I had my doubts about the Eagles beating the Skins. My big concern was if the defense could make enough plays to keep the Skins under control. The Skins offense is really hard to deal with when it is going well.
The Eagles defense did make plays. They came up with a fumble, INT and safety in the 1st half. They had another INT in the 3rd quarter. The Skins were sloppy and contributed to these plays, but the Eagles did their part as well. The tackling was better than anyone could have guessed.
Let’s talk about LB play. Trent Cole was terrific. He was credited with 4 tackles. Had a TFL, FF and a couple of QB hits. He wasn’t a dynamic pass rusher, but did a solid job. Mychal Kendricks was all over the field. He led the team with 10 total tackles. He recovered the fumble that Trent caused. Kendricks also got a couple of big hits on RG3 when he blitzed up the middle. DeMeco Ryans had 8 total tackles and a sack.
CB Cary Williams had a big game. He had a sack and INT. He also broke up another pass and generally had tight coverage. Williams played with lots of emotion and that was a good thing. Brandon Boykin played the best game of his young career. He had 5 solo stops, an INT and a PBU.
I’m happy to say Isaac Sopoaga played much better than he did in the preseason.
The Eagles offense was simply amazing at times. Shady had a monster game, rushing 31 times for 184 yards and a TD. He made some sensational moves at the LOS and in space. I also loved the fact he ran hard when he needed to. He converted a couple of short yardage plays by attacking up the field and not looking for big plays on the edge.
Michael Vick is tougher to discuss. I need to see the tape. He missed some throws that were wide open. He made one bonehead mistake when he ran out of bounds for a sack instead of throwing the ball away. That said, Vick didn’t have any turnovers (the early backward pass didn’t look like a backward pass so I was giving Vick a pass on that). He made some terrific throws. The TD to Brent Celek was very impressive. Vick ran for a TD and threw for 2 more. He had a 36-yard run late in the game that was big. That gave the offense some momentum. Vick had a good game. How good is the question.
The O-line was a bit erratic. There were some missed assignments that looked pretty easy. That stuff will get worked out. They did a great job of getting movement in the run game and also getting downfield.
DeSean Jackson looked like the guy from 2009 and 2010. That’s great. He caught passes and headed over the middle. He didn’t do that much in recent years so I was very encouraged by that. DeSean was 7-104-1. Think about this…Vick completed 15 passes. 7 of them, almost half, went to DJax. The passing game wasn’t about volume but rather impact. That’s the way it should be, all apologies to Coach Reid.
I think Dave Fipp’s STs units were outstanding. They helped the Eagles win the field position battle. Alex Henery boomed a 48-yd FG that was negated by a challenge. He came back and kicked it again, this time even straighter than the first.
There are plenty of things to fix. I need to see what went wrong with the defense in the 2nd half. Jason Avant had a bonehead fumble. Pat Chung made a terrible play on a pass he should have broken up, if not picked off. There were dumb penalties by several players. Chip Kelly can enjoy the win, but also has to love the fact he can use this tape to show his players where/how they need to improve.
Kelly has a few issues to work on himself. I’ll get into them in the DGR. He never looked lost, but I think there were a few decisions he’d like to have back.
Last year the Eagles were 1-5 in the NFC East. This team is 1-0, with a road win against the defending division champs. That is an excellent start. The Eagles got lucky in facing RG3 on a night when he started very rusty and played poorly. He’ll be better each week. The Eagles should also get better. Ought to be a heckuva rematch.
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