In a disappointing loss to former head coach Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs, the Philadelphia Eagles have gone to a 1-2 record after three weeks in the 2013 season. The offense suffered from five turnovers and some aspects of the defense, particularly the tackling were very poor. On the positive side, the Eagles pass-rushing group had an electric game and LeSean McCoy has solidified his place as a top back in the NFL. Here are the ballers and stallers from the Eagles’ loss to the Chiefs on Thursday Night Football:
Baller: LeSean McCoy
LeSean McCoy seems to be returning to the form that he held in 2011, in fact, he could be even better this season. McCoy has already amassed 395 rushing yards in three games for 2013, with 119 receiving yards and 2 rushing touchdowns. On Thursday night, Shady ran for 158 of those rushing yards, including a 41-yard rushing TD. McCoy is on pace for a 2000 yard rushing season, and while we do not want to get ahead of ourselves, we must admit that he has looked scary-good so far this season. Against the Chiefs, his vicious cut-back skills and elusiveness were on display as he turned what seemed like no-gainers into 5-yard juke runs, and dismantled the Chiefs defense.
Despite what is claimed to have been a high ankle sprain sending him to the locker-room midway through the game, McCoy returned to add the long touchdown and several more great runs, which suggest that he won’t bring any threatening injuries away from the game. Thursday Night Football capped three fantastic performances in three games for LeSean McCoy, who could be well on his way to a rushing title.
Staller: Michael Vick
Michael Vick had performed admirably in his first two games for 2013, showing Eagles fans and the league that he is suited to Chip Kelly’s offense and that it could reinvigorate his career. However, as seems to be the custom with Vick, he is never far from letting the fans down and making mistakes not associated with a 12-year veteran. In JaMarcus Russell-esque fashion, Vick threw 201 yards with a poor 43.3% passing accuracy, 1 TD, 2 INTs, and a terrible 21.7 QB rating. The numbers do not lie, Michael Vick had his poorest game in an Eagles jersey for quite some time. I still believe that Vick has what it takes to lead this team back to winning ways, but he must eliminate these mistakes that have plagued him for a few seasons now, and become the reliable athletic QB that he started out as in Philly.
Baller: Vinny Curry
Young Eagles defensive-end Vinny Curry made a solid contribution to the team’s defensive effort on Thursday night. With one sack, one tackle and many pressures; Curry helped to disrupt the Chiefs’ offense and make an impact on the game in some fashion. Curry was the team’s second round pick in 2012, a star end out of Marshall University. Curry had 8 tackles and no sacks in his rookie season, without much of a chance to prove himself. Curry played well on Thursday, and as a second round pick it would be no surprise to see Coach Kelly utilise him on the defensive line in 2013.
Staller: Patrick Chung
The new Eagles safety has been a favorite of Chip Kelly for a while, as Chung played for Kelly at Oregon, and the coach was quick to acquire Chung in Free Agency this past offseason. While Chung was astute in his first two games with the Eagles, he disappointed in his third game on Thursday night. Most notable of his mistakes were two missed tackles on Donnie Avery that led to large gains from short routes, and Chung’s tackling was a weak link for the defense that was otherwise impressive on Thursday. Chung still has ground to stand on as a legitimate starter in this league, but he may need to change his ways if he is going to help this team win games.
Baller: Jason Avant
Avant has been a fantastic layer for the Philadelphia Eagles organization, into his eighth season in midnight green. Avant has been known for his consistency, particularly with his hands as a 3rd down specialist when the quarterback needs an assured receiver. While he has never been an All-Pro calibre player, nor an Eagles top receiving spot, Avant has always given his best for the team and played like a true professional. Thursday night was an example of Avant’s best; he caught five passes for 87 yards and one touchdown. Avant has been a reliable receiver for Vick since he took the reins as starting quarterback, and nights like these show Eagles fans that Avant is worth keeping around the team.