Cardinals vs. Eagles: Michael Vick and 5 Eagles Who Must Perform Better
After losing to the Chicago Bears and falling to 3-5, the Philadelphia Eagles are once again in desperation mode. It isn't the fault of one man. Rather, numerous players are responsible for the underachieving performance of this team.
Every man on the field is responsible for playing to the best of their ability, and quite frankly that has not been the case so far this year.
If the Eagles want to beat the Arizona Cardinals, some players are going to have to get their act together.
Michael Vick, QB
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At times this season, Michael Vick has shown why he was given a lucrative contract prior to the season.
Most of the time, however, he has been generally a disappointment.
That holds true for his performance last week against the Chicago Bears. Despite attempting 38 passes, Vick managed to only rack up 213 yards and no touchdowns through the air. On top of that, he rushed for a meager 34 yards. Combined that is a mere 247 yards, and that is not near enough to win a game.
Perhaps worst of all, however, was his drive-killing interception.
Against the Cardinals, Vick is going to have to be a more consistent quarterback and also gain yards on the ground. Fortunately, the Cards do not boast a very intimidating defense.
King Dunlap, OL
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King Dunlap has all the makings of a dominant offensive lineman. At 6'9" and 330 pounds, it would seem that he would pose a problem for most defensive linemen coming his way.
That has not been the case so far in his career. Despite his build, the big man has been more of a window than door when it comes to pass protection. In fact, Dunlap is only entering the starting lineup against the Arizona Cardinals due to an injury to left guard Evan Mathis.
Fortunately, he enters the lineup under ideal conditions, as the Cardinals have not been very effective at generating any sort of pass-rush so far this season.
Dunlap is going to have to make effective use of all his 330 pounds this week if he wants a shot at retaining a starting spot once Mathis returns from injury.
DeSean Jackson, WR
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Simply put, DeSean Jackson has been an outright disappointment so far this season.
Maybe it is because he lacks any motivation without a new contract. Or maybe it is because defenses are constantly scheming against him.
Whatever the case, it has become clear that Jeremy Maclin and not Jackson has become the Philadelphia Eagles' No. 1 wide receiver.
If Jackson wants to change that, he must learn out to go across the middle of the field and perfect his route running, rather than simply trying to outrun the defense down the field.
Against the Arizona Cardinals, Jackson has a chance to break the habit of being a one-trick pony, as the Cards have been poor against the pass this season.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB
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While many fans praised the Philadelphia Eagles for acquiring Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals this offseason, those same fans are now booing his name.
Against the Chicago Bears last week, DRC proved to be wildly ineffective at covering the slot. He was partially responsible for Bears receiver Earl Bennett posting 95 yards and a touchdown on Monday Night Football. After the game, he insisted that he is a much better cornerback than how he has been playing.
For the sake of the team, he better be right.
DRC must become more physical defending players, as he has shied away from a tackle on more than one occasion this year.
As with the other players on this list, DRC gets a chance to redeem himself this week with an easy matchup against his former team.
Alex Henery, K
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When a team drafts a kicker in the fourth round, it is expected that said kicker is the best of the best.
So far this season, that has not been the case for rookie kicker Alex Henery.
Granted, he has made 14 of 17 field goals and all of his extra points. But he has looked very sloppy the entire season kicking the ball.
Last week against the Chicago Bears, Henery just barely made a 47-yard field goal. The best kickers in the league have no problem making those.
As a rookie, it is understandable that he has struggled. But if he wants Eagles' fans to forget about David Akers, then he will have to step up his game.