Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sloppy Birds Claw to Halftime Edge

CLEVELAND -- Well, the Eagles didn't suffer any serious injuries in the first half of their season opener. And except for one trick play, they really stuffed the run, middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans looking like the guy the Birds thought they were getting when they traded with Houston.

Sloppy Birds Claw to Halftime Edge

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CLEVELAND -- Well, the Eagles didn't suffer any serious injuries in the first half of their season opener. And except for one trick play, they really stuffed the run, middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans looking like the guy the Birds thought they were getting when they traded with Houston.

See, there are some good things, for those in desperate need of hearing them. But there was more than enough to fit onto the other side of the ledger. The game, which the Birds led 10-3 at halftime, wasn't 11 minutes old before both LeSean McCoy and Michael Vick had turned the ball over. Those 12 preseason snaps that weren't going to be a problem for Vick? They were a problem, a problem partly created by a porous offensive line that didn't let No. 7 get comfortable.

Vick got hit at a rate that is simply not sustainable, if the Eagles want him upright in October. Whether it was the replacement refs or just bad blocking, three long McCoy runs were wiped out by holding penalties. The visiting Eagles were penalized seven times in the first half to Cleveland's two.

Vick caught fire on the final possession, hitting Jeremy Maclin for 46 yards down the left sideline, then finding Maclin in the back of the end zone for the game's first touchdown.

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Vick entered the third quarter 17 for 28 for 209 yards, a pick and a touchdown. But Browns rookie Brandon Weeden looked wobbly, completing 7 of 19 for just 68 yards and two picks, by Kurt Coleman and Dominique Rodgers-Cormartie.

 

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