Sunday Night Reflections on the Eagles Big Win

Posted: September 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 52 Comments »

Huge win today for the Eagles. Beating the Ravens is never easy. Doing it on a day when Michael Vick was picked off twice, Shady McCoy fumbled and didn’t have his best game, rookie Bryce Brown fumbled, and two starting offensive linemen were lost… that is impressive.

There was nothing easy about this game. The Ravens had a 17-7 lead. They led 23-17 with 2 mins left. The Eagles scored the go-ahead TD with 1:55 left and then the defense took over.

Think about this…the 2011 defense was built to play with a lead. The Wide-9 would let the D get after QBs and play an all-out, attacking style. That didn’t work as the team blew lead after lead. This year the Eagles got rid of Asante Samuel and replaced him with DRC. They traded for MLB DeMeco Ryans. They drafted SAM Mychal Kendricks and DT Fletcher Cox. Pressure is better. Coverage is better. And there are now guys that can run and tackle in the middle of the field. It also helps that Safeties Kurt Coleman and Nate Allen are healthy and playing solid football.

I was excited in the 4th quarter. Win or lose, the Eagles had showed me something. They stood up to the physicality of the Ravens. The Eagles made some clutch plays. They weren’t living on big plays or flukes. They made good adjustments at halftime and had shut down Ray Rice. Turnovers were still an issue, but simply put…the Eagles looked like a playoff team. Boy it feels good to say that.

Life is good right now. Michael Vick has started and finished both games. The team is 2-0. The defense looks like one of the best units in the NFL. The offense has 942 yards, the 11th highest opening 2-game total in NFL history. The rest of the NFC East is 1-1 and each team has a bad loss. Dallas losing to a rookie QB 27-7 is probably the worst of all.

Not everything is all pudding and Funyuns. It sounds like C Jason Kelce is out for the year. His injury looked bad. LT King Dunlap got hurt and we don’t know his status. Vick took some serious hits today and will be sore until at least 2013. There were 2 RB fumbles. There were 3 Red Zone turnovers. This team needs a lot of work before we can really be happy with where they are at. Still, sitting at 2-0 is huge.

It is also great that the Eagles have shown resiliency in both games. There wasn’t any panic after the D’Qwell Jackson pick-six. There wasn’t any panic after going down 17-7 to the Ravens. The team stayed focused and worked hard to overcome both situations. The 2011 Eagles were the very opposite of clutch. 2012 is very, very different. We’re only 2 weeks in, but you can already see that this is a different team.

Quick Hits

* The offense was balanced. Vick threw 32 passes. Shady had 25 runs.

* Vick was accurate, going 23-32. The first pick was dumb. He got greedy. Gotta check other passes.

* Shady didn’t have his best game. He dropped an easy pass on 3rd/1. He fumbled on 3rd/short. It also appeared that he failed to pick up a blitzer up the middle. Could be wrong on that. Not sure about his assignment on the play.

* Only 2 sacks? No biggie. Flacco threw off his back foot a lot and that was due to pressure in his face.

* Derek Landri was listed with 1 pass deflection. That’s it. Watch the tape and you’ll see that he was very disruptive. Big game.

* Looked like Fletcher Cox got a lot of Cullen Jenkins snaps in the 2nd half and that helped the run defense. Fletch is off to a good start.

* DeMeco Ryan had a sack, TFL, and INT. Yeah, he can still play.

* Brent Celek was 8-157. Huge game. I mentioned in my preview that he could be tough for the Ravens since I didn’t think any of their back seven really was a good matchup for him. Didn’t expect those numbers.

* The All-22 should be interesting in terms of downfield coverage. Flacco threw 30 times to RBs and TEs. He targeted his WRs 12 times.

* Watching Mychal Kendricks cover Ray Rice was fun. Kendricks is fast and comfortable playing in space. He has legit cover skills. Almost picked off a pass today.

* Ravens 4-14 on 3rd downs, 1-2 in the Red Zone.

* Eagles 7-15 on 3rd downs, 2-5 in the Red Zone. Only stops were due to turnovers. Ugh.

* On the game-winning drive, Vick had a backup at C and LT and was missing Jeremy Maclin. How is that for clutch?

* Just for fun:

Ryans – 7 total tackles (6 solo), sack, TFL, INT
Lewis – 5 total tackles (all solo), PD, FR

Allen – 10 total tackles (9 solo), PD
Reed – 5 total tackles (all solo), INT

52 Comments on “Sunday Night Reflections on the Eagles Big Win”

  1. 1 Sb2bowl said at 10:38 PM on September 16th, 2012:

    Was a great game to watch- the 4th quarter rolled around and I was actually happy that the Birds had passed “the eye test”. Either way (turnovers aside) I was happy with today.

    Hope our injuries aren’t too bad, but our backup linemen played pretty well. They started with giving Bell a lot of help, and on the final drive he was going 1-1 (it helps that the Ravens were only rushing 3 on some downs).

  2. 2 zbone95 said at 10:56 PM on September 16th, 2012:

    Damn, the only thing im terrified is about Kelce. I hope its not season ending. that would be a tough tough loss. first peters then him

  3. 3 miked718 said at 7:30 PM on September 17th, 2012:

    But when Vick hobbles up to the line in 2013, he’s going to have a really really good and well rested OL!

  4. 4 Tim Jennings said at 11:15 PM on September 16th, 2012:

    I can’t agree more with your 4th paragraph. My dad and I had been talking all week, “I’m not sure we can win this game, but we need to hold our own at home. That’s all we can ask for.” The Eagles looked the Ravens straight in the face and manned up. They took them on, head-on, in the 2nd half and out-worked them. Out-worked them in the trenches, out-worked them in the coaching department, out-worked them in the clutch. HUGE statement against what I feel to be the best team in the AFC.

    It just feels like the complete antithesis of last year’s “Dream Team.”

  5. 5 iskar36 said at 11:41 PM on September 16th, 2012:

    To me, the turnovers are still a huge issue that can’t be ignored despite the win (certainly not saying you have, because you do mention them). Had we ended up loosing the game, I think a lot of us would have said we are looking at the same team, just different season. That being said, I do think that points out the difference. Last year, we couldn’t finish and lost these games. This year, already twice this season, we have come out with the win.

    If we can get better with protecting the ball, I think we could be a dominant team and an obvious Superbowl contender. If not, despite winning these two games, I think in the playoffs, we will struggle to win.

  6. 6 Tim Jennings said at 12:26 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    I agree entirely that ball protection needs to be a huge priority moving forward. However, I think we can point to our division-mates in the New York Giants for the sentiment that simply eeking out these regular season games may, after all, be good enough. Just get into the playoffs and then see how good we really are.

    Hyperbole for a week 2 win? Probably. But after blowing so many 4th quarter leads last season, it just feels good to be on the opposite side of the coin so far this year.

  7. 7 TommyLawlor said at 1:28 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    No one is ignoring the turnovers. Huge issue that must be fixed.

  8. 8 Mac said at 9:56 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    Pollard broke on the ball (yes it was an ill advised throw) he made an athletic play and turned a PD into an INT.

    The Shady fumble… I would love to see any RB take a L Webb helmet straight to the football and hold on.

    The other two turnovers were inexcusable.

  9. 9 A_T_G said at 11:50 PM on September 16th, 2012:

    You summed it up perfectly. I love that I can enjoy watching us on defense again. That has always been my favorite part of the game, but it was painful the last few years.

    When you watch the replay, check on that easy 3rd down drop by Shady. Live, it looked to me like Vick fired a rocket from point blank range, but they didn’t show a replay.

  10. 10 BC1968 said at 12:08 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    I also thought that the pass was an unnecessary bullet and was surprised the lousy announcers didn’t mention that.I thought there would’ve been a replay and a mention about how he didn’t need to throw it that hard.

  11. 11 Tim Jennings said at 12:56 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    Not only was Dierdorf painful to listen to, but I felt like the CBS production was lacking overall. I appreciate that they had far less commercials than the typical Fox broadcast, but CBS was routinely tardy on the graphics and commentary for penalty flags and the like(namely the OPI on Tandon Doss late in the game).

  12. 12 T_S_O_P said at 3:25 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    I had to watch the game with my computer in safe mode because the anti virus is slowing things way way way down, therefore I got to watch the game in silence. Diedorf sounded fine to me 🙂

  13. 13 teltschikfakeout88 said at 9:26 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    That ball had pace on it….but its big boy football….these guys get paid to catch balls like that. While I don’t disagree that it might have been unnecessary, he still should not of let that ball eat him up and get into his body (it looked like to deflected off his chest).

  14. 14 austinfan said at 12:18 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    Second Half:

    Rice 9 21

    Flacco 8 25 140 0-1

    But Juan can’t make adjustments.

    Actually, don’t know if it was Juan, but since he took all the blame last year, he should get the credit this year. Think Cox playing more, Ryans adjusting (hit the wrong gap on a couple runs) and just a nastier attitude was the difference.

  15. 15 Mac said at 9:51 AM on September 17th, 2012:


  16. 16 ian_no_2 said at 12:23 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    The Eagles pass D is making opposing QBs look bad. Weeden was inaccurate, but it didn’t help to have the DL in his face on every play. They were calling for him to be benched, but he looked good today. Last week everyone was talking about how Flacco was ‘elite.’ The DL is getting pressure from the inside and outside, the CBs are sticking to the wideouts (except for a a couple blown coverages), Boykin in the slot, so they don’t make it fun to be a QB.

  17. 17 Tim Jennings said at 12:49 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    The crazy part is that we’ve only registered 4 official sacks, as far as I know. But its the consistent, unnerving pressure that will drive QBs crazy this year. We haven’t seen Hunt really get in on the action(sans the call-back last week), or Darryl Tapp. Graham has had a few flashes, but I think its fair to expect more. Landri had a nice game today but didn’t register anything official. Etc. We are loaded on the DL. With confident, consistent DL play and a more fitting DB scheme, I think every QB in the league is afraid to face us right now.

  18. 18 TommyLawlor said at 1:28 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    I love sacks, but having QBs throw off their back foot for incompletions or INTs is also a good thing.

  19. 19 Anders said at 7:23 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    I think once the offense start putting points on the boards instead of turnovers and we get like a 2 TD lead, the sacks will come.

  20. 20 Mac said at 9:51 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    Could be wrong, but I believe Graham was a step away from a sack and laid some serious wood on Flacco on one play yesterday.

  21. 21 ICDogg said at 1:12 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    And so the Dallas Reynolds era is upon us. Seemed like he was holding his own while he was in there, but who knows. At least he’s not hiking the ball into his own ass, making him already better than Nick Cole.

  22. 22 Matt Hoover said at 2:15 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    He looked good enough

  23. 23 T_S_O_P said at 3:28 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    I maybe wrong, but where he has an advantage is that he can also call some of the protections with what he learnt on the PS last year.

    Damn shame about Kelce, I’m hoping his ligaments grow like his facial hair, in which case he’ll be ready by a week next Tuesday.

  24. 24 TommyLawlor said at 1:33 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    It will be interesting to get the Ravens take on this. Are they down because they failed to beat a team that turned the ball over 4 times and lost the starting C and LT? Do the Ravens dismiss the game because it was on the road on a short week and against a talented team?

  25. 25 A_T_G said at 11:55 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    Rice complained about dirty play, Flacco. Omplained about officials.

  26. 26 Brian Borkowski said at 12:12 PM on September 17th, 2012:

    Well…there’s this.

  27. 27 Phils Goodman said at 3:30 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    I wouldn’t credit very much of the Eagles success today to “balance.” Shady was a dud and stuck in the mud. They had to put everything on Vick’s arm and he came through, especially on some big 3rd downs.

  28. 28 izzylangfan said at 10:04 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    Yes, but the Ravens had to sell out to defend the run. Then Vick had a clean pocket on many pass plays.

  29. 29 Phils Goodman said at 3:23 AM on September 18th, 2012:

    So many of Shady’s runs were unsuccessful that Vick had to make the majority of his plays on obvious passing downs.

  30. 30 Phils Goodman said at 3:25 AM on September 18th, 2012:

    Also the Ravens just don’t have a very potent pass-rush without Suggs.

  31. 31 JRO91 said at 8:38 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    I must admit I was watching Demetress Bell and saw him stonewall the DE on several occcations. It seemed like the light went on….maybe a swift kick in the A$$ is all he needed.

  32. 32 Kevin_aka_RC said at 2:26 PM on September 17th, 2012:

    I didn’t notice Dunlap leaving at all: highest compliment you can give to an OL

  33. 33 ddub said at 8:41 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    I’m elated. That was a beautiful game to watch. Yeah, yeah, bit of slop, but hey, those were two REALLY good football teams battling. My friend is a steelers fan, pittsburgh always seemed to be able to win those close gritty games (cowher/tomlin era), philly in the past few years has seemed to be prone to losing those games. To see them come from behind and win two tough games in a row, gives me confindence in the character of this football team. Worried about the O-line and jeremy Maclin. How many snaps was Dembell in for, is it just me or did he do a decent job?

  34. 34 Ben Hert said at 9:06 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    I think someone mentioned it earlier, but for a lot of snaps that D Bell was involved in, the ravens only brought three, and he had a lot of help. Not saying he didn’t play well, but it’d be interesting to see the DGR with All-22 film and see how he played in a vacuum

  35. 35 Ben Hert said at 9:04 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    My gameball does to Demeco Ryans.

    Last year we would have collapsed in the last two minutes and watched Flacco drive down the field to win the game. Last year Smith or Boldin would have been running free in the middle of the field, or a TE waiting open in space because of a blown assignment. Not this year. This year, you can see that things are different, and I think thats because of Ryans. A quote from Graziano’s column this morning:

    “This is the play!” middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans shouted at his teammates, before each of the eight plays the Ravens would run on that final series. “This is the play we make to close the game!”

    Wow. That got ME fired up at 7AM on a Monday morning. Great stuff. I really think he brings something out in our D that has made us look like a completely different team from last year. I think Week 1 and Week 2 are both losses without the leadership and play of Demeco Ryans. Hats off to Mr. Roseman.

  36. 36 Ben Hert said at 9:10 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    Also, Brandon Boykin…wow. What an impact player. Phenomenal player, and only going to get better.

    I give all credit to Tommy for bringing his name to the attention of the Eagles. With a bit of duct tape, and a sharpie, I might find a use for that #22 jersey after all.

  37. 37 teltschikfakeout88 said at 9:35 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    Tommy, when you review the All 22 tape, I would love for you to take a look at the technique our CB’s are playing outside of press. It looked like they were holding with the hopes that the replacement refs would not see it. I am curious if this was a whole game thing or was it in passing situations where either DRC or Nam knew that they did not have help over the top. If they did not have help over the top, was it because Bmore had 21 personnel on the field? Very curious on this as I suspect our CB’s will continue with the “if your not cheating you aren’t trying” sort of play and whether we will get more 5 yard penalty calls on us as the year goes on.

  38. 38 Ben Hessel said at 9:53 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    We can’t get any worse…

    -9 turnovers in 2 games? Only winning 2 games by 2 points?? But we’re 2-0, and it’s all because of our defense…

    The good:
    -I don’t care who you are, it is HARD to be held to a 5.1 QB rating. Credit the D, and credit Mr. Weeden who had a nice little redemption game this week.
    -Trent Richardsons the man. But only ran 2 YPC against us.
    -Take away 3 plays and where was Ray Rice?
    -Losing JP sucks. Dunlaps ok, it’s good that LT isn’t really LT with a lefty QB. Even better? Bell did well replacing Dunlap this game.
    -Losing Kelce sucks, but our 2nd half was real good even with our backup in at C. This just makes us real thin now.
    -DRC and Nnamdi are on an island all the time and looking pretty good.
    -DeMeco’s DaMan. Our D as a whole is looking like it could be top 5 this year.
    -We really only gave up 9 in the first game (Pick 6 CLE). This game I don’t think we gave up a single sustained drive, our O just gave them some awesome field position following turnovers.
    -DeSean’s a little beat up
    -Maclins hurt
    -Johnson may be smaller than DeSean

    ^How many teams can win games with that many injuries to key players and 9 turnovers in 2 games?

    All I’m saying is that if this is us at our worst (and I don’t think we can get any worse), then we have a very promising year ahead of us.

  39. 39 Anders said at 9:57 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    Agree with everything. The only sustained drive was the first where the Ravens went no huddle and marched down and scored, after that the D tightened up.

  40. 40 TheRogerPodacter said at 1:31 PM on September 17th, 2012:

    didnt that drive also start on a short field because of a long KOR?

  41. 41 teltschikfakeout88 said at 9:55 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    Absolute Gold!!! Read the Ravens fan (singular) blog post

  42. 42 MatthewBryan said at 10:02 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    Having a DeSean Jackson who’s head is in the game is been a big difference maker so far for the Offense. Really glad to see the old Jackson back. The catch down the sideline was huge!

  43. 43 Ben Hert said at 10:29 AM on September 17th, 2012:


    Someone on Twitter mentioned it yesterday, but does the Kelce injury open the door for JamJax to make a comeback in Midnight Green? I know he’s been out of it for awhile, and I think he failed a physical for the Giants (not sure on that), but would we consider bringing him back as a backup to Reynolds until he gets into shape?

  44. 44 ian_no_2 said at 10:59 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    JamJax worked out for the Cowboys when they were short on centers and they passed. His playing weight is 330, very high for a Mudd line, and it would appear he’s ballooned from that.

  45. 45 ian_no_2 said at 10:56 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    Graham was only in for 9 plays! I saw at least three hurries. It would be interesting to know how many total pass plays he was in for.

    I hope he gets more plays next week. He’s bigger and more experienced than Hunt, and I’m not counting out Hunt but there may be a reason why his performance translates to regular season games more. Tapp is ok but I think he’s taking reps from the other guys, including Curry who could add something right away.

    Might the Eagles see if Casey Wiegmann is still in playing shape? He’s old enough that he played for the Colts before they hired Mudd, but he may still be better than Steve Vallos.

  46. 46 bridgecoach said at 11:12 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    more than twice as many snaps as last week…

  47. 47 Chris said at 11:08 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    With the injuries on the O-line I can see us bringing back Beeler and getting rid of one of the 3 WRs on PS. But, I hope Kelce looked worse than it turns out to be.

  48. 48 Ryan Jacob said at 11:08 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    We have to stop all of the turnovers. Vick is still the ringleader as far as the turnovers. He can’t stay on pace to have 48 interceptions and 24 fumbles this season. He is so darn lucky that the defense has bailed him out time and time again. We need to start turning yards into points and the turnovers are the number one problem in that regard. I’m still favoring Foles until I see him turn in a couple of disciplined performances in a row.

  49. 49 phillychuck said at 11:18 AM on September 17th, 2012:

    A couple of comments and an honest question:

    With all the Ravens barking about the “cheap shot” Eagles and the scab refs, re-watch the first quarter–on the second play from scrimmage, Ravens’ sub SAM linebacker Courtney Upshaw, #91 hits Vick a little late, but like a rocket at the knees. That’s as cheap a shot as there is, IMHO an attempt to injure, and, of course, since it’s Vick, there’s no call. Then on the series where the Eagles score the TD, Ngata hits Vick a step after the ball is gone (play before the 4th down conversion) and leads with his helmet into Vick’s ribs. Again, cheap shot, no call.

    Here’s the question–on Brown’s fumble, it looked like Vick missed the hand-off pocket and Brown never had the ball. Why isn’t that Vick’s fumble? Not a big deal, of course, but it always used to bug me when I played that the QB never got any blame for a bad exchange.

  50. 50 Anders said at 2:59 PM on September 17th, 2012:

    It was charged on Vick. I think every QB/RB handoff is always charged on the QB

  51. 51 Scott J said at 12:01 PM on September 17th, 2012:

    All our new guys have made a huge difference on D!

  52. 52 teltschikfakeout88 said at 2:16 PM on September 17th, 2012:

    Kelce out with a torn MCL and partially torn MCL per Kapadia. Best case scenario is let the MCL heal (how a torn MCL heals without surgery, I don’t know) in 4 till 6 weeks and play on a partially torn ACL. The other option is surgery on ACL and out for the year. At least these are the options reported for now.