As a fan of the NFL, you pretty much have to accept injuries are going to occur.
The rate and severity of the injuries are unknown, but the will happen—you just need to hope that your best players can remain healthy and stay on track over the course of the 17-week schedule.
In the "City of Brotherly Love," injuries have been a plenty this season, and some of the best talent on the team has suffered substantial injuries that has kept them off the gridiron for at least a few games.
Michael Vick, Kevin Kolb and DeSean Jackson have all had to miss at least a game already, with Vick missing the last eleven quarters at quarterback. LeSean McCoy, Trent Cole and Nick Cole have all battled injury but haven't sat out. Even so, when you play hurt you have to take more plays off, strengthening a players role under you in the depth chart. If they don't step up when they are in, the team may not play well.
At 4-3 and second in the NFC East behind the New York Giants, Philadelphia has played pretty inconsistently on both sides of the football and that could attribute to the rotation of players making it hard to find a rhythm out there.
Nonetheless, Andy Reid is confident in his team and he is a great NFL coach. The Eagles will always contend for a playoff spot, regardless of who is on the roster and who gets hurt.
Here are position by position grades on offense and defense for Philly and if there is an individual that is helping or hurting the cause immensely, he will be singled out.
The field general of the Eagles has probably been the most debated position in the NFL this year.
Kolb won the job, suffered a concussion and was relieved by Vick. Vick played great in his time at QB and he cemented himself into the starting role until he suffered broken ribs against Washington three weeks later. In comes Kolb again and he has been playing strong to date making Andy Reid decide on who to go with even tougher.
Reid says he is sticking with Vick for this Sunday, and it will be interesting to see how Michael plays coming off the weird hit that he sustained. I wouldn't be surprised to see a more apprehensive Vick running the ball. Maybe he will sit in the pocket more often. He even said himself he need to "run smarter."
Even with the rotation back and forth, both guys have played well with Vick having the slight edge on the stat line.
Vick has completed 59-of-96 passes (61.3 percent) for 799 yards, six TDs and zero INTs (QB Rating of 108.8).
Kolb has completed 97-of-153 (63.4 percent) for 1,035 yards, six TDs and four INTs (QB Rating of 85.3).
Looking at those stats, I'd say Vick has been more effective and definitely smarter with the ball.
Vick also hasn't lost a game that he has played in its entirety and the only time the Eagles have lost is when Kolb has been in the game, even if for only part of it.
As a duo, I give the Eagle quarterbacks a 'B+'. Vick gets an 'A-' for his play and Kolb a 'B'.
LeSean McCoy has been a pleasant surprise for Eagles fans.
As a second-round pick out of Pittsburgh, he was expected to produce in this offense, but I don't know if fans could see him developing this fast in only his second season. He has battled through broken ribs, playing through the pain, and he is putting up pretty big numbers doing so.
So far this year, McCoy has carried 105 times for 477 yards and five scores. He doesn't really have a player behind him getting significant carries as Michael Vick is second on the team in that category after only playing in a little over two contests. McCoy has also been a staple in the Eagles passing attack, catching 38 passes for 293 yards.
He is averaging over 100 yards of total offense per game and Philly really relies on him to produce, especially with the struggles at the offensive line causing a lot of check down throws to the running back.
In an predominantly passing offense, McCoy has performed well and is filling the void left by Brian Westbrook nicely. He has only lost one fumble this year, has the power to run through you and the elusiveness to juke you out.
Leonard Weaver went down with an injury so Owen Schmitt has stepped up and played great. He has opened holes for McCoy all over the field and even gets involved in the passing game a bit.
This year, the production of Philadelphia's wide outs and tight ends has suffered. DeSean Jackson went down with an injury against the Falcons a few weeks ago and the rotation of quarterbacks is making it hard for them to develop a rapport with either Vick or Kolb.
Jackson and Jeremy Maclin have been effective, but they aren't what you would call "possession receivers." They are both great deep threats and can stretch the defense more than most teams can, but their presence in the middle of the field is not up to par with other great receivers.
Brent Celek is coming off a career year in which he caught a team high 76 passes for 971 yards and eight touchdowns. He was consistent all year long with Donovan McNabb under center, but has failed to get in a groove in 2010. He has been targeted 42 times but has only caught 21 balls for 229 yards and one score while sharing the league lead in drops with six already.
I'm sure when DeSean comes back the Eagles passing will improve and this will open up more holes for everyone else to work in. He is supposed to come back this week, which will help them immensely, but for now this group has been a little disappointing.
If there has been a weakness on the Eagles offense, it has been their line. Through seven games, this young group has been hampered with some injuries and it has shown as they have been giving up a lot of pressure on their quarterbacks.
Philadelphia has given up 21 sacks this year, which is tied for sixth worse in the NFL. Combine that with the fact that Michael Vick saved them from a few sacks and Kolb can move well in the pocket. Considering those two factors, the number should be even a little higher.
It is an inexperienced unit that will improve, but for now teams are going to try to exploit them and it will be interesting to see the progression they make for the rest of the season.
The Eagles defensive line has been a solid bunch for quite some time. Players are obviously funneling in and out of Philly, but the d-line has been the anchor of the team and this year is no different.
Trent Cole and Juqua Parker have combined for 10 sacks and the entire line has accounted for 17 of the Philadelphia's 21 total quarterback takedowns. Overall though, this group has been pretty mediocre as the Eagles are ranked 11th against the pass and 18th against the rush.
Trevor Laws and Brandon Graham are two promising young players, but the D-line has been little above average at best and it shows out there on the field. The injury to Broderick Bunkley isn't helping their cause either.
Former Lion Ernie Sims, Stewart Bradley and Omar Gaither make up the linebacker corps for the Eagles. This is another slightly above average group that performs alright week in and week out. They aren't big time impact players, but they don't make many mistakes and they work well as a group.
This season, the LBs have compiled just two sacks, two forced fumbles and no interceptions between them. Philly needs more big plays for these guys if they want to compete in the competitive NFC East.
This bunch is very scrappy and knows how to step up and play the run and how to be effective in coverage. They just need to put everything together and perform at a high level every week.
The Eagles secondary is their biggest strength on defense.
Rookie Nate Allen and veteran Quentin Mikell make up a nice safety tandem to go along with Asante Samuel and Ellis Hobbs at the corner positions. When Marlin Jackson went down preseason, it was a big blow to this group, but young guns like Joselio Hanson and Dimitri Patterson are proving their worth more and more each week.
They have accounted for all 11 of Philly's interceptions this year which isn't a bad number, but they have been burned on some big pass plays, including an 80-yard bomb to Kenny Britt that was completely misplayed and led to the self-combustion in the fourth quarter of the Titans game.
They have played well for the most part, and they are a top-10 unit against the pass. Samuel is one of the better corners in the league and Allen, who already has three interceptions early into his rookie campaign looks like he will be a great player for years to come.
Phil Lombardo is a senior Journalism/Mass Communications major at St. Bonaventure University.
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