Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears: Quick Reactions from Week 12 Loss
-- Mike Vick had, by far, his worst game of the season. Overall, he seemed very rattled and indecisive. He threw his first interception of the season and fumbled four times, but didn't lose any. The play-calling certainly didn't help, but Vick must be better moving forward. That said, his worst game was still actually pretty decent.
-- Once again, LeSean McCoy went under-utilized. He had only 10 carries, but still averaged 5.3 yards per carry. He also chipped in with eight catches for 67 yards. It's just mind-boggling why a playmaker like McCoy is not used more often.
-- We have a Brent Celek sighting. For once, his lack of production (for most of the game) wasn't his fault. Had Vick hit him when he was open, Celek would have ended the day with three touchdowns and well over 100 yards.
-- Owen Schmitt seemed to be used a whole lot less than usual. He lined up at fullback and at tight end a little bit, but did nothing of note other than his usual solid blocking performance.
-- Jeremy Maclin had only four catches for 47 yards, but hauled in his eighth touchdown of the season and, to this point, has been the team's best receiver. He still does everything he can to avoid contact, but not if it means sacrificing a catch. Which, of course, is more than I can say for some receivers on the team.
-- I won't keep you in suspense for very long. The receiver who will sacrifice a catch to avoid contact is DeSean Jackson. I don't care about the concussions. Short-arming on that pass in the end zone to avoid getting hit was inexcusable. If you're afraid to get hit, then get off the field and let someone play who isn't afraid of his own shadow.
-- Jason Avant rebounded strongly after a terrible drop against the Giants. Avant pulled in eight receptions for 83 yards, including a few important first downs to keep drives alive. Avant hasn't been able to find the end zone a lot this season, but he's been instrumental in moving the ball in the middle of the field.
-- Overall, the offensive line did a decent job with the Bears. Most of the sacks on Vick were a result of him holding the ball far too long, but they were poor blocking for McCoy. Any yardage McCoy gained was by waiting for a seam to open up and dancing through it. Nick Cole and Todd Herremans were especially bad.
-- Clay Harbor was the second tight end for the third straight week, and was more productive than DeSean Jackson, hauling in two catches for 27 yards. Harbor lined up outside as a receiver and as a tight end, and figures to get more of a look over the last five weeks.
-- Riley Cooper had a big catch for 29 yards, but that was it. He hasn't been getting a ton of targets, but given the Eagles' red zone struggles over the past two weeks that could change.
-- Jerome Harrison was given one carry. Just one. Apparently a 100-yard game doesn't warrant some more touches.
-- The play-calling, once again, was atrocious. Who in the hell thinks it's a good idea to call play-action time after time after time when you have yet to establish the run? The Bears didn't fall for it, and all it did was open up Vick to getting hit and cut down the time he had to make reads. Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg are the worst play-calling duo in the league.
-- Trent Cole finished with two sacks on Jay Cutler, but he could and should have had at least two more. Cole has at least one sack against every non-NFC East team the Birds have played this season.
-- This is a different defense with Antonio Dixon in the lineup. Offensive linemen just can't block him one-on-one and he's able to make up for the fact that the defense lacks a true middle linebacker.
-- Mike Patterson pitched in with a sack, but he was given a clear path to Cutler on a busted screen. Patterson must generate more of a pass-rush on first and second down from the inside and do a better job of getting off blockers.
-- Brodrick Bunkley had another quiet game. He seems to lack the power to shed blockers since suffering the elbow injury, but is still hard to move off the line. The problem is that until he can get in the backfield and disrupt opposing offenses like Dixon does, he's going to remain the third guy in a rotation.
-- Brandon Graham, starting in place of Juqua Parker, racked up his third sack of the season. He is still not good enough against the run, however. He allows tackles to get into his body and push him off the ball, which interferes with the way the linebackers flow to the ball.
-- Trevor Laws, Darryl Tapp and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim were mostly useless. Laws got a pass-rush a couple times, but that's it. At least he has been a pretty decent backup all year, but Tapp and Te'o-Nesheim continue to be useless.
-- Has Stewart Bradley had a good game all year? He missed a tackle that sprang Matt Forte's first long run, and would go on to miss more and more as the game went on. He still gets caught in the wash, still can't disengage a blocker, and doesn't seem to have the fire or leadership a MIKE linebacker should have.
-- Ernie Sims has essentially all the same problems Bradley has. But, at 6'0", 230 pounds, at least he has an excuse to get caught in a crowd. On top of that, however, he doesn't seem to understand angles and is not the big-play guy the Eagles thought they were getting.
-- Moise Fokou, like Akeem Jordan before him, is the best linebacker on the field. He will actually step up and take on blockers rather than playing patty-cake like Sims and Bradley. He didn't have a great game today as the Bears were able to attack the outsides pretty effectively, but he has yet to be outdone by Sims or Bradley.
-- Joselio Hanson said he played his worst game since entering the NFL. I'm inclined to agree. It was clear all night that he was very frustrated and it hurt his game even worse. I've said this before and I'll say it again: he does not belong on the outside. Ever. He's a nickel corner and that's it. I would have preferred to see Trevard Lindley start on the outside.
-- Speaking of Lindley, he looked like a rookie. It's not surprising considering he is a rookie, but his inexperience really killed the Eagles defense. He was slow reacting when the Bears tried crossing him up and allowed some easy receptions right in front of his face. He has shown flashes and could be a contributor in the future, but he showed he's not ready quite yet.
-- Dimitri Patterson was the bright spot of the secondary. He didn't have a great game, but he was certainly the best one out there. Had he jumped a half-second later or been an inch taller, he would have had at least one interception instead of giving Greg Olsen a touchdown reception.
-- Nate Allen and Quintin Mikell took awful angles and missed tackles all game long. Allen was late reacting near the goal-line once Hanson released his man to the inside, and Mikell just plain got beat by Earl Bennett. Allen has been less than impressive since returning from injury, and Mikell seems to be getting progressively worse as the season goes on.
-- Sean McDermott proved once again that he has no ability to adjust on the fly. If his gameplan works from the outset of the game, he can do just fine and his defense plays well. But if the defense and his gameplan gets exploited early, he's unable to fix it and immediately loses all control of the game.
-- The coverage units reverted to their old ways. After a few weeks of playing very well, Bobby April's unit laid an egg against Devin Hester and Daniel Manning. Special teams will continue to underperform every year until Reid takes it seriously and keeps guys like Tracy White and Kelley Washington on the team.
-- Jackson's fear of contact has affected his return game too. He had a good 35-yard punt return, but was pushed out by the punter. If he wasn't so afraid of being hit, he could have easily cut that return back inside and taken it all the way. Another return saw him dance around and fall to the ground. Jorrick Calvin was good returning kicks, but unfortunately received no blocking.
-- The loss was a team effort, but can be traced back to terrible play-calling on offense and a depleted defense that got no help from a poor gameplan and a coordinator who doesn't know what he's doing well enough to adjust. Had the coaches been better, this is a game the team could have won even with their poor play.
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