It wasn’t pretty, but the Philadelphia Eagles left Cleveland 1-0 after a sloppy 17-16 win over the Browns. There are very few positives to take out of this game, but at least the Eagles avoided a disastrous week one loss to bad team.
This was a terrible game for Michael Vick, who threw four interceptions which includes a pick six in the second half. On a positive note, he did lead the Eagles down the field on their last drive for the game winning touchdown. However, you cannot look past Vick’s terrible decision making throughout the entire game. Perhaps he was rusty because he missed almost the entire preseason, but that’s still not
an excuse. This is his 10th year in the league.
The running game was solid the few times they did run the ball today. LeSean McCoy rushed for 110 yards on 20 carries, that’s 5.5 yards per rush. He did lose a fumble in the first quarter which led to a Browns field goal, but that was one of his only mistakes all day. It baffles me as to why Andy Reid wouldn’t call more run plays. Speaking of baffling, the offensive line was terrible today; especially when it came to pass protection. The line was one unit that really showed improvement last season, but it looks as if it has regressed this season. We knew it wouldn’t be easy without left tackle Jason Peters, but someone really needs to step up and take charge in the trenches.
The offense would get an F here, but they did do just enough to win today.
The defense saved the Eagles from an embarrassing loss today. The defensive line suffocated running back Trent Richardson, holding him to 39 yards on 19 carries. The defense as a whole limited the Browns to just 99 rushing yards and a meager 210 total yards. The defense also held the Browns to nine points. The other seven points were scored by the Browns defense.
Linebackers DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks, both playing in their first regular season game for the Philadelphia Eagles, shined combining for ten tackles and one assist. Both their roles were limited because the Browns spent most of the game passing the ball down field.
The secondary was great today. The player of the game was Kurt Coleman, who came away with two interceptions. One of those interceptions sealed the game for the Eagles late in the fourth quarter. Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden was held to just 12 competitions for 118 yards and four interceptions. He finished the game with a quarterback rating of 5.1. That’s about as bad as it gets.
The defense played very well today, but as I said before the game, this Browns offense is terrible. Next week will be a tougher test against the Baltimore Ravens.
Alex Henery made one of his two field goal attempts. The second field goal attempt was in crunch time, so he has to improve in order for the Eagles to have a successful kicking game.
Punter Chas Henry was magnificent today, averaging 55 yards a punt. His longest punt went 62 yards. The punting game can take a lot of pressure off of the defense, so he needs to keep this up.
The Eagles threw the ball 63 times and ran the ball just 23 times today. There has to be more of a balance in the play calling. I think that this directly contributed to Michael Vick’s struggles. Vick is not the type of quarterback that can throw the ball 63 times in one game, especially when he’s frustrated. Luckily for him and the whole team, Andy Reid finally remembered that he had LeSean McCoy in the backfield in the fourth quarter.
On the flip side, Juan Castillo had his defense ready to go today. This was probably their best performance since he has become the defensive coordinator. The run defense was improved and the secondary looked good. We’ll see if the defense can keep it going next week against Baltimore.