfield to go block someone else. Excellent block on 4th/inches run. Helped seal DE at the snap, then got LB and slowed him enough for Shady to get there and gain a few yds on the play.

WR

MACLIN - Up and down game. Leading receiver at 7-96-1. Delivered the longest play of the game and the first TD. Targeted 14 times. When he wasn’t catching passes, things were very up and down. Made a dumb mistake early that negated a good gain to Shady. Eagles designed a “rub route” where Shady would get a pass near the sideline. Mac was supposed to get in the LB’s way so he couldn’t get out to Shady. Instead, Mac hit the LB and was correctly called for Off PI. Can’t just run into defenders. You must sell to the refs that you’re running a route and just happened to get in the way. Poor effort by Mac cost us 24 yards. Poor block on DeSean’s end around let Sheldon get in on the tackle. Caught a pass on crossing route on 3rd/5. Took a solid hit and was stopped for just 4 yd gain. Slow to get up. Didn’t look that bad, but really got to him. Called for holding on run late in the half. Ticky-tack call because he barely did anything, but he was grabbing the DB from behind. DUMB!!! You aren’t doing any good by grabbing like that. Only bad can happen.

Delivered a huge play late in the half when he caught a 46-yd pass down the left sideline. Did a good job of using speed and his hands to get by the DB and open. Made a good over-the-shoulder grab and held on as he went to the ground. Good job on the TD catch. Ran a crisp route and that got him open. Then managed to catch the ball and get his feet down cleanly in the endzone.

D JACKSON – Pretty good game. 4-77. Got off to a good start, then Vick went away from him. Looks worlds different than last year. Caught 2 passes by going off the ground and getting the ball. Ran an end around early on. Only got 5 yds, but ran the ball in traffic and showed no fear of contact. Long catch came late in the 1st Qtr. Got a pass down the right side. Got by Haden and added 15 RAC yards for a total gain of 35. Had a good catch for 9 yards on the final drive. Made very impressive play on deep ball that came his way. Went up high and knocked the ball away, making sure Haden couldn’t pick it off. Got away with Off PI on the play, but was worth the risk. The old DeSean is back and I’m very happy about that.

AVANT - Solid game. First catch came on pass play where he lined up tight to the formation and chipped the DE before releasing. Actually made an impressive 1-hand grab on that play, but only for a short gain. Caught a couple of passes early on in the game winning drive. 3rd down catch was nice. Avant was covered and saw Vick needed a target. Jason had been moving to the outside. Shifted back to the inside by a couple of steps and gave Vick an open, easy target to hit with a safe pass. Smart. Blocked well all game long. 4-27 as receiver.

D JOHNSON – Ran a slant and caught pass on 3rd down to move the chains. Simple play, but did a good job. Had a pass come his way in the 1st half, but the throw was off and couldn’t make the catch.

OL

Complicated subject. While watching the game live, I thought the OL was terrible. Upon re-watching, they did a much better job than I realized. They still made too many mistakes and were way to sloppy for a group that mostly played together last year, but I think they got too much criticism. Vick had a clean pocket quite a bit. He didn’t get the ball out quickly at times.

The line had some really good run blocks in the 2nd half. They got going and things looked really good at times.

For the individual write-ups, I’m not listing every positive play. Would be nearly impossible. One way to look at this is that Vick dropped back 62 times, but was sacked only twice. He did run 4 other times, but most of those he had room and decided to take off. One sack was by the FS, the other the SAM – both were blitzers. Vick had better pass protection than some thing.

Yes, he did get hit too much. Yes, there were problems with protection. My point is that part of that is on Vick and that the OL isn’t as bad as some people made it out to be.

* CLE used outside blitzes vs empty or 1-back sets.

* First sack was a delayed blitzer that went unblocked.

DUNLAP - Eagles helped him quite a bit. Got lots of TE help. Also had WRs and RBs come chip for him. Got beaten by up and under move on pass play. Guy didn’t hit Vick, but did pressure him. King was called for holding. Was beaten to the inside on 2nd/long. Vick got flushed and then threw a pick over the middle. Tried to go upfield and block MLB on run. Barely got a hand on him. Didn’t affect the outcome of the play. Blocked DE for 3 seconds, then lost him. Guy got a good hit on Vick. I know that’s a long time to sustain blocks, but that’s how Vick plays QB. Gotta sustain until you know the ball is gone. Got driven back on run play in early 3rd and that forced Shady to cutback. Turned into a TFL. Had one pretty good block on the 2nd level. Hit a LB in the early 4th and allowed Shady a cutback lane. Not King’s best game, but he was a functional LT.

MATHIS – Ruined the opening play of the game by accident. Tried to run a screen. Evan pushed his DT and went to get upfield. Unfortunately, pushed the DT right into Shady and knocked him to the ground. That was an omen for the day. Good block of D’Qwell on outside run play. Kept him from getting involved at all. Called for holding on 1st Qtr drive. Grabbed DT and kept him from getting to Shady. Legit call. Got beaten by DT on pass play and that forced Vick to throw the ball away. Guy just overpowered Evan on the play. Good seal block on Shady run to his side. Evan got up and sealed the ILB, giving Shady a huge hole to hit. Had some real good blocks, especially in the 2nd half.

KELCE - Not his best day. Called for holding on 2nd Qtr run. Analyst John Lynch thought it was questionable call. Looked legit to me. The DT was about to make the play. Jason had his hands on the guy and was keeping him from getting to Shady. Good block on run play late in the half. Got out in the open and threw a LB to the ground. Made a strange read late in the half on an attempted screen pass. Let a DT cross his face, as if expecting Watkins to block him. Problem is that Danny was busy with a DT in front of him. Maybe it was a slide protection of some sort, but it is very unusual to let a guy cross your face and expect someone else to block him. Good blitz pickup on the long pass to Mac late in the half. Got manhandled late in the 3rd Qtr. DL hit him at full speed and drove Jason back toward Vick as he was throwing. Ball was batted back. Very good block on run to left in the early 4th Qtr. Drove DT sideways, let Mathis handle him. Jason cut upfield and sealed LB, giving Shady room to run for 1st down. There was a botched snap, but I’m not sure if that was on Jason or Vick.

WATKINS - Up and down. There was miscommunication between him and Kelce on a pass play which led to a big hit on Vick. Danny left the block first to go help Todd. Then Jason let go to go for a LB, who never even went after Vick. Dumb and dumber for a moment. Got beaten upfield by DT on pass. Stuck with the block and kept him from Vick. Normally that would have been fine, but it was a play-action pass and the penetration threw the whole thing off. Made a good peel-back block of LB on screen to free Shady up for gain of 8. Good vision/decision. Some OL run upfield blindly. Danny took on the LB closest to him and that was the key guy. Outstanding block of Rubin on run late in the half. Stuck with the block for at least 5 yards. Made sure his guy wasn’t going to affect that play. Kept his feet moving on the play. Good progress by Danny. Hasn’t always done that well. Got beaten to the inside on 3rd Qtr pass play and was called for holding, but penalty refused. Got called for holding on 3rd down pass late in the 3rd Qtr. DT just beat him with burst. Good job on run to the right side. Started with the DT, then passed him to Kelce. Danny went up and got a LB. Got beat to the inside by DT on pass play. Got lucky and drew a roughing the passer flag out of it. Looks good at times, but pass protection must be better. I thought he looked much better on the 2nd level.

HERREMANS - Got beaten cleanly by Parker on pass play. Juqua got his hand on Vick’s facemask (no call). Juqua was able to put Vick on the ground after the pass. Todd must be better than that. Good block on run late in the half. DE came inside and Todd gave him a big shove to get the guy out of Shady’s path. The Browns gave him fits on run plays to his side. The DE was jumping in and out. When outside, Todd was to shove the guy wide and create a running lane. When inside, Todd was to seal him. Made it tough for Todd to block since he had to react to a moving target. Doesn’t happen like that on most run plays. Might be something other teams pick up on. Generally had a solid day in pass protection.

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DEFENSE

PLAYS

* Reverse for long gain. Trent almost blew it up for big loss. He was blocked in the back, but I think that’s legal between the tackles. Babin hustled out wide in pursuit and also got blocked in the back. Not sure he’s fair game outside. Akeem Jordan hustled in pursuit, but was a step slow in getting far enough wide. Nnamdi made a great play. He was on the other side of the field, but took a good angle and hustled in pursuit. He prevented a possible TD.

* Great/awful play in 3rd Qtr. Backup DL in the game. Tapp drives Joe Thomas back. Thornton drives the C back. Cox drives the RG back. Hunt gets a bit of pressure from LDE. The pocket collapses. There is nowhere for Weeden to go. Cox grabs him from behind with 1 hand and pulls him down for the sack. Great. While Weeden is laying on the ground, Tapp and Hunt don’t think he’s been hit. They dive on him. Penalty. 15 yards. What in the history of hell were they thinking? Since when have you been allowed to dive on a QB who is laying on the ground? The hits were dirty or hard, but that’s beyond the point. The NFL doesn’t let you do that. Hasn’t for years. You see a QB on the ground. You tap him with your hand. This isn’t the Gang Green era when that stuff was allowed. Hate the rules all you want, but don’t be idiots. Tapp is a veteran and should really know better.

PLAYERS

DL

COLE - Solid game. Beat Joe Thomas for what should have been a strip sack, but Babin was offside and the play wiped out. Really good burst, hands on the play. Too bad. Got good pressure by on a pass by driving Thomas back toward Weeden. Good power on that play. CLE tried to block him with a RB on a 3rd Qtr pass play. Trent barely got slowed down by the guy and hit Weeden as he threw the ball. Pass was broken up. Credited with TFL on 4th Qtr run up the middle. Couple of guys were there.

BABIN - Great game. Maybe the best game Babin has played as an Eagle. Who knew he could play the run? First play of the year he got by the RT and stuffed the RB. Lined up offside and cost Trent a sack. Didn’t hurt us overall. Ran a game with CuJo late in the half. Jason went hard inside. Got into the G, then used spin move to come free up the middle. Hit Weeden, but was close to late hit. Got lucky there was no flag. Did a great job late in the half. CLE was in 3rd/2 and tried PA pass. Jason slanted to the inside and went right by RB who wanted to cut him. Jason hit the QB just as the ball was gone. Looked like the pass was a bit rushed because of him. Blew by the RT on the final play of the half and had chance for sack, but wasn’t able to get his hands cleanly on Weeden. Made a beautiful play to open the 3rd Qtr. Flew upfield, engaged the RT, slung him aside, and stuffed the RB for minimal gain. Had a strip-sack a couple of plays later. Browns tried to block him with TEs. That didn’t work. Jason got by them and hit the QB, knocking the ball out. Got outstanding pressure on 3rd/10 late in the 3rd Qtr. Flew upfield and OL gave him a shove that actually helped Jason get off the block and hit Weeden. Forced an incompletion. Blew up a run to his side by getting under the RT and driving him into the backfield. T-Rich went to the other side and made something out of nothing. Got pressure in late 3rd on key play. TE had gotten open in the endzone. Babin hit Weeden as he threw and the ball went off-target. Clutch play. Finished game with 4 solo stops, sack, FF.

LANDRI - Got the first big hit on Weeden. They left him unblocked and Derek got a big, but legal shot on the kid and slammed him down. Helped clog a running lane on the next snap. Took on a lot of double teams. Held his ground. Got good pressure on 2nd Qtr pass play when he was single-blocked. Didn’t make plays, but did his job.

JENKINS - Had a couple of TFLs and got pressure a couple of times. Blew up early run by slanting to the inside and hitting the RB at the LOS. Read a screen play well and had a chance for TFL, but the RB dropped the ball. Got pressure on 2nd Qtr pass when he looped around Babin and came totally free. Got free with 2nd effort on a 3rd down pass play and pressured Weeden. Got TFL on RZ run play to end the 3rd Q. Good penetration.

HUNT - Quiet game. Got some pressure on Weeden in the 2nd Qtr and flushed him out wide. Beat cut block attempt and got some pressure on Weeden on the 2nd INT to DRC. Got a penalty for hitting the QB after the INT. Didn’t get to see that part of the play.

THORNTON - Had to battle double teams on a regular basis. Mixed results. Gave some ground, but not too much. Also was eating up blockers on those plays. Called for offside penalty in 2nd Qtr. Pulled the ball loose from RB in the 4th Qtr, but he was clearly down so it wasn’t a fumble. Good effort.

TAPP - Backup RDE. Pursued well on run play to other side. Used a spin move to get inside the LT and blow up a run play. Made bonehead mistake when he dove on the QB and drew a flag.

COX - Played stronger than I expected. Got push on pass plays. Grabbed RB as he tried to go upfield and stopped him for short gain. Got his first NFL sack in the 3rd Qtr. Drove the RG back and reached around him to grab Weeden, pull him down. Pressure from Thornton meant Weeden couldn’t move up in the pocket. Got good pressure on pass in the early 4th. Looked quick.

GRAHAM - Only played 4 snaps. Made good play in early 2nd Qtr. CLE faked end around. BG read that and made sure RB had the ball. Then he crashed down and tackled the RB, limiting play to 4 yards. Got by the RT late in the half and was able to hit Weeden just after the ball was out.

*** A note about DL play. CLE had 8 drives of 3 or fewer plays. They didn’t have any drive last longer than 7 plays. No drive covered more than 53 yards. This meant that the starters stayed well rested and there wasn’t as much of a need for rotation as usual. That’s probably why some backups played less than usual.

LB

KENDRICKS - Wow. Super impressed with this rookie. Outstanding job on early outside run. Read the play and hustled out wide. Fought through block and tackled T-Rich for minimal gain. Did a good job vs inside run. Used his hands to fight off block, then waited to see the RB. Once he did, burst through traffic to help make the stop. Helped with Kurt’s first INT. Nate had already hit Little and gotten the ball loose. Mychal came in and hit the ball with his helmet into the air for Kurt to pick. I’m sure that was 100% intentional. Or not. Made a clean tackle in space against a WR on a crossing route. Kept him short of the sticks on 1st/5. Did a terrific job vs 4th Qtr screen. Read the play, split a pair of blockers, and got to the RB to limit him to 5 yards. Not a play a normal rookie makes. Should have been beaten for a TD in the late 3rd. Played off vs TE. Got caught flat-footed & staring into the backfield, allowing the TE got open by a yard or two. Pass was errant and incomplete. Needs coaching and technique work. Had nothing to do with size or speed. Gave up short completion to TE (6 yds). Thought he had a chance to pick the ball off and was mad at himself. Looked athletic on that play. Credited with 5 total tackles.

RYANS - Good game. Had 5 solo stops. Should have had 2 or 3 TFLs, but was credited with just 1. Not sure about that. First big play came on 3rd/4. Tackled TE after catch on crossing route and held him to 3 yards. Forced CLE to punt. On a series early in the 2nd Qtr Ryans read a 3rd/1 play correctly. He fired upfield and got the RB down for a loss. No hesitation. Good tackle. Got a TFL on the next series when he read a run play quickly and fired upfield. Came after Weeden on a green dog in the 2nd Qtr and forced him to throw the ball away. Walked Ryans out over slot WR in Dime look in 3rd Qtr. Receiver caught pass and got 11 yds, but Ryans did tackle him. Curious about what we were trying to do on that look. Got in on a TFL on inside run in the 4th Qtr. Got T-Rich up high and made sure he wasn’t going anywhere.

JORDAN - WLB. Helped stuff an inside run by getting upfield and getting T-Rich by the legs. Attacked upfield on pass play (not a pure blitz) and forced an errant throw.

ROLLE - Played as Dime LB in a 3rd Qtr set.

CHANEY - Didn’t see notice on defense.

S

ALLEN - Solid game. Credited with 5 tackles and a TFL. Missed tackle on early run. Flew upfield and had chance for TFL, but T-Rich put a good move on him. Only cost us a couple of yards. Very next play was backside screen to TE. Nate read it and flew up to tackle him for 2-yd loss. Helped cause an INT in the 2nd Qtr. Weeden was trying to hit Little over the middle. Nate read the play and broke on the ball. He got there just after the ball did. Nate hit Little solidly and helped jar the ball loose. Eventually Kurt grabbed it. Tackled RB after short catch on 3rd/1. Came up quickly in the early 4th and tackled T-Rich after he got by Coleman. Strong wrap-up tackle. Played in the box and back deep.

COLEMAN - Picked off 2 passes and had 4 solo tackles. Made tackle on early pass to Nnamdi’s guy. Good tackle after the guy had gotten some yards and was in the open field. Moved down like a LB in the box in some Dime sets. Picked off pass in the RZ. Nate and Kendricks got the ball in the air. Kurt hustled over and made the catch. Easy, but clutch. Gotta catch those gimmes. Had one crazy play. Got tangled up with blocker on a run and came free right at T-Rich got to him. Kurt wasn’t ready and T-Rich hit him hard, knocking his helmet into and air and 5 yards down the field. Kurt got his face messed up, but grabbed the RB and brought him to the ground. Tough. Missed a tackle of T-Rich on cutback run in the early 4th. Good move by the RB and Kurt missed. Nate cleaned up. Picked off Weeden to seal the game. Lined up on the right hash pre-snap and then moved more to the center of the field after the snap. Not sure if this was by design or just happened. The pass was an overthrow and Kurt made a leaping grab to seal the deal. Wisely went down rather than trying to make a run for the endzone.

JARRETT - Did not see him on defense.

CB

NNAMDI - Good game. Broke up 3 passes. Gave up completion early on when playing off coverage. We blitzed off the other side and I guess Castillo was hoping the ball would come there and Nnamdi might have chance to break on it. Instead, turned into nice catch and run. Had airtight coverage on slant that came his way prior to halftime. Incomplete. Broke up a 3rd Qtr slant that came his way. Broke up 4th Qtr pass to the flat. Hit RB right as the ball got there and it went flying. Too bad it wasn’t a fumble. Kendricks was ready to scoop and score. Excellent awareness and good hit by Nnamdi.

DRC - Great game. Picked off 2 passes and broke up 2 others. Gave up slant for about 10 yds. Good coverage, just a good throw and catch. Made a strong tackle on the play. First INT came on a deep ball. DRC had inside position and made a leaping catch as the ball got there. Perfect job by a CB. Cover tightly and make a play on the ball if it comes that way. 2nd INT was very similar. Didn’t have to jump for the ball, but did cleanly pluck it up high. Broke up a short throw that came his way in the 3rd Qtr. Had a pass come right to him in the endzone in the early 4th. Wasn’t able to make the grab. Should have been easy. Couldn’t tell if it caught him off guard or he was already thinking about a long return. That drop cost us 3 points.

BOYKIN - Good game. Had some passes come his way. Had tight coverage on Little and that forced an errant throw by Weeden. Failed to tackle WR in bounds late in the half and that let the Browns get off another snap. Didn’t hurt us, but you need to make those tackles. Highlight moment came when he broke up a 3rd down pass. Guy had gotten open for a moment and Boykin used his recovery speed to get there and knock the ball away. Gave up a completion when playing off, but did make the tackle. CLE ran a pick play on him in the mid-4th, but Brandon showed good awareness and stuck with his guy, forcing an incompletion. Boykin didn’t play like a rookie. Looked well-prepared and played smart football.

MARSH - Didn’t see him on defense.

HUGHES - Played in the slot in some Dime sets. Also played outside when DRC was out of the game for a few snaps. Covered tightly when in the slot.

=============================================================

ST’s

HENRY - Great game. Averaged 55 yards per punt. Got off a 62-yard rocket when we were backed up and needed it.

HENERY - 1 of 2 on FGs. He’s now missed in 3 straight games. The made FG was a bit of a push, meaning the ball went to his right. I think he might have over-compensated on the next kick and it hooked to the left. The misses have to stop. Had some deep KOs.

PR - Damaris Johnson was okay. Long return was only 6 yds. Punts were erratic and he didn’t have much to work with. CLE was called for interference on one play when he was trying to make a fair catch.

KOR - Havili returned the first KO since it was short. Got 18 yards. Looked natural on the return. Boykin took the next KO out to the 26 (credited with 29 yards). Nothing to write home about. There were a couple of touchbacks.

MISC

* Akeem Jordan was our best STer. Led the team with 4 tackles, mostly on punts. Jordan made a terrific tackle of Cribbs after long punt and kept Browns from getting great field position. Got Cribbs on another punt return when he had started to get going. Every time Cribbs got the ball, I got nervous. Akeem was very good at getting downfield and making clean tackles.

* Chaney tackled Cribbs on first KO.

* Coleman made a good open field tackle on punt.

* Hunt, Marsh had good KO coverage to open 3rd. Hunt ate up blockers, Marsh closed from the outside in.

* Havili impressed me on STs by doing the little things. Took on blockers rather than getting out of his lane. Was physical. Did have one awkward moment. Almost touched a live punt. The P hit a short kick. Havili was mixing it up with cover guys as they ran down the field. He had no idea the ball was as short as it was and ran right by it. Browns thought he touched it, but wasn’t within a foot of the ball. Havili will have to learn to pay better attention. Can’t assume every punt will go 45 yards. That one only went 33, very short punt.

* Jason Avant made the tackle on the final KO. For all of you who want the Eagles to add veteran WRs as backups, remember plays like this. Avant and Riley Cooper are good STers. They are willing to do the dirty work.

* Sam checked out the Eagles production points they list for STs and saw Jaiquawn Jarrett played the most STs snaps, but only had 1 point.  I was hoping to go back and see what the deal was, but the Eagles just cut him.  Ouch.

GAMEBOOK (with snap counts)


  • UndulantDydler76

    #http://goo.gl/aU9N4

  • P_P_K

    Game ball to Coleman. Two picks, strong presence all game, and he DID bring down Richardson even after getting his helmet popped.

    • Mac

      No doubt, that kid always plays with heart and Sunday he was the king of tough players who gut it out for their teammates.

  • Mac

    A 5.1 QBR even by a rookie is something Juan can hang his hat on in my opinion.

    • TommyLawlor

      Yeah, that’s impressive. One of the lowest figures I’ve ever heard for a QB who started and finished a full game.

      • sonofdman

        Eli Manning had a 0.0 rating his rookie year against the ravens, but he got benched in the fourth quarter. 4 of 18 for 27 yards and 2 interceptions. He also fumbled without anyone touching him (similar to his fumble against the eagles in 2010).

        • TommyLawlor

          I miss that Eli.

          • Anders

            I just want 2010 Eli back.

  • http://twitter.com/JackfinBauer Jack Bauer

    Still trying to wrap my head around the Jarrett move. He was an underachieving 2nd rd pick, but at least he had game experience and showed some improvement during the pre-season. Our S depth now consists of Anderson, coming off of ACL surgery, and Sims, who has never started a reg season game in the NFL and has only been here a week.

    How can they justify taking a depth hit to a position we not all that deep on to begin with and keep a 4th RB who may see 10 touches this year if he is lucky?

    • TommyLawlor

      I’ve got to re-watch Jarrett on STs to see what he did. If he totally struggled, Eagles might have given up on him for good. Eagles could also cut Gilyard in a week or two and then re-sign Jarrett.

      I know the Safety depth isn’t ideal, but clearly they didn’t feel Jarrett was much better.

      • SteveH

        Maybe the Eagles felt like Jarret was the least likely to be claimed of our 53.

  • Eric Weaver

    “Since when have you been allowed to dive on a QB who is laying on the ground?”

    When it’s Donovan McNabb laying on the ground in the endzone. Oh, and you’re allowed to break ribs too.

    • TommyLawlor

      Well played, sir. And true.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=848935182 Ryan Jacob

        Or when it’s Vick and he’s been running.

      • BreakinAnklez

        Washington (D-Hall) jacked Vick when he was on the ground, I think King got called for holding on that play as well…

  • Eric Weaver

    A lot of people are saying it was a “rookie QB, rookie RB, bad WRs, etc.”, but is Cleveland really any different than St. Louis last year? Spags was a horrible HC, Bradford was hurt and working with a different offense, Jackson is still an adequate runner, but a shell of his former self and they had no WRs. But people want focus on that game as a bad omen on the season.

    That’s fine because it was, but now that this defense did well in a similar situation, we’re supposed to think that it’s just an average defense playing against a terrible opponent? I don’t buy that.

    They did a lot of good things that we didn’t see last year. The LBs played fast and mostly mistake free football. That was something you never saw last year. The corners, while in press, covered exceptionally well. And this defense was always making no-name QBs and TEs into household names, that didn’t happen on Sunday.

  • ACViking

    Sorry to see J-Jarr cut. He may return. No way Anderson’s an all-down safety. He’s a special-teamer . . . like Sean Morey was in the early ’00s. (I always thought Reid made a mistake cutting him because, like Anderson, he was an impact guy on STs.)

    Bring back Phillip Thomas. Even if for PS (if he’s still out there).

    To say the Birds are thin at safety is an understatement.

    Two 3rd-year players, a 2nd-year guy w/ 1 week in the playbook, and a ST demon who — if his knee’s not heeled — may not be much of a demon.
    _______________

    The Eagles may have — w/ RCoop on the sideline — the smallest set of WRs

    • ICDogg

      I can’t see the Eagles bringing back JaiJar, especially after acknowledging that it was a mistake and a reach to pick him up in the first place.

  • SteveH

    Feels good to write almost all positive things about the D doesn’t it? Couldn’t have asked for a much better start to the season from that unit.
    Seeing DR play so well in the opener was such a relief. I was among the people who were growing skeptical of him after the PS, but he played like a stud MLB on Sunday. I don’t care if he isn’t an ideal cover guy, the dude has a nose for the ball and makes plays against the run that we haven’t seen since Trotter.

  • ACViking

    T-Law:

    Thanks for the breakdown. Great work. Really appreciate your take down on the o-line every week. So hard to see that in real time.

    This week, the Ravens will present a nice test — and yardstick — for figuring out where the Eagles are.

    As an aside, I hope Vick doesn’t feel like he has to “redeem” himself by putting the team on his back. He just needs to play within the system.

    • Anders

      Next week, I hope the Eagles make him aware that McCoy and Celek are really nice check down options

  • ian_no_2

    If that’s how Babin plays when he’s 98.9%, I can’t wait to see how he’s going to play when he’s 99.3%.

    • TommyLawlor

      Ha! And so true.

  • http://twitter.com/Eagles301 Mike Perrie

    One of Maclins worst moves was on one of Shadys long runs. He has a wide open field ahead of him if Maclin just blocks Ward. Shady even threw his hands up after he was tackled.

    I have been a HUGE Maclin supporter but honestly, I could see the eagles drafting a (hopefully big physical) WR to go with Djax and letting Maclin walk or trade him.

    • 47_Ronin

      I thought it was Djax that didn’t give effort on that play, but if it was Maclin he might need a little slack b/c he was having hip pointer problems during the game.

      • Anders

        It also seemed like he was affraid to touch the WR in fear of a holding penalty.

    • Todd B.

      Yes, that was very Victor Cruz-esque. He did something similar in their game against the Cowboys where all he had to do was get in the way of Lee and the receiver would’ve had a big game.

  • Steag209

    I’ve been around football awhile, but what’s “green dog”? Is that a delayed rush?

    • TommyLawlor

      LBs have certain coverage assignments on a given play (FB, RB, or TE). If the player stays in to block, the LB has no one to cover. He is then given the green light to dog (aka blitz). Green dog = rushing the passer when your coverage assignment stays in to block.

  • Steven Dileo

    The disturbing aspect of Vick’s game on Sunday was that he basically highlighted all of the concerns Eagles fans had with him a few years ago. It’s as if our worst fears of him came true. Teams have figured him out, he can’t read defenses, doesn’t have a quick release, and can make the right read on a blitz. When Vick makes 2 or 3 bad plays, you can brush that aside and say that he will fix that on the next series. However, last Sunday he kept making the same fundamental mistakes over and over again.

    We trumped this guy as a top 5-10 QB last year and now he’s seems sub-par.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=848935182 Ryan Jacob

      Vick has 15 picks in the last ten games. I don’t know how you can call this game an anomaly. Yes, he has great talent and moves the football well, but he also consistently sets records for the least amount of points at the total yards that his team achieves.

      • Kempersbh

        So he averaged 1.5 INTs per game and had 4 in this game. That is well outside the average, yes.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=848935182 Ryan Jacob

          Show me a winning team that averages 1.5 interceptions per game.

          • Kempersbh

            I never said it was good, I said 4 is an outlier.

  • ACViking

    RE: Jarrett’s Release

    T-Law, I hope you’ll indulge me with this post because it’s not about the DGR but, instead, the reaction — maybe even shared inside Eagles HQ — that the team’s 2010 and 2011 drafts were (big?) disappointments.

    In relative terms — that is, Eagles drafts v. Eagles drafts — not Eagles v. Steelers, for example — I don’t think the Eagles’ drafting history supports the conclusion that the last two years were terrible.

    Going back to 1959, the draft one season before the Eagles’ last title, the team selected only 8 players (despite the draft lasting 30 rounds). Among the players taken were 3rd rounder RB Wray Carlton and 11th rounder WR Art Powell. The cut Carlton, kept Powell for one year — and both had outstanding careers in the AFL, particularly Powell who landed in Oakland when Al Davis was constructing his “mad bomber” offense around Daryle Lamonica. Of the other 6, the Eagles kept two (not particularly impactful) players, cut 4 — and all 4 played in the AFL.

    In 1960, the Eagles only contributors were the great OLB Maxie Baughan (5 fumble recoveries his rookie year) and RB Ted Dean, whose 58 yard kick return in the 4th Q with the Eagles trailing followed by a 5-yard TD run were crucial plays in winning the title game. Dean’s career in Philadelphia was over 3 years later.

    In the next three drafts, from 1961-63, the Eagles drafted only 4 players who were longtime starters with only one making all-pro: Irv Cross. The other three were solid, generally unspectacular, but occasionally turning out big seasons: OT Jim Skaggs, DB Nate Ramsey (No. 24, who played 10 years in green), and FB Tom Woodeshick.

    In 1964, the Eagles chose HOF OT Bob “The Boomer” Brown in the first round and no. 2 overall. None of the other picks were much more than journeymen (including Oregon QB Bob Berry).

    The sotry’s more or less the same through the ’67 draft . . . when the Eagles hit ROCK BOTTOM. That’s the year (as I’ve lamented before) the Eagles selected two RBs in the first 3 rounds, Nos. 1 & 3, whose first name was “Harry”. They combined for 98 yards in 4 seasons. The 1967 draft was abysmal. Maybe the worst draft in Eagles history . . . and I know there’s a lot of competition for that title.

    The next year, 1968, the Eagles drafted 7 players who became starters. The best of the lot was USC All American DE Tim Rossevich — best known perhaps for eating light bulbs. (You read that right.) Rossevich became a Pro Bowl DE. Midway in the 1970 season, the Eagles moved him to MLB . . . and he easily ranks among the top 5 MLBs in Eagles history behind Concrete Charlie Bednarick and Bill Bergey. Rossevich and Trotter is a close call. But he left the Eagles via a trade to the Chargers for a 1st round pick (who became TE Charlie Young from USC) after a contract-holdout during the ’72 training camp.

    (Little remembered fact: Rossevich, while at USC, was also the Trojans’ punter.)

    The drafts from ’69-’72 are all forgettable. Except to think about whom the Eagles passed on. (’69 HOF DT Joe Greene, taken 1 pick after the Eagles took Heisman runner-up RB Leroy Keyes; ’70 All Pros DT Mike Reid, DE Cedrick Hardeman and WR Ken Burrough taken right after the Eagles selected Oklahoma TE Steve Zabel; ’71 HOF RB John RIggins, taken — like DT Joe Greene — right after the Eagles selected Grambling DE Richard Harris.)

    But . . . the Eagles best draft since 1960, in my opinion, was engineered in 1973 — ironically by the coach who would end up trading away 6 straight 1st-round picks. The Eagles landed longtime starters OT Jerry Sisemore, C Guy Morris, SS Randy Logan, plus TE Charlie Young who was traded to the Rams for QB Ron Jaworski, and CB Joe Lavender who, after 3 seasons and a holdout, went to the ‘Skins for DT Manny Sistrunk.

    Looking at the ensuing drafts, up through 2012, you won’t find anything like what the Steelers did in 1974 or the ’49ers in 1986. The Steelers drafted 4 HOFers in the first 5 rounds that year (WRs Swann and Stallworth, MLB Jack Lambert, and C Mike Webster). The 49ers drafted 8 players who became cornerstones for the team’s great run through the late ’80s and early ’90s (DE Charles Haley, DT Kevin Fagan, OT Steve Wallace, DL Larry Roberts, FB Tom Rathman, WR John Taylor, CBs Tim McKyer and Don Griffin.)

    Few teams have drafts like the ’74 Steelers or ’86 49ers. Most teams have drafts like the Eagles. Hit on some. Miss on most (OT Kevin Allen, DE Jon Harris — big time misses).

    Sometimes you land an All Pro or a cornerstone player: ’79 OLB Jerry Robinson, ’80 CB Roynell Young, ’81 Mike Quick — who’d be in the HOF but for bad knees — ’83 FS Wes Hopkins, ’87 Jerome Brown, ’87 MLB Byron Evans, ’88 TE Keith Jackson, ’88 CB Eric Allen, ’95 CB Bobby Taylor, ’96 S and HOFer-2B Brian Dawkins, ’98 MLB Jeremiah Trotter, ’99 QB D-Mac, ’02 RB B-West, ’08 WR D-Jax, ’09 WR J-Mac and RB L-Mac.

    And, once in a while you get lucky — like Buddy Ryan in ’86, with 9th rd pick DE Clyde Simmons and 8th rd pick OLB Seth Joyner.

    But most of the time, you miss. Looking at 2012, if just two players emerge as stars — not even all pros, but just really good players — it’ll have been a successful draft. DT Fletcher Cox and OLB M-K look like they could be all pros. Boykin looks like he’ll be a dominant fixture at slot CB for the next 7 years.

    But the jackpot could be QB Nick Foles.

    If he turns turns his pre-season performance into his regular season standard, then I’d say the Eagles had one of those once-in-a-decade drafts that — in the past 50 years — only other teams would have.
    _________________

    T-Law . . . thanks for letting me drift off topic.

    • TommyLawlor

      You have carte blanche unless you start giving out dip recipes. On second thought, I do love French Onion dip.

    • Anders

      Great read.
      Also if you look at the Eagles drafting during the last few years, we have drafted really well, problem is outside of McCoy and Jackson in his firt two years, we havnt gotten game breaking players and fans want every draft pick to be like McCoy.

    • teltschikfakeout88

      AC Viking continues to whip on Kevin Allen. The Buddy Ryan quote still makes me still cringe, “Nice fat kid that is good at standing around and killing grass” or something to that effect. If this happened to us at work we would be outraged in today’s society. In the NFL it is just a precursor to getting cut and told to find another suitable career. Buddy Ryan, good for some guilty laughter.

      • ACViking

        Mr. Telschikfaceout88:

        OT Kevin Allen turns up on my “worst No. 1 picks list” for a few reasons:

        1. The pick itself. The Eagles passed on All American Ohio State OLT Jim Lachey — who, I think, will eventually be in the HOF. This isn’t Allen’s fault. But it hurts.

        2. Allen held out until a few days before the opener against the Giants and Lawrence Taylor. Again, not entirely his fault, as all No. 1’s during the Braman era had contract problems. But out of shape and unprepared, he hearly got Jaworski killed that day.

        3. Allen showed no improvement his rookie year and was eventually benched after 4 starts for sub-journeyman Tom Jelesky (who also neary got Jaworski killed).

        4. In 1986, with a new coach in Buddy Ryan, Allen showed up at T.C. out of shape. He wasn’t very good. And, apparently, didn’t show much heart or dedication. (And, as Ryan said, he killed a lot of grass.)

        5. He lasted in the NFL just 1 season, starting only 4 games as the No. 8 pick overall. Ugh! Absolutely terrible. As with Ray Rhodes’ choice of DE Jon Harris No. 1 in 1997, you can’t blame Allen for the Eagles’ making a bad decision.

        6. The Eagles selection of Allen is just recent enough that I think a lot of T-Law’s readers remember him.

        PROMISE: I’ll drop Kevin Allen from my list for a while — and go back to 1967, when the Eagles chose HB Harry Jones from Arkansas. It’s very possible Jones was a worse choice than Allen or Jon Harris.

        • teltschikfakeout88

          Oh no don’t drop the Kevin Allen schtick on my account. I have read a number of your posts on this fine gentleman and am aware of your issues with his selection. I still find it funny whenever you mention him. However your forgot point 7.
          7. Peach of a guy that Kevin Allen was; after getting cut he decided to go to AC for the night where he got drunk and raped a girl and effectively spent the rest of his football career in jail.
          However, I am not clear as to why you dislike Harry Jones. If the opportunity comes up, I would enjoy a point by point listing of why Mr. Jones was a bad pick by the Eagles.
          Also, please, please, please continue to post the history of eagles past. My father was born in Pottsville, PA and I lived in VA for most of my life. It was my birthright (or curse) to be a eagles, sixers, phillies and flyers fan. I can remember that 1979 playoff game against the Bucs. My memory of it was a 5 year old boy wondering why his old man was yelling and cyring about a football game. That affliction came to me later in life. In that playoff game Doug Williams threw a TD pass to Jimmie Giles and of course that same Jimmie Giles was a backup TE on a couple of those offensively challenge Ryan teams (87 to 89). In fact he caught the MNF football TD from Cunningham against the Giants. How ironic it is to be an Eagles fan.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alex-Grimaldi/1303501093 Alex Grimaldi

    For me, it looks like Vick’s problems are all mental. Obviously that’s a pretty trite way to gloss over it, but it’s like the difference between Nick Young and Chris Paul. Vick in Atlanta – and, even, 2010 with Philly – was like Nick Young, who we’ll be lucky enough to see in a Sixers uni: too dumb not to be good. You see Nick Young hit a clutch three, or drain a ridiculous fadeaway, and you know it’s because he’s so dumb – so monumentally unaware of what is going on – that he didn’t stop to consider anything, and somehow that’s how it worked. Anyone who’s played basketball has played with that guy. And Vick was the same. He wasn’t even aware of the intricacies of the QB position so he just went out and played. And against bad teams, it worked. Against good teams, it didn’t, because it’s a limited approach. Now, however, a legitimate offensive coaching staff has alerted him to the possibilities – Manning, Brady, Brees, Rodgers (or, so as not to completely abandon my analogy, Chris Paul) – and what he needs to do to get there. Vick’s alert enough now that he doesn’t immediately resort to backyard football. But doesn’t have enough of a football IQ yet to make up for it with efficient quarterbacking. He’s caught in the middle. His training is interfering with his instincts but hasn’t overcome them yet. I think he’s on the right path. The question is how soon – if ever – it all clicks for him. Hopefully it does soon because, on initial blush at least, I really like this defense. Also I apologize for the half-assed basketball comparison. Seriously though Sixer fans, enjoy Nick Young. He’s hilarious.

  • D3FB

    Huffing paint if Vick continues to struggle? I think we may all have to stock up on bath salts.

  • nicolajNN

    Henry obviously had a good day, and really boomed some punts, but to me it looked like he might have, or was close, to out-kicking the coverage team. I’m not an expert on the area so I could very well be wrong, but Cribbs had quite a bit of free room before the first defender was near him.Thoughts?

    Two variables to account for, Cribbs is a great returner so that was a factor. Also are Cooper and Colt (at least one of them) not usually our gunners, and very good at it? Missing them would weaken the coverage team a fair bit.

    • Anders

      He had to boom the punt because of the position he was in and when you combine that with going up against an elite returned and missing 2 of our best gunners.

  • Pingback: Eagles Wake-Up Call: A Look At the 2011 Draft Class - Birds 24/7

  • JRO91

    Tommy – Off topic….Any news on how Peters is progressing? I am hoping he is going to be back and ready for camp next year. I would take Peters at 75% over King or Bell at 100%!! I still think the Eagles will strongly look at a Tackle in the first three rounds next year.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=848935182 Ryan Jacob

      I don’t see how he can possibly have enough strength in his calf by December. Look at Ryan Howard still limping around playing a non contact sport. Peters will have to play 250+ lb linemen. I just don’t see it happening. We’ll be lucky to get him back at 80%+ effectiveness in 2013.

  • Todd B.

    On the first intereception, could it have been just an overthrown ball to Shady? Both were in the area and Shady was WIDE open. A matter of fact, Shady first tried to jump a little thinking the pass was going to him.

    • TommyLawlor

      Initially I thought Shady was the target. Re-watched the play several times and I’m pretty sure it was meant for Celek.

  • fran35

    Tommy,
    Do you think the Browns are as bad on defense as people are saying. I am tired of hearing everyone warning “wait and see what a real defense does to Vick.” Now, I personally think Vick played as bad a game at QB as I can remember in modern history, but I thought the Browns defense looked good. The line, Rubin in particular, looked like a monster. I think that the Browns will be a good NFL defense this year when all of the stats settle down.

    • TommyLawlor

      Browns had a Top 10 defense last year. They returned most of the key guys. Did have some youth at LB, but that isn’t a bad unit at all. Very solid.

  • ChaosOnion

    Just for giggles, in the Defense and ST portion of the article, Tommy makes 25 references to tackle as in “tackled the RB.” 21/25 references were to good situations, using adjectives such as solid, good and clean.

  • Pingback: NFC Hierarchy/Obituary with Week 1 in the books – Blogging the bEast

  • http://www.facebook.com/marcandre.dandenault Marc-André Dandenault

    T-Law i got a confession to make…. i am a die hard eagles fan but also i am a die hard ravens fan. So this week i’m kinda confused :s. Dont know who to root for, i’ll be happy if the eagles win. Since i know the ravens pretty well i’m just gonna go over some interesting matchups.

    1. Haloti vs Kelce-Mathis-Watkins : Haloti is one of the strongest guy in the nfl period, and if he’s going against kelce im just not sure how can 290 pounds atlethic kelce can stop 350 pounds athletic Ngata. That being said the eagles will probably have some help for whoever is up against ngata. Player to watch :Pernell Mcphee, he’s a 5th round pick from last year that can really rush the passer from the DE 3-4 position.

    2. Cary Williams vs Eagles WR : Cary Williams is easily the weakess link in the ravens secondary. He’s a former practice squad member for a couple of years and now is in the starting role(altought jimmy smith may take his place this week)
    He’s often late to the ball and doesn’t react quickly, doesn’t have good ball skills and recovery speed. And the list goes on…. So I think if MV is to have sucess throught the air, going after Williams is his best bet. He also have to watch Ladarius Webb doing ” Stingers” from the slot. He was really effective last week in that role.

    3- OLB Another player the eagles should try to take advantage of is OLB Paul Kruger. He is taking the place of Jarrett Johnson. While Johnson was an incredible edge setter, Kruger does not do that job well and is better at rushing the passer. So if we can get Celek or Harbor on Paul we could get some easy yard.

    4- Ravens Offensive line : Two new body this year. LG Ramon Harewood and RT Kelechi Osemele. Against CIN the whole line played pretty well. The favorable matchup I see is osemle against babin. Osemele is big and atheltic but does he have his limitation(he was projected as a guard for the ravens). And also struggled alot last year at USC. We’ll see.. Although they had a good week against CIN this week is a whole other story.

    Yes the Ravens are goog but still a team that is flawed and that you can take advantage of.
    Go Eagles !

    • D3FB

      Osemele played for Iowa State

      • http://www.facebook.com/marcandre.dandenault Marc-André Dandenault

        true that! my bad

  • http://twitter.com/igglesblog Derek / IgglesBlog

    Great review, Tommy. Agree that Cox looked surprisingly good out there. He got me a little bit excited the second time I watched.