Category Archives: LeSean McCoy

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.

Birds in first; head to Chicago for big NFC matchup

Eagles RB LeSean McCoy waltzes into the end zone after his 50-yard touchdown on a 4th-and-1 in the last four minutes of play gave the Eagles the lead for good. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Final Score: Eagles 27, Giants 17
Eagles best play: Michael Vick bobble the snap on 4th-and-1 but recovered, pitching it left to LeSean McCoy who took it 50 yards to the house with over 4:30 left in the game to give the Eagles a 24-17 lead.
Eagles worst play: In one of the Eagles’ three red zone possessions that ended in a field goal, Jason Avant dropped a pass all alone in the back of the endzone.

Three stars
J. Maclin (PHI) – 9 catches, 120 yards.
L. McCoy (PHI) – 14 carries, 111 yards, TD. 5 catches, 29 yards.
A. Samuel (PHI) – 2 INT, fumble recovered, 2 tackles.

Breaking down the game

THE GAME CHANGER —With under five minutes left in the game and the Eagles’ chances running out, they found themselves in a do-or-die situation. On fourth-and-one, the Eagles chose to run the ball. Instead of trying to muscle it through the Giants stout offensive line, which held LeSean McCoy to 13 yards on the game, the Eagles opted for a toss.

Vick bobbled the snap but got control of it in time to pitch it left to McCoy, who busted through the Giants secondary for a 50-yard touchdown. Vick found Avant for the two-point conversion to make it a 24-17 game with just over four minutes remaining.

McCoy added a 40-yard run on the next possession to get himself over 100 yards on the game in the win.

The Giants saw their chance at tying the game halted when Eli Manning fumbled the ball away. Asante Samuel recovered it for his second of the game. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)

DEFENSIVE STAND — We all know how goofy Eli Manning looks. The Eagles made him look even more foolish in the game, forcing him to throw three interceptions. Manning also didn’t help his cause when he dove forward and fumbled the ball in the fourth quarter, halting the Giants drive when they trailed 24-17.

The Eagles were all over Manning, forcing bad throws and poor decisions. Manning managed to complete only 20-of-33 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns. The longest pass he completed was to Brandon Jacobs, who picked up most of the 22 yards after the catch.

The ground game for New York, which was one of the best in the league, was absolutely stuffed. The Giants managed only 61 yards on the ground with over half the yards coming on Ahmad Bradhaw’s 17-yard run and Manning’s 16-yard run that ended in a costly fumble.

FINE GAME FOR SAMUEL — Other than being fined $40,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Giants WR Derek Hagan, Samuel had himself a tremendous effort. He picked off Manning twice and recovered two fumbles, the first forced by Brandon Graham and the second off of Manning in the win. Samuel also had two tackles which could be a career high the way he wraps up ball carriers.

HOBBS ON IR — Ellis Hobbs was injured on a scary play in the third. Taking the opening kick-off of the second half, Hobbs was hit head-to-head by Giants DL Dave Tollefson, injuring his neck. No foul or fine was issued to Tollefson because Hobbs isn’t considered a “vulnerable” player and that helmet hits are allowed on ball carriers with established possession (*cough*bullshit*cough*).

The hit left Hobbs lying on the field for over 11 minutes before being taken off on a stretcher.

Hobbs was placed on the injured reserve today. Hobbs missed the last nine games of the 2009 season with a neck injury.

PHI: 7-3, 1st in NFC East
CHI: 7-3, t1st in NFC North
Spread: Eagles by 3.5
Where: Soldier Field (Chicago, IL).
When: Sunday, 4:15 on FOX.
Last Week: The Eagles beat the Giants, 27-17. The Bears shut out the Dolpins, 16-0.

BATTLE FOR BEST IN NFC — People will get a good look at what the Eagles high-powered offense can do against one of the best defenses in the NFC. They saw last week they could over come a tough Giants defense but a repeat performance would solidify them as the top contender in the conference.

Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin are all enjoying years to remember. Vick is a top MVP candidate with his performance this season, throwing for 1,608 yards, 11 touchdowns, and no interceptions this season. He had the highest pass rating (108.7) in the NFL. He’s also run for 375 yards and five touchdowns.

 

Bears RB Matt Forte runs through two Dolpins last Thursday in their 16-0 win. (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)

On the Bears offense, Jay Cutler has completed over 61% of his passes for 2,064 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He could struggle against the Eagles secondary which features ball hawks Asante Samuel, who leads the NFL with seven picks, and rookie Nate Allen, who has three. As a team, they’ve picked off a league-high 19 passes.

 

The Bears are relying on their defense, which has allowed an average of 290 yards a game this season, third in the NFL. They’ve also allowed an NFL-low 14.6 points per game. D.J. Moore leads the team with four interceptions and ends Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije have a combined 11 sacks.

Chicago will be well-rested for this game, having 10-days off before kickoff. Their 16-0 win over Miami on Thursday helped keep them in pace for first place in the NFC North.

This game is going to come down to whether or not the Bears weak offense can score on the Eagles strong defense. If their defense holds up their end of the bargain, it could be a very low-scoring game. If not, expect the Eagles to win in a blowout.

Roose’s prediction (6-4): The Bears defense will hold the Eagles offense  enough to win but they won’t score. Eagles win, 19-10.

Birds Cough-Up Game

Titans WR Kenny Britt catches the third of his three touchdowns on Sunday's 37-19 win. (AP Photo/Frederick Breedon)

Final Score: Eagles 19; Titans 37
Eagles best number: 0:00 – the end of the game.
Eagles worst number: 18 – the number Kenny Britt wore seeing. They saw the back of his jersey a lot on Sunday.
Eagles best play:
Eagles worst play: With the game still in reach as the Eagles trailed by eight, Jorrick Calvin fumbled a punt with little over three minutes left, giving the Titans the ball in field goal territory and letting them put the game away.

Three stars
K. Britt (TEN): 7 catches, 225 yards, 3 TD’s
K. Collins (TEN): 17-for-31, 276 yards, 3 TD’s, 2 INT, 90.3 rating.
C. Finnegan (TEN): 8 tackles, interception returned for TD.

Breaking down the game

MELTDOWN — The Eagles put fourth one of the most embarrassing fourth quarters in recent memory. Leading 16-7 with under five minutes left in the third, LeSean McCoy fumbled the ball on the 7-yard line to stall a would-be Eagles touchdown drive.

After that, the Titans marched downfield and kicked a field goal to make it 16-10. After a David Akers field goal to make it 19-10, the Titans scored 27 unanswered points in the fourth.

Eagles PR Jorrick Calvin fumbles away the Eagles' last hopes of mounting a come-back against the Titans. (AP Photo/Frederick Breedon)

It all started with Kerry Collins hitting Britt for an 80-yard touchdown catch to make it 19-17. After a 3-and-out, the Titans took the lead with a field goal with 9:31 left.

Another 3-and-out for the Eagles and the Titans scored once again, a 16-yard touchdown pass to Britt to give the Titans the eight-point advantage with little over five minutes left.

After each team traded 3-and-outs and the Eagles were left with no time outs, the Titans punted. But Calvin bobbled and then fumbled the punt to give the Titans the ball on the Eagles 33.

But it got worse. The Titans converted on a should-be stop, kicked a field goal to make it a two-score game, and then Cortland Finnegan picked-off Kevin Kolb and returned it to the house for the last play of the game.

SICK OF SAMUEL — Looking at a 3rd-and-7 on the Eagles 30. With Philadelphia only trailing by eight and there still being a chance of the Eagles to force K Rod Bironas to make a long field goal attempt, all they needed was a stop.

They had shut down Titans running back Chris Johnson all game. The second leading rusher in the NFL was held to only 66 yards on 22 carries so a stop in that situation looked plausible.

Johnson took the hand-off, bounced out to the left and made Asante Samuel look stupid to pick up the first down. One-on-one, Johnson is hard to tackle. One-on-one with Samuel, though, everyone knew what the outcome would have been.

Lowering his head like the typical defensive back does today is what Samuel did. It’s hard to tackle anyone, especially with Johnson’s skill set, when you’re staring into the dirt and you don’t wrap your arms around the ball carrier.

Week in and week out we have to watch Samuel make horrible attempts at should-be tackles. He’ll get his token interception to allow people to forget about his inability to do the simple tasks asked of a football player.

I’m sick of watching it, Asante. Just sick. But at least you’re still better than that wasted of space Ellis Hobbs.

HEADING INTO THE BYE — The Eagles will be heading into the bye week this week. Instead of writing about it here, I will touch on a few things regarding the Kolb/Michael Vick situation and the possible return of DeSean Jackson.

It’s going to be a fun two weeks. Hopefully someone teaches Samuel how to tackle.

Birds Keep Niners Winless

Eagles running back LeSean McCoy runs against the 49ers on Sunday. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Final Score: Eagles 27; Niners 24
Eagles best number: 138 – LeSean McCoy’s total yards from scrimmage despite playing with a broken rib.
Eagles worst number: 25% – The Eagles 3rd-down conversion efficiency.
Eagles best play: Kevin Kolb avoided the 49ers pass rush while rolling right and buying time to find TE Brent Celek for an 8-yard TD pass to tie the game up in the first quarter.
Eagles worst play: At the end of the first half, Kolb was sacked by Niners LB Manny Lawson and lost the ball. It was recovered by the Niners but they failed on a last-second field goal before the half’s end.

Three stars
L. McCoy (PHI): 18 carries, 92 yards (5.1 YPC), TD. 5 catches, 47 yards… with a broken rib.
K. Kolb (PHI): 21/31, 253 yards, TD.
M. Crabtree (SF): 9 catches, 105 yards, TD.

Breaking down the game

Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb rolls out against the Niners. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

KOLB LOOKED STRONG — If Kevin Kolb really wants to be the future of the Eagles franchise, he will need to have more games that resembled Sunday night. Kolb completed 68% of his passes for 253 yards and a touchdown pass to TE Brent Celek.

The opening drive was probably Kolb’s best. Following a quick score by San Francisco, Kolb began the drive. His second pass was a 32-yard strike to Celek, who was wide open thanks to Kolb buying him time with his legs. Kolb went on to complete all six of his passes for 64 yards and capped it off with a touchdown to Celek to finish the 79-yard drive.

There were still mistakes made by Kolb but his efficient passing, composure in the pocket, and even some athletic plays to buy himself and his receivers time were all positives and that will be the key to his maturation as an NFL quarterback.

SHADY TOUGH — Shady McCoy is one tough SOB. I don’t care if he’s a professional. He had himself one helluva game despite playing on a broken rib. That is mental toughness. 138 yards from scrimmage which was highlighted by a 29-yard touchdown in the second quarter that made it a 17-7 game.

POOR SECONDARY — The defense had another mental breakdown, this time in the secondary. Despite picking off Alex Smith twice, he burned a secondary missing their best player, Asante Samuel. Smith lit up the third level for 309 yards and three touchdowns.

Crabtree also had a great game, catching nine balls for 105 yards a touchdown. Also Vernon Davis caught five balls for 105 yards and a touchdown.

STOPPING THE RUN — The run defense was much better this time around, holding Frank Gore to only 52 yards on 18 carries, less than three yards a carry. The only other carry by a Niner running back was ex-Eagle Brian Westbrook, who only had one carry for six yards. It was a much better outing than last week when they were run over by a poor Washington running attack.

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.

Eagles at Cincinnati Bengals (preseason)

Records: Eagles (1-0); Bengals (1-1)
Where: Paul Brown Stadium (Cincy)
When: Friday; 8:00; FOX
Discussion: Liberty Bell Sports

What to Expect: Starters will be getting much more playing time this time around. If I’m not mistaken, starters will play at least the first quarter and some of the second. This is when you’ll get to see Kevin Kolb try to gel with his new starting team mates and hopefully develop a rapport that will carry over into the regular season… Heeeee’s Back! Terrell Owens isn’t thankfully coming back to Philly because he wouldn’t make it out alive but we will get to see him on TV playing against one of his uglier divorces. Owens and Chad Ochocinco, together on one team, is going to be a huge circus act and I can’t wait until the big top collapses, leaving Carson Palmer wondering what the hell to do with two spoiled cry babies…

Players to Watch

Kevin Kolb – He’s the man in Philly now. Like I said in the previous section, he is going to try and develop some kind of relationship with his receivers in an actual game-day scenario. It would be nice to see him get more playing time for a change and really give us a taste of what he can do this year.

LeSean McCoy – It’s going to be nice to Shady get a fair share of carries this time around and attempt to get on a roll. Shady is the number one man now in Philly without Brian Westbrook. He will also hopefully have something Westbrook hasn’t had in most of his career, a reliable number two to keep him healthy in Mike Bell. McCoy is like a clone of Westbrook in that he is small in size but very speedy. He has great hands and can get lost behind the line man. Once he pops out into sight, it can be too late to get into position to make a tackle on him.

Riley Cooper – Cooper had himself a nice little showing in the second quarter last week. He made some nice catches and showed that he should get some touches in the regular season. He’s battling Hank Baskett for the fourth WR spot and right now he has an early lead.

Michael Vick – Vick looked pretty sharp last week. It appeared he was forcing himself into more of a passers role by staying in the pocket. His discomfort showed as he fumbled a couple snaps, losing the ball once, and throwing an interception. Vick did look good on the other plays and even showed off some of the vintage speed on his rushing touch down. Look for Vick to continue to work on being a true quarterback and continue to get better and show flashes of his old brilliance. Maybe this time around he can be a weapon on the field.

A Familiar Road

Two weeks removed from another heart breaking loss in the playoffs have left Eagle fans searching for answers once again. Does Andy Reid need to go? Is the Donovan McNabb era done? Is Kevin Kolb ready to take the reins? Is the offensive line good enough as it is now? Who do we draft in April? I’ve certainly been asking myself these questions a lot and have found myself asking random Philly fans at Flyers games or those who walk into my liquor store who look like they know a thing or two about football.

Lets address Reid first. He is signed through 2012 meaning we have to endure three more years of watching a 60% pass-heavy offense. Yes the Eagles have the extraordinary talent and skill at the receiving position in DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Kevin Curtis, and Brent Celek but a lack of balance has killed this offense many times versus good defenses, especially Dallas three times this year. Reid is not a terrible coach, in fact he’s an excellent coach, but he is not getting the job holding the play card. Fortunately for him, there is not a better option out there to replace him (unless Tony Dungy or Bill Cowher decide to enter the coaching world again).

Now to our quarter backs. People started calling for Kevin Kolb again during Week 17 and the Wild Card after the offense couldn’t get anything going versus the Cowboys. McNabb’s completion percentage was around 60%, a terrible number when you’re in a West Coast-style offense that relies on the short passes and screens. There were a number of times where he would over throw the speedy Jackson and Maclin, throw behind the sure-handed Celek and Avant, or throw at the feet of LeSean McCoy and Leonard Weaver.

I am not turning on McNabb at all. I have supported him time and time again and will continue to as long as he is our #5. But we are in a similar position that Green Bay was in two years ago. I am not saying Kolb and McNabb are of the same caliber as Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers (though I hope Kolb. This is the same scenario. You have a proven franchise QB who has been in the system for over 10 years and is a fan favorite but you have a good young QB who was drafted to be the successor but has been holding a clip board for a couple years.

What does that mean? It means the Eagles need to trade McNabb to a team who is willing to cough up a top 15 pick for him. I do believe McNabb is worth that pick. I then see Kolb taking the starting spot for next year.

Now I want to cover the draft since we now have two first round picks in my dream world. They need help in two spots, maybe three: safety, strong-side linebacker, and maybe right guard. Texas’ Earl Thomas or USC’s Taylor Mays could be good choices for the safety spot and I’d like to see that addressed first.

Now the reason I think that only one offensive line spot needs improving is that I don’t see a whole lot wrong with our o-line. Jason Peters, the LT, will not have another bad year despite making the Pro Bowl. LG Todd Herrimans and C Jamaal Jackson had great years despite Jackson’s being cut short in Week 16 with a torn ACL. Winston Justin played some great ball at RT, making the signing of Stacy Andrews seem pointless. Now his brother Shawn needs to focus this off season, mature, lose weight, and get his back straight. I made a comment to him on Twitter and he said he wants to play again. Just incase he is still a question mark, I think Reid should use his knowledge and draft another good guard.

Now I didn’t make this one of my questions but it is a hot topic as well: Brian Westbrook. Our beloved B-West could potentially retire because of his knee injuries sustained the past couple of years. We’ve seen Barry Sanders retire because he didn’t want to have bad knees and we’ve also seen Terrell Davis retire because after his knee injury, he wasn’t the same explosive back he once was. I would love to see a healthy Westbrook/McCoy tandem next season but it is a big question mark on whether or not it will happen.

There is a lot to do this offseason. Outside of McNabb, the rest is minor tweaking. Though Reid said McNabb is the guy in 2010, a change is very likely and we will see in the next couple months if it will be McNabb taking the snaps or the start of the Kolb Era.