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Eagles 31, Rams 13: Five Takeaways From An Opening Day Win

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The Eagles got their 2011 campaign off to a big start with an emphatic 31-13 win over the Rams in the Edward Jones dome in St Louis. Here's our five takeaways from this afternoon.

We got our Babin back Babin back Babin back Babin back

Jason Babin took a big step toward proving that last year was no fluke with two sacks in his Eagles re-debut. So in one game this year, he has as many sacks as he did in an Eagles uniform in all of 2009. Clearly, this Jim Washburn system really plays to his strengths.

Babin wasn't the only Eagle to get a sack in his debut, Cullen Jenkins also notched his first of the year.

Big Fantasy Football Day For Eagles

If you had Eagles in fantasy football this week, hopefully you started them. The defense had a huge day with 5 sacks, a turnover and a touchdown. Michael Vick didn't have a ton of passing yards, but threw for two TDs and ran for over 100 yards. LeSean McCoy had a beastly day with 122 yards and 2 TDs. DeSean Jackson also notched a 100 yard receiving day and caught a TD. The only real fantasy disappointments were Jeremy Maclin & Brent celek, who each had just one catch.

For the run defense, the dream was more of a nightmare

If we're looking for some warts on this big win, it's clearly the run game. The Eagles gave up 154 yards on the ground today, which is a lot considering that the Rams were in must pass mode for a good chunk of the second half. The real killer play was Steven Jackson's 47 yard TD run on the Rams' first offensive snap. Jackson was actually hurt on the play and never returned. However, it's not like the Rams really struggled to run the ball in his absence. Cadillac Williams had an effective game with 91 yards on 19 carries.

It was an odd day really for the run D because it was so feat or famine. They had a number of plays where they stuffed the runner for little or not gain, but if they missed him it would lead to a big gain. Take that to mean what you will, but the Eagles will be hoping that it means they've got the guys to make this is a good run D, they just need to put it together.

The offensive line was better than advertised

The Eagles offensive line was one big, fat question mark coming into this game. They looked pretty terrible in preseason and then completely shuffled their personnel around prior to this game. So really, we had no idea what to expect with three new starters that we didn't in their respective positions in preseason. The early returns however, were really positive. They got off to a rough start for sure, but after that first series they really started to play better and by the second half Michael Vick was being given all day to throw and LeSean McCoy had big running lanes as they ground the game down. 

Todd Herremans played particularly well at right tackle after he struggled at the start. There was some issues getting plays off, but overall I thought Jason Kelce was outstanding. He absolutely blew up James Laurinaitis on that first TD of the game and generally showed the kind of athleticism to get out in front of plays that had the Eagles so excited about him.

The Rams are who we thought they were

Rams fans got a little upset when I said their WRs vs our secondary was the biggest mismatch of the season. Then they got even more upset when I pointed out how the Rams offense took "dink and dunk" to a historic level last year. In the end though, they are exactly who we thought they were. Their WRs are very limited and Sam Bradford still almost never tries to throw more than just a few yards. Bradford actually struggled a lot more than I thought he would. He really struggled to day, but at the same time his team didn't do him a lot of favors. He was getting hit all day and when he did try to throw the ball beyond 3 or 4 yards, it was often dropped.

Speaking of drops... how about that Lance Kendricks huh? Rams fans were singing his praises here all week and predicting how he'd be shredding our secondary... But in the end, the rookie looked like a rookie. He caught one pass and dropped two others.