Friday, April 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Man Up: Herremans, Kelce and the O-line

If you missed the defensive writeup, click here.

Man Up: Herremans, Kelce and the O-line

Eagles´ Jason Peters (right) and Jason Kelce watch Rams defenders.  (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Eagles' Jason Peters (right) and Jason Kelce watch Rams defenders. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

If you missed the defensive writeup, click here.

Moving on to the offense, here's the player-by-player breakdown after having re-watched the Eagles' 31-13 win over the Rams:

Michael Vick - I'm going to do the complete Vick breakdown on Tuesday, but this was a throwback game. He used his athleticism and legs to create big plays and demoralize the Rams' defense. In terms of progressing as a passer, reading the blitz and getting the ball out quickly? Well, we didn't see a whole lot of that here. Vick finished 14-for-32 for 187 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried 11 times for 97 yards (numbers vary, but that's according to NFL.com). The Eagles did a good job of trying to get him out of the pocket, although at times he ran right into pressure on the rollouts. Vick made an excellent throw to Jackson on the one deep ball, but the Eagles' speedy receiver couldn't hang on. The touchdown throw to Jackson in the second half was on the money. And Vick should make just about every highlight reel this week with the one run where he looked like he was going to be sacked, escaped pressure and picked up 17 yards. He was the single biggest reason the Eagles won the game. At the same time, plenty to work on with a long season ahead and better defenses on the schedule. 

LeSean McCoy - Heading into the fourth quarter, McCoy had carried 11 times for 27 yards. He then exploded for 95 yards on four carries. But this is nothing new. McCoy averaged 6.1 yards per carry in the fourth quarter last season. Early on, in short yardage, he took a direct snap 7 yards on 3rd-and-1. Again, nothing new. McCoy was 8-for-10 on 3rd-and-short last year. He took the screen 7 yards to the end zone for the Eagles' first touchdown. And McCoy did a good job breaking a tackle behind the line of scrimmage and picking up 8 yards on another screen. McCoy was good as a blocker too. He helped Kyle DeVan with the DT on a deep attempt to Jason Avant late in the first half. And he took out Quintin Mikell on a blitz late in the second. 

Owen Schmitt - He played 10 snaps and had two balls thrown his way. The first one wasn’t a very good throw, but Schmitt probably could have made the catch. He did a nice job as a lead blocker on McCoy’s 8-yard run in the fourth.

Ronnie Brown - He played five snaps and had four carries for 7 yards. On one play in the first, he lined up in the backfield, and McCoy split out wide. Brown did a poor job of getting in front of defensive end James Hall as he hit Vick’s arm and forced an incompletion. He got a carry in the red zone for 3 yards in the first. Later, Brown got crushed on the Wildcat run in the red zone.

Dion Lewis - He played four snaps and had two carries for 10 yards, including a nice 6-yarder at the end of the first.

Jason Peters - He had more ups than downs and got better as the game went on. Peters got beat by Hall early as the Rams defensive end dropped McCoy for a 6-yard loss in the first. A corner came on a blitz from the slot, right between Celek and Peters, hitting Vick and helping to cause an incompletion, although I'm not sure that was his fault. He probably got away with a hold on the completion to Celek late in the first half. On the plus side, Peters and Evan Mathis handled a stunt pretty well on the 20-yard completion to Avant in the first. Pretty impressive, considering they’d never played together before Sunday. He did a good job on McCoy’s 5-yard run in the third. And Peters delivered the key block on the defensive tackle, opening up a lane for McCoy’s 49-yard touchdown run in the fourth. He also gave a good effort on McCoy’s 18-yard run in the fourth. Peters held up well for the most part in pass protection.

Evan Mathis - Mathis played a very good game. He did an excellent job in protection on the Vick 41-yard completion to Jackson and delivered a nice run block on Lewis’ 6-yard run in the first. He held up nicely on Vick’s 18-yard completion to Avant in the second and did a good job of turning the defensive tackle on McCoy’s 11-yard run in the fourth. The Eagles didn't look too comfortable on the stretch plays, and Mathis didn’t get much of the defensive lineman on his block attempt on a McCoy run in the first.

Jason Kelce - It's hard to day who was at fault for the delay of game and timeout issues in the first half. Kelce? Vick? Reid? Mornhinweg? But overall, I thought Kelce played really well. He showed his athleticism on the direct snap to McCoy, getting out in front and blocking the linebacker. I didn't notice any breakdowns from Kelce in pass protection. Most of the Rams' pressure came off the edge, not up the middle. Very encouraging performance from the rookie.

Kyle DeVan - Danny Watkins' replacement had ups and downs. He did an excellent job pulling on the direct snap to McCoy and threw the defensive lineman to the ground on a stretch play. DeVan's best play was probably the McCoy touchdown in the first half. He made the key block, flattening the defensive tackle. But there were issues later. He got tossed to the side on Vick’s swing pass to Schmitt in the first.  And again on a screen attempt to McCoy in the second that ended as an incompletion. DeVan got beat by the defensive tackle in the second, but Vick escaped and picked up 19 yards. He was called for holding in the third and later got beat again, but Vick scrambled for 18 yards. It's tough to really assess DeVan, considering he was on the team for less than a week when the Eagles took the field Sunday. But I'm guessing he'll be back out there at right guard against the Falcons.

Todd Herremans - My first thought here? Why didn't the Eagles move Herremans to right tackle earlier? He had a couple miscues, but overall played well against a very good pass rusher in Chris Long. Herremans executed a nice cut block on the direct snap to McCoy. He had outstanding one-on-one protection on the Vick 41-yard bomb to Jackson. And again on Vick’s 20-yard completion to Maclin. Herremans did a good job on Vick’s 7-yard completion to Jackson and and again on a deep attempt to Jackson. Long got the best of him with an inside move in the second, forcing Vick out of the pocket. And the Rams DE got past Herremans and shoved Vick on a quick throw late in the first half. But overall, Herremans played well.

Brent Celek - He was targeted three times and had one catch for 13 yards, but Celek played a really good game. One of his more impressive blocking performances as an Eagle. He did an excellent job of sealing the defensive end on the direct snap to McCoy. He did a good job helping Peters on Hall on the 41-yard Jackson completion. He made a good block on the edge on McCoy’s 17-yard run in the fourth. And he got just enough of the defensive end on McCoy’s 49-yard touchdown run.

Clay Harbor - He played 13 snaps as the second tight end and was used mainly as a blocker. Harbor did not get a ball thrown his way. He delivered a good block on McCoy’s 18-yard run in the fourth.

DeSean Jackson - He was targeted 12 times and ended up with six catches for 102 yards. Jackson did a good job to fight for the ball on a 41-yard catch in the first. He dropped what would have been a gain of 40+ in the second. And the ball in the end zone at the end of the first was a difficult catch, but he probably should have made it. Jackson made an 11-yard grab on 3rd-and-6 and had a 26-yard catch and run to set up the third-quarter touchdown. Yup, still one of the most explosive players in the game.

Jeremy Maclin - The Eagles didn't exactly ease him in. Maclin played 53 snaps by my unofficial count - tied with Jackson for the most of any of the team's wide receivers. He was targeted just three times and had one catch for 20 yards on 3rd-and-10. I’ve always liked his effort as a blocker. and Maclin took out a defensive back as McCoy reversed field on a stretch play in the first.

Jason Avant - He was targeted seven times and had three catches for 40 yards. It was tough to tell if Avant was supposed to pick up the blitzing corner on the Rams’ first sack of Vick. He gave excellent effort as a blocker on the safety on McCoy’s touchdown in the first.

Steve Smith - He got eased in with just four snaps and was not targeted. We'll see if he gets on the field more next week.

Riley Cooper - He played seven snaps but did not get a ball thrown his way.


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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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