Most Eagles had down games last night as they fell to the Vikings 24-14 at home, but there were a few bright spots. Here, I will analyze the performance of the Eagles’ starters.
Michael Vick, QB: Vick had his worst game as an Eagle by far. He was very careless with the ball, fumbling twice and throwing an interception. He could have thrown five picks, but the Vikings’ Lito Sheppard, Frank Walker, and Jamarca Sanford dropped some absolute gifts. Vick’s decision-making was terrible, attempting to force the ball into receivers who had already given up on the play and were clearly covered. His accuracy was also spotty, missing Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson on deep balls that would have easily gone for scores. He was also under immense pressure all night, and he decided to tuck the ball and run at the right times.
LeSean McCoy, RB: McCoy was the only Eagle who played hard. He ran with great balance and vision and made a lot of Vikings miss throughout the game. He really didn’t make any mistakes and made some plays even though the offensive line didn’t open up many holes for him. His performance was very impressive when he had the ball in his hands, but some of his blitz pickups were late, forcing Vick to scramble around or get sacked.
DeSean Jackson, WR: Jackson had his opportunities as the Vikings couldn’t always handle his speed and acceleration, but Vick never connected with him on a big play. He should have had way more than two catches, but Vick was not afforded enough time in the pocket and missed Jackson deep at the beginning of the game. Jackson did save an interception by committing offensive pass interference and saved another from being returned as he tackled Husain Abdullah on the spot. He did, however, quit on quite a few routes after he was initially well covered even though Vick was keeping the play alive and had nowhere to go with the ball. Jackson’s performance was not as bad as people will make it out to be, though.
Jeremy Maclin, WR: Maclin had the quietiest six catch outing I have ever seen. Vick missed him deep once, but after that, he didn’t seem to have much of an impact on the game. He did make a great catch along the sideline which set up the Eagles’ first score. Still, Maclin is expected to make more of an impact on the game and he was not as effective as his stats would suggest.
Brent Celek, TE: Celek was another Eagle who performed well. He was very sure handed and caught ten passes from Vick, totaling 97 yards. I have no problem with how he played, but he was handled poorly. He should have helped in pass protection more often as the Eagles got chewed up with pressure off the edge all night.
Jason Peters, OT: For the most part, he kept Jared Allen under wraps. He rarely got help with him, and he forced Allen upfield, allowing Vick to step up and scramble to his left underneath him. He made a few mistakes, but ones I can live with when going up against a premier pass rusher with little-to-no help.
Winston Justice, OT: Justice had a terrible game as he was whistled for false starts and was abused in pass protection. He allowed at least two sacks by my count and did a poor job picking up speed rushers off the edge. He wasn’t much of a force in the run game either. Very disappointing performance.
Todd Herremans, OG: Was easily the best run blocker for the Eagles on the night, but he was part of a unit that was victimized by the blitz. The issues seemed to be more with communication than anything else, and Herremans was the best offensive lineman for the Eagles.
Max Jean-Gilles, OG: His play really never jumped out at me, which is usually a good thing for offensive linemen. However, he seemed to have terrible chemistry with the guys next to him (Winston Justice and Mike McGlynn) and was ineffective in the run game.
Mike McGlynn, C: The offensive line was never in a rhythm and was had no answer for the edge blitz of Minnesota. Although I may be wrong, this communication issue is probably the center’s fault, who is responsible for calls at the line. On many occasions, the Vikings brought five rushers and the Eagles failed to get a hat on a hat. McGlynn was usually the guy standing around as Mike Vick took crushing blow after crushing blow. I guess line coach Juan Castillo should have his guys practice by playing musical chairs or something in the offseason.
Juqua Parker, DE: Parker got an “A” for effort as he was breathing down Joe Webb’ s neck all night. However, he simply lost contain on him on many rollouts and failed to set the edge against Adrian Peterson in the run game. He had a poor performance not because he didn’t show up, but because he looked like he was physically overmatched. I would guess that he’s playing through a minor knee or ankle injury. Darryl Tapp, though he’s not a starter, was awful against the run and disappeared for long stretches. He had his worst game as an Eagle.
Trent Cole, DE: Cole had a sack and was relatively average rushing the passer, but was also victimized on Adrian Peterson cutbacks and a Percy Harvin end around. He wasn’t terrible, but he’s counted on to be a force, and he certainly was outplayed by Jared Allen last night despite picking up his tenth sack of the season.
Antonio Dixon, DT: Dixon had a very quiet game, but Peterson did not find much success attacking the Eagles’ A or B gaps. He forced many of the cutbacks and bounces, but the linebackers and defensive ends did not swarm to the ball as usual.
Mike Patterson, DT: Much like Dixon, Patterson did not make much noise last night, but was not picked on or abused as some other Eagles were. His performance was right about where it usually is, middle of the road.
Moise Fokou, OLB: Fokou has been a huge reason for the Eagles’ stout run defense, and was a huge reason for its collapse last night. He was not particularly good against either the run or pass, and this overall was a night to forget for Fokou.
Jamar Chaney, MLB: Chaney was not as great as he was against New York but was stellar in coverage. He made a great play working deep against Visanthe Shiancoe and did not play a big third down conversion to Percy Harvin badly at all. He does have to work on locating the football and getting his head turned around in coverage. Against the run, he missed a few tackles, and did not show the range he did against the Giants. He looked very pedestrian against the Vikings, though he was not a major liability.
Ernie Sims, OLB: Sims had a bad game from his WILL spot, whiffing on a few tackles and losing contain on the back-end on a couple of occasions. He was not exposed in coverage, but played very small and had stiff hips.
Asante Samuel, CB: Webb wisely stayed away from Asante Samuel, taking only three shots at him. Asante deflected two of those passes and jarred the third one free after a huge hit, which he was flagged for. The hit knocked Sidney Rice out of the game and will likely draw a fine from Mr. Goodell. As good as Samuel was in coverage, he missed a few tackles on Adrian Peterson, and could have stopped a few of his big gainers. Overall, it was a stellar performance for Samuel though.
Dimitri Patterson, CB: Patterson struggled mightily once again in coverage, getting beat deep once, missing a few tackles, and being flagged for a questionable unnecessary roughness penalty. It’s becoming apparent that while he can be phenomenal against bigger and slower receivers, he is just physically unable to handle the speed, quickness, and explosiveness of guys like Mario Manningham and Percy Harvin. He was benched for Joselio Hanson, who did a better job on Harvin, though he was not great either. This right cornerback spot is looking like the biggest weakness on this Eagle team, depending on who is attacking it.
Kurt Coleman, S: Coleman, along with LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek, was one of the few bright spots in the Eagles loss. He saved about three touchdowns with his solid tackling and looked like a veteran out there. Towards the end of the game, he did lose contain when he played in the box, allowing a 28 yard Adrian Peterson scamper. He was easily the most consistent tackler for the Eagles throughout the night, and was not lost in coverage, or at least Webb was unable to expose him.
Quentin Mikell, S: Mikell was routinely around the ball, recovering a fumble and leading the team in tackles. He was pretty good in coverage as well, and turned in an average performance for the Eagles.