Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Big plays, DeSean spark Eagles' offense

DeSean Jackson turned in his best performance in awhile, hauling in three passes of 25 yards or more against the Lions.

Big plays, DeSean spark Eagles' offense

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The Eagles´ offense had four plays of 25 yards or more against the Lions. (AP Photo / Carlos Osorio)
The Eagles' offense had four plays of 25 yards or more against the Lions. (AP Photo / Carlos Osorio)

Remember that big-play offense the Eagles rode to 11 wins in 2009?

It returned in the Birds' 35-32 win over the Lions.

The offense got four plays of 25 yards or more - three courtesy of completions from Michael Vick to DeSean Jackson. The pair connected for gains of 45, 53 and 29 yards - all on drives that resulted in Eagles touchdowns.

It had been awhile since Jackson had a game like this. The third-year receiver established himself as one of the league's biggest downfield threats in '09, but was averaging less than 29 yards receiving per game in his last four, dating back to last season. In those four games, he had just one catch of 25 yards or more.

Against the Lions, Jackson caught four balls for 135 yards, averaging 33.8 yards per reception. In Week 1, Eagles wide receivers had a combined 23 yards after the catch. Jackson looked like he came up with about 27 yards after the catch on his 45-yard score in the first quarter.

Whether it's Kevin Kolb or Vick the rest of the way - and it will be Kolb next week - Jackson needs to get the ball. He showed once again today that he's a threat to score every time he touches it.

STAND-OUT START FOR VICK

I'll take a look at Vick's performance in detail later this week, but I quickly looked up how many times he's surpassed 284 passing yards. In 67 career starts prior to today, Vick put up better yardage numbers just four times.

Going back to the big plays, Vick averaged 8.4 yards per attempt. To put that into perspective, only three quarterbacks were able to maintain a higher average during the 2009 season: Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers and Drew Brees. Donovan McNabb, who had an oustanding year throwing the ball downfield, averaged 8.02 yards per attempt in '09.

RED ZONE, PENALTIES, TURNOVERS

The Eagles scored touchdowns on all three of their trips into the red zone. Going back to last week, they've found the end zone on five of six red-zone chances. Today, they got two touchdown runs from LeSean McCoy inside the 20 and a Vick pass to Jeremy Maclin. In fact, McCoy and Maclin have been responsible for all five of their red-zone scores.

The offense has done a good job of taking care of the football too. Only one turnover through two games - the Eldra Buckley fumble against Green Bay. Vick has gone 58 pass attempts without an interception. Throw in Kolb's 10 passes, and Eagles quarterbacks have gone 68 attempts without a pick.

Defensively, the Eagles had two interceptions, giving them four on the season. Nate Allen has a pair in his first two career starts.

Overall, the Eagles have a plus-3 turnover differential.

Penalties are a different story. The Eagles were flagged nine times for 75 yards. In two weeks, that's 19 penalties for 155 yards. That's too many yards to give away for a team that doesn't look like it's going to pull away from many opponents in 2010.


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About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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