Category Archives: DeSean Jackson

It’s Dallas Week

PHI: 8-4, 1st in NFC East
DAL: 4-8, 4th in NFC East
Spread: Eagles by 3.5
Where: Jerry Jones Big Pile of Money (Arlington, TX)
When: Sunday, 8:20 on NBC.
Last Week: The Eagles beat Houston on Thursday, 34-24. Dallas upset the struggling Colts in overtime, 38-35.

Three key matchups

Miles Austin vs. Asante Samuel – With Dez Bryant out for the rest of the season after breaking his ankle, Jon Kitna will have to rely on his number one, Miles Austin. That’s where Asante Samuel comes in. Samuel has missed the last two games with an injured knee but is expected to return against Dallas. He’s the Eagles best coverage player in the secondary and will provide a huge boost in keeping Dallas’ leading receiver in check. Austin has made 56 catches for 804 yards and five touchdowns. Samuel has a league-high seven interceptions.

DeMarcus Ware vs. Michael Vick – This match-up is simple. Ware leads Dallas

Dallas' Demarcus Ware chases down Lions QB Shaun Hill a couple weeks ago. Ware's 9.5 sacks leads the Cowboys. He poses a serious threat against the Eagles QB Michael Vick. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

with 9.5 sacks and is the most dangerous pass-rusher in the NFL and Vick is the most dangerous quarterback in the NFL. Ware has 6.5 sacks in nine career games against the Eagles and has only half a sack against Vick in one game. Whether or not Ware can contain Vick will be the key to this game. Vick has rushed for 467 yards and six touchdowns but has also thrown for 15 touchdowns, making him a duel-threat and in the talks for MVP.

Keith Brooking and Bradie James vs. LeSean McCoy – Running the ball is going to be key for the Eagles. But that task will be the most difficult when LeSean McCoy has to do it against the strong inside line backers Keith Brooking and Bradie James. The two have combined for 177 tackles and two forced fumbles on the season. McCoy is on pace for his first career 1,000 rushing season. He’s run for 823 yards on 168 carries, averaging 4.9 yards per carry, with seven touchdowns. His ability to get involved in the passing game could also help Vick by spreading out James and Brooking along with Ware. He leads the Eagles with 67 catches and has added two scores as well.

IT’S STILL DALLAS — Despite the Cowboys’ extremely disappointing season – many experts picked them in the Super Bowl – it’s still Dallas. The Cowboys and Eagles have one of the most heated rivalries in all of sports. Dallas has won the last three meetings with the Eagles (all last season) and are 3-1 under Jason Garrett. But Philadelphia is the much better team with a more dynamic offense than Dallas.

The big question is going to be whether or not the Eagles defense can stop Dallas’ pass attack. The one-sided Cowboys are without their best receiver on the year, Dez Bryant. But with Miles Austin and Jason Witten still healthy and very dangerous options, they could give the Eagles defense some problems. Philadelphia has surrendered at least 24 points in eight of their 12 games this season.

Eagles WR Jeremy Maclins tries to run against Houston in last Thursday's win over the Texans. Maclin's eight TD's has made him a top target for Vick.

But with the big numbers Dallas can put up against Philadelphia’s defense, the Eagles have dangerous weapons of their own. Jeremy Maclin is enjoying a great season for the Eagles, catching 56 balls for a team-high 820 yards and eight touchdowns. DeSean Jackson only has caught 38 balls but his 762 yards, 20.1 yards per catch, and five touchdowns are enough to make him a very dangerous option for Vick.

The ground game could also be a huge factor. Where Philadelphia is gaining yards in bunches thanks to the seasons McCoy and Vick are sharing, Dallas is struggling greatly in that aspect. Felix Jones and Marion Barber have combined for only 844 yards on 235 carries for three touchdowns. With the Eagles stingy run defense allowing only one 100-yard rusher all season, don’t expect Jones or Barber to be much of factor in this game on the ground.

Roose’s prediction (7-5): Dallas is tough but the Eagles are tougher. Kitna will get hit hard more than once and Vick will be able to work his magic against Dallas. Defense still has some problems but Eagles still win, 33-17.

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Bad News Bears; Texans on Thursday

Eagles linebacker Stew Bradley chases Bears receiver Earl Bennett in Sunday's loss. Bennett caught two touchdowns in the game. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Final Score: Eagles 26, Bears 31
Eagles best play: Michael Vick threw a strike through four defenders who were quadruple covering Brent Celek for a touchdown, bringing the score to 31-26 with under two minutes left.
Eagles worst play: Every time it appeared the Eagles had Chicago stopped, their receivers would exploit the middle and the secondaries poor tackling for a first down.

Three stars
M. Forte – 14 carries, 117 yards. 2 catches, 22 yards.
J. Avant – 8 catches, 83 yards.
E. Bennett – 4 catches, 56 yards, 2 TDs.

Breaking down the game

POOR TACKLING/POOR DEFENSE — It was the worst defensive effort the Eagles defense has had all season. With the absence of DE Juqua Parker and CB Asante Samuel, the defense couldn’t tackle or stop the run.

Matt Forte has struggled much of the season, rushing over 100 yards only one other game. He racked up 117 yards on only 14 carries in Sundays win. Chicago exploited the right side where Parker, who is a great run-stopper, would be. And when Forte would bounce the ball outside, he had to force Dimitri Patterson and Joselio Hanson to make the open-field tackle which they couldn’t do.

The Eagles got to Bears QB Jay Cutler four times in the game, all in the first half. The defense looked like it was going to stop leaking and shut down Chicago until the Bears opened up the second half with a quick touchdown drive to make it, 28-13.

They also failed to pick-off Cutler. Cutler has been picked off 10 times this season and the Bears offensive line is not that good. With the linebackers poor coverage and the corners poor tackling, it opened up the slants and curls for 10-yard, first-down plays. Cutler didn’t have a fantastic game but he found all the holes at all the right times.

JACKSON A NO-SHOW — A year removed from a fabulous Pro-Bowl season where DeSean Jackson racked up over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns, he’s been quiet and inconsistent all year.

Jackson caught only two balls for 26 yards on Sunday. It’s now been six games where Jackson failed to record more than 50 yards receiving. He has only 35 catches on the season with 678 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games.

Andy Reid apparently laid into Jackson in the post game locker room about his lack of effort in the loss. But other Eagles like Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy feel that it will blow over and that Jackson will be fine for Thursday’s game.

Bears RB Matt Forte runs for a 61 yards. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

OVERRATED? — The defense has allowed at least 24 points in seven of their 12 games this season. The offense is hot and cold. If Vick isn’t lighting up weak secondaries, he gets shut down by stronger defenses and can’t get the high-powered offense moving. The offensive line is hurt and terrible.

These are all the doubts the Eagles have despite being 7-4 and still in first place of the NFC East, tied with the Giants. But what happens when they give up 31 points to a team with one of the worst offenses in the league? What happens with they have to play four days after that loss and could knock themselves out of first in the division?

If the Eagles hot streak cools down the team starts to fall apart, getting into the playoffs will become harder in an NFC filled with seven teams with a 7-6 record or better.

PHI: 7-4, 1st in NFC East
HOU: 5-6, 3rd in AFC South
Spread: Eagles by 8.
Where: Lincoln Financial Field (Philly, PA)
When: Thursday, 8:30 on NFL Network.
Last Week: The Eagles lost to Chicago, 31-26. The Texans shut out Tennessee, 20-0.

Three games in 17 days. That’s what the Eagles were faced with in the last weeks of November and first in December. After a thrilling win over division rival Giants and a frustrating loss to the Bears, the Eagles have to host Houston four days removed from their 31-26 loss.

The Texans present an interesting match up for the Eagles. Boasting the best wide receiver in the NFL in Andre Johnson and with RB Arian Foster as the top fantasy running back this season, the Texans offense could put up numbers.

Texans WR Andre Johson is among the most dangerous receivers in the NFL. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The big question will be if the Eagles can get a healthy Juqua Parker and Asante Samuel back. The run defense has allowed only two 100-yard rushers all season and Samuel’s seven picks leads a team who is tops in the NFL in interceptions.

The Samuel v. Johnson match up will draw some interest. Johnson has five inches on Samuel and also has a healthy knee. This year, Johnson has 65 catches for 869 yards and five touchdowns.

Foster is the other weapon Houston has that could pose a threat to Philadelphia. The Eagles have allowed a 100-yard rusher only twice all season and Foster has rushed over 100 yards in seven games. He’s rushed for 1,147 yards on the season (5.1 per carry) with 12 touchdowns. He also has 48 catches for 453 yards and a touchdown.

Matt Schaub is a really good quarterback as well. On the season, he’s thrown 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has a passer rating of 92. 6.

Roose prediction (6-5): The Texans are not a good defensive squad, something that could hurt them. If Sameul is healthy, he will keep Johnson in check despite giving up some yards and a possible score. Eagles win this one, 31-24, but still have a lot of questions to answer.

 

Birds Scalp Skins; Face Giants For First

Running back Jerome Harrison knifes his way through the Redskins en route to a 50-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Final Score: Eagles 59; Redskins 28
Eagles best play: Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson hook up on the opening play with an 88-yard touchdown pass.
Eagles worst play: The secondary left Washington TE Fred Davis wide open as he rumbled down the left sideline for 71 yards to set up the Redskins first score in the second quarter.

Three stars
M. Vick (PHI) – 20/28, 333 yards, 4 TDs. 8 carries, 80 yards, 2 TDs.
J. Harrison (PHI) – 11 carries, 109 yards, TD. 1 catch, 15 yards.
D. Patterson (PHI) – 2 interceptions, 5 tackles, 40-yard TD off interception.

Breaking down the game

VICK SIX — Michael Vick was in a whole different world on Monday. Vick threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 80 yards and two touchdowns, giving him a grand total of six.

On the first play of the game, Vick and Jackson hooked up for an 88-yard score. The next score for the Eagles, Vick took it himself for a 7-yard touchdown run.

After the Eagles led 28-0 at the end of the first quarter, Vick hit Jeremy Maclin for a 48-yard touchdown to start the second quarter, giving the Eagles a 35-0 advantage only 15+ minutes into the game.

MISERABLE MCNABB — On the day of his 5-year, $78 million extension, McNabb played like he wanted to hand the check right back to Dan Snyder. McNabb was picked-off three times and his two touchdowns came in the second quarter when trailing, 35-0, at the time.

In the third quarter, McNabb was picked-off my Dimitri Patterson and returned 40 yards to the house, giving the Eagles a 59-21 lead.

HISTORIC FIRST — It was the first time in NFL history a road team scored 28 points in the first quarter.

It all started on the first play with the 88-yard Vick-to-Jackson connection. After forcing a Washington 3-and-out, the Eagles drove down field, capped off by a 7-yard score by Vick.

After forcing the Skins to punt again, Vick capped off a 63-yard drive with a 15-yard shovel pass to LeSean McCoy. After the Skins offense pulled another 3-and-out, Jerome Harrison pulled-off a remarkable 50-yard run to give the Eagles the 28-0 lead.

HARRISON > BELL — In a trade for back-ups, the Eagles were finally rewarded with their movement of Mike Bell for Jerome Harrison. Harrison rushed for 109 yards on only 11 carries and scored on a dazzling 50-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

Harrison bursted up the middle through a whole you could drive Jon Runyan’s truck through, shook-off some sad tackling attempts by Asante Samuel’s clones, burst up the right sideline, and dove to the endzone for the score.

____

PHI: 6-3, t1st in NFC East
NYG: 6-3, t1st in NFC East
Spread:
Where: Lincoln Financial Field (Philly, PA).
When: Sunday, 8:20 on CBS.
Last time met:
Last Week: The Eagles destroyed Washington, 59-28. The Giants got routed by Dallas, 33-20.

BATTLE FOR FIRST — In the last two weeks, the Eagles looked like a team on a mission. After battling it out with the Colts to a 26-24 win, the offense erupted for 59 points in a route over Washington.

New York has had a different last two weeks. They demolished the Seahawks, gaining national recognition as the most dominant team in the NFC. That was until they got handled by the lowly Cowboys, 33-20, on Sunday.

The interesting part of this match-up will be whether or not the Giants loss to Dallas was a fluke. The same goes with the offensive outburst by the Eagles.

Michael Vick is hungry to make something out of this season as he will be looking at a lucrative contract this off season. On the year, Vick completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,350 yards and 11 TDs with no interceptions. He’s also rushed for 341 yards on 44 carries and four scores. His passer rating is a stellar 115.1.

Giants QB Eli Manning, like the rest of the Giants, looked befuddled all game, getting handled by the lowly Coyboys, 33-20. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

This match up will feature two of the best teams in the NFC. The Eagles have scored the most points in the NFC and the Giants are fourth. Both teams are also 4-1 in their last five games.

Eli Manning is also enjoying a very strong year. He’s completed 66 percent of his passes for 2,448 yards and 19 touchdowns. But Manning has not done a good job of protecting the football, being picked off 13 times.

The Eagles are third in the NFL, averaging 151.1 yards a game while New York is fifth at 146.9.

But the main story this game will be defense. The Giants are the number one defensive team in the NFL right now, despite last week’s poor performance. But going up against an offense has dynamic as Philadelphia’s, this could pose a threat.

The game will feature the best offense in the NFC against the best defense. It’s a battle for first and advantage in the conference.

Roose’s Prediction (5-4): The Eagles prevail in this one, 28-21.

Colts win prepares Birds for NFC rematch

The Eagles got their swagger back with the return of Jackson, who's 109 yards and touchdown sparked a huge win over Indy. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Final Score: Eagles 26; Colts 24
Eagles best number: 12-0 – Andy Reid’s record after the bye week.
Eagles worst number: 125 – penalty yards.

Three stars
D. Jackson (PHI) – 7 catches, 109 yards, TD.
A. Samuel (PHI) – 2 Interceptions.
J. Tamme (IND) – 11 catches, 108 yards, TD.

Breaking down the game

THEY’RE BACK! — DeSean Jackson and Michael Vick made it known that they have returned to full form on last Sunday’s win. Jackson was as dynamic as usual, racking up 109 yards over seven catches and a touchdown. In Vick’s return, he went 17/29 for 218 yards and a touchdown.

The likes of Kevin Kolb and Brent Celek did not rejoice. Kolb sat the side lines as the back-up quarterback, a familiar and frustrating role he’s been a part of for the past few seasons. Celek didn’t record a catch in the game and was targeted very little as Vick favors his dynamic receivers over his tight end.

RATTLING MANNING — In order to beat Peyton Manning, you have to rattle him. Manning had a very poor game, especially compared to the MVP-like stats he’s produced in the first half of the season.

Manning was sacked three times and picked off twice by Asante Samuel. He was rushed in his passes multiple times and many of the first downs Indy picked up were due to penalties. Manning was forced to throw 51 times and only got one touchdown out of it.

___

Eagles vs. Redskins: MNF

PHI: 5-3, 2nd in NFC East
WAS: 4-4, 3rd in NFC East
Spread: Eagles by 3.
Where: Fed Ex Field (Landover, MD).
When: Monday, 8:30 on ESPN.
Last time met: Week 4 – Washington’s defense was too good for the Eagles, knocking Vick out of the game and for the next few weeks and keeping Kolb in check. Washington’s run game led them to a 17-12 win.
Last Week: The Eagles beat Indy, 26-24. Washington was on a bye.

Watching from the sidelines, McNabb was benched in favor of Grossman two weeks ago. He will get his second chance this Monday vs the Eagles. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

SECOND CHANCES — McNabb is going to be the player to watch in this one again. For starters, head coach Mike Shanahan made a big deal about McNabb’s start last time around, giving him the game ball for virtually not giving the game away.

McNabb was benched two weeks ago for the two-minute drill in favor of Rex Grossman. On Grossman’s first play to lead his team to glory, he was sacked and fumbled. Shanahan explained that McNabb was not in shape nor had good numbers in the clutch situation, a slap to the face of the former Eagle.

McNabb isn’t having a lucrative season either in Washington. He’s completed 57% of his passes for 1,971 yards and only seven touchdowns while being picked-off eight times. Another poor outing against the Birds and McNabb’s season could be in jeopardy to a permanent benching to Grossman.

Roose’s prediction (4-4): Vick gets his vengeance on the Skins in a conference blow-out, 31-13.

A Look Into the Bye

Thank God it’s here. After Sunday’s heartless drubbing to the Tennessee Titans, 37-19, the Eagles head into this week’s bye with some questions to be answered.

For starters, Kevin Kolb’s performance did not convince me just yet that he should cough up the starting position despite Michael Vick expected to be near 100% by the following Sunday home against Indianapolis. And with DeSean Jackson expected to be back, the Eagles offense could go toe-to-toe with the Colts.

The Eagles have a big question to answer this bye week: Kolb (shown) or Vick? (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

 

VICK OR KOLB? — I think the answer should be very easy, at least for me. At the starter of the season, Kolb was named the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. He lost his job to Vick when he suffered a concussion against the Packers in their week one 27-20 loss.

Vick started the next string of games before a rib injury forced him out of the starters role in week four against the Redskins. Kolb resumed his role as starter and performed very well before a miserable performance against the Titans.

But as I stated, Kolb was named the starting quarterback at the beginning of the season. He should continue that role heading into week nine against Indy.

For starters, he did nothing to merit losing the job in last week’s loss. Granted he didn’t play well but neither does a lot of starting quarterbacks in a team losing effort like the one Philly had.

Kolb has actually done very well so far this season, completing 97-of-153 (63.4%) of his passes for 1,035 yards, six touchdowns, and four interceptions. Two of his picks came last week on errant throws, signs of a lack of focus in a game that was out of reach.

Other than the picks, Kolb has been very accurate downfield, hitting Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek for some long passes in the past few weeks. Kolb can and will get better as the season goes on.

A healthy DeSean Jackson is the type of boost Philly need as they head into the tough part of their schedule, starting with Indy. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

 

RETURN OF JACKSON — Another piece that will make Kolb much stronger in the Eagles return week nine is Jackson’s recovery from a sever concussion he sustained in week six against Atlanta.

Jackson said the hit “felt like a car accident,” and was knocked out of the game. He said he feels a lot better this week and is eyeing a week nine return.

The return of Jackson will give Kolb, or if the Eagles opt with Vick, their biggest play-maker back. Jackson has 19 catches for 395 yards and three touchdowns. He also has one rushing touchdown.

Jackson’s return will also knock Jorrick Calvin from the punt returner’s role. Calvin made a key fumble in the Eagles loss to Tennessee last Sunday. Granted Andy Reid won’t want Jackson to be taking any unnecessary hits, Calvin may still get to hold onto the returners spot another week.

Jackson’s Concussion Puts Damper on Win

The Eagles offense suffered a huge blow when Atlanta's Dunta Robinson's vicious hit on DeSean Jackson game the receiver a sever concussion. (Clem Murray/Philadelphia Inquirer)

Final Score: Eagles 31; Falcons 17
Eagles best number: 326 – yards Kevin Kolb threw for.
Eagles worst number: 3 – number of field goals missed by David Akers.
Eagles best play: After scoring on an end-around earlier in the game, Kolb faked an end-around in the third quarter and hit Jeremy Maclin in stride for an 83-yard touchdown.
Eagles worst play: Kolb left WR DeSean Jackson hanging on a lobbed pass in which the star receiver took a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit delivered by Dunta Robinson.

Three stars
J. Maclin (PHI):  7 catches, 159 yards, 2 TD.
K. Kolb (PHI): 23/29, 326 yards, 3 TD.
T. Cole (PHI): 5 tackles, 2 sacks.

Breaking down the game

JACKSON SUFFERS CONCUSSION — It’s one of the most talked about things in sports: concussions. Jackson became a statistic on Sunday while being on the the receiving end of a vicious hit that knocked him out of the game and probably the next few weeks with a concussion.

The Falcons Robinson blind-sided Jackson, who turned around to try and make a catch on a soft pass from Kolb. The helmet-to-helmet hit knocked both players out of the game.

Jackson, the Eagles biggest playmaker, suffered a sever concussion and is likely out of next week’s game against the Titans.

With the league taking a stance against these type of hits, no one has yet to be suspended for them. Only a handful of fines have been handed out. Should Robinson be suspended for the hit? How about James Harrison of the Steelers for knocking two players from Sunday’s game against Cleveland? How about all the other countless incidents that happen on a weekly basis? If the league wants to crack down, make an example out of someone and get the head injuries to a minimum.

MACLIN STEPS UP — Jackson’s concussion allowed Maclin to step-up, which he did on Sunday. Maclin’s performance made many fantasy owners happy (or those who sat him – me – sad) with his seven catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns.

Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin makes a diving catch in the second quarter for his first touchdown of the game, an 8-yard score. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

His first score was a nice diving catch in the front right corner of the end zone. Kolb struck Maclin with a bullet into his chest for the 8-yard score in the second quarter to make it 21-7 game.

His second came on a fake end-around in the third in which he bolted down the left side line and caught Kolb’s offering in stride for an 83-yard score.

Maclin has big-play ability written all over him as well. But what separates Maclin from Jackson is that he is a smarter route-runner with better hands. Many people don’t believe it but Maclin is the Eagles best wide receiver and could turn into  Kolb’s favorite target.

BE GONE, PINK SHOE! — You may have noticed the pink equipment on a handful of NFL players the past few weeks. One of those players was Akers, who sported a pink cleat on his left foot.

Eagles kicker David Akers kicks with the unlucky pink left boot on Sunday.

But while the pink gear is an obvious stance for breast cancer awareness, it was a hinderance to Akers’ ability to make field goals.

In his first three attempts, Akers’ kicks all went wide left. But in the fourth quarter, Akers ditched the pink cleat for his old one and punched the ball through the uprights, finishing 1-for-4 on the day.

RUN DEFENSE SHOWS UP AGAIN — The Eagles run defense has really made a stance since getting run over by the Redskins a couple weeks ago. Coming off a strong performance in San Francisco, the front-seven again stuffed a big-time running back on Sunday.

The Eagles held Michael Turner to only 45 yards on 15 carries and the Falcons only gained 65 yards on the ground. Atlanta has a top-10 running game in the NFL and Turner is also in the NFL’s top 10 for yards so unlike last week against a weak San Fran offensive line, this was a big step towards becoming a strength once again.


Eagles Mistakes Costly

Final Score: Eagles 12; Redskins 17
Eagles best number: 124 (yards passing they held Redskins QB Donovan McNabb to).
Eagles worst number: 169 (yards rushing Washington had).
Eagles best play: S Nate Allen picked-off McNabb inside the 5-yard line.
Eagles worst play: McNabb connected with TE Chris Cooley, who was wide open, for a 31-yard touchdown to make it a 14-0 game.

Three stars
L. McCoy (PHI): 16 carries, 64 yards rushing. 12 catches, 110 yards receiving.
L. Fletcher (WAS): 10 tackles, two assists.
E. Sims (PHI): 5 tackles, assist, sack.

Breaking down the game

Eagles QB Michael Vick is in pain after being crunched by two Redskins defenders down at the goaline. The ply was ruled dead due to holding and Vick left the game with a rbi injury. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

INJURIES — The Eagles offense suffered a huge blow with rib injuries to QB Michael Vick and RB LeSean McCoy. Vick suffered an injury to his rib cartilage, something that will be week-to-week and bother the athletic quarterback for the remainder of the season.

Vick scrambled for 17 yards on the play, taking the ball down to the goal line. But Vick was sandwiched in between two Redskins. Making the play even worse, Jason Peters got called for a hold, negating the huge gainer as Vick was hurt for nothing.

McCoy suffered a broken rib in the fourth quarter of the Eagles loss to Washington. His status is uncertain. It’s a huge blow to their already lacking running game. McCoy is Kolb’s favorite target and is a very important part in their run and passing game.

BAD PENALTIES — Penalties killed the Eagles the entire game against Washington. On the defensive side of the ball, they prolonged drives for the Redskins and holding calls by an offensive line in shambles halted drives their own completely. Overall, the Birds racked-up 80 yards on eight penalties.

Ernie Sims got hit for a roughing the passer on McNabb early in the game (though replays showed it was a weak call) which prolonged a drive. McNabb was picked-off later in the drive.

Max-Jean Gilles, Jason Peters (twice), and Todd Herremans all got called for holding, a coaches ultimate pet peeve and pure example of a lineman getting beat.

JACKSON’S DISAPPEARING ACT — It’s been made very clear that Kevin Kolb and DeSean Jackson are not on the same page. It’s not about being bad teammates or favoritism. It solely relies on Kolb’s lack of athletic ability and the offensive line’s inability to allow Jackson or Jeremy Maclin to get open.

The reason Jackson and Maclin exploded the past couple weeks was because Vick has the ability to avoid the pass rush, extend plays, and let the two speed demons wear down the secondary to get open for big gainers.

Kolb can’t do that. When the line breaks down, Kolb is put on his back or is forced to make a bad throw or forced to dump it off to McCoy, who made 12 catches before getting hurt Sunday. Even last year with McNabb’s athletic ability to avoid the rush and let Jackson and Maclin get open, it shows that the lack of time in the pocket is the reason Jackson has disappeared again and will continue to disappear in the upcoming weeks Vick is not out there.

Redskins QB Donovan McNabb celebrates after throwing a 31-yard touchdown to TE Chris Cooley in the first quarter Sunday. McNabb beat his former team 17-12. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

MCNABB A NON-FACTOR — McNabb started out with decimating the Eagles defense. But it was to the help of his running game, which has been dead all season. Roland Torrain and Clinton Portis combined for 125 yards on the ground as Washington racked up 169 rushing yards.

McNabb disappeared after his 31-yard touchdown strike to Cooley in the second. He finished the game 8-for-19 with 125 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. His only other good pass came when WR Anthony Armstrong burned the secondary for a rolling 59-yard catch.

But the most damage McNabb did was after the game when he announced that, “everyone makes mistakes in their lives and (the Eagles) made one last year.” McNabb said this after the game when Mike Shannahan undeservedly gave McNabb the game ball.

Mr. Shannahan, McNabb did nothing to warrant the game ball. I would have cut the ball in half and give it to Torrain and Portis. McNabb’s 125 yards and 42% completion percentage was awful. Unless you’re just satisfied he didn’t puke on the field, McNabb was not your star.

Vick Shines In Win

The Eagles' LeSean McCoy runs for a 12 yard gain during the third quarter against the Lions. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Final Score: Eagles 35; Lions 32
Eagles best number: 135 (receiving yards by DeSean Jackson).
Eagles worst number: 232 (Jahvid Best’s total yards from scrimmage).
Eagles best play: QB Michael Vick threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Jackson to give the Birds a 7-0 lead in the first.
Eagles worst play: Best broke free on a halfback screen for a 75-yard touchdown, giving Detroit a 17-7 lead.

Three stars
M. Vick (PHI): 21/34, 284 yards passing, 2 TDs, 37 yards rushing.
J. Best (DET): 78 yards rushing, 2 TDs, 9 catches, 154 yards receiving, TD.
L. McCoy (PHI): 120 yards rushing, 3 TDs, 4 catches, 8 yards receiving.

Breaking down the game

VICK MAKES IT INTERESTING — Nothing like a little quarterback controversy heading into week three. Vick had himself an impressive game once again, throwing for 284 yards while completing 21-of-34 passes, and two touchdowns while rushing for 37 yards.

Vick had a few miss-fires but other than that, made some impressive throws down field including his pass to Jackson that he couldn’t hold onto and the deep strike to Jackson for 53 yards in the second quarter.

Vick stated after the game that despite his solid play and the fact he proved he could lead this team that he is okay with coach Andy Reid stating that Kevin Kolb is the starter when healthy.

But is that really the right decision? I say let Vick continue to start until he messes up. But by doing that and if Vick doesn’t mess up, he will almost ruin Kolb’s confidence as it will be a blatant message stating the Eagles don’t trust him.

We know what we have with Vick: an inaccurate quarterback who dazzles with his legs. But he’s also a leader and has led a team to the NFC championship before. If the Eagles want to be a contender this year and not just have a rebuilding year, Vick should be the answer.

LATE GAME SCARE — Prevent defense prevents your own team from winning. That almost happened as the Eagles defense went into sleep mode for the last five minutes, almost coughing up and 18-point lead.

Shaun Hill used an 80-yard drive in 2 minutes, 4 seconds to make it a 35-24 game. Best’s two-yard touchdown capped the drive in which Hill targeted Best and TE Brandon Pettigrew.

After a 3-and-out that ate up only little over a minute off the clock, the Eagles gave the ball back to Detroit. The Lions marched down field 55 yards and Hill hit WR Calvin Johnson with a 19-yard touchdown pass with 1:55 left.

The Lions then recovered an on-sides kick but failed to get a first down, capped by a pass deflected by Joselio Hanson to end the threat.

RUN SHADY RUN — LeSean McCoy is turning into the replacement for Brian Westbrook that Eagles fans hoped for. His shiftiness inside the tackles and ability to get free in the open field earned him 120 yards on 16 carries and three touchdowns, by far the best performance of his career.

Despite not being Vick’s favorite target this week (those honors went to DeSean Jackson), he’s a very dangerous receiver out of the backfield, almost a clone of Westbrook.

It will be interesting if his ability to rush for so many yards on only 16 carries will get him more touches on the ground from head coach Andy Reid.

JACKSON SHOWS UP — As mentioned, Jackson finally had the game fans expected from him last week. Jackson was held to only four catches for 30 yards in Week 1 against the Packers.

But he stepped it up, being Vick’s favorite target for downfield plays. Jackson caught four passes for 135 yards and a touchdown. He was target quite a bit more and was negated a catch in the first quarter when he failed to bring the ball completely in.

Pro Bowl Wrap Up

I only watched a little bit of the game as the Royal Rumble and even Grammy’s were more entertaining to watch. I saw a bit of the first and second quarters as DeSean Jackson was amazing, McNabb had me screaming to not hurt his trade value, and Leonard Weaver and Jason Peters didn’t do anything special. Asante Samuel was beat as well in the secondary.

McNabb’s appearance was bitter-sweet for me. I am a huge McNabb supporter and think he is truly a Hall of Fame QB (by Warren Moon’s standards) but seeing him play like that just proved once again why he is not the right QB for the Eagles and needs to be traded. He was picked off early in his appearance by LaMarr Woodley and had it returned for a TD but the play was blown dead after off-setting penalties. He was then picked off by his former team mate, Brian Dawkins.

McNabb did score a TD even though it came off of a 58-yard screen play to Jackson, his second of the night. When Jackson wasn’t doing all the work for McNabb, he was air-mailing and short-hopping his receivers, the same thing us fans watched all season.

Here are the stats for the Eagles players:

Donovan McNabb: 3/10 for 78 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 4 carries for 26 yards
DeSean Jackson: 6 catches, 101 yards, 2 TD’s; 1 PR for 8 yards
Asante Samuel: 1 interception with a 35-yard return
Quinton Mikell: 3 tackles
Trent Cole: 1 tackle
David Akers: FG 2/2, XP 4/4