Philadelphia Eagles' Week 1 Highs and Lows

Bernie OllilaContributor IIISeptember 9, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 09: Nose tackle Ahtyba Rubin #71 and cornerback Sheldon Brown #24 of the Cleveland Browns force a fumble by quarterback Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the fourth quarter season opener at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 9, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Eagles defeated the Browns 17-16. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Michael Vick was awful in Week 1.

In the first half—especially the first quarter—the absence of Jason Peters was evident. Vick was getting hardly any time to make plays, and he was constantly on the ground.

That’s not to say that he was innocent.

As the game wore on, Michael Vick was getting more time, but he was panicking and erratically playing as if he wasn’t getting any at all.

It’s safe to say that if the Eagles would have lost, there’s no question that it would have been Vick’s fault. As a matter of fact, the Eagles should have lost because of a dropped interception Vick threw in the end zone that should have been caught by Browns rookie LB, LJ Fort.

It’s also not completely Michael Vick’s fault.

If anyone played worse than Vick, aside from Weeden, it was the Birds’ offensive line.

It felt like every time LeSean McCoy had a huge run, there was holding call to nullify it.

But that wasn’t the only problem the O-line had. They weren’t in sync with one another or their quarterback. Their protection was breaking down. They were lining up in the neutral zone. King Dunlap looked lost in the first half. Veterans were making poor, costly decisions.

On top of all of that, Andy Reid did not run the football nearly as much as he should have. After all, it’s not exactly as though the Eagles were trailing by a huge deficit at any point.

Again, it’s the same old Andy and the same questionable play-calling.

It’s not all bad, though. If you looked, there are bright spots—especially on defense.

After getting beat on a slant early in the game, Nnamdi Asomugha kicked his game into overdrive.

On a trick play, Browns WR Travis Benjamin looked like he had the entire Eagles defense beat and was well on his way to the end zone. That’s until Nnamdi came out of nowhere and put the brakes on him—hard. After that, Nnamdi didn’t look too bad at all.

On the other side of Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had two picks and looked like a blanket a lot of the time. I think it’s safe to say that he’s not a vulnerability at all, even if you consider his subpar performances from the last two seasons.

Kurt Coleman also came to play. He had a pick in the red zone, a huge stop on a 60-yard punt, and he derailed the Trent Richardson train—albeit he lost his helmet in the process—and didn’t look like he missed a step.

After a lackluster preseason, DeMeco Ryans made his presence felt, most notably on a 3rd-and-short stop on Trent Richardson (immediately after the play in which Richardson knocked Coleman’s helmet off).

But all things considered, the Eagles should have lost on Sunday.

With so many things that went wrong, it’s hard to attribute that disgraceful performance to any one specific shortcoming.

How many bad games can Michael Vick have?

You can excuse him this week and chalk his poor performance up to rust and a shaky offensive line, but if he is as bad in the next two weeks as he was today, it may be time for a change.

How long will it take the offensive line to get into a rhythm?

They may never be solid.

How long will Andy Reid continue to not let LeSean McCoy carry the ball?

If the Eagles want to win, McCoy needs to carry the ball a lot more than he did today.