Tough loss to take. For most of the game, Michael Turner was controlled. For most of the game, Jeremy Maclin was in control. For most of the game, Matt Ryan did not play well. For most of the game, Vick did.
But that’s most of the game, and it’s a 60 minute game, and it all fell apart for the Eagles.
Mike Kafka played very well in relief of a concussed Vick, so it’s not fair to say that had Vick been in they would have won. Maybe they would have, or maybe Vick would have fumbled again. There’s a lot to take from this game.
The negatives come as no shock:
-All of the linebackers once again looked bad. Casey Matthews continues to be overmatched. Moise Fokou offers no help. Brian Rolle got a lot of snaps in practice, the coaching staff was so impressed that when game time came they barely put him in. Keenan Clayton did nothing. There’s a reason they’re currently unemployed, but at what point do you bring in a guy Lofa Tatupu or Dhani Jones for at least a look? They’re getting nothing at LB, they’ve got to try something.
-Covering tight ends is still huge problem. More on that for a future article. Jarrad Page got destroyed by Tony Gonzalez, but you knew that would happen. Nnamdi Asomugha’s interception came when he was covering Gonzalez. They should have stuck him on Gonzo more.
-Despite Vick’s struggles, the play making machine keeps churning. Maclin was fantastic. Duh, but it’s great seeing him back at 100% after not doing much in St. Louis. With the depth on this team, it’s going to be a different guy each week, which is the way the Eagles want it. Last week Shady McCoy was the key cog, this week it was Maclin. Next week, who knows. I’m sure Andy Reid has an idea, the Giants certainly don’t. Maybe it’s DeSean Jackson. Maybe it’s Steve Smith, who will have a chip on his shoulder. Maybe it’ll be McCoy, who’s also got one.
-The offensive line was improved. At least that’s my initial thoughts, tomorrow I’ll look at the game tape. I didn’t think it was great by any means, but it held it’s own against what should be a good Falcons pass rush.
-Vick played poorly, the LBs suck, the safeties aren’t good, the offensive line is a huge work in progress… and yet they barely lost. This team is just so good at they can in fact gloss over some glaring issues. The run defense has to get better though, because like last night it will cost them a game, and you don’t want it to be in the playoffs. But the pass rush and the CBs made Matt Ryan look pedestrian, the WRs are unstoppable and the run game more than gets the job done. The sky really is the limit for this team so long as they don’t shoot themselves in the foot.
Around the League
-I’m done with the Colts. And the Chiefs. These teams are pathetic. Micheal Lombardi called the Seahawks “an expansion team” and it is tough to argue with that.
-The 3 most prolific QBs in the league so far are Tom Brady (no shock there), Cam Newton (complete shock there), and whoever is facing the Packers and Patriots, the latter being absolutely no surprise. New England couldn’t stop a pass last year and this year they look even worse. Chad Henne lit them up, and then they had no semblance of an answer for Vincent Jackson. Granted, Vincent Jackson is not an easy man to stop, but the Patriots didn’t have a chance. As much as we rag on the Eagles atrocious run defense, you can win a Super Bowl with it. You can not win a Super Bowl with a horrendous pass defense, not the way the league is now.
-THE BEARS ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE. And that is a good team with a terrible offensive line and a questionable secondary. I felt bad for Jay Cutler in the 4th quarter, he just didn’t have a chance. The transitive property leads me to believe the Saints will beat the Falcons 60-6.
-Enjoy it while it lasts Bills and Redskins fans. Because it’s not going to.
-The 49ers needed two special teams touchdowns to beat the inept Seahawks. And the Cowboys need overtime to beat the 49ers. Just sayin’.