Archive: January, 2011
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.com
Michael Vick turned the ball over three times and had a season-low 74.1 QB rating in the Eagles' loss last week to the Vikings.
With an eye on how teams might choose to attack him in the playoffs, here's a closer look at Vick's performance and why he struggled.
As always, let's start with pass distribution.
Other than keeping Vick upright, the Eagles' biggest concern on offense is probably making sure he and Jackson are on the same page. That clearly was not the case against Minnesota. You've probably heard all week that Vick targeted Jackson 12 times, but it was actually 13. There was a play where Jackson was called for offensive pass interference on a near interception. Vick forced it to him at times and missed Jackson on the deep ball early. And Jackson did a poor job of coming back to the ball and fighting for possession against the Vikings defensive backs.
Celek had a nice game, tying a career high with 10 catches. He had not had more than four catches in a game all season. Celek's at his best when he's breaking tackles and making plays after the catch. He did that against Minnesota, leading the Eagles with 51 YAC.
Maclin was solid once again, catching six balls for 74 yards. He also drew a 24-yard pass interference call early on a third down.
The Eagles ran one nice screen to McCoy where he picked up 28 yards. The Vikings blitzed 12 of the first 17 times Vick dropped back. On the 18th pass play, Marty Mornhinweg dialed up a screen to McCoy, but the Vikings happened to not be blitzing and sniffed it out, stuffing McCoy for no gain.
Nice job by Harbor to keep his feet in on the 3-yard touchdown.
Overall, six different players had catches, and six different players had targets. No looks for Riley Cooper, Owen Schmitt, Chad Hall or Jerome Harrison in this one.
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.com
Kevin Kolb starts for the Eagles as they host the Cowboys in the regular-season finale. Join philly.com's Sheil Kapadia as he provides live updates and commentary as the action unfolds.
On a mobile phone? Click HERE to join the chat.
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.com
In his second year with the Eagles, LeSean McCoy has made a major leap.
But he is not one of the three NFC running backs on the Pro Bowl roster.
The Falcons' Michael Turner, Minnesota's Adrian Peterson and Steven Jackson of the Rams made it ahead of him. McCoy is an alternate. But the question is: Did he get snubbed?
Here's a look at how the numbers stack up:
|Att.||Rush Yds.||YPC||Rec. Yds.||Total Yds.||20+ runs||TDs|
McCoy ranks fifth in the NFC in rushing yards, behind the three running backs above and the Giants' Ahmad Bradshaw. However, it's easy to see one major reason why. Turner has had 110 more carries than him; Peterson 62 more; and Jackson 112 more.
McCoy has a higher yards per carry and more total yards than the three running backs that made the roster. Only Brandon Jacobs (5.8) and Chris Ivory (5.3) are averaging more yards per carry among NFC running backs.
Looking at the numbers, ranking Turner and Peterson ahead of McCoy is reasonable. But it's tough to find a single category where Jackson has him beat.
McCoy's averaging 1.6 more yards per carry than Jackson. He's been better in the receiving game and has more total yards. They are equal in big runs (of 20+ yards), and McCoy has more touchdowns. The difference? Jackson is 27 and in his seventh NFL season. McCoy is 22 and in his second NFL season. It might not be fair, but that's how it works. Jackson has the reputation.
One more note on McCoy. Many have made the point that the Eagles should have given him more touches against the Vikings. Minnesota was throwing blitz after blitz at Michael Vick, and Vick was dealing with an injury he suffered on the game's first play.
Asked at Thursday's press conference whether he second-guessed himself about not running it more, here was Marty Mornhinweg's answer:
"Yeah, sure, but I think in the first half it was 2.9 [yards] per carry. It just didn’t feel like we were running the football. They’re very good. They’re a pretty good defense now. Getting back to your original question, it just felt like we didn’t run it. We weren’t running it very well early. Sure, you always go back and critique exactly what you did."
I'm not sure who's giving Mornhinweg his stats, but he/she needs to do a better job. It's true that McCoy averaged under 2.9 yards per carry in the first half (23 yards on eight carries), but one of those carries was a 7-yard loss on a broken play.
Take that one run away, and the numbers were 30 yards on seven carries - a much more respectable 4.29 YPC. On three of eight carries, McCoy picked up 10 yards or more.
Overall, the Eagles didn't use McCoy less than normal though. On the season, he's averaging 13.8 carries and 5.2 catches per game - a total of 19 touches. On Tuesday night, he had 13 catches and four catches for a total of 17 touches.
For McCoy, the big negative against the Vikings was blitz pickup. He got overpowered by Minnesota linebackers on multiple occasions. The Eagles will need him to come up big as a blocker in the playoffs so Vick can have time to find his playmakers downfield against the blitz.
Oh, and by the way, Happy New Year to all the MTC readers out there. Wishing everyone has a happy and healthy 2011.