Coming off of today’s big victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, the Eagles are probably losing memories of last week’s heart-breaking loss to the Saints, and look to be back on their track to expected success. This afternoon’s matchup was one filled with great plays and encouraging performances by almost the entire team. The reserve players filling in for injured starters (e.g. Kevin Kolb, LeSean McCoy, etc.) played very well, Michael Vick made his official Philly debut with several snaps, and overall, the Eagles looked brilliant in their defeating of the Chiefs by a score of 34 to 14.
Heading into the game, the clear questions were whether the Eagles could take advantage of the Chiefs’ poor schemes as a whole and exploit their defensive potential, and whether the Birds could execute their offensive gameplan productively without the services of starting QB Donovan McNabb and leading RB Brian Westbrook, both tending to injuries. They certainly proved they could, dominating Kansas City throughout most of the 1 p.m. ET. contest.
To open the Week 3 game, both offenses failed to move the ball successfully, but on the 3rd drive, after a few short passes and runs, rookie RB LeSean McCoy (starting in place of Westbrook) took a direct snap from the Wildcat formation and pounded his way into the endzone for a 5-yard touchdown run. Following this series, the Eagles also scored on their next offensive possesion; Kevin Kolb dove over the goal-line for a short TD run. Up by a score of 14-0, the Eagles allowed one of very few successful plays by the Chiefs in the 2nd quarter, when WR Mark Bradley got open for a 13-yard TD pass from QB Matt Cassel.
Later in the second period, Kevin Kolb found WR DeSean Jackson on a remarkable 64-yard TD pass, giving the Eagles a 14-point lead. Other significant plays that occurred in the quarter for the Birds include a 29-yard field goal by Birds’ K David Akers, several catches by TE Brent Celek, and a few plays involving athletic QB Michael Vick, who occasionally rotated with Kolb throughout the matchup.
In the final stages of the game, Celek performed impressively again, recording a 35-yard TD reception, and contributing to many running plays with solid blocks. To close out the game and boost the Eagles’ season record to 2-1, reserve QB Jeff Garcia entered the game for Philadelphia, taking a few snaps and securing the victory with short runs and intentional kneel-downs. Garcia’s brief appearance was celebrated by the Philly crowd, who witnessed him play as a surprisingly great injury replacement back in 2006.
With their second win of the season, the Eagles now prepare to rest, rehab, and perfect their gameplan as they take their respected Bye Week in the 4th week of the NFL season. This comes at quite a good time, considering the team is coming off a big win, and has key players in need of mending. They will resume regular season play in two weeks versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Further analysis and evaluation of today’s game will be released throughout the week, but for now, take a look at the Eagles’ statistical leaders from the matchup, some of their key players, a scoring summary of the contest, and a look at some interesting things that you may have missed while viewing the game:
Passing: Kevin Kolb (QB): 24-34, 327 yards, 2 TD
Rushing: LeSean McCoy (RB): 20-84 yards, 1 TD
Receving: DeSean Jackson (WR): 6-149 yards, 1 TD
Receiving (cont.): Brent Celek (TE): 8-104 yards, 1 TD
Defensive: Omar Gaither (MLB): 7 tackles, 1 sack
Defensive (cont.): Trent Cole (DE): 6 tackles, 0.5 sack
Kicking: David Akers (K): 2-2 FG, 4-4 XP
Punting: Sav Rocca (P): 3-36.0 punt yard average
For a complete breakdown of the game’s stats, click here.
- TE Brent Celek: For the second week in a row, Celek has been listed as one of the game’s “Key Players”, and has certainly deserved the title. Recording 8 catches for 104 yards (including a 35-yard TD), the 1st-year starter has been one of the primary targets in the 2009 offense, and was a huge factor in this afternoon’s matchup. To go along with his phenomenal receiving performance, Celek also placed some solidly executed blocks on defenders while guarding running lanes on handoffs.
- QB Kevin Kolb: In his 2nd career start and 2nd game as the leading QB this season, Kolb played very well. His performance will likely be overlooked by many who will focus on the Chiefs’ struggles, but the young passer completed nearly 330 yards and had only 10 incompletions. He also threw for a pair of touchdowns, and ran one in from the 1-yard line. Today’s game will probably end up being Kolb’s last starting opportunity this season, as regular starter Donovan McNabb continues to progress with his rib injury, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore the fact that he looked quite sharp this week, and was clearly one of the “Key Players”.
- RB LeSean McCoy: Starting in place of the injured Brian Westbrook, rookie McCoy played a quietly good game. Gaining 84 yards on the ground, including a 5-yard TD carry, the RB also added 7 yards on a short catch, and was a consistent blocker when necessary. He didn’t top the NFL’s weekly leaderboards with over 100 yards, but he sure did benefit the Birds’ offense, and proved why he was drafted as the team’s potentially future star at the RB position, displaying a load of versatility and offensive ability.
- WR DeSean Jackson: Similar to Celek, Jackson has also been named a “Key Player” twice this season, and deservingly so. He did everything he could against the Chiefs, and wound up with a career-high 149 receiving yards, to go along with his 2nd receiving TD of the year. He also manned the Punt Returner position for most of the game, and is continuing to develop into the Eagles’ true number 1 wideout. Don’t expect this to be Jackson’s last time on the “Key Player” list.
Did You Know…
- …that hard-nosed reserve RB Eldra Buckley gained his first yards as an Eagle with a 4-yard power run today? The former Charger joined the Eagles as a “long shot” to make the final roster, but beat out veteran Lorenzo Booker for the 3rd RB spot, and saw his first offensive action this afternoon.
- …that DE Trent Cole recorded a sack against the Chiefs today, giving him a sack in each of this season’s first three games? He now holds 37 career sacks, which is a total quickly rising among the franchise’s record books. Look for even more defensive success from the dominant Cole as the season goes on.
- …that the Eagles’ QBs present at this afternoon’s matchup combine for a total of 12 career Pro-Bowl appearances? Typical starter Donovan McNabb, a 5-time Pro-Bowler, was inactive for the game because of a fractured rib, but remains one of the team’s regular QBs. Today’s starter–Kevin Kolb–hasn’t been to a Pro-Bowl, but reserve throwers Michael Vick (3 Pro-Bowls) and Jeff Garcia (4 Pro-Bowls), who both saw playing time today, contribute to the combination of awards.
|TD||L.McCoy 5 yd. run (D.Akers kick) (8-48, 3:10)|
|TD||K.Kolb 1 yd. run (D.Akers kick) (6-73, 3:27)|
|TD||M.Bradley 13 yd. pass from M.Cassel (R.Succop kick) (6-56, 3:20)|
|TD||D.Jackson 64 yd. pass from K.Kolb (D.Akers kick) (1-64, 0:18)|
|FG||D.Akers 29 yd. Field Goal (14-64, 5:44)|
|FG||D.Akers 38 yd. Field Goal (8-50, 3:20)|
|TD||B.Celek 35 yd. pass from K.Kolb (D.Akers kick) (5-72, 2:53)|
|TD||B.Wade 9 yd. pass from M.Cassel (R.Succop kick) (6-20, 2:41)|
Picture source: Online image. www.philadelphiaeagles.com