Category Archives: Michael Vick

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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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 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.

NFL Week 6: Eagles vs. Falcons

PHI: 3-2, t2nd in NFC East
ATL: 4-1, 1st in NFC South
Spread: Eagles by 2.5
Where: Lincoln Financial Field (Philly, PA)
When: Sunday, 1:00 PM on FOX
Last time met: Dec. 6, 2009 – The Eagles destroyed Atlanta, 34-7. FB Leonard Weaver gained over 100 yards from scrimmage and scored a TD. Even though Donovan McNabb was the starter, Vick threw TD pass and ran for another in front of his former home crowd in Atlanta.
Last Week: The Eagles beat the Niners, 27-24. Atlanta rolled over Cleveland, 20-10.

Best case scenario: Kevin Kolb continues to play well, having another great day with over 250 yards in the air and a couple TDs to DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek. Celek finally has the breakout game the Eagles are waiting for. LeSean McCoy has another 100+ yards from scrimmage.

Worst case scenario: Matt Ryan and Roddy White hook up for a pair of touchdowns while Michael Turner rushes for over 150 yards and two scores of his own. Kolb sputters against the Falcons defense, reassuring faith in Michael Vick to take the reigns.

Falcons WR Roddy White makes a catch last week in Cleveland. He's one of the best kept secrets in the NFL. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Opposing player to watch – WR Roddy White: He’s just a smart football player. White is one of the most dangerous players in the league that nobody talks about and unrightfully so. White has 37 castches for 463 yards and three TDs in five games so far this year. He has the ability to go off every game. If the Eagles secondary has a similar showing like last week, White could have a field day on the Eagles secondary.

Offenses: Kolb is riding a very good performance against San Francisco and will look to keep it up against a solid Falcons defense. As a whole, the Eagles are in the top 10 in most offensive categories but could be higher if they haven’t been swapping back and forth with Kolb and Vick due to injuries. Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Celek are all dangerous weapons but have all been inconsistent this season.

Ryan is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He’s matured greatly as a passer and that helps when you have a top-tier running back in Turner and wide receiver in White. Don’t discount TE Tony Gonzalez, who may be aging but is still considered a top-5 tight end. Jason Snelling has been a very good back-up running back and is a change of pace from the bruising Turner.

Advantage: Atlanta’s offense is clicking while Philly’s still isn’t. Advantage, Atlanta.

Defenses: The run defense for Philalphia had a much better showing last week against San Francisco and Frank Gore but that’s partly due to how bad the Niners offensive line is. Atlanta is very different. With two running backs who can exploit all the weaknesses in the front seven, the Eagles run defense could have problems especially without Broderick Bunkley, who injured his elbow and is out indefinitely. Asante Samuel will be back, a boost the secondary needed after Alex Smith exploited them last week. Rookie S Nate Allen leads the Birds with three picks and Juqua Parker leads with four sacks.

Atlanta has a top-10 defense right now. DE John Abraham lined up against Eagles T King Dunlap is scary. He leads their defense with four sacks and may rack up a few more. You can’t discount LB Curtis Lofton, who leads the team with 37 tackles and has also reached the quarterback twice. Atlanta’s 10 interceptions are tops in the NFL, led by S William Moore’s two with the rest spread around to eight other players.

Advantage: Both units have their strength’s and weaknesses. Push.

Injury Report
Eagles
: Out: B. Bunkley (elbow), J. Peters (knee). Questionable: R. Cooper (concussion), M. Vick (rib).
Falconss: Questionable: J. Abraham (back). Probable: B. Finneran (knee), C. Lofton (knee).

Roose’s Prediction (4-1): The Falcons offense will be too much for the Eagles defense as Atlanta wins in a high-scoring game, 34-30.

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.

NFL Week 4: Eagles vs. Redskins

PHI: 2-1, 1st in NFC East
WAS: 1-2, t2nd in NFC East
Spread:
Where: Lincoln Financial Field (Philly, PA)
When: Sunday, 4:15 PM on __
Last time met: Nov. 29, 2009 – Donovan McNabb led the Eagles on a fourth-quarter game winning drive as they downed Washington 27-24 in Philadelphia.
Last Week: Eagles beat the Jaguars, 28-3. Washington lost to St. Louis, 30-16.

Best case scenario: The Eagles spoil McNabb’s homecoming, shutting him down completely. Vick outshines his former teammate, throwing for over 300 yards for the first time since 2005 and a pair of touchdowns to DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Trent Cole gets to McNabb twice and Asante Samuel returns an interception for a touchdown.

Worst case scenario: Washington ends Vick’s little streak of good luck. McNabb puts on a show infront of his former fans, throwing for 300 yards and three touchdowns, two to Santana Moss. Clinton Portis rushes for 100 yards and a touchdown. The Skins defense forces Vick to throw his first two interceptions of the year.

Redskins QB Donovan McNabb enjoyed 11 seasons in Philadelphia.

Opposing player to watch – QB Donovan McNabb: Could it be any more obvious. The media has hyped up this match-up, centering it around Vick and McNabb. Why not add to the fire. McNabb played 11 years in Philadelphia as the franchise quarterback. After leading the Eagles to five Conference championship games and one Super Bowl, he was traded to Washington for a 2nd-round pick that turned into rookie safety Nate Allen. McNabb is 62-for-102 for 833 yards and two touchdowns. It will be interesting to see what type of reaction McNabb will get in Philly. Will he be cheered or will he get the boo bird special.

Offenses: Vick has turned into one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL again. Three years removed from the good-ole days, Vick is 54-for-79 with 705 yards and six touchdowns while throwing no interceptions. Jackson and Maclin are coming off of a pair of huge games against Jacksonville. Both are favorite targets for Vick, who has bought them a lot of time to get open with his legs. LeSean McCoy is still playing strong for Philly. Brent Celek has yet to have one his big games like last year.

McNabb is the new face of the Skins offense. He’s found a new target in Moss, who has caught 22 bals for 290 yards and one touchdown. McNabb has always utilized the tight end and has a very good one to throw to in Chris Cooley. Cooley has 14 grabs for 197 and a touchdown. Their ground game is very weak. Clinton Portis has 140 yards on 38 carries, an average of 3.7.

Advantage: The Eagles offense is rolling while Washington’s is stalling. Advantage, Birds.

Defenses: The Eagles finally got their best game from this unit last week. They stuffed Maurice Jones-Drew and held Mike Sims-Walker to minimal damage as Jacksonville could only get a field goal against them. Asante Samuel and rookie Nate Allen lead the Birds stingy secondary. A healthy Stew Bradley makes their run-stopping game that much better. He’s also a great coverage line backer and will have his hands full with Chris Cooley this week.

Washington is in shambles defensively. Albert Haynesworth isn’t panning out and they are coming off of back-to-back poor performances against Houston and St. Louis. Honestly, I would be shocked if Vick doesn’t have a field day. Brian Orakpo, who leads the team with two sacks, is their most dynamic player. He could get to Vick a couple times seeing as how bad the Birds offensive line has been this season.

Advantage: Eagles defense is coming off a strong performance and should roll again. Advantage, Birds.

Injury Report
Eagles
: Ernie Sims practiced Friday and should be fine. Mike Bell is sick and didn’t practice Friday.
Redskins: Questionable: A. Haynesworth (thumb), D. Hall (back), C. Portis (wrist).

Roose’s Prediction (3-0): Eagles shut down Skins, 24-10.

Vick the Starter

Andy Reid feels that the Eagles could win this year and he’s going with the guy who may be the answer. No not Kevin Kolb but Michael Vick. Reid announced today that Vick will be the starter this Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Why Reid made the switch? Who knows. But he will give the reason at 6:30 ET on CSN.

This is shocking news indeed. Donovan McNabb was traded away over the summer for Kolb to be the starter, not Vick. But with Kolb’s concussion still on Reid’s mind (probably as an excuse), Vick will get the opportunity to really add to his argument to be the number one guy, not just with the Eagles, but to anyone after this season.

Vick threw for 175 yards and one touchdown and ran for 103 yards during a 27-20 loss to Green Bay. He then shined the following week, throwing for 284 passing yards and two TDs in a 35-32 victory at Detroit.

It’s going to hurt Kolb’s development by keeping him on the back burner. But then again, it could help the Eagles if they truly think this year could be a winning year.

Let the controversy continue.

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.