Thoughts and analysis on the Philadelphia Eagles



Eagles 24 Texans 10


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Today was just about everything I expected(actually it was exactly as I predicted 24-10... bows). The Eagles thoroughly beat the Texans as they should have.

There were highly touted units that delivered, young players that came up big, new stars emerging, veterans impressing, players injured last year coming back in big ways... The game the Eagles played today was everything you wanted to see from a team in it's first game. Let's get into it...

Positives

The pass rush looked like everything it was advertised to be sacking David Carr 5 times. 2 from Trent Cole.

The offense played very well overall but in particular they did the job on third downs converting 8 of 13. That's an encouraging stat no matter how bad the team we faced was. That shows poise, nerve, and effective playcalling.

Matt McCoy played very very well. This guy has taken a lot of heat the past year and half and a lot of it was for good reason... But he really showed up today. He was around the ball, he led the team in tackles, he wasn't getting sealed off on blocks, he was delivering some hard hits including one that forced a fumble. This team lacked playmaking LBs last year and McCoy made plays today.

McNabb was fantastic. He spread the ball around to 7 different receivers, he completed 24 passes for 314 yds and 3 TDs for about a 69% completion percentage. He ran for first downs when he needed to, he led a perfect hurry drive with :53 seconds left in the half for a TD. McNabb looked every bit the pro bowl, MVP candidate QB we've seen in the past.

I really think a star was born in Philly in the form of Donte Stallworth. Eagles fans have an obsession with WRs and they fall in love quick... After today I think they've fallen for Stallworth. He was every bit the deep threat playmaker he was advertised to be and more. We all knew he was fast and could catch the deep ball, but he ran the Eagles style offense very effectively today. He showed strength catching those quick slants and he looked in perfect synch with McNabb. If they look this good together after less than 2 weeks of practice, it's exciting to think what they can do by season's end

Brian Westbrook proved yet again why he is the key to the Eagles offense. He had 132 yards from scrimmage and absolutely carried the team to a TD on the first drive after the 2nd half. The Texans had absolutely no answer for him in the run game or the pass game.

Negatives

There weren't may of these, but I did note a few key ones.

First was the secondary. They continually let the Texans' receivers catch balls underneath for solid yardage, much like they did in the preseason game vs the Ravens. They have to be more aggressive and not be so worried about giving guys such big cushions. If the Texans had a decent line or QB they could have done a lot more damage underneath.

Rod Hood flat out blew coverage on the Texans first score. He bit bad on a play action fake and let Eric Moulds go free by him.

Sheldon Brown was put on the Texans' #1 Andre Johnson after Lito went down with an ankle injury(x rays negative)... and he was burned bad. There was one specific play where Sheldon lined up facing the QB with no help over top and just let Johnson run by him. Overall, Johnson had 101 yards receiving.

Reggie Brown has to go on my list here. He did catch a TD, but that was only 1 of 2 receptions for him on the day. I think a big part of that was because McNabb lost confidence in him after the interception in the first quarter. Just like he did in the preseason, Reggie again failed to come back to the ball after his cut. He ran a nice out pattern, made his cut... then waited for the ball. Of course DB saw that and just jumped it for the pick. You can't stand still and wait for balls to come to you in the NFL.

Quick pluses/minuses

+Thomas Tapeh for several good blocks, especially where he took out 2 defenders to spring Westbrook for a TD

+ LJ Smith for having a good game making 6 tough catches. He took some big hits, showed good hands and was the reliable target for McNabb that he was for the first half last year.

+ Correll Buckhalter for getting 50 yards on only 8 carries and playing with fire. He ran hard, he had burst and speed and refused to go down when hit. He was the perfect compliment to Westbrook today.

+ Trent Cole for abusing the rookie left tackle Spencer for 2 sacks

Overall, this was a great start to the season. They played a bad team on the road and roughed them up. Combine that with the fact that both Dallas(thanks to their QB's 3 picks) and the Giants(thanks to their QB's pick near the end) both lost... and the Birds are in good shape one game into the year.


1 Responses to “Eagles 24 Texans 10”

  1. Anonymous Anthony 

    Not sure what you are talking about regarding the one interception thrown by McNabb. The pick by Simmons occurred on a great play where he basically leapt in the air and snagged the ball with one hand. There was a play where it was almost picked off because Reggie didn't come back on the ball thrown to the sidelines, but this wasn't the play.

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