Who Balled & Who Stalled? Week 3 Grades for Key Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles were handed their first loss of the 2012 campaign by none other than old friend Kevin Kolb and the Arizona Cardinals. A 27-6 loss where the Eagles’ problems from the first two games remained, but this time there was no last-minute drive or astute defense to keep the Birds in the match; the Cardinals simply exploited the Eagles’ mistakes. Here are the ‘Ballers’ and ‘Stallers’ from the Eagles’ disappointing Week 3 defeat to the Cardinals:

Baller: Damaris Johnson

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Johnson escapes a tackle vs the Cardinals (Photo via AP)

This only really applies to the rookie’s performance on offense rather than special teams, where he lost a fumble and had minimal effect in the punt return game. However, as a receiver, Johnson had a great day, catching 5 balls for a total of 84 yards. With most of the attention on DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek, the rookie Johnson was able to get in some nice space for Michael Vick to throw into. Johnson had a great Preseason and Training Camp, and this performance was a great statement for the rookie to make in his first extended regular-season action. He’ll have to improve on his Punt Returning and ball security though.

Johnson’s Grade (as WR): B+

Staller: Michael Vick

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Vick got hit 21 times (Photo via AP)

Vick was quite disappointing in this match, but he really wasn’t much different to his first two performances, it’s just that this time the Eagles couldn’t stay in the game long enough for him to have a last-minute drive for the winner. After all, that’s the main reason for the Birds having two wins under their belt so far. But, in terms of his statistics, Vick was below average; with 217 yards for no TDs, surprisingly (and positively) no Interceptions, but the big killer was two Fumbles, one of which was returned 93 yards for a Touchdown. This match just sums up Vick’s season so far. Turnovers, turnovers and turnovers. It is unfortunate that in the one game he manages to throw into his own team’s hands rather than the opposing secondary, he still coughs up the ball twice to the other team. Vick needs to work on his ball security, consistency, and above-all, his accuracy. He sprayed some passes everywhere in this match, granted he was under pressure, but he has the legs to escape and often he stayed in the pocket, only to miss the receiver by over two feet. One positive aspect that Vick showed in this game was his pass decision-making. Far more often than in the previous matches, Vick threw at the right time, to the right man and with lower coverage; and this is the main reason why he had no INTs in the game. However, if Vick is going to restart his winning ways, he’ll need to come back next weekend against the Giants with some vital changes.

Vick’s Overall Grade: C-

Baller: Jason Babin 

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Babin sacking Kevin Kolb (Photo – US Presswire)

Babin did what he does best on Sunday—pressuring the quarterback. He was credited with 1.5 sacks, but he generated a lot more rushes and pressures that forced Kolb to make quicker, tougher decisions. Despite Kolb’s accuracy in the match, Babin performed admirably and did his job well. On most days his constant pressure could have caused several Interception opportunities for the Eagles, but unfortunately Kevin Kolb had a very tidy day for Arizona.

Babin’s Overall Grade: A-

Staller: Demetress Bell

I guarantee that with Jason Peters healthy this season, the Eagles would be a comfortable 3-0 and would have easily beaten the Browns and the Ravens, rather than the 1-point close shaves that were experienced in the first two weeks. However, with Dunlap’s injury, Bell has come in at LT as a 3rd-stringer, and he has played like one. He has been slow, sluggish and often left dazed by the quicker and more agile defensive ends in the NFL. Bell’s atrocious play needs to change for Vick to be safer and McCoy to be opened up a safety valve in the screen game. Eagles fans need Bell to improve and his—and the whole offensive line—job will be made even harder next week with a matchup against a top Giants pass rush with the likes of Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and for Bell in particular, Jason Pierre-Paul. That will be the toughest matchup for the Eagles next week, and having a poor tackle could harm Vick, McCoy and the team as a whole.

Bell’s Overall Grade: D

Baller: LeSean McCoy

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Shady McCoy running against the Cards (Photo via ESPN)

Shady was consistent and did well with minimal carries on Sunday. He needs to be used far more often than Andy Reid currently does, as only 13 carries is not a good enough number for a Pro Bowl RB like LeSean McCoy to be given. He racked up 70 yards on his 13 carries, with an average of 5.4 yards per carry and a long run of 14 yards. This shows that he didn’t have any big plays of 20+ yards, but he was consistently running for long distances that puts the team in good 2nd-down situations. I want to see Shady run straight at the Giants all day next week, giving Vick a rest against the tireless, effective Giants pass rush, and letting a superstar tailback have a big day for the rivalry match.

McCoy’s Overall Grade: A

So thanks for reading, check out our Twitter, @KhandymanSports, and our Facebook page by clicking hereFeel free to comment with your thoughts on the team and be sure to share this post around to fellow Eagles fans!

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Categories: Beat Writing, Eagles, Editorial, NFL

Author:Will Eddowes

I'm 17 years old, from Auckland, New Zealand. I am a huge sports enthuasiast, particularly the various codes of football, basketball, and cricket. I also like travel and music :D.

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