Who Stepped Up and Who Stepped Back for Eagles vs. Redskins
At 1-0, the Eagles are off to a great start and have exceeded all expectations, both on offense and defense. It wasn't perfect and was too close for comfort at the end, but all that matters is the Eagles got the W and now have some success to build upon.
Many players stepped up in a huge way in this win, but some also were disappointing and contributed to the close call at the end. Here are five players who stepped up and stepped back against the Redskins.
Who Stepped Up: LeSean McCoy
LeSean McCoy put on possibly one of the best performances of his career on Monday. He carried the ball 31 times for 184 yards, 5.9 yards per carry, and one touchdown, falling just short of his career high in yardage.
McCoy consistently made plays out of nothing, finding ways to scamper away from defenders for first downs. As long as he is healthy, this Eagles offense will be hard to stop.
Who Stepped Up: DeSean Jackson
He recorded seven catches for 104 yards and one touchdown. Many of his yards came from runs after the catch, and he showed that he is still the elusive Pro Bowl talent he was in 2009 and 2010.
Jackson and Vick seem to have great chemistry; expect the two of them to have a great year.
Who Stepped Up: Michael Vick
Michael Vick managed the game exceptionally well against the Redskins. He took what the defense gave him and made plays with his cannon arm and agility.
He still is not perfect, as he struggled a bit against the blitz, but Vick was very effective, nonetheless. He went 15-25 for 203 yards and two touchdowns.
Vick also rushed for 54 yards and a score, showing he still has plenty left in the tank. Kelly's offense is a perfect fit for him, yet the question remains whether or not he can remain healthy this season.
Who Stepped Up: Mychal Kendricks
Defensive coordinator Billy Davis deserves a great deal of credit for figuring out how to effectively use Mychal Kendricks and his blazing speed.
Against the Redskins, Kendricks was a force to be reckoned with, especially when generating pressure on the quarterback.
Kendricks recorded 10 tackles, one tackle for loss, and two quarterback hits.
Who Stepped Up: Cary Williams
On Monday, Cary Williams was the best cornerback on the field. He looked the part of a member of a Super Bowl team and came up with several crucial plays for the Eagles.
Williams consistently batted down passes. And most notably, he recorded one quarterback hit and made a beautiful diving interception.
Williams is a bit of a streaky player, and it remains to be seen if he can keep up this level of play. But against the Redskins, he was spectacular.
Who Stepped Back: Patrick Chung
Patrick Chung did not stand out too much during the game in terms of pass coverage, but had perhaps the worst defensive play of the night. At the end of the game, he misjudged the angle of a pass from RG3 that led to a touchdown, pushing the score from 33-20 to 33-27.
It was a costly mistake that could have cost the Eagles the game had Avant not made a one-handed onside kick recovery. A veteran like Chung should not make mental errors like those and should have been able to bat the ball down, or even intercept it.
Who Stepped Back: Todd Herremans
Todd Herremans did not have his best night against the Redskins. On one play, he failed to properly pick up his assignment, and a free shot was allowed at the quarterback.
Herremans seems to be having trouble transitioning to the right guard position and does not look quite as capable there as he did playing left guard a few seasons ago. Hopefully his play will improve as the season goes on.
Who Stepped Back: Zach Ertz
Zach Ertz is a highly talented player, but he did not play well on Monday due to his penchant for dropping catches.
According to Mike Kaye of Bleedinggreennation.com, Ertz had at least two drops against the Redskins. He managed just one catch for 11 yards.
Celek still appears to be the most reliable tight end on the roster and is the far superior blocker.
Who Stepped Back: Jordan Poyer
It was not a good game for Jordan Poyer, who missed tackles and looked a bit lost out there. Most notably, Poyer was matched up on Leonard Hankerson but allowed too much space, which allowed RG3 to find Hankerson and give him a wide open lane to the end zone.
After falling all the way to the seventh round of the draft when he could have been taken as high as the fifth round, the Eagles had high expectations for Poyer. Poyer, however, did not show much against the Redskins on Monday.
Who Stepped Back: Riley Cooper
Cooper managed just two catches for 14 yards and failed to take advantage of the added attention given to DeSean Jackson.
He functioned mostly as a decoy, drawing attention on deep routes away from Brent Celek and Jackson, allowing both to score touchdowns on specific plays. Cooper will likely have better games moving forward as defenses place more emphasis upon stopping Jackson.
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