Friday, November 27, 2015

Man Up: Watkins, Lewis and Young

Here's the player-by-player look at the Eagles' offensive performance Thursday night against the Jets.

Man Up: Watkins, Lewis and Young

Eagles offensive lineman Danny Watkins was shaky once again against the Jets. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
Eagles offensive lineman Danny Watkins was shaky once again against the Jets. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

Here's the player-by-player look at the Eagles' offensive performance Thursday night against the Jets.

I only did the first half, and you can click here if you missed the writeup on the defense.

And again, didn't do every player, just the standouts.

Vince Young - Young was extremely impressive before leaving the game at the end of the first half with the hamstring strain. What was most encouraging was that he got rid of the ball quickly. Often times at training camp, he held onto it and scrambled, not knowing where to go. Against the Jets, he was decisive. Overall, Young completed 15 of 23 passes for 193 yards. He got the ball out quickly and fit it in a small window on the 6-yard pass to Clay Harbor. He showed his strength on the 6-yard completion to Chad Hall. Young had a defender hanging from his waist, but got away and completed the pass, even though it was short of a first down. He showed nice patience and made an accurate throw on the 23-yard completion to Moss. He delivered a quick throw to Riley Cooper for 7 yards and a first down. He hit Moss and Donald Lee on gains of 22 yards each. There were some errors. On one play, Young recognized the pressure from a corner blitz, slid to his left, but took a sack. The Eagles were knocked out of field goal range (from the 28 to the 40). And he missed Moss on the deep post that could have been a touchdown. But overall, a very good performance.

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Dion Lewis - I was impressed with just about everything he did. Lewis had 15 carries for 62 yards and three catches for 38 yards. He had a nice 13-yard run, bouncing outside and switching the ball to his left hand. In short yardage, Lewis picked up 13 on a 3rd-and-1 carry in the first. And he delivered a great second effort on the touchdown. What has stood out this preseason is Lewis is not afraid of contact, makes people miss and doesn't go down on the first hit. He held up as a blocker, picking up blitzers on the 22-yard completion to Moss and the 22-yard completion to Lee. It’s tough to say for sure, but he might have missed his blocking assignment when the slot corner blitzed Young and sacked him. Overall, though, he played very well. I think he's your kickoff returner in the regular season, and I think he probably will get a look on punts too.

Riley Cooper - He had one catch for 8 yards, but dropped what looked like a pretty good throw near the sideline. Cooper took a big hit in the first quarter, but got right back up. It's tough to figure out what his role will be if Steve Smith is healthy.

Sinorice Moss - He got open and made plays after the catch, finishing with three catches for 49 yards. Moss had a 23-yard catch and run in the first and a 22-yarder in the second. He got open on the post, but Young overthrew him. If the Eagles keep a sixth receiver to handle return duties, isn't Moss a better option than Hall?

Chad Hall - He had the 16-yard touchdown in the first and finished with two catches for 22 yards. But Hall had a couple mishaps in the return game and has never really been impressive in that aspect. He's on the bubble, but I have Hall getting cut.

Clay Harbor - He made a 6-yard grab on the first series and later delivered a good effort, breaking a tackle and picking up 9 yards on 3rd-and-2. Harbor did a good job staying in as a blocker on Young’s 22-yard completion to Moss.

Donald Lee - He delivered a great effort on the 15-yard catch and run on 3rd-and-14 in the second. And again two plays later, diving for the end zone, but coming up just short. Lee also made a 22-yard grab on the final possession of the first half. Overall, three catches for 52 yards. The Eagles don't need a third tight end, but Lee should catch on somewhere.

Danny Watkins - I don't want to pick on the rookie, but he delivered another shaky performance with many more downs than ups. Watkins got beat in pass protection on Young’s 9-yard pass to Harbor, but Young got rid of the ball quickly. It looked like Watkins tried to initiate contact with the defensive tackle, who went right around him and nearly batted down the pass. He completely missed his block on Lewis’ 2-yard run to the right side. It would have been a loss if not for a couple nice moves by the running back. On third down, it looked like he was the only lineman who didn’t slide to his left, allowing the blitzing linebacker to get to Young. The defensive lineman got past him on the play where Cooper got crushed. Watkins got beat on a run play where Lewis was dropped for no gain. Were there good moments? Sure. He did a good job getting out in front on the screen to Lewis that went for 14 yards. He did a good job on Lewis’ 9-yard gain. Watkins paved the way on a 13-yard Lewis run in the first. And he was good in pass protection on Young’s attempt over the middle to Harbor that fell incomplete. Right guard is a giant question mark with the opener eight days away. At some point, I expect things to click for Watkins. Just not sure when that will be. If he is in the starting lineup against the Rams, which I'd expect, the Eagles would be wise to keep LeSean McCoy next to Michael Vick often on pass plays to help out as a blocker.

Julian Vandervelde - Vandervelde held up pretty well in protection. He did well 1-on-1 against a defensive lineman on Young’s 23-yard completion to Moss. He and Mike McGlynn did a good job on a double-team, helping to open up a hole for Lewis on his 9-yard run. And Vandervelde got out in front of a 5-yard screen to Lewis, even though he didn’t really block anyone. I've got Vandervelde making the team as one of the backup linemen.

King Dunlap - He played left tackle and was OK. Dunlap got beat with an inside move on Young’s 9-yard completion to Harbor. He had good 1-on-1 protection on Young’s 23-yard completion to Moss. He's on the bubble, but I have Dunlap making it.

Reggie Wells - I’m surprised to be saying this, but once again, he held up pretty well in pass protection. And Wells made a nice block on Lewis’ 4-yard run in the second. I think the Eagles keep him as a reserve, something I did not think would happen when they signed Wells a couple weeks ago.

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About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for 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 or by clicking here

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