Philadelphia Eagles: 5 Lessons to Take from Week 2 Loss to Atlanta Falcons
Heartbreaking might not be the only word to describe it. How about terrifying?
No fan or anyone inside the Eagles organization wants to see their $100 man get his head snapped back like a rubber duck.
Mike Vick did sustain a concussion on that blow, and it is yet to be determined whether or not he will start next week against the Giants.
The Eagles now fall to 1-1 and must look ahead to their next NFC East battle. The Eagles have to put this loss behind them, but here are five lessons to take from Sunday night's game.
Mike Kafka Is Ready to Be the No. 2 QB
All signs inside and outside the organization pointed towards the Eagles not feeling comfortable enough having Mike Kafka as Vick's backup.
That is why Howie Roseman brought in Vince Young to give the offense some insurance in case Vick went down.
And that is exactly what happened last night, except Young was not healthy either.
Mike Kafka took over in the fourth quarter and led the Eagles to a TD and also led them down the field on their last drive of the game, only for it to end with a dropped ball on fourth down.
Kafka completed 7-of-9 passes for 72 yards. Now I'm not deeming Kafka the second coming of Peyton Manning, but he is plenty capable of backing up Vick.
The Eagles Defensive Line May Be the Best in the League
Jim Washburn and his wide-nine technique has turned this good defensive line into an elite one. These eight linemen probably boast the best overall and certainly the deepest lines in the league.
Cullen Jenkins recorded two sacks, Trent Cole did his usually thing and Jason Babin now has three sacks in his first two games back as an Eagle.
The only problem with this new style of rushing the passer may be that it is hurting the young linebackers.
The Offensive Line Took a Step Back This Week
After a decent opening game in Week 1, I feel like the offensive line took a step back in Week 2.
Their poor protection led to Vick fumbling three times and eventually his concussion.
Maybe their Week 1 test wasn't as tough as the Atlanta front seven.
Everybody but Jason Peters gets a failing grade for this game.
The Eagles Won't Go Anywhere Until Their Red Zone Defense Is Fixed
The main reason that the Eagles got a new Defensive Coordinator was because of their terrible defense in the red zone.
Through two games in 2011, not much has seemed to change. In five red-zone trips for the Falcons, the Eagles allowed five TDs.
The Birds need to get back to the nitty-gritty type of defense that got them to the Super Bowl in 2004. With that defense, the Eagles could turn the ball over deep in their own end zone, and the defense could still hold them to only three points.
The Linebacking Group Has to Be Looked at
It is no surprise that the linebacker group is one area to blame after this weekend's loss.
Yes, they are young. Yes, they have potential. Yes, the Eagles have no other options, but something has to be done.
This undersized group is just getting driven backwards on every run by the opposing team. No matter how good your secondary is, keeping them guessing on every down is going to hurt the group in the long run.
One positive for this group was their pass defense. I thought they played pretty well against the pass. Granted, Tony Gonzalez scored two TDs, but that was not the fault of the linebackers. Those were just perfectly thrown balls by Matt Ryan.