Full Week 3 Stat Predictions for the Philadelphia Eagles' Offensive Players
So, what have we learned after two weeks of Philadelphia Eagles football?
First, to paraphrase the immortal Dennis Green, they are who we thought they were: A dizzying and dynamic offense paired with a porous and mostly putrid defense.
Therefore, regardless of the outcome, it should be safe to bet the over in most games they play.
You wanna know what's also safe to say so far? I'm pretty terrible at making predictions.
So who better than to foretell what the key players of this dizzying and dynamic offense will do than someone who typically fails with flying colors?
Then again, even a blind squirrel finds a nut at times—and, while I'm neither blind nor a squirrel, I feel like I'm due.
This Thursday night, when the Birds play the Kansas City Chiefs, emotions will be running high in Philadelphia. The city welcomes back Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb, the faces of the franchise for over a decade and arguably the greatest coach and quarterback in team history, both of whom experienced a love-hate relationship with the fans.
In tribute, the Eagles will be looking to party like it's 2004.
The latter will be honored at halftime with his number being retired, while the former does his best to stifle a high-octane offense filled with players he brought here.
Michael Vick, QB
He has yet to turn the ball over, his accuracy and decisions have been mostly on point and he hasn't been carted off the field yet.
This season has already started off far better than last season for Michael Vick.
Playing against the coach who helped resurrect his career should be further motivation to continue his hot start, although it's hard to fathom that his interception-free streak extends to a third week.
Stats: 20-of-30 for 250 yards, 2 TD/1 INT, 5 rushes for 50 yards
DeSean Jackson, WR
Speaking of good starts, there are not many players in the league hotter than DeSean Jackson right now. Unfortunately, that also includes his temper—but, hey, if we're partying like it's 2004, we need a Terrell Owens, right?
Through two games, he's on pace for 128 receptions, 2400 yards and 16 touchdowns. Frankly, most of us would be happy with half of those totals. What's most astounding about last week is that he easily could have added two more scores and at least 100 more yards to his 193.
Reid has familiarity with D-Jax on his side, but count on him to still hold his own on Thursday.
Stats: 5 receptions for 80 yards, 2 punt returns for 25 yards
LeSean McCoy, RB
So far, the trifecta of Vick, Jackson and LeSean McCoy has accounted for 74 percent of the team's total offensive yardage production. Of the three, McCoy has the most potential to keep it up.
With breathtaking moves and the ability to squeeze a "holy crap, did you just see that?" out of people at least a couple of times a game, Shady is fast becoming one of the most exciting players to watch in the NFL.
Now that Chip Kelly is putting more of an emphasis on the running game, he may be poised to show his former coach exactly what he was missing out on.
Stats: 24 carries for 120 yards and a TD, 3 receptions for 20 yards
Brent Celek, TE
This should be the game in which Kelly puts more of an emphasis on the tight ends.
Brent Celek could be a main beneficiary.
Considering the Chiefs' fierce pass rush—which includes Justin Houston and Dontari Poe, who already have at least three sacks each—Vick might be spending more time focusing on his checkdown receivers.
He will likely utilize them in the screen game, at least.
Considering the team's continued anemic results inside the 20, looking for a big target like Celek in the end zone could be the ideal remedy.
Stats: 4 receptions for 45 yards, TD
Zach Ertz, TE
For the reasons mentioned in the previous slide, this could be Zach Ertz's breakthrough game as an NFL tight end.
Known for his reliable hands in college, he has yet to build any type of momentum in the first two games of his rookie campaign. However, two of his three catches have been for more than 20 yards, so it's fair to say that the second-round pick could break out at any given moment.
Seeing as he's not a carryover from the Reid era, it may be more difficult to game-plan for him, too.
Stats: 5 receptions for 65 yards
Bryce Brown, RB
When you're playing behind one of the best running backs in the league, who is poised to have his best season yet, it can be tough to get some reps.
That's the predicament Bryce Brown has found himself in.
Elusive in his own right with just a tiny problem of keeping the ball securely in his hands when he runs, it still may behoove the Eagles to utilize Brown this week as a change-of-pace back to counter what has been a stingy Chiefs defense thus far.
Look for Kelly to implement Brown in some of the read-option packages, especially as they march into enemy territory.
Stats: 5 carries for 20 yards
Jason Avant and Riley Cooper, WR
Whereas Reid loved to spread the ball around to many different receivers (10 Chiefs have a catch so far this season), only seven Eagles have pulled one in to date.
Two of them—veterans Jason Avant and Riley Cooper—have been serviceable periphery players, combining for 10 receptions, 91 yards and a touchdown.
However, they've been targeted 19 times, which means they've caught only a little more than half the balls thrown their way.
The opportunity remains for someone to step up in the absence of injured Jeremy Maclin (and if not Avant or Cooper, perhaps a Damaris Johnson or a Jeff Maehl?). However, it may not be this week.
Avant: 1 reception for 10 yards
Cooper: 2 receptions for 30 yards