The geniuses that be at ESPN will be reiterating the same stuff all season about our Eagles team. I thought I'd take a few minutes to analyze and discuss our so-called problems. Sometimes it seems like these guys at ESPN don't even watch the games, they just repeat what everyone else is already saying. So here's my take on our critiques from Week 1.
Michael Vick Has No Shot to Play 16 Games- I actually agree with this, but for differnet reasons. I think the Eagles will clinch homefield advantage in the NFC by Week 16 and we will rest our starters in Week 17. That's not how most people see it. All the so-called experts believe that it's only a matter of time before Vick goes down. They believe he is too fragile and he takes a way too many unnecessary shots. This is the most overblown criticism of Vick. It actually works both ways. Vick will avoid a lot of hits because of his elusivness but he will take more shots down the field when he takes off when the play breaks down. There is still a good chance he misses time, but it isn't a forgone conclusion that he will miss four or five games at least due to injury. Even if he does we have an outstanding backup in Vince Young and a third stringer who has an excellent graps of the offense as well as a quick release that allows him to rarely take sacks. I predict this will not cost us our season. Run all you want Vick, that's whay makes you so dynamic.
The Offensive Line Stinks- I wrote about this unit as being a work in progress that could become our strength by Decemeber. Howard Mudd is to offensive lines as Bruce Dickinson is to 70's rock bands. We were inconsistent early. At the most, our players have been in camp for around 50 days. Kyle DeVan was just brought in a week ago. Todd Herremans was just moved to right tackle about two weeks ago. Jason Kelce is a rookie center still adjusting to both his linemates and to the NFL in general. Evan Mathis is also new to the team.
They got a lot better as the game went on. Kelce's struggled with Vick to get plays off on time early but wasn't bad. Herremans looked great. He seemed to dominate Rams end James Hall throughout the game. I really hope they don't mess with this unit by putting Justice at RT and moving Herremans back to LG. This group playing now has a chance to be great by the end of the season. Atlanta will pose a new challenge but remember, King Dunlap shut out John Abraham last season with little help and no Howard Mudd. Imagine what Jason Peters will do Sunday Night.
Run Defense is Hopeless- Our defense reminds me of a basketball teams with a good post offense that shot a lot of 3pt shots. The 3pt game is like our DL. We will get a lot of sacks and a lot of TFL. We will also overpursue and got burnt by the draws and screens. Our post offense is like our secondary. We have an outstanding secondary that will balance things out when our runs D stinks, kind of like how a good post offense helps out a basketball team that can't buy a 3pt bucket. Expect our run D to be inconsistent but it will get better and it will come through when we need them the most. Remember, after Steven Jackson's 47 yard TD run we only gave up 2 FG's.
I wouldn't say our run D is hopeless but it will be something to keep an eye on. Big test Sunday night against the Falcons.