Week 3 Report Card: Fumbles, missed opportunities and Justin Houston shatter the Eagles' dreams

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles needed this one, plain and simple. In a little over a week, they will take on, what is likely, the best team in the AFC West and easily the best offense in the league. But alas, the Eagles found more ways to lose at the start of the Chip Kelly Era.

The defense was lambasted and lampooned after Week 2 for not being very good and letting down the offense. In Week 3, the offense and special teams seriously let the Eagles' defense down. From the first time they touched the ball after the defense forced a three-and-out, the Eagles shot themselves in the foot. Damaris Johnson muffed a punt, Michael Vick threw two pretty lousy interceptions and once again, Alex Henery missed a relatively standard field goal.

With a score of 26-16, the Eagles' offense was just bland outside of Jason Avant and LeSean McCoy, who literally gave us the football scare of our lives when he looked to have seriously injured his shin or ankle during the second-quarter. This was just frustrating to watch.

Hot

  • LeSean McCoy: This guy is just ridiculous. I wish people would acknowledge that for as good as Adrian Peterson is, there is no one more dangerous with the ball in their hands than Shady. He essentially had a failed Willis Reed attempt as he carried the Eagles with 158 yards and a touchdown, which he scored on a beautiful 41-yard run following his apparent injury scare.
  • Jason Avant: The thing about the guy I call "The Holy Man" is that he makes a lot of understated plays. He had 87 receiving yards and had two great catches, one of which led his first touchdown in more than two years. The mid-air tip to himself was terrific.
  • Bradley Fletcher: What a difference a Bradley Fletcher makes? He essentially shut down Dwayne Bowe all night and it was pretty remarkable, considering he didn't catch a ball until less than six minutes left in the game. He is the Eagles top cornerback at this point in my opinion. He did, however, give up a first-down on a fourth-quarter reception.
  • Nate Allen: He had his best game of the season and was in on a lot of plays. He gets a lot of deserved hate, but you have to acknowledge when he plays well. He had a great sack in the first-quarter to force a field goal in a Chiefs' redzone attempt.
  • Fletcher Cox and Cedric Thornton: Cox was able to get penetration with relative ease and got a fantastic sack in the second-half. Thornton was great against the run and had six tackles on the night.
  • Vinny Curry: He had been wasted up until this game and in Week 3, he was set free. He got penetration with regularity and the first sack of his career in the game. I don't think he will be benched going forward after that performance.
  • Connor Barwin and Trent Cole: They both did a good job against the run and both were able to get pressure on Alex Smith. Cole was able to get his first sack of the season.

Not

  • Lane Johnson: He gave up at least two of the 4.5 sacks to Justin Houston in the game. He looked like an overmatched rookie.
  • Todd Herremans: This is likely the last season he will be a starter for the Eagles. He had a bad holding penalty with the Eagles in a tough situation and he gave up a lot of penetration.
  • Alex Henery: I still don't trust him.
  • Anyone at any point covering Donnie Avery: The Eagles have had tons of issues with underneath crossing routes. Avery had seven catches for 141 yards.
  • Mychal Kendricks: He had some good and he had a lot of bad missed tackles. I am not sure why he jumps to make tackles when he is trailing by four yards.
  • Damaris Johnson: I get that he has not been given a ton of opportunities on offense, but when you get an opportunity to do anything, you have to take advantage. Johnson's fumble set a bad tone for the game.
  • Michael Vick: Mike had a rough night due to his offensive line, but his decision-making was easily the worst its been so far this season. Both of his interceptions were terribly placed balls that came off of bad decisions. He had an amazing run in the first quarter and finished with 95 rushing yards, but was just bad as a passer. He went 13-of-30 for 201 passing yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. It was a rough night.
  • Riley Cooper: While he is not known for being a burner, he really missed out on an opportunity to shine against a single-high safety all game long. He finished with two catches for 29 yards.
  • Jason Kelce: Jimmy Kempski alluded to his in the off-season, but his snapping is a real issue. His self-butt fumble on a snap was terrible and embarrassing. He has been high-snapping since the preseason.
  • Bryce Brown: He has not done anything thus far. He had three carries for seven yards and he really just didn't seem to have any burst.
  • Swing Gate for two-point conversion: I am fine with trick plays, but not when you are off to a sloppy start that has featured at least two blunders on special teams in just five minutes of play. I know Kelly is a dynamic play-caller, but I really question that attempt. The NFL is a game of momentum and that kind led to an unfortunately odd stunt in the growth of the Eagles' success. This is the second week in a row that Kelly has looked like a rookie NFL head coach. I wonder if he just turns off Pat Shurmur's mic in the coach's box.

Miscellaneous Musings

  • Is it just me or was the Donovan McNabb halftime ceremony extremely awkward? It was ridiculously understated and lacked energy, while McNabb's comments didn't seem coherent at all. I love Don with all my heart, way more than most, but that was the weirdest halftime ceremony I have ever seen. It was nowhere near the event that Dawkins' was just one year ago.
  • The Tamba Hali-Jason Peters battle was awesome. Every other play, one of the guys would dominate the other. Both are top 10 in at their positions.
  • For the second time in two weeks, Nick Foles got the opportunity to warm up in a game. That is not good. We don't want Vick to go down with an injury, but despite claims to the contrary, it seems like he is destine to miss time at some point. I have a lot of faith in Foles, but with Brent Celek and Riley Cooper unable to separate so far, it would really limit the offense.
  • Rookie Earl Wolff needs to more playing time. I am not saying it's time to start him, but he has shown good instincts and tackles well enough to play serious time. Pat Chung has shown a lot of quirks in his coverage ability as of late, so Wolff should be rotating with him and Allen.
  • Quiet game for Brandon Boykin and Cary Williams, but from what I saw it was pretty pretty up-and-down for both on first watch. Williams has to stop grabbing jerseys in coverage, even though he didn't get called for it.
  • While I am all for Cooper, Brown and Avant getting a ton of time on the field, I think it is time to involve Johnson and Chris Polk.
  • Classic Andy Call: Going to Chad Hall in the redzone. Failed.
  • I was encouraged by the defense in the game, but remember the Broncos are just around the corner.
  • Is it time to start considering Allen Barbre at right guard?
  • DeSean Jackson has 359 receiving yards and two touchdowns, while LeSean McCoy has 395 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The Eagles are 1-2. Those are facts.
What did you notice during Thursday's game? Tell us what you thought was "hot" and what was "not."

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