After three weeks, we have an edition of Eagles fact or fiction as the great featured columnist with one name, Wes. will play Fact or Fiction with yours truly Darren Grossman. Is LeSean McCoy the best back in the league right now? Should Vick play on Sunday? Is Juan Castillo worse than McDermott? Let's get started with fact or fiction.
Wes - Fiction - If the doctors say a player is good to go, he plays. As bad as the 49ers are, the Eagles can't take anything for granted and assume they will still win with Mike Kafka or Vince Young under center. Vick needs to play to guarantee the Eagles pick up a win and to show everyone he is better than most think. Can you imagine what would be said if he sat out? It would look like the Eagles were panicking and unsure what is wrong with Vick. It would also make Vick look foolish after he just came out and said he was going to play Sunday.
Darren Grossman - Fiction - I do believe it was an opportunity to sit Vick and to be honest, I think the Eagles would beat San Francisco with any of their three quarterbacks. However, after watching Vick, he really wants to play. At this point, I do not think you can sit him down because he wants to play so badly, and he is apparently healthy enough to play. Hopefully, the Eagles get up big and can rest Vick in the fourth quarter.
Wes- Fiction - McCoy can run, catch and block. He really can do it. The only problem is he doesn't do it all better than Ray Rice. The Ravens' back runs a lot better than McCoy, he catches passes just as well and he can block well when needed. There is nothing McCoy does that is better, so I don't see how McCoy can be called the best all around back in the NFL.
Darren Grossman - Fact - 100 percent fact. I sat in the stands and watched McCoy Sunday and I said to myself, "this guy is unbelievable." He led the NFL in receptions for running backs last season, so I can easily argue he is the best receiving back in the league, and better than Ray Rice there. So far this season, Rice has 41 carries for 231 yards. McCoy has 57 carries for 345 yards, so on 16 more carries, McCoy has 114 more yards. He also has five total touchdowns to Rice's three. So I think he is a better running back at this point than any back in the league; he is as good or better at catching balls, and he is not the best blocker but is definitely solid. This is easily a fact at this point, esp. with Chris Johnson disappearing and Adrian Peterson not dominating like he has in the past.
Wes - Fiction - I was against Jackson getting a big day throughout the offseason, and I have to admit I was wrong. The guy does so much for the Eagles and opens things up for everyone offensively. I don't think he will ever put up great stats or be a touchdown machine. But the fact that his presence can cause so much confusion for defenses is enough reason to give him a boost in pay. It also looks like he is their guy for returning punts. If that's the case, his value rises even more and makes the decision a no-brainer.
Darren Grossman - Fiction - However, this is kind of a loaded question because it depends what kind of extension he gets. Would I offer him a contract? Yes. Would I pay him huge money? No. It really depends how big the contract is. I would offer him three or four years for about eight to 10 million a year with only about 25 percent of it guaranteed.
If it gets higher than that, I would let him walk. He is dynamic, but he disappears in way too many games to really give a huge payday too. He is not a Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald or Andre Johnson who consistently produces. To be truthful, he is the second-best wide receiver on the team behind Jeremy Maclin.
Wes - Fact: The NFL is so bad, it is almost impossible to think a team as talented as the Eagles will not win 10 games.The Eagles have four games against the NFC West. There's four wins right there. I originally thought the Eagles would struggle against the Seahawks when they fly out to Seattle for a Thursday night game following a matchup with the Patriots. However, the more I've seen of the Seahawks, I realize how bad they are. Give me a split with the division, and now we're up to seven wins. Toss in home wins against the Bears and Cardinals and a road win against the Dolphins, and I'm sitting at 10 wins.
Darren Grossman - Fact - That means they would have to go 9-4 the rest of the way. I think that is very doable. They still have three games vs. the NFC West, which they will win. That's four wins. They go—at worst—3-3 in the division to get to seven, and I agree with Wes that they beat Miami on the road and the Bears at home. I also think they win one or two tweener games like Buffalo, the Jets, or New England. They win at least one of those—if not more. I actually still think they will win 11 games at least, so I easily will go over 10.
Score: At the midway point, Wes and I have agreed on three out of four topics, so it has been fairly harmonious so far. Let's see if talking about the defense will change things.
Wes - Fact - At the very least, the Eagles need some sort of stability there. I don't know if the guy can play or if he will amount to anything—but I do know that a revolving door at the heart of your defense is not a good thing.
Darren Grossman - Fact - I like Chaney, but even if I didn't, who else do they have? Matthews clearly does not cut it. They have no one else so this has to be fact by default.
Score: Wow, up to 80 percent agreements at four for five.
Wes - Fact - He looks like a lost puppy or Raul Ibanez in the midst of a hitting slump.
Darren Grossman - Fiction - I love the Ibanez reference from my friend Wes, but this has to be fiction right now for the simple reason that he has only played OLB for one game. You have to at least give him a chance. If he continues to struggle, I would bench him, but I have to see him on the outside for more than one game to make that call. Also, we have seen Akeem Jordan before—he is nothing special—and I like Rolle, but he is raw. If I made the move it would be to Rolle, but I'm not quite ready to sit him down yet. I might limit his snaps in favor of Rolle a bit, though.
Score: The second disagreement moves us to four for six.
Wes- Fact - When Victor Cruz makes you whiff on a tackle and miss on a jump ball, you're not doing your job. I know he is a shutdown corner, but he needs to make plays on top of it as well. Could Asomugha be the worst free agent acquisition since Hugh Douglas returned from Jacksonville?
Darren Grossman - Fact - Everyone complains about Asante Samuel's tackling, yet he took Brandon Jacobs down one on one last week. Asomugha couldn't tackle Victor Cruz. He is supposed to be the best CB in the league and I am not even sure he is the best CB on the team. At this point, he has been a disappointment. I am not ready to say it was a mistake to sign him because I still hope he gives us a great season but through three games, I would say he has been a disappointment.
Score: 5 for 7
Wes - Fact: I don't think Castillo has any say or clue as to what is going on. It feels like Jim Washburn runs the show and Castillo is around to headbutt a couple players from time to time. He doesn't know when to blitz or when to play man or zone. His red zone defense is horrid, and teams are scoring points at an alarming rate. It was another poor decision on Reid's part.
Darren Grossman - Fiction - We saw McDermott for more than three games before concluding that he stunk, and I am willing to give Castillo time. People have to remember the Eagles had very little off season and brought in a ton of new players so it takes time to gel. Castillo has not impressed me yet, but McDermott never impressed me when he was here. At this point, I would say that I need more information to decide this one, but Castillo deserves the benefit of the doubt. If the defense still stinks in November, then maybe this could be a fact.
Score: Wes and I agree more than we disagree and end five for eight. So what do you think? Is Castillo worse than McDermott? Is McCoy the league's best back? Leave comments and let us know who you agree with or what you think. Till next time, GO EAGLES!