It was ugly, but we’ll take it. The Philadelphia Eagles beat NFC East rivals and defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants 19-17 to improve to 3-1. This was one of the closer games of football that I have seen in a long time, where a few vital referee decisions and (two) missed field goals had the final say on the result. Whether winning by 2 or by 20, there are always positives and negatives to take from an Eagles’ performance, and here are the Ballers and Stallers from this Sunday Night Football clash:
Baller: LeSean McCoy
After a slow first half, Shady got given more touches in the second half, and made much more of his chances. This season, we haven’t been seeing him score touchdowns like he did last season, but he is definitely bringing the same threat and elusiveness that we know and love.
With his killer juke and signature stiff arms, McCoy finished the night with 123 yards from 23 carries, at an average of 5.3 yards per carry. Andy Reid needs to keep giving McCoy the ball, and not just later in games when we are ahead. We need our All-Pro RB in the game all the time, showing the opposing defenses why you just can’t touch LeSean McCoy.
McCoy’s Overall Grade: A+
Staller: Kickoff/Punt Special Teams
This applies to both the returning units, and the coverage units. Whether it be Kickoffs, Punts or anything involving them, the Eagles were shocking. David Wilson, the Giants’ returner, was able to give the G-men great field position consistently, because the Eagles coverage unit just could not bring him down before the 35 yard line.
Also, on returning, Damaris Johnson looked very stuck out on the field as Punt Returner, while Brandon Boykin could never get past the 25 yard line on Kickoff returns. That shows that there is huge room for improvement for the Special Teams in Philadelphia, and it will help to have good field position against a physical defense like the Steelers next week.
Special Teams’ Overall Grade: D-
Baller: Michael Vick
That’s three now. Three ridiculously close games of football that the Eagles’ have managed to scrape past with wins. With the changing of a couple of passes or field goals, we’d be 0-4. Sure, the Eagles aren’t 0-4, or even 2-2, but in all honesty there are other 3-1 teams that have looked a lot more consistent and just played better. A large reason for the Eagles getting into tight positions to almost lose, is turnovers.
However, what a stage for Michael Vick to change his game and play smarter, more mature, and with no turnovers. Not a single one. On Sunday Night Football against one of the toughest Defensive Lines in the league behind our own. Vick did everything the fans have been asking for since Week 1, he didn’t make risky throws into double coverage, he never looked flustered in the pocket (he did get sacked twice, but with an O-line that has two 2nd-stringers), and most of all, Vick beat the Super Bowl champions. 19/30, with 241 yards and 1 TD; that was Vick’s line. Not a lot of yards, but this game was never going to be an offensive shoot-out with the caliber of these defenses. If Vick can keep this up, we’ll be looking at a Playoff run for sure.
Vick’s Overall Grade: A
Staller: Demetress Bell
Missing blocks, getting cut straight through, and looking very dazed out on the field describes Bell’s performance on Sunday. He let through so many rushers and got beaten so often, that in some cases it looked like he wanted Vick to be sacked. I hated losing Jason Peters to injury so much, but now I hate it even more when our replacement looks like a non-drafted Rookie out of a Division II school. That is not an exaggeration, or at least, it doesn’t appear to be, but we do know that Bell was a decent tackle for the Bills in previous seasons, so maybe he is needing time to adjust to Howard Mudd’s system. Regardless of this, Bell needs to improve for his own good, and for the good of the team.
Bell’s Overall Grade: D
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