Week 2 Report Card: Eagles' defense gets welcomed back to Earth

Nate Allen sucks... - Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the defense isn't that good after all. One week is evidently all you need to make a difference on defense. If not, maybe that is just an Eagles thing.

I will be among the first to admit that I did not and still (for the most part) do not see this team being very good. While I picked them the last two weeks in our game predictions, I am not sure I really believed that the team was good enough to start 2-0, no matter which game they won of the first two. I just don't think the defense has been upgraded and the secondary is somewhat neglected. Today's game proved that statement correct.

Too many times during Sunday's game, the Eagles offense would respond to a Chargers strike, only for the defense to give up another good drive to the Bolts. I have defended Nate Allen almost religiously, but I am extremely sad to say that I am 100% incorrect when it comes to his Philadelphia career being salvageable. He was embarrassing.

I will not put this 33-30 loss solely on the Eagles, as Philip Rivers was fantastic. He and Eddie Royal were a big problem and it showed early and often. Mike McCoy played the clock like a violin and that is pretty impressive for a rookie head coach.

For how poorly the Eagles defense played, the offense was again mostly terrific. There were times where there were communication issues and protection breakdowns, but for the most part, Michael Vick played very well and continually made the right decisions. DeSean Jackson was fantastic throughout the game and LeSean McCoy continues to show that he is the best dual-purpose running in the league.

Anyway, let's get to the praising/hating on our team after a pretty big bummer of a lose.

Hot

  • DeSean Jackson: This guy is so electric, you would think he plays for San Diego (get it? crickets...). He was really an all-around wide receiver for the second game in a row and finished with a crazy nine catches for 193 and a touchdown. Absolutely awesome. He does need to watch his emotions though.
  • LeSean McCoy: On Monday, he took it to the Redskins by ground and on Sunday, he took the Chargers by air. McCoy had a new career high reception with a grab that he took 70 yards down-field in the first quarter. He seemed to disappear a bit down the stretch but that could be because he injured his knee early in the game. McCoy is likely to finish at least in the top five for all-purpose yards if he plays out the season. He finished with 53 yards on the ground and 114 receiving yards (167 total yards).
  • Michael Vick: The guy made solid decisions all game and did not turn the ball over. He threw for a career-high 428 yards, two touchdowns and added 23 yards and a touchdown on the ground. He never quit and once again, you have to admire that he is making good decisions with the ball, even under pressure.
  • Zach Ertz: I am usually pretty hard on Ertz for his drops, but he was legit on Sunday. He had two very impressive RAC catches in the game when it mattered. He finished with two catches for 58-yard.
  • Casey Matthews: He is unfairly disliked by Eagles fans, but he is also the proud owner of a shiny new fumble recovery that was fantastic. After Brandon Boykin (more on him later) knocked the ball out of Antonio Gates' hands, Matthews was the man to secure the ball. He got there in a hurry and he handled the ball well.
  • Brandon Boykin: He was beat a few times in coverage, but for the most part held his own and was an eager tackler. He forced a touchdown-saving forced fumble, which was purely a hustle play. I wouldn't be surprised if he was a starter by the end of year.
  • Riley Cooper: He had just 23 receiving yards and a touchdown, but the score really showed off his improved use of his size. He blocked well from what I saw on first viewing.
  • Connor Barwin: He did work on the sack that saw him throw D.J. Fluker to the ground. He was so-so in coverage.
  • Trent Cole: He has looked solid on against the run and has gotten pressure pretty regularly the first two weeks. He got another forced fumble today and was great. He seems to be adjusting much better than he did in the preseason.

Not

  • Special Teams, except for Donnie Jones and Colt Anderson: They force a fumble and don't secure it because their kicker is afraid to get hurt, but that was real waste of opportunity. Speaking of Alex Henery, I have said it before, but I don't really trust him. He is not a bad kicker, but after three years, I am not sure I think he is anything more than average. That 46-yard miss killed a ton of momentum.
  • Cary Williams: What a difference a week makes? Williams had three pass interference calls. One...two...three. He also missed several tackles. Frankly, that is so unacceptable that he should have been benched. Lucky for him, the Eagles have little talent behind him.
  • Brent Celek: Was somehow non-existent, which is bad when you are the top tight end on the roster.
  • Pat Chung: He had a PI-plenty and got beat a few times.
  • Nate Allen: Where do I begin? He single-handedly gave up two touchdowns and was burnt a few times. He made several mental errors and never recovered. Allen at this point is a serious liability against the pass and the rush. Earl Wolff out-played him (barely but still).
  • Chip Kelly Challenges: For the second week in a row, Kelly missed on a challenge that clearly was not going to be reversed. I understand it was a split decision but his booth guys have to do a better job.

Miscellaneous Musings

  • I understand what Chip Kelly was trying to do with the timeouts (I think), but I felt he was a bit too coy. It seemed like he was keeping the Chargers active to force a turnover but it didn't work. That is the only reason I could see for handling the timeouts how he did.
  • Vick's "somewhat" fumble in the first that went out of bounds was really just a "freak" error. A pump fake sometimes moves on the hand and that time it moved a bit too much to secure with a single hand.
  • Vinny Curry was inactive again...hmmm.
  • I want to call out Eagles fans (in a good way) for their handling of Malcolm Floyd at the stadium. When the entire country was hoping for our fanbase to look like uncivilized jerks, Lincoln Financial Field showed respect, concern and even encouragement toward the wounded player as he laid on the field. The ultimate sign of respect with the cheers was great as well. #GoldStar
  • I felt that Billy Davis had a decent gameplan, but his players missed a lot of tackles and the Chargers made a ton of contested catches.
  • My girlfriend thinks Chip Kelly's signs are very cute, apparently.
  • Make no mistake, Thursday is going to be tough for the Eagles. The Chiefs beat the Cowboys and they are 2-0, this could be a really rough affair on NFL Network.
  • Speaking of NFC East teams losing, the entire division kept pace on in Week 2 with all four teams losing to a non-divisional opponent. The Cowboys lost to the Chiefs, the Skins dismantled by the Packers and the Giants were blown out at home against the Broncos. The Cowboys are now tied with the Eagles at 1-1, while the Giants and Redskins are 0-2. It's safe to say the Eagles could still be in the driver seat of a division that has looked awfully unimpressive.
What did you notice during Sunday's game? Tell us what you thought was "hot" and what was "not."

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