By Brandon Pemberton
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The Philadelphia Eagles played their home opener yesterday against the New York Giants and it was a horrible performance, as they lost 29-16 in a pathetic showing. The Giants scored on plays in which the Eagles missed assignments, tackles, and couldn’t get off of blocks. The Giants drew up plays to expose the Birds weaknesses on defense.
The Eagles scored 16 points this week after putting up 31 the prior two. There inability to score in the red zone was a big factor in them losing the game. They were 1-5 inside of the twenty yard line for the game scoring touchdowns. The Eagles surprisingly ran the ball plenty early in the game and then for reasons unknown, Andy Reid decided to get cute in the red zone and the Eagles turned it over(Vick interception), and had to settle for three field goals.
The Offensive line play was mediocre at best and on 3rd and goal inside the one yard line, rookie center Jason Kelce was blown into the backfield on a run play designed for fullback Owen Schimdt. Offensively I place most of the blame on the play calling of Andy Reid, along with the teams inability to convert in the red zone. Vick was knocked out of the game early in the fourth quarter with a deep muscle contusion to his right hand and the Birds where pretty much finished offensively from there. Mike Kafka came into the game for Vick and threw interceptions on consecutive series and it was pretty much a wrap for the Eagles.
DeSean Jackson was a no-show for a second consecutive week, catching two passes for 30 yards. I told people many times, and I was ripped for stating this: If Jackson isn’t catching the deep ball, then he isn’t effective. He is a one trick pony that only impacts the game on offense running deep routes. Jeremy Maclin has caught 19 passes in three games for 260 yards and 2 TD’s and he shows the ability to catch the ball all over the field. I would love to see tight end Brent Celek more involved in the passing game, but he is often needed to stay in and help pass block. That is really hurting the Eagles offensively because Celek really works the middle of the field well.
The defense was a flat out joke yesterday, giving up big play after big play. As I expected, the Giants attacked the Eagles linebackers and safeties in coverage and even was able to beat Nnamdi Asomugha in coverage for a touchdown to Victor Cruz. Casey Matthews, who was moved to the weakside linebacker position this week, was beat on a wheel route up the sideline by Giants running back Brandon Jacobs. It’s getting pretty obvious that Matthews isn’t ready to play and in my eyes he’s not a starter in this league. I’m tired of talking about it, but the play of the starting safeties has been atrocious to say the least. The Giants averaged 4.1 yards a carry on 25 carries for the game which wasn’t too bad, but it could have been better. People say give the linebackers time, they will get better. Fokou and Matthews aren’t starters in this league and It’s time to give Brian Rolle a shot at starting, regardless of his size. He can’t be any worse then Matthews.
Look is it time to panic, no it’s game three of sixteen. But If Vick is out for a few weeks and the defense continues to give up big plays and display poor tackling, the hopes of going to the Super Bowl will leave quickly and my city, the city of Philadelphia will not be happy. Next week the San Francisco 49ers will make the trip east to Lincoln Financial Field and Alex Smith will be the starting quarterback. The Eagles can’t afford to go 1-3, regardless of if Vick Plays or not. Catch me later on this week with my preview of this game. Also make sure you listen to my Philadelphia Eagles Wrap-Up show tonight on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bashir/2011/09/27/philadelphia-eagles-wrap-up at 11:30pm. Call in number is (760) 259-2359.