Friday, November 28, 2014
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Man Up: Taking stock of the Eagles' O-line

Here's the player-by-player breakdown of the Eagles' offensive performance Sunday against the Giants:

Man Up: Taking stock of the Eagles' O-line

Eagles running back LeSean McCoy gets corralled by the Giants safety Kenny Phillips. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy gets corralled by the Giants safety Kenny Phillips. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

Here's the player-by-player breakdown of the Eagles' offensive performance Sunday against the Giants:

Michael Vick - I'll have the full breakdown in Mike Check later today or tomorrow morning, but it was an inconsistent performance from Vick. He just never seemed comfortable. Overall, he went 16-for-23 for 176 yards and an interception. The box score shows seven carries. That includes two runs after fumbled snaps, a QB sneak and a designed run. The interception wasn't his fault as the ball bounced off of Steve Smith's hands, but I counted three other questionable throws. Bad sequence at the end of the first half when Vick fumbled the snap from shotgun and then nearly cost the Eagles three points by failing to get off the field. He made some good throws - like the 24-yard completion to Jeremy Maclin and the 23-yard completion on the play where he got injured, but overall, not Vick's finest performance.

Mike Kafka - He came into the game in the fourth quarter and completed 4 of 7 passes for 35 yards and a pair of interceptions. The turnovers were just bad decisions and bad throws, although he got hit on each. He made one impressive throw to Smith for 19 yards on 4th-and-11.

LeSean McCoy - Before the 2010 season, McCoy talked about strengthening his lower body, and it's shown as he consistently breaks tackles and shakes off defenders. He ended up with 128 yards on 24 attempts (5.3 YPC). He had a nice 13-yard run in the second. He broke a tackle and picked up 11 on a 3rd-and-2 carry in the second. And McCoy bounced a run outside, showing good patience and vision on the 11-yard touchdown. As a blocker, he did a poor job of helping Jason Peters on Jason Pierre-Paul in the first. And McCoy was unable to pick up a first down on the 4th-and-1 play in the fourth. Maybe I'm nitpicking, but I'm still not sure how he doesn’t fumble more. McCoy carried the ball far away from his body on the 9-yard screen in the first.

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Owen Schmitt - Ready for some nuggets about Schmitt's usage? Prior to Sunday, he had not carried the ball in an NFL game since 2008. And he had five career carries. So consider me one of the people surprised that he had four rushing attempts in this one, including two unsuccessful runs inside the 5. In fairness to Schmitt, he had no chance on the second one with defenders in his face. Meanwhile, he did a nice job picking up a blitzer on Vick’s 13-yard completion to Maclin. And the crowd and Asante Samuel loved his hurdle on the 13-yard catch in the third.

Ronnie Brown - He's been underwhelming through three games. Brown had three carries for 6 yards against the Giants. On the season, he has 10 carries for 23 yards. That includes an 11-yard carry. Take that away, and it's 12 yards on his other nine carries (1.3 YPC). I haven’t been too impressed with his performance in blitz pickup either. Brown was on the field for 11 snaps Sunday.

Dion Lewis - He played one snap and had a 3-yard carry. It might be time to start giving Lewis some of Brown's snaps and seeing what he can do.

Jason Peters - For most of the game, Peters was doing an outstanding job as a run blocker, but he had a few issues in protection. It seemed like he was confused by the snap count in the first. Pierre-Paul got a great jump on Peters and forced Vick out of the pocket, eventually delivering a big blow to his head. Peters was called for a false start on the final drive of the first half and had some trouble with Pierre-Paul in the second, probably getting away with a hold. Peters did a good job on Pierre-Paul on the play where Vick found Jackson for 17 yards. In the run game, he did a good job opening up room for McCoy on his 9-yard run in the first. He had a nice block on Chris Canty on McCoy’s 7-yard run in the second. Peters did a good job of pulling and blocking Linval Joseph on McCoy’s 6-yard run in the second. And he did a great job of sealing Pierre-Paul on McCoy’s 4-yard run in the second. Pierre-Paul got past him to drop McCoy after a 1-yard gain in the third. And Peters barely got a hand on Mathias Kiwanuka as the Giants linebacker dropped McCoy for a 2-yard loss in the fourth.

Evan Mathis - Mathis was OK, but overall, this was probably his most uneven performance of the season. In the run game, he got bowled over by Pierre-Paul on a McCoy run that lost a yard in the first. And Mathis couldn’t hold his block as Jimmy Kennedy beat him to drop McCoy for a 1-yard loss in the third. He did a good job getting his hands on a linebacker at the second level on McCoy’s 9-yard run in the first. In protection, Rocky Bernard twisted behind Dave Tollefson, and Mathis was late to pick him up in the second. Bernard crushed Vick on the play, although in all fairness, he had time in the pocket to find Avant for a completion.

Jason Kelce - Inconsistency was a running theme with the offensive linemen on Sunday, and that especially held true with Kelce. At times, he was an absolute beast. At other times, he looked like someone making his third career start. Let's start with the good. I didn't like the Wildcat run to McCoy, but Kelce did a good job getting out in front. He did a good job on Chris Canty on McCoy’s 9-yard run in the first and delivered a nice block on Brown’s 3-yard carry in the second. Kelce made a nice play on McCoy’s 6-yard run in the second, and he blocked the defensive tackle to the ground on McCoy’s 11-yard run in the second. He also did an outstanding job blocking Tollefson on Vick’s 8-yard run for a first down in the third. Now, the miscues. He was called for a snap infraction in the first and later got beat by Joseph as Vick was forced to escape the pocket. In the red zone, Kelce had trouble with Joseph on the play where Vick dumped it off to McCoy in the red zone for a 1-yard loss. On a third down in the red zone, he was slow to pick up Pierre-Paul, who twisted behind the tackle and deflected Vick’s pass that was intended for Smith. Kelce got bowled over by Joseph and Rocky Bernard on the second Schmitt carry at the goal line. He moved over to left guard late when Mathis was injured. From that spot, he had trouble with Pierre-Paul, who sacked Kafka.

Kyle DeVan - Like I said, there was inconsistency with most of the offensive linemen. DeVan looked like he should have been called for a false start on the final drive of the first half, although the official said it was Kelce. On the very next play, he got beat by Kiwanuka, and Vick was forced to escape the pocket. Joseph went right by him as McCoy was tackled for a loss in the fourth. DeVan was beat by Joseph on Kafka’s first interception. There were some good moments though. He blocked the defensive tackle to the ground on McCoy’s 11-yard run in the third. He opened up a huge hole for McCoy on a 21-yard gain in the fourth. And a small thing I noticed: When Jackson and Maclin mixed it up with the Giants on their sideline, DeVan came over to join them. He also shoved Bernard after he spent some extra time on top of Vick following a hit. Good to see an offensive lineman stick up for the smaller guys in a chippy game like that.

Todd Herremans - He was probably the Eagles' best offensive lineman. Herremans was often lined up opposite Justin Tuck, who was nursing a couple injuries, but finished with just one tackle (and it came on a run play where Clay Harbor was blocking him). Herremans' biggest miscue was probably his false start that turned 3rd-and-6 into 3rd-and-11 in the first. He did a good job getting to the second level and blocking a linebacker on McCoy’s 11-yard run in the second. He made a good block on the linebacker on McCoy’s 11-yard run in the third. And really, the only time he had an issue in pass protection was on Kafka’s final interception. Tuck got around him on the play. By the way, did you notice he lined up outside Peters at left tackle on a goal-line play in the third?

Jamaal Jackson - He saw his first action of the season late in the fourth quarter, coming in to play center after Mathis left the game and Kelce shifted over to guard.

King Dunlap - He came in for a couple goal-line snaps and lined up on the right side.

Brent Celek - He had just two catches for 9 yards. Celek drew some very difficult blocking assignments, but did a good job for the most part. He handled a defensive back on McCoy’s 4-yard carry in the red zone in the second. He mixed it up with Antrel Rolle on McCoy’s 11-yard run in the second. And Celek made a nice block on McCoy’s 11-yard run in the third. He had a tough time blocking Pierre-Paul on McCoy’s 1-yard run in the second. And in the third, the Giants only rushed four, but Celek got matched up one-on-one with Pierre-Paul, who beat him and hit Vick.

Clay Harbor - Harbor played a lot (32 snaps) and had ups and downs. He did a good job blocking Kiwanuka on McCoy’s 9-yard run in the first. And he was effective again on McCoy’s 11-yard run in the third. But he had a tough time with Tuck on Brown’s 1-yard carry in the second. He did a poor job on Pierre-Paul in the third on a McCoy run that lost a yard. And he did not make a very good block on Rolle on McCoy’s 1-yard run in the third. As a receiver, he made a 17-yard grab on 3rd-and-2 in the second. It was his first catch of the season.

DeSean Jackson - Another quiet game for Jackson as a receiver. If I would have told you before the game that Schmitt would have more touches than him, you probably would have been worried. Jackson had a carry and a catch on two of the Eagles' first five offensive plays. He had only one touch the rest of the way (a 17-yard grab). This was the third straight game in which Jackson had a drop. He couldn't hang on when Vick looked for him on a third down in the third.

Jeremy Maclin - He was once again the Eagles' leading receiver with five catches for 69 yards. Maclin had a nice 13-yard catch and run in the second. And his 24-yard grab near the end of the first half was the Eagles’ longest play from scrimmage.

Jason Avant - He got the Eagles to the 2-yard line in the third with a 14-yard grab, but they couldn’t punch it in. Overall, four catches for 33 yards.

Steve Smith - I don't buy the theory that the Giants planted him to sabotage the Eagles' season... yet. Smith is normally sure-handed, but he had Vick’s pass bounce off his hands, leading to an interception in the red zone in the first. He was only able to pick up 8 on 3rd-and-9 in the fourth. The Eagles obviously ended up going for it and failed to pick up the first down. One item worth noting going forward: He played outside, and Avant played in the slot after Maclin went out.

Riley Cooper - He played two snaps but was not targeted and suffered a concussion at some point.


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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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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