Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Man Up: Eagles' O-line holds up

Here's the player-by-player breakdown of how the Eagles' offense performed in Thursday night's loss to the Steelers.

Man Up: Eagles' O-line holds up

The Eagles offensive line has done a good job protecting Michael Vick. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
The Eagles offensive line has done a good job protecting Michael Vick. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

Here's the player-by-player breakdown of how the Eagles' offense performed in Thursday night's loss to the Steelers.

Again, for preseason games, I don't include everyone, but you'll find writeups on most of the players below.

It may seem strange to read, but the bright spot was probably the offensive line. Two of Vick's three interceptions were all on him, and LeSean McCoy's missed block contributed to the third. Protection actually held up pretty well.

Michael Vick - Not much to say since I already broke down Vick's three interceptions in an earlier post. His third-down throw to Avant in the first was deflected, or that could have been intercepted too. Vick was also sacked by defensive back Donovan Warren, who blitzed from his left side. It looked like one of those plays where he should have recognized the pressure and gotten rid of the ball. One note on Vick: Some make it seem like he was the worst quarterback in the league against the blitz last year. That's simply not the case. While he certainly struggled at times, Vick had a QB rating of 91.8 against the blitz in 2010. As for this game, he obviously did not play well and has plenty to work on before the start of the season.

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Vince Young - He completed 5 of 8 passes for 34 yards and an interception. On the pick, the Steelers dropped eight men into coverage, and Young made a poor decision. Earlier, he couldn't pick up a first down on a QB sneak on 4th-and-1.

Mike Kafka - The final numbers were great: 14-for-19 for 160 yards and two touchdowns. I'll be honest. My DVR cut off during the Eagles' final drive. On the previous possession, the big play was the dumpoff to Dion Lewis. And Kafka was nearly intercepted in the red zone, but the Steelers DB dropped the ball. Overall, he looks confident and definitely seems to know where to go with the ball. I still think Young is your backup if Vick goes down.

LeSean McCoy - Excellent job as a runner with four carries for 25 yards. Last year, McCoy converted 8 of 10 opportunities on 3rd-and-short. On Thursday, he gained 8 on a 3rd-and-1. As a blocker, the results weren't so good. He was late picking up a blitzing Ryan Clark on Vick’s third interception. And it looked like McCoy failed to recognize a blitz on the sack late in the first half.

Ronnie Brown - I really liked what I saw from Brown. He had runs of 7, 14 and 6 yards in the third quarter. As a blocker, he picked up the blitz on Young’s completion to Johnnie Lee Higgins to start the second half. And he had another decent block on Young’s third-down completion to Higgins.

Dion Lewis - He definitely looks like he can make people miss and hit on big plays. Lewis had a nice 14-yard run in the fourth and an impressive 40-yard catch and run in the fourth. The negative? A fumble in the fourth. Overall, though, looks like he can play.

DeSean Jackson - Vick didn't waste any time, looking for Jackson on the first two offensive plays. Overall, he was targeted three times and had two receptions for 8 yards. He came out of the game before the rest of the starters.

Riley Cooper - He made one of the only good plays by the first-team offense, getting open for a 16-yard grab in the second. Later, he couldn't hold on to a high throw from Vick.

Chad Hall - He had three catches for 20 yards. Two of the team's four interceptions (one from Vick, one from Young) were intended for him. Hall adjusted nicely on a 2-yard grab in the third. On the Young interception, he hustled to tackle linebacker Larry Foote and even tried to strip the ball.

Johnnie Lee Higgins - He was the Eagles' leading receiver with seven catches for 54 yards. Higgins made a third-down grab for 8 yards in the third. He was later hit in the face with the ball on a deep pass from Kafka.

Gerald Jones - He scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns and finished with three catches for 36  yards. Great effort to get in the end zone on the first score from Kafka.

Brent Celek - The Eagles' first-team offense had a limited amount of plays, and Celek did not have a grab. As a blocker, he could not handle LaMarr Woodley, who dropped McCoy after a gain of 2 in the first.

Clay Harbor - He did not have a catch either. As a blocker, Harbor went in motion and did a good job of getting in James Harrison’s way on McCoy’s 8-yard run in the first.

Donald Lee - He's probably the Eagles' best blocking tight end. Lee did a good job on Brown’s 7-yard run in the third.

King Dunlap - If you're a frequent MTC reader, you know I don't think Dunlap is the answer at right tackle. Having said that, I thought he held his own. I didn't notice any missteps in pass protection. As a run blocker, Dunlap got in Woodley’s way, although he wasn’t very aggressive, on the toss to McCoy that went for 4 yards. Overall, an encouraging performance.

Evan Mathis - I liked what I saw from Mathis too. He was the second-team right tackle and played the entire second half. Mathis held up in pass protection, but was particularly good as a run blocker. He did a good job on Brown's 7-yard and 6-yard carries in the third. I'm not ready to rule him out as an option to crack the starting lineup, depending on what happens with Ryan Harris and Winston Justice.

Danny Watkins - Overall, Watkins played well too. He did a good job in pass protection on Vick's third-down throw intended for Avant. He probably got away with a hold on the 4-yard toss to McCoy, but looked fine in the run game too.

Mike McGlynn - His days appear to be numbered. The Eagles went with Dallas Reynolds at left guard with the second team and rookie Julian Vandervelde at right guard. McGlynn didn't get into the game until the fourth quarter.

Jamaal Jackson - He's really been a bright spot through the first two preseason games. Jackson looks healthy and strong as the starting center. I liked his effort getting out in front on the 4-yard toss to McCoy in the first. He did a good job picking up a blitzer on Vick’s first interception. And Jackson looked good on McCoy’s 11-yard cutback run in the second.

Jason Kelce - I thought Kelce held his own. He did a nice job on Brown’s runs in the third quarter. And he did a good job in protection on Young’s deep pass attempt to Hall. Kelce looked athletic with a great block on Lewis’ 40-yard catch and run. He had a few issues in protection and was called for holding in the fourth, but was otherwise fine.

Todd Herremans - He did a nice job on McCoy’s 8-yard run in the first, and Herremans picked up a blitzer on Vick’s first interception. James Harrison got by him to assist on a sack late in the first half, but not much to worry about at left guard (unless of course Herremans gets moved to tackle).

Julian Vandervelde - He appears to clearly be ahead of McGlynn on the depth chart. Vandervelde delivered a good block on Brown’s 6-yard run in the third. He did a nice job in pass protection on Young’s deep pass attempt to Hall and the 8-yard completion to Higgins. One negative play was when the linebacker went right by him to drop Brown for a loss in the third.

Jason Peters - He and Herremans look comfortable playing together on the left side. Peters had some trouble with Harrison on one play late in the first half, but was otherwise fine.

Austin Howard - He looked better this week. Howard and Vandervelde handled a twist in the third, and he held up alright in pass protection.


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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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