Philadelphia Eagles: Winners and Losers at the Season's Quarter Mark
Right now, this is not a very good football team. But there are some positives among the many negatives.
With that being said, here are some of the biggest winners and losers at this point in the Eagles' season.
Winner: Michael Vick
When your quarterback throw for 416 yards and a pair of touchdowns, it's hard to pin the blame on him.
While Vick has seemed a bit inconsistent at times this season, he has overall played well and affirmed his great talent this Sunday with his career-high performance.
Vick has shown us that his 2010 season was no fluke, and that he is indeed capable of being a franchise quarterback.
If only the rest of the team could follow suit.
Loser: Juan Castillo
At this point it is safe to say that Andy Reid's decision to name an offensive coach with no defensive experience to coach the entire defense was a complete failure.
The move was puzzling to say the least, and utterly bone-headed for a more accurate description.
Part of this may be attributed to Jim Washburn's wide-nine formation, which leaves many gaps along the line for running backs to run through. But a defense is all about scheme, teamwork and technique. It is a defensive coordinator's job to drill those three things into every player on the defense.
So far, neither exist on this Eagles squad.
The Eagles linebackers seem lost when attempting to fill in the gaps. And when sure tackles must be made, they lack the discipline to follow through.
Castillo may retain his job for the duration of the 2011 season. But unless this defense makes a drastic turnaround, everyone from the fans to the organization will be calling for his head.
Winner: LeSean McCoy
LeSean McCoy currently has 363 yards and is averaging 5.5 yards a carry with three touchdowns.
Those are the numbers of a franchise running back and one of the best backs in the league.
Despite a lackluster game against the 49ers, McCoy has shown himself to be a diamond in the rough (the rough being this entire Philadelphia Eagles team). He seems to have returned in 2011 faster and more agile. Combined with his already stellar pass catching ability, he truly is an excellent weapon.
But him and Vick cannot carry this team on their own. There is no "I" in team. "I" will only get you to 1-4. The rest of this team needs to wake up if they want to make the postseason.
Loser: Alex Henery
I don't care if you're a rookie. If you're an NFL kicker and are presented with field goals of less than 40 yards, you make them. Especially when the team has run down the clock with a long drive.
As many problems as the Eagles have had, they still were in position to win the game. And Henery missing "should make" field goals mathematically cost the Eagles this football game.
Henery better start making his field goals, or he is going to be out of a job, fast.
Winner: Todd Herremans
One unfortunate aspect of a team playing poorly is it often drowns out the positive play of a minority of the roster. In this case, the strong play of Todd Herremans is being seemingly unnoticed by fans.
Converted from left guard to right tackle in an effort to protect Vick's blindside, the experiment has been a smashing success. After a poor start against the St. Louis Rams in the season opener, Herremans has since adjusted well and has been a solid right tackle for the Eagles quarterback.
Say what you will about the offensive line, but Vick trusts his blind side protector, which will be huge if the Eagles have any aspirations of turning this season around.
Loser: Nnamdi Asomugha
After snagging the prize of free agency, the Eagles seemed destined for great things. Hey, even if the defense did not become spectacular, it would at least be better right? I mean, Asomugha would at least shut down his side of the field, correct?
Perhaps it is mostly Castillo's insistence on having the shutdown corner playing zone, something he lacks experience in, but Asomugha has clearly been a disappointment.
The All-Pro corner has been burned a few times by mediocre-at-best receivers, and consistently misses tackles.
In fact, Asomugha is often being outplayed by his counterpart, Asante Samuel, whose flaws caused the Eagles to dig deep into their wallets for the supposedly more complete corner.
The truth is, Nnamdi Asomugha is an outstanding football player. At least the second best corner in the NFL. But he and the defensive coordinator need to step up to make plays. The Eagles did not pay all that money just to have a "good" corner. They need a dominant one.
Winner: Jason Babin
It seems that out of all the prized free agent acquisitions, Jason Babin is the one who is paying off the most.
Babin has showcased in just four games that he is not only a great defensive end, but he is one of the best in football. He has already accumulated seven sacks this season.
At this rate, Babin is on pace for 28 sacks at the end of the season. Although with Trent Cole out indefinitely, and with the general toll that a 16-game schedule takes on a player, I wouldn't count on it.
But with a defense falling drastically short of expectations, at least Eagles fans can count on Babin's high motor, strength and incredible speed to get to the quarterback and perhaps spark some much-needed momentum.
It is because of Babin that Cole's injury is not as worrying as it would be any other season.
Loser: Andy Reid
All the problems on this team, in the end, still start and must end with Andy Reid.
Reid promoted an inexperienced coach with a shortened training camp to the second most important coaching position on the team.
Reid is hurting the team with poor play-calling, which has had disastrous results in the red zone.
And Reid has failed to properly prepare his team in every game so far this season.
In press conferences he has taken full responsibility and has vowed to fix the problems. I would hope he succeeds, for the sake of the team, its fans and his job.