Philadelphia Eagles' Week 6 Biggest Winners and Losers
The Philadelphia Eagles are heading into their bye with a 3-3 record.
They’re not that good. The Eagles are poorly coached, their offensive line can’t protect their injury-prone quarterback who can’t hold on to the ball, their defense is overrated and their secondary is thin on the depth chart.
For the second consecutive week, the Eagles defense could not stop their opposition’s comeback drive.
Although there is a tremendous amount of frustration about Michael Vick’s turnovers, that is not what cost the team the game.
Again, in the fourth quarter, the Eagles were ahead and the defense blew the lead.
This week, against the Lions, the Eagles defense blew a 10-point lead with six minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
Unlike the Birds’ previous losses, there is no disputing that this week’s loss is solely on the shoulders of the defense.
Moreover, if the defense isn’t 100 percent to blame for the loss, a case could be made that the Eagles offensive line had a heavy hand in it.
The following slideshow will outline the Eagles’ best and worst Week 6 performers.
Winner: DeMeco Ryans
DeMeco Ryans turned in yet another solid performance.
Even though the team’s defense did not play well, No. 59 saved them on a few key plays. Perhaps most notably on the Lions’ game-tying fourth-quarter drive.
Though it was ultimately inconsequential, Ryans' stop on a 1st-and-10 screen prevented what could have been a huge gain for the Lions.
If you consider that, along with his third-down stops, it’s safe to say that DeMeco Ryans had the best day out of all of the Eagles’ defensive players.
Loser: Brent Celek
Although he’s been good so far this season, Brent Celek had a rough game against the Lions.
It doesn’t matter if the pass interference call against him was good or not—the fact is that it happened. There was enough contact on the play to throw the flag, even though most times, it probably wouldn’t have been called.
Celek also had a rough day blocking. Two of the sacks on Michael Vick came directly because of Celek’s inability to hold off the Lions pass-rush.
He also dropped a touchdown.
Incorporating Celek more into the offense has been a talking point in the past. He still deserves the attention he gets because one bad game doesn’t ruin his reputation. However, after this week, it’s clear that Brent Celek has some work to do.
Winner: Michael Vick
Though he turned the ball over three times, Michael Vick tied a career high with his third 300-yard passing game of the season.
Again, the Eagles offensive line could not give him the time he needed to make plays; but, when they did, he made the right decision.
Vick’s interceptions came on two bad throws over the middle. One was intended for Jason Avant, and the other was to DeSean Jackson.
However, Vick redeemed himself with his 59 yards on the ground and a 70-yard touchdown to Jeremy Maclin that gave the Birds a 10-point lead.
The Lions also failed to score on any of the turnovers. If they had, it would be a different story.
Michael Vick also did a much better job protecting the ball. He kept it in front of him, so even when he was hit by a defender he couldn’t see, the ball didn’t end up on the ground or in the hands of an opportunistic Lions defender.
Michael Vick’s stock is up this week.
Loser: Colt Anderson
Though Anderson is a special teams player, his performance against the Lions was inexcusable.
Anderson was often lost and in the wrong position.
Clearly, the Eagles’ lack of depth at the safety position cost them huge this week.
Perhaps this was no more clear than it was on the Lions’ final drive, when Anderson found himself closing in to prevent a short pass that ended up being a deep completion because there was no one to back up the cornerbacks.
It’s time to look into more depth at the safety position.
Winner: Mychal Kendricks
Again, Mychal Kendricks was great in coverage, holding Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew to three catches for 38 yards.
We didn’t hear his name too much, but Kendricks shut down one of Matthew Stafford’s biggest offensive weapons.
He was also a factor in the run defense.
When you consider that and Kendricks’ performances in the past—especially against the Giants, when he shut down Martellus Bennett—there is no question that Kendricks’ stock is up.
Loser: Brandon Hughes
Brand Hughes just got an extension, and his performance against the Lions leaves you wondering why.
During the fourth quarter, Hughes got beat—bad—by Nate Burleson for a touchdown that cut the Eagles’ 10-point lead to three.
We don’t hear his name too often, but when we did this week, it was because of a bad play that ultimately contributed to the team’s loss.
Hughes’ is easily one of the Eagles’ Week 6 biggest losers.
Winner: Nnamdi Asomugha
Asomugha probably had his best game as an Eagle against the Lions.
Not only did he have an interception in the first half, but Asomugha was all over Calvin Johnson, holding NFL’s best receiver to two catches in the first half.
Even when his man did have the catch the ball, Asomugha consistently reached and swung to knock it loose.
His performance this week doesn’t redeem him for his shortcomings as an Eagle in the past, but his stock is up heading into the bye.
Loser: Fletcher Cox
Fletcher Cox has to know that he’s an important part of his team’s defense.
To get disqualified because of two consecutive bad penalties on extra-point attempts is inexcusable.
Can you call that a rookie mistake?
Does he deserve a pass here?
Probably not. That kind of thing is egregious.
When Cox goes out of the game, the NFL’s best defensive line rotation loses one of its biggest contributors.
Winner: Jeremy Maclin
Maclin had a big game.
He was open more often than he was thrown to, and he continuously beat the Lions secondary on comeback routes.
Oh, yeah. Maclin also had a 70-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles offense has the potential to make a lot of big plays every time it takes the field. Usually, it’s DeSean Jackson who is catching the ball in those situations. However, it’s clear that Maclin also has the same ability to get open, make the catch and take off for a score.
Loser: The Defense
Where have Jason Babin and Trent Cole been?
When are they going to start getting sacks? Where has this pass rush been that everyone’s been lauding?
This week, the Lions offense had a bad first half because Stafford was awful, not because of the pressure from the Eagles defensive line.
For the second week in a row, the Eagles defense blew a lead late in the game. The only difference is that this time, it was a 10-point lead.
There is no excusing their poor performance.
I'll give them credit for having played well in the first half, but a lot of the Lions' inability to move the ball falls on Matthew Stafford's shoulders.
Falling apart with the lead and the game on the line is outrageous. It's clear now that last week wasn't a fluke. They're just not that good.
These guys need to step it up from here on out. For as much credit as they get, they’ve underachieved.
Loser: The Offensive Line
Michael Vick has not had any time to make plays this year. That’s a fact.
This week, he was pressured, hurried and hit more times than you’d like to see.
The Birds offensive line has been lackluster, to say the least. It would be a different story if they were able to come up big in overtime, but the fact is that Vick got sacked on the team’s opening drive in OT and then had to throw the ball away because of pressure.
Michael Vick certainly deserves a lot of the blame for his mistakes this year, but if a quarterback is going to be successful, his offensive line needs to protect him.
If the blame for this week’s loss to the Lions doesn’t fall on the defense, the second biggest culprit is the O-line.
The Eagles aren’t that good, and the lack of protection is a big part of that.
If the Birds want to rebound after the bye, the offensive line is going to have to make some significant changes.