Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tennessee Titans: Quick Reactions from Week 7 Loss
-- This was the Kevin Kolb I expected to see the past two weeks. He was shaky in the pocket, his passes were sailing high, he was staring down his receivers, and threw a costly interception. For me, Michael Vick has always been the choice, but Kolb made the decision much easier.
-- Someone tell LeSean McCoy that he is fast in the open field. Instead of making a couple moves at the line of scrimmage and turning on the jets, he acts like he has to dance all the way down the field if he's going to get anywhere. He has been very good all season, but he has to stop dancing and just go north and south.
-- Owen Schmitt was once again very good as a blocker and had a key third-down reception. He has been a great pick-up this season and his minimized the loss of Leonard Weaver.
-- Where is Brent Celek? He's been a non-factor all season long. Once again he seemed uninspired and uninterested in the game. With DeSean Jackson out, Celek was going to be counted upon as a key target, but he failed to step up and help his buddy Kolb.
-- Who else wanted something to bash their head against when King Dunlap went down? I'm still not a big fan of his, but if he was forced to miss an extended period of time it would have gotten very, very ugly.
-- When Dunlap went down, Todd Herremans kicked out to left tackle. Alright, I'm on board. But why in the hell was Nick Cole the guy to come in at left guard? I thought Reggie Wells was the primary backup at left guard, which is why he wasn't getting the start at right guard? It just begs the question of why in the hell the team traded for him to sit the bench all year.
-- At left guard, Herremans seemed to get abused all day. Too many times he was in the backfield or just on his back. I can't put my finger on the exact issue, but Herremans seems too high in his kick-step and always seems a half-second late off the ball.
-- Mike McGlynn could have the makings of a very, very good center. Most of the time he messes up are mental issues that will come with experience. But as far as the physical side, he's been very good all year. I didn't think initially that the penetration on the fumbled exchange near the goal line was his fault, but he's taken the blame so he'll work on that and move on.
-- Max Jean-Gilles seemed pissed off. I'm not sure what the Titans did to him, but he was flying around all game making hits around the pile and really played to the whistle. Jean-Gilles is another guy I haven't been too fond of, but he looked good against Tennessee.
-- Winston Justice got hurt and it started to show a little. He got called for a holding penalty that was a directly result of stopping his feet, which was likely a direct result of a knee injury. It didn't seem too serious, so hopefully the bye week will put him back at 100 percent in two weeks.
-- I keep looking, but still can't find Brent Celek.
-- Jeremy Maclin seemed to get enough targets from Kolb, but he just wasn't able to make the big play like he was last week. The Titans seemed to really key on him and none of the other receivers were able to step up and take advantage. DeSean Jackson's presence might be more important to the deep passing game than even originally thought.
-- Jason Avant quitely had a decent day. He had a circus catch near the sideline on the way to a six-reception, 60-yard day, but is clearly better served as a slot receiver. He played on the outside more often than he usually would and it exposed his lack of breakaway speed.
-- It's hard not to like Chad Hall. The guy does whatever is asked of him and gives it everything he has. He averaged nearly five yards per carry on four attempts, but only hauled in one reception for five yards. Kolb missed him a couple times over the middle or he could have had a much better game.
-- Riley Cooper made the best play of the day when he snagged that awful pass on the Eagles' feeble attempt to copy what the Kansas City Chiefs did a couple weeks back. The wildcat reverse pass should have been intercepted, but Cooper stepped in front and snagged it then scored his first career touchdown a couple plays later. The future could be very bright for Cooper.
-- On the defensive side, Antonio Dixon was the best player. He man-handled anyone he lined up against and was in the Titans' backfield as often as Chris Johnson. Even when Brodrick Bunkley does return, the team would be selling themselves short to keep Dixon on the bench.
-- Mike Patterson has been fairly consistent all year, but unfortunately it's been only consistently average. He does a good job at the point of attack, but is not great at disengaging the blocker and making the play. When Bunkley comes back to the lineup, Patterson could get bumped to a rotational player.
-- After a great start to the season, Trevor Laws has disappeared. His snaps should have gone up after Bunkley went down, but he seems to be going the other way and taking a step back into being irrelevant. Hopefully he can turn things around and start contributing in the latter portion of the season.
-- Trent Cole is now up to six sacks on the season despite being dropped back into coverage more often than he should. If Sean McDermott would actually let him rush the passer on every play like he should be doing, Cole could have a few more sacks and could be helping the defense a lot more.
-- Like Laws, Brandon Graham has completely disappeared. The coaching staff seems to have lost faith in him and don't even seem to be using him in passing situations as much. Over the past couple of weeks, Graham has been the biggest disappointment on the team.
-- Graham's removal from the starting role has really killed Juqua Parker. He was doing such a great job as a situational player, but has been largely ineffective as a pass-rusher as the starting left end.
-- Ernie Sims was flying around all day, but still can't seem to make the big play. It appears as though he doesn't fully understand the defense quite yet and is caught slightly out of position at certain points. Overall, however, Sims might have had his best game of the season.
-- More than anything else, Moise Fokou seems like a smart football player. There was one point when Kerry Collins rolled out and was clearly looking to hit fullback Ahmard Hall, but since Hall was still in the backfield Fokou just dropped his shoulder into him and knocked him over. So far, it seems like Fokou and Akeem Jordan are interchangeable.
-- Stewart Bradley is just going through the motions, it seems. He's had some decent games, but this is not the borderline All-Pro we saw in 2008. Maybe he needs more time to recover from ACL surgery, but so far to say he's been unimpressive is an understatement. I'm running out of ways to voice my displeasure with him.
-- Speaking of displeasure, Ellis Hobbs and Nate Allen paired together as the most incompetent group of defensive backs in Eagles history. The 225 yards receiving by Kenny Britt was the most allowed by the Eagles in their entire 77-year history. Hobbs looked hurt and Allen just looked like he was thinking far too much and not relying on his instincts.
-- When did Asante Samuel get stone hands? He's dropped, by my count, at least five or six interceptions this season. He had a chance to intercept Collins when the game was 19-17 in the Eagles' favor and dropped the pass in the endzone. Maybe Dick Jauron needs to get Samuel some work with the wide receivers.
-- The only one to challenge Dixon as the best player on the defensive side of the ball was strong safety Quintin Mikell. With an interception, a sack, and a forced fumble, Mikell did all he could possibly do to help the team, and they blew it. As a note, the pick, fumble, and sack was the first time an Eagles defensive back has done that since Brian Dawkins in 2005.
-- The best rebound of the week goes to David Akers. He went 4-for-4 on field goal tries and booted five touchbacks. Hopefully Akers has totally put his awful Week 6 performance behind him and will continue to prove it was an aberration.
-- Sav Rocca once again looked like he belongs in the Pro Bowl. He had one punt into the wind that went a bit short, but that was the only gripe. He crushed the ball 63 yards on one punt and went over 60 yards one more time. As a punter and a holder, Rocca seems to really be grasping what is expected of him as an NFL player.
-- It was a good news and bad news type of day for Jorrick Calvin. He had a fantastic 41-yard kick return that set up a touchdown, and then fumbled a punt near the end of the game. The Eagles were down eight points, but still had a shot. Calvin putting the ball on the ground effectively ended their last opportunity.
-- The coverage teams were good once again. The Titans have had a good return game all year, but it looks like Bobby April is finally starting to get through to these guys. And if I didn't like Akeem Jordan enough, the guy goes hard on special teams and was always at least around the ball if he wasn't the guy making the tackle.
-- On offense, the playcalling was probably a bit pass-heavy. The team doubled the amount of pass plays (48) to running plays (24), but that's probably necessary when the team falls behind so quickly in the fourth quarter. First and foremost, Reid has to cut out the cute plays and just stick with what works.
-- It's time to fire Sean McDermott. Anyone who's ever watched Kerry Collins knows the way to beat him is to blitz him. When he sees the blitz, he throws the ball away. McDermott did a little of it in the first half but, as has been the case this year, backed off in the second half and killed the team in the fourth quarter. We'll talk more about McDermott, but it's time for him to go.
-- At 4-3, the Eagles are far from out of the race. However, they hit a hellish schedule and will need a much more stingy and consistent defense if they even want to finish .500. But that's not going to happen under McDermott and this team is in big trouble moving forward.
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