In one of the most disappointing performances the Eagles' faithful have seen in a while, the Birds fell tonight to the Indianapolis Colts 23-15. While excuses can can be made that many of our starters were sitting out with nagging injuries, the fact remains that both our offense and defense failed to fire on all cylinders. However, there were a few lone bright spots to improve an otherwise depressing beatdown. Here is a brief rundown of who's stock is on the rise and who's stock is falling after tonight's game:
Stock on the Rise:
Jason Babin- Starting in place of the injured Trent Cole, Babin made a name for himself with in incredible performance (4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble). He was constantly pressuring the quarterback throughout the night and seemed to be involved in every single big play. By the second quarter, his popularity among the BGN fan base had skyrocketed to the point where his name was a part of every conversation. Jason "Babin Back Ribs" Babin was clearly the highlight of the defense this evening.
DeSean Jackson- As the first quarter was winding down, the play we had all been waiting for finally happened. Jackson streaked past two Colts defenders, caught a 39-yard pass from Donovan McNabb and breezed into the endzone for a touchdown. The young receiver's blazing speed will continue to be a major asset for him as he continues to develop and mature. Jackson finished the night with two catches for 46 yards.
Brandon Gibson- Gibson scored the only other touchdown of the game, nabbing a pass off of Adam DiMichele late in the fourth quarter. Although the rookie's performance breathed new life into the deflating third-string offense, there was simply not enough time for the Birds to pull out a win. Still, Gibson can take satisfaction in an impressive performance where he led the team in receiving yards (4 receptions for 49 yards). Looks like he will be very difficult to keep off the roster.
Rob Myers- For an undrafted rookie free agent brought in towards the end of training camp, Rob Myers surely turned some heads tonight. The young tight end was able to get open several times, grabbing four passes for 44 yards and a two-point conversion. In fact, he was the only Eagles tight end to make a play during that night's game, which surely improved his chances for sticking around.
Adam DiMichele- While it is unlikely we will see much of DiMichele now that Michael Vick can play the final two preseason games, the young Temple product certainly proved his NFL worth tonight. DiMichele was fairly productive with the tools he was given, completing 14 of 22 passes for 130 yards, a touchdown, and a two-point conversion. With A.J. Feeley stinking up the field, the Eagles just might want to give the rookie QB another look before they write him off.
A.J. Feeley- As the second quarter was winding down, the Eagles had made a pretty good drive down the field, going 44 yards in three plays. They were in position to score with no timeouts left, but Feeley elected to pass to Eldra Buckly, who was running up the middle. Of course, Buckley was stopped about 15 yards short of the goal line and the clock ran out before the Eagles could get off another snap. This was just one instance that showed Feeley's poor game management skills that night. With five quarterbacks on the roster, our longtime backup will need to step up his game if he expects to keep his job.
Ellis Hobbs- For a "starting caliber" cornerback, Hobbs showed tonight that he still needs to knock the rust off. That ridiculous 76-yard touchdown by Reggie Wayne? That was Hobbs' man. While it was unclear whether he was beaten at the line of scrimmage or whether there was a miscommunication, the fact remains that Hobbs gave up a huge play that basically set the tone for the whole night. To top it all off, he left the game later with an ankle sprain.
Lorenzo Booker- Booker again tried to do too much with too little. His dancing around in the backfield, coupled with his hesitation on key 3rd-down plays led to an abysmal overall performance (7 attempts for 8 yards). The sad part is that the only bright spot for Booker tonight came when his competition Eldra Buckley fumbled the ball away.
Jeremy Maclin- Maclin struggled again on punt returns, gaining only four total yards off of two attempts. He wasn't able to find any openings and was quickly brought down by defenders. He didn't fare much better at kickoff returns either, gaining 22 yards off of 3 attempts and fumbling the ball for the second straight game.