Man Up: Kelce, Watkins struggle
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Man Up: Kelce, Watkins struggle
Sheil Kapadia, Philly.com
Here's the player-by-player breakdown of the Eagles' offensive performance against the Bills after having re-watched the game:
Michael Vick - I'll have the full breakdown in Mike Check on Wednesday, but here were the numbers: 26-for-40 for 315 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions. Let's run through the picks. I know everyone wants to place blame for the first one, but the truth is, plays like that just happen. The Bills ran a zone blitz, and only rushed four. Reggie Corner made an athletic play, deflecting and intercepting Vick's pass. If you isolate that play, it's not a huge deal. The problem is, it was one of four interceptions. The Bills blitzed six on the second interception. Todd Herremans got beat by Arthur Moats, who crushed Vick as he was releasing the ball. Vick probably needs to get rid of the ball quicker there, but obviously not completely his fault. On the third interception, blitzer Kelvin Sheppard came unblocked up the middle and nailed Vick. I still have no idea where he was going with the ball though. And on the fourth pick, it's hard to blame Vick at all, considering the ball was in Jason Avant's hands. Having said all that, Vick had at least two other passes that could have been picked, but weren't. I place blame for the clock running out in the first half on his shoulders. Should the Eagles have just kicked the field goal? Probably. But Vick has to know the situation he's in and get rid of the ball quicker. In the second half, his 53-yard run seemed to ignite the offense. And in each of the past two weeks, he's had the offense on the move with the game on the line, only to see his receivers turn it over.
LeSean McCoy - He played an outstanding all-around game. McCoy carried 11 times for 80 yards. He also had four catches for 27 yards and did a good job as a blocker. McCoy picked up 11 yards on a direct snap in the first. He had a nice 15-yard run in the second to set up the Eagles’ first touchdown. He made a good enough block, taking the defensive lineman down on the first touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin. He gave good effort as a blocker on Vick’s 53-yard run in the fourth. And he had the 10-yard touchdown on the very next play. He did a good job picking up a pass rusher on the 35-yard completion to Jason Avant. He had a big 32-yard run in the third. He did a good job picking up a blitzer on the 26-yard completion to Jackson in the fourth. And he picked up 16 yards on a screen in the fourth. The only "bad" play I noticed was McCoy dropping a screen pass with the Eagles backed up in their own end zone.
Owen Schmitt - No targets, no catches, no carries. Didn't notice him much as a blocker either.
Dion Lewis - Whether it was because of Ronnie Brown's fumble last week or just Brown's overall ineffectiveness, Lewis took some of the veteran's snaps this week. He carried twice for 8 yards and showed pretty good burst on a 6-yard run in the second. Lewis gave a good effort in blitz pickup on the final drive as Vick scrambled to his left before throwing across his body to Jackson for 11 yards. I see no reason why Brown should be on the field more than Lewis at this point.
Ronnie Brown - I haven't done snap counts yet, but Pro Football Focus says he was on the field for one play.
King Dunlap - I thought he was a bright spot for the Eagles. Regular readers of MTC know I haven't been the biggest Dunlap fan in the past, but he's really worked himself into a dependable backup. He did a decent job on Shawne Merriman on Vick’s 10-yard completion to Avant in the first. He did a good job passing off the defensive end and then blocking the defensive back on McCoy’s 10-yard touchdown run in the third. In protection, he got beat by Spencer Johnson, but Vick dumped the ball off to McCoy at the end of the first. Dunlap was called for holding right after Danny Watkins was called for illegal hands to the face in the red zone. But overall, a performance you can live with from your backup tackle. Looks like he'll be starting again Sunday against the Redskins.
Evan Mathis - He had ups and downs, but was fine overall. Mathis and Jason Kelce did a good job on a stunt in the first, but Vick’s throw to Brent Celek was incomplete. He got pushed back into Vick on a 3rd-and-2 play in the second. Later, Kyle Williams pushed him back into Vick, who got rid of the ball for a 10-yard completion to Maclin at the end of the first half. Mathis did a good job blocking out in front on McCoy’s 15-yard run in the second. He delivered a great block in space on McCoy’s 16-yard screen in the fourth. And Mathis made a nice block on McCoy’s 4-yard run in the fourth.
Jason Kelce - The rookie really struggled in this one. It probably didn’t matter because McCoy slipped, but Alex Carrington went right past him on a play that resulted in a 3-yard loss in the first. He got beat by Williams on Vick’s first touchdown pass to Maclin. As Peter King pointed out on SI.com, he went to help McCoy on a blitzing defensive back, rather than picking up Sheppard, who crushed Vick on the second-quarter interception that was returned for a touchdown. On a blitz in the third, Marcell Dareus went past him and nearly sacked Vick, but he got rid of the ball. Carrington got past him and tripped Vick up in the red zone on a designed run in the fourth. Early on, Kelce did a good job getting out in front on McCoy’s 11-yard gain off a direct snap. But overall, not a good performance.
Danny Watkins - Watkins made the first start of his career. And he looked like a player making the first start of his career. He wasn't a disaster, but struggled quite a bit. He had trouble with a blitzing linebacker, who went right past him on Vick’s incompletion to Celek in the first. Later, he and Kelce let a blitzer go between them untouched. I’m not sure, but I’m guessing the blitzer was Watkins’ responsibility. It was a zone blitz, and the Bills only rushed four, but Watkins slid to his right to double-team the end with Todd Herremans. He got pushed back by Carrington on a designed run for Vick in the second. He and Kelce had trouble with Carrington on the play where the Bills were called for roughing the passer in the second. He had trouble with Dwan Edwards as Vick took off and ran in the second. Watkins got called for illegal use of the hands, negating a Vick touchdown in the fourth. He got beat by Dareus on the very next play. He later had trouble with Dareus as Vick dumped it off to McCoy in the red zone in the fourth. Watkins got crushed by Nick Barnett on the screen to McCoy during the Eagles’ final drive. The good? The play wasn’t run to his side, but Watkins put a good block on Edwards on McCoy’s 11-yard touchdown run. And he did a pretty good job on Vick’s 15-yard completion to Jackson. Lots to work on before heading to D.C.
Todd Herremans - He's had a pretty good season, but Herremans had some issues on Sunday. He got beat by Moats, who crushed Vick on his second interception. On the next series, he again had trouble with Moats. Dareus went right around him and pressured Vick, who was nearly intercepted on third down in the second. He got beat by Danny Batten and probably got away with a hold on Vick’s 26-yard completion to Jackson. Early on, he was good one-on-one in protection on Vick’s 10-yard completion to Avant.
Brent Celek - As a receiver, he was targeted five times, but came up with only one catch for 6 yards. I'm going to take a look later this week at how the Eagles are using Celek this season. He did a good job blocking downfield on McCoy’s 15-yard run in the second. And Celek's block of cornerback Drayton Florence helped spring DeSean Jackson for the touchdown. Earlier, Celek had trouble blocking Moats in the second as Vick took off and ran. Overall, he looks like a much improved blocker this season.
Clay Harbor - A week after catching three balls for 55 yards, Harbor had just one catch for 3 yards. He did a poor job as a blocker on the end around to Jackson in the first that lost 4 yards.
DeSean Jackson - He had five catches for 86 yards on seven targets. Jackson made a nice play on the ball, going up in the air and picking up 15 yards in the second. He gave good effort as a blocker on McCoy’s 15-yard run in the second. The 31-yard touchdown was vintage DeSean. He took the wide receiver screen and was gone. The Eagles need to give him more chances to make plays like that. One question: Can someone explain to me why he was carrying the ball so carelessly on the 26-yard catch and run in the fourth? I don't get it, especially considering the Eagles' turnover issues.
Jeremy Maclin - Maclin also had a good game with six catches for 54 yards on eight targets. He started the game with a 19-yard grab. And Maclin made a nice move on the next play, turning a 6-yard gain into a 13-yard pickup.
Jason Avant - What a tough game to evaluate for Avant. Consider this: Vick targeted him 10 times. On nine of those throws, he connected with Avant for 139 yards. But on the 10th, Avant couldn't hold on, and the ball was intercepted. Eagles receivers have had issues at the end of games for three straight weeks. Maclin had the drop against Atlanta and the fumble against San Francisco. And now, Avant with the interception against Buffalo. He also had a fumble earlier in the half.
Riley Cooper - No catches, no targets.
Steve Smith - Same for Smith.
Also from Tuesday: 5 thoughts on the State of the Eagles