The game really wasn’t that bad. The Eagles should have won, but Vick did too much, the run defense broke down (I’m amazed it lasted that long) and NBC screwed the Eagles out of a replay.
I’ve got a couple of questions, and thankfully the video has answers.
So how did the Eagles defense keep Michael Turner in check for 3 quarters?
The defensive line won the battles. Cullen Jenkins blew by backup center Joe Hawley, Jenkins, Dixon and Patterson got good penetration, and Trent Cole abused Sam Baker all night long. For most of the game, Turner couldn’t get past the line of scrimmage because there were simply too many Eagles in the backfield. This goal line run by Turner is a great example:
That picture aside, the linebackers still looked bad. Casey Matthews actually looked better, getting out of some blocks and making some good reads, but that was offset by Jamar Chaney having a bad night. More on that later.
How did Mike Vick not get sacked?
It would be easy to think it’s because the Eagles used extra blockers or lots of chip and releases. But surprisingly Vick had time to make big passes with only five blockers.
Of course, it helps that the Falcons only rushed four. But that just shows how dangerous the Eagles can be. The Falcons dropped 7 and the passing attack was still lethal. Rush 5 and it just opens up more room.
The thing to love is not just that there’s no pressure, it’s that there are massive viewing lanes for Vick to see down field. And with such huge lanes, it’s great to see Vick exhibit patience and throw the ball rather than tuck it and run. It’s exciting. So exciting in fact that even Jason Peters is hustling down field to block: