Eagles vs. Browns: Final Report Card, Player Grades for Philadelphia
There was absolutely nothing pretty about it, but the Philadelphia Eagles narrowly edged out the Cleveland Browns by a 17-16 score, overcoming a career-worst four interceptions from quarterback Michael Vick.
The defense made life miserable for rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden and the Eagles are 1-0. That's all that really matters, right?
Michael Vick: D
The only reason Michael Vick did not get an F is because the Philadelphia Eagles won the game on a 91-yard game-winning drive by Vick late in the fourth quarter—a drive that was helped out immensely by a 15-yard Cleveland Browns penalty, a lucky fumble recovery by Michael Vick, and a gift-from-heaven dropped interception by Browns linebacker L.J. Fort.
Vick set a career-high with 56 passes, which actually was his first ever game with at least 40 pass attempts in which his team won. His numbers (29 of 56 for 317 yards, 2 TD, 4 INT) come out to a 51.0 passer rating, which is a number JaMarcus Russell would laugh at. He is a good threat to run, as he picked up 32 yards on the ground and extended many plays with his legs.
Vick’s four interceptions could easily have been five, and after starting the game 6-for-6, he completed 46 percent of his passes after that. The Browns may have an underrated defense and the Eagles may have a less-than-spectacular offensive line, but there was really nothing I saw from Vick that makes me think the Eagles can compete against quality NFL teams.
LeSean McCoy: A-
LeSean McCoy had a terrific game today, especially considering the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive line struggled to block for him.
McCoy carried the ball 20 times for 110 yards and added six receptions for 26 yards out of the backfield. That puts him on pace for a 2,000-yards from scrimmage season, and he was good enough to make up for the fact that Michael Vick threw four interceptions.
McCoy did lose a key fumble on his first carry of the game but other than that, he was terrific.
Bryce Brown: C
Bryce Brown has all but beat out third-year running back Dion Lewis for the number two spot in the Eagles’ offense, but he didn’t really make much of an impact. Brown had just two carries for three yards and lost a yard on his carry late in the game with the Eagles trying to take the lead.
DeSean Jackson: B
DeSean Jackson had a terrific first half, catching three passes for 68 yards, including a big 35-yard reception right before halftime that helped the Philadelphia Eagles score their first touchdown of the game. He still does tend to disappear at times during the four quarters, and it would be nice to see more than nine yards from him in the second half.
Jeremy Maclin: A
Jeremy Maclin turned in a great performance for the Eagles today, catching seven passes for 96 yards and a touchdown while battling through a pair of minor injuries he suffered during the game. Maclin caught a big 46-yard over-the-shoulder catch in the final drive before halftime and then he scored the first touchdown for the Eagles when Michael Vick hit him in the end zone for a score.
Jason Avant: B
Jason Avant has always been one of the more reliable and dependable third receivers, and while he won’t break any big gains, he’s a terrific possession receiver. Avant finished with four catches for 27 yards, including a big third-and-two catch with the Eagles driving to score late in the game.
Damaris Johnson: B
For an undrafted rookie free agent who battled his way onto the 53-man roster and earned the spot as the fourth receiver, Damaris Johnson’s total line of one catch for 10 yards is a solid total.
Brent Celek: A-
Brent Celek has always been one of my favorite Philadelphia Eagles, because he’s a big, physical player who is tough to bring down. Celek finished the day with four catches for 65 yards, including a 28-yard reception and another one near the end zone where he all but dragged his defender an extra three or four yards.
Clay Harbor: A
Clay Harbor has never quite been what the Philadelphia Eagles hoped he would be when they picked him in the 2010 NFL draft, but he finished today with three receptions for 16 yards and the big 10-yard game-winner with just over a minute to play that keeps the Eagles in the win column.
King Dunlap: C
I’d like to see more film before I can give a full evaluation but from what I saw from King Dunlap, he was fairly mediocre. Dunlap is essentially a fifth-year backup trying to replace the best offensive tackle in the game, and it’s doubtful he will be the answer for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Evan Mathis: C-
I’m afraid Evan Mathis is really going to struggle this season without Peters next to him. Mathis—like the rest of the interior offensive line—failed to protect Michael Vick today. Mathis also added a false start.
Jason Kelce: D
Like Mathis, Kelce was very underwhelming in the run blocking game. He and Vick messed up a center-snap exchange, and Kelce was flagged for a holding penalty. The one thing I do like about Kelce that you didn’t really see from Jamaal Jackson—Kelce is quick enough to get downfield and give LeSean McCoy blocks.
Danny Watkins: D-
Danny Watkins looked awful today, and I’m starting to become concerned that the former first round pick won’t ever live up to expectations. He got away with a false start and then a holding penalty in the end zone that should have resulted in a safety, and he was whistled once for a penalty.
Todd Herremans: B
Todd Herremans was the only one of the Eagles offensive linemen to have an ok game, and it’s largely because he didn’t get flagged for any penalties.
Trent Cole: A
Trent Cole is just a straight up phenomenal defensive end in every aspect of the game, whether you see it in the stat sheet or not. His numbers today aren’t overwhelming (just two tackles and one for a loss with no sacks), but he was a big part of Brandon Weeden’s miserable performance, and Cole was going up against All-Pro offensive tackle Joe Thomas. And how could you not love Cole knocking Thomas backwards that one play? (although it was negated by a Jason Babin penalty)
Cullen Jenkins: A
Cullen Jenkins has always been one of the more underrated defensive linemen in the NFL, and he had another very good performance today. Jenkins picked up three tackles, including two for a loss, and he was a big reason why Trent Richardson came away with just 39 rushing yards at 2.1 yards per rush.
Derek Landri: C
I don’t remember hearing Derek Landri’s name once today and looking at the stat sheet shows me he had no tackles. He did help the Philadelphia Eagles hold Richardson to little or no impact, but it wasn’t the finest of games for Landri personally.
Jason Babin: B
Jason Babin is a very one-dimensional player who can rush the passer and that’s about it, but he’s a spectacular player in getting to the quarterback. Babin had four tackles, a sack, and although he did commit a big penalty (and he led the team in penalties last year), I don’t think Weeden enjoyed seeing Cole and Babin coming at him off the edge.
Fletcher Cox: A
Fletcher Cox is a big part of the Eagles’ tremendous defensive line rotation, and he kicked off his NFL career by registering a sack in his first game with the team.
Mychael Kendricks: A
To say I was impressed with Mychal Kendricks today is an understatement. The Philadelphia Eagles haven’t drafted a quality linebacker since—well, I really don’t know. But Kendricks looks to be the kind of guy that can start for the next decade or so. He registered five tackles today in his first NFL game.
DeMeco Ryans: A
I’ve been a little worried about DeMeco Ryans after an underwhelming preseason and considering that he did suffer a rather serious Achilles injury less than two years ago. But he seems to be the leader on defense the team has needed, and he picked up five tackles, including one for a loss in his debut with the Eagles.
Akeem Jordan: B
Akeem Jordan is nothing to brag about as a linebacker, and one tackle all game is the kind of production you have to expect from a guy who really shouldn’t be starting in this league. But he’s on the team for his special teams play, and he had a great day there, including the nice open-field tackle he had on Joshua Cribbs after a 61-yard Chas Henry punt.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: A
Wow, was I impressed with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie today. He’s the biggest of the players on the Philadelphia Eagles that will be hitting free agency after 2012, and he needs to have a strong season with the team after his disappointing 2011 campaign.
Not only did DRC have an interception, but he had two of them own—his first two picks with the Eagles (he had zero last year). Both came on essentially the same kind of play—Brandon Weeden thinking he could throw one past the 6’2” DRC, but both times, DRC jumped up and came down with it.
Nnamdi Asomugha: B
Nnamdi Asomguha quietly had a really nice day in coverage. He limited Greg Little to zero catches all day, and the Cleveland Browns as a team threw for just 118 passing yards against the Eagles’ cornerback tandem all day.
Brandon Boykin: B
Brandon Boykin didn’t record any interceptions or make more than two tackles but he had a solid day as a slot corner, and he has great speed, which is a huge upgrade for the Eagles over Joselio Hanson.
Nate Allen: A-
I have high expectations for Nate Allen this season, especially now that he’s fully healed after the injury he suffered late in his 2010 rookie campaign. Allen picked up five tackles, including one for a loss, in today’s win.
Kurt Coleman: A
I’ve never been sold on Kurt Coleman, but he really seems to have a knack for the ball. Coleman had two interceptions today (every time that he gets an interception in a game, he seems to get two or three) —the first one on a tipped ball with the Cleveland Browns threatening to score and the last one on a horribly-thrown pass by Brandon Weeden that ended the game.
Alex Henery: D
Alex Henery made a 42-yard field goal that proved to be the difference in the game but then he also missed a 45-yarder late in the game that he absolutely needed to make. Fortunately, the Philadelphia Eagles still won the game, because if they hadn’t, Henery would be the most hated man in Philly.
Chas Henry: A
I watched the whole game and I didn’t realize afterwards just how impressive Chas Henry had been until I checked the stat sheet: six punts for 330 yards, an average of 55 yards per punt, and three of which traveled at least 60 yards in the air. That’s absolutely phenomenal, especially for a guy that barely made the team. It actually sets a new Eagles record:
Brandon Boykin: C
Two kick returns for 23 yards is a very underwhelming way to begin his career as a kick returner.
Damaris Johnson: C
Damaris Johnson returned one punt for six yards and fair caught another one I thought he should have returned.
Jon Dorenbos: A
You didn’t notice him, so that’s terrific.
I really try to be supportive of Andy Reid, because I think he’s too harshly perceived in Philadelphia. But sometimes I really wonder what in the world he is thinking.
Reid called 65 pass plays today to just 23 rushes. That’s with a 32-year old quarterback who measures in at 5’11” and maybe 200 pounds, an offensive line that really struggled to pass block for Michael Vick, and an All-Pro running back who can handle a full workload.
LeSean McCoy did fumble the football on his first carry of the season but I don’t think that’s why Reid was reluctant to give the ball to him. McCoy finally got his fair share of touches in the fourth quarter and he made the most of them, averaging 5.5 yards per carry for the day. Still, beating the 4-12 Cleveland Browns by one point is not impressive. The Eagles should have win this one by 30.