Saturday, March 28, 2015

Vick excellent and other first half observations

DETROIT -- Kevin Kolb may have been cleared to return to action, but Michael Vick has legitimately furthered his cause and the cause of his supporters that he should be the Eagles' starting quarterback.

Vick excellent and other first half observations

DETROIT -- Kevin Kolb may have been cleared to return to action, but Michael Vick has legitimately furthered his cause and the cause of his supporters that he should be the Eagles' starting quarterback.

Vick was excellent in the first half, completing 12 of 20 passes for 189 yards and tossing two touchdowns as the Eagles lead the Lions, 20-17. The touchdown-scoring drive before the half was priceless. He has also run four times for 40 yards, a few of those carries being vintage Vick.

Here are some other observations from the first half of the Eagles-Detroit game:

-- No coincidence here, Ernie Sims, upon his return to Detroit, was one of the Eagles' three captains (Vick and Sav Rocca were the others). Sims made the defense's first tackle of the game and heard some boos from Lions fans. The linebacker also nearly sacked Shaun Hill a few plays later, but the Detroit quarterback adroitly flipped a pass to Jahvid Best.
 
-- With Nate Allen's first quarter interception of Hill, the safety became the first Eagles rookie to record an interception in his first two games since Brenard Wilson did it in 1979.

-- It took the Eagles, normally one of the better screen-pass teams, over a half to call a screen last week against the Packers. This week, it took only two drives. On second and seven, Michael Vick slung a pass to LeSean McCoy, who received a nice kick-out block from center Mike McGlynn and picked up a first down.

-- The Eagles decision to throw Stewart Bradley back out on the field four plays after his concussion last week was ghastly. But you could see why. Omar Gaither just doesn't give you much against the run up the middle. The Lions gashed the Eagles on their second drive with six straight runs, the last a 14-yard touchdown run straight up the gut from Jahvid Best.
 
-- With the lefty Vick under center, right tackle Winston Justice had the job of protecting the quarterback's blind side. He didn't do a very good job in the second quarter when defensive end Turk McBride toasted Justice and sacked Vick from behind. Vick fumbled, but Justice made up for his error -- kind of -- by pouncing on the football.
 
-- On that same play, left tackle Jason Peters injured his left leg when it got caught under Vick. Peters got hurt on the previous series and had to leave. But he returned and went down in a heap on his first play back. With Peters out, King Dunlap was inserted. That's more scary than ugly.

-- Rookie Kurt Coleman made preseason history (we think) when he returned two fumbles for touchdowns in the finale. The safety pulled up a dubious double in the first half when he was called for penalties on two Eagles' punts -- a hold and an unsportsmanlike penalty for taunting.
 
-- Amazingly, Vick was able to get off a seven-yard pass to receiver Jason Avant after he took a hit from cornerback Alphonso Smith in the second quarter. There aren't many players, let alone quarterbacks, that could have made that play.

-- Five-foot-10 Quintin Mikell broke up a deep lob to 6-5 Calvin Johnson to force a Detroit punt late in the first half.

-- Think the Lions and their fans remember the rule on what constitutes a catch? A week after they had a potential game-winning touchdown called back, Lions coach Jim Schwartz used the same rule to challenge -- with gusto -- a long third down reception by DeSean Jackson. Schwartz launched his red challenge flag at referee Clete Blakeman. The flag landed at the ref's feet - who was standing at the hash. A fellow ref initially threw a penalty flag on Schwartz for the apparent rage - but picked it up. Schwartz's challenge was upheld and the Eagles had to punt.

-- Jackson gets undone by the same rule that burned the Lions last week. Video review wiped out a 35 yard third down catch and forced and Eagles punt.

-- Brandon Graham notched his first sack in his hometown, bringing down Shaun Hill on the Lions' opening drive.

-- Vick’s deep throw to Jackson late in the second quarter traveled from the Eagles 21 yard line to about the Detroit 22 in the air. It set up a late first half score by Jeremy Maclin. That’s how you go 89 yards in 59 seconds.

-- Lions linebacker Lawrence Jackson brought pressure to Vick’s blind side twice as the Eagles drove for their third touchdown. The first time he nearly got to the quarterback, hammering him as Vick released an incomplete pass. The next play, Jackson came at the exact same angle, only for Vick to spin away at the last moment and run for five yards, helping set up a Maclin touchdown two plays later.

 

About this blog
Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

Jeff McLane Inquirer Staff Writer
Zach Berman Inquirer Staff Writer
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