All the hype surrounding the much anticipated (by some) return of Michael Vick did nothing to prevent the Eagles from playing sloppy football once again. Turnovers and penalties plagued them all night. As did the unbalanced offense we have all come to love. Basically, none of the bounces went the Birds way. It reminded me of one of those mid-season clunkers against an inferior opponent that Reid-coached teams are famous for. Here’s what I saw:
- No Westbrook – I was glad to see this. Won’t play next week either.
- They won the game 33-32 – I prefer a win, no matter how they performed.
- The total offensive yardage -431 is nice, but they should have scored 50 points.
- Jason Avant – Is always open and catches everything (5/92). He will be a major weapon this season. Remember, he’s in a contract year. Guys playing for their next payday have a tendency to blow up.
- Asante Samuel – A pick, a forced fumble and a knockout hit. He also dinged his wrist. Was very active and around the ball a lot.
- Trent Cole – Didn’t record a sack, but was in the backfield the entire first half. He makes the whole D-line better when he’s on his game.
- Bunk and Patterson – As usual, very strong against the run. Patterson even had a sack.
- Maclin – His best outing thus far. Was removed from first-team punt return duty, but caught 4 balls for 53 yards.
- Stacy Andrews – Hey, he was out there.
- Jason Babin – Continues to impress. Forced a fumble and was in on a four tackles. He’s earned a spot. Bryan Smith could be in trouble, although he did have a nice interception.
- DeSean Jackson – He’s good… really good.
- Akers – He didn’t miss.
- Herremans to have surgery – Remember when I wrote this last week? A stress reaction turned into a stress fracture. Who knows when he’ll be back. This training staff is leaving a lot to be desired lately. At least Nick Cole has experience.
- Turnovers – Three of them and a safety led to 19 points. Terrible. The lateral to Shady was a comedy of errors.
- Red Zone woes – No Westy, no Weaver, but I am sick and tired of seeing Akers trot onto the field. This must be solved.
- Jason Peters – Got pushed around until they started sliding help his way. I realize he’s missed time, but he needs to remove his $60 million head from his ass. ASAP.
- Donovan McNabb – I’m being overly critical with Don because he needs to be sharper. His throws were erratic early, but his ability to escape bailed out the offensive line all night. Threw a bad pick which set up a Jags touchdown. Overall, his numbers (21/36, 244, 1TD, 1INT) were okay, but he must guide the offense into the end zone. And no, I DON’T WANT VICK TO START.
- The shuffling of quarterbacks – Don’t like this one bit. Don has problems with slow starts. It doesn’t help when he’s not under center for five or six plays. My hope is Vick will be inserted after the first two or three offensive series. Mixing him in from the outset will cause more headaches, in my humble opinion.
- Special teams – Very poor. Too many long returns and penalties. Work in progress.
- Kevin Curtis - Not enough production. Either he’s not getting open, or the quarterbacks aren’t seeing him. Whatever the case, I can see JMac pushing for a starting spot late in the season.
- Justice – He wasn’t awful, but as I stated earlier, McNabb’s legs got him out of trouble on many occasions. Bottom line: The dude needs to be much better if he’s the starter on opening day.
- Moise Fokou – Two costly penalties for the youngster. He’s reacting when he should be thinking.
- The Vick experiment was like watching the premiere episode of your favorite TV show. It’s thrilling for the first few minutes, then it cools down, and finally you end up slightly disappointed. Vick looked fine. I just don’t see how he’s going to help this team if he only gets 10 to 15 snaps per game.
- The linebackers as a whole seemed to be on the same page. Covered up the tight ends, except for one play. Played the run well.
- Who’s the third halfback? Buckley and Booker didn’t do much. Buck was active on special teams, though.
- Injuries: Macho (ankle sprain), Gibson (ankle), Patrick (knee).
This team has a lot to get right before September 13th. They make too many mistakes. There is still time to correct the errors and focus on details, but they have to kick it into high gear. Time is a wastin’.