Philadelphia Eagles Report Card: Performance Vs The Colts
The Indianapolis Colts headed to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles on Sunday. The Colts entered the game as the underdog, which is something Peyton Manning and his team are not accustomed to. The Eagles proved why the Colts were labeled with that tag.
The Eagles walked out of the game as winners, topping Manning and the Colts, 26-24.
Here is the Eagles' postgame report card:
Honorable Mention: Austin Collie: A+
The Colts' Austin Collie was running a deep route down the middle of the field and was slammed between two Eagles safeties. As soon as the hit took place, Collie was motionless and was knocked out cold. He did not even show any sign of movement as he was lying on the ground.
The medical staff proceeded to take Collie off the field on a stretcher and into the locker room for further evaluation. At first, it did not look promising.
It was later reported that he was sitting up and was responsive in the locker room.
Collie was not having a great game up to the point he was injured. He finished with no catches and no yards. On the play he was injured, he caught the ball but it was ruled an incompletion.
Austin, get better soon. We in Philadelphia are here for you.
This was Michael Vick's first game back.
It was a great way to kick-off his place as the starting QB. Vick proved once again that he is an explosive threat that defenses have to respect. He consistently found great running lanes during the entire game and still has not thrown an interception this season.
Most of you are asking why is the offensive grade an B and not just an A+?
Even with Vick's explosiveness back on the offense, the Eagles still managed to stall in the red zone. This was true especially inside the 10-yard line, forcing them to settle for three field goals. This was a problem with the Eagles offense when Donovan McNabb was here, and it needs to change if the Eagles want to keep winning.
Also, the offensive line was poor as usual. Vick was under constant pressure and had to roll out of the pocket way too many times. Then the biggest killer for me was that LeSean McCoy could not get anything going on the ground. Aside from his long run on the opening drive, he was stopped in the backfield almost every time.
McCoy is a great weapon to the Eagles offense and provides an entirely new dynamic; he is key to the Eagles winning games, but he can't get moving unless he gets some blocking.
However, the Eagles offense did enough to get the win. Vick did look great in his first start back from his injury. A good game for the Eagles offense, and enough to get by the Colts.
Run Defense: A-
Although the Eagles did give up two rushing touchdowns to a rookie, they were solid for the entire game. Those two touchdowns both came on plays inside the 5-yard line, and you have to respect Manning passing for the touchdown.
For several weeks straight, the Eagles rush defense was aggressive and was able to get to the ball carrier quickly and efficiently. They only allowed the Colts to rush for 62 yards the entire game.
A trend that I have noticed is that the Eagles linebackers have a great nose for picking up the run. Even Stewart Bradley. This is something that is going to continue throughout the remainder of the season, and it going to be a big part of the Eagles' success.
The only real issue I saw this game was that the Colts, on third-and-short situations, would simply hand the ball off to Donald Brown and he would always pick up the first down. I don't think that the Eagles stopped the short-yardage run once the entire game.
The Eagles' goal-line defense allowed rookie Javarris James to score twice off of draw plays. The Eagles defense backed off and was ready for the Manning pass to Reggie Wayne. But it just never happened.
Once again, a very solid showing and something the Eagles have excelled with.
Pass Defense: A
Any team that can hold Peyton Manning to an overall 65.7 QB rating and forcing two interceptions, you know you are doing something right.
The Eagles pass defense has not looked this good all season, and this performance could have not come at a better time considering they were playing the pass-heavy Colts. Manning had trouble finding open receivers all game and was thrown on the ground three times.
Manning was under pressure regularly and it showed, as it led to several Colts' three-and-outs. I would venture to say that Manning has not had this much trouble all season, finishing the game with 294 yards and one touchdown.
Considering the Eagles came off of a horrendous passing defensive performance against the Titans before the bye week, they had a huge turnaround in this game. Asante Samuel had both interceptions this game and proved why he is worth the money.
Also the absence of Nate Allen was almost not even noticed. Kurt Coleman stepped in and performed like a starter, except for the hit on Collie (that was debatable whether or not the hit was legal).
The only big problem with the Eagles passing defense was the inability to cover Colts tight end Jacob Tamme. Tamme consistently beat his coverage, who was generally lined up with Stewart Bradley, who continues to prove that he is totally ineffective in pass coverage.
Still, a good game and a big step for the Eagles defense.
Special Teams: A
David Akers was automatic. He hit all three of his field-goal attempts and showed that his collection of misses a few weeks back was a fluke.
Sav Rocca punted. Not much has changed here. He shanked one of his punts and on another he hit it way too far into the end zone. A very average performance, but it was enough to win the game.
There was good kick-return coverage, and the punt-return coverage was a non-issue. DeSean Jackson had one good run back, but it was called back on a holding call.
Once again, enough to get the job done.
Andy Reid was able to reach two milestones after winning against the Colts:
1. Reid was able to extend his winning streak following bye weeks to 12 straight games.
2. Reid was able to win his first career game against the Colts.
However, Reid still has no luck on challenges. As usual, he did not get the call on both attempts.
I know most Philadelphia fans have been unhappy with defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. In this game, I was impressed with his play-calling. I saw flashes of the Jim Johnson blitz packages and aggressiveness. Throughout the entire game, Manning was unable to get a big play and was constantly under pressure.
Marty Mornhinweg did a great job conducting the offense. Especially after a drive stalled, he changed up the game plan to throw the Colts defense off-balance. The handoffs to Jackson continue to work against defenses and not to mention the good job of keeping Vick involved in the game and calling plays that would allow him to run.
An excellent job by the Eagles coaching staff.
The Eagles pulled a huge win, advancing their record to 5-3 and putting them one game behind the New York Giants in the NFC East. This is an incredible boost of motivation after downing the defending AFC champions.
The Eagles have not looked this good all season, and this is the type of play that gets teams into the playoffs. Vick and Samuel are leading the team by example, and it it clearly taking an effect on the rest of the younger players.
The Eagles needed this win, as next week the Eagles are playing the Washington Redskins in Week 10. This momentum should carry over and have a positive effect as they play Donovan McNabb and the rest of the Redskins squad.
Welcome back, Mike Vick.