Wednesday, August 27, 2014
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Man Up: Eagles' offense nearly flawless

A couple weeks ago when we did Man Up following the Raiders loss, I had a tough time saying anything good about anyone on the Eagles' offense.

Man Up: Eagles' offense nearly flawless

Donovan McNabb played his best game of the season Sunday against the Giants. ( David Maialetti / Staff Photographer )
Donovan McNabb played his best game of the season Sunday against the Giants. ( David Maialetti / Staff Photographer )

A couple weeks ago when we did Man Up following the Raiders loss, I had a tough time saying anything good about anyone on the Eagles' offense.

This week, it's the opposite.

Here's the player-by-player breakdown of the Eagles' offensive players in their 40-17 win over the Giants:

Donovan McNabb - I don't think I'm overstating it when I say this had to be one of the sharpest games of his career. McNabb went 17-for-23 for 240 yards and three touchdowns. Of his six incompletions, at least four (maybe five) were batted down at the line of scrimmage. McNabb made every pass - timing routes over the middle, the deep ball, you name it. He made a very nice throw, fitting the ball in to Brent Celek in the first for a touchdown. Later in the quarter, on a high degree of difficulty throw, he delivered a strike to DeSean Jackson for 9 yards. Also, was it just me, or was that as fast as McNabb has looked in awhile on the 14-yard run?

Michael Vick – He picked up 4 yards on a 3rd-and-1 in the first quarter, but didn't see much action beyond that. I have to look at the numbers, but my guess would be the Eagles are one of the better short yardage teams in the league this season.

LeSean McCoy – He didn't consistently pick up yards, but McCoy showed the all-around game that made the Eagles draft him in April. The highlight was obviously the 66-yard run he broke in the fourth quarter. Overall, McCoy carried 11 times for 82 yards. And maybe more importantly, he did an exceptional job as a blocker, picking up a blitzer on McNabb's third-down completion to Jason Avant in the first and again on a Celek catch in the second. I love the call on the screen play that picked up 17 yards to start the game. Don't be surprised to see McCoy more involved in the passing game as the season goes on.

Leonard Weaver - If you re-watch the 41-yard run, you'll see he simply outran Giants defensive back C.C. Brown for the touchdown. I did not know Weaver had that kind of speed. He added a 17-yard run in the second half and carried eight times for 75 yards overall. Weaver did a fine job in pass protection when called upon.

Winston Justice – You didn't hear his name called all day, and that's a good thing. Redemption for Justice after he was defined for so long by his performance in the 12-sack game against the Giants. He was helped at times, but did a good job when left alone too. Justice is better in protection than in the run game. He delivered another solid performance and has probably been the Eagles' most consistent offensive lineman this season. I only saw him get beat once in protection, and it was the play where McNabb escaped and ran for a first down.

Nick Cole and Stacy Andrews – I'm including them together because they platooned at right guard. It seemed like Andrews saw more action than usual as he entered the game on the third possession of the first quarter and on the second possession of the second half. Andrews looked a lot more comfortable than he had in previous weeks, making a good block on a 7-yard McCoy run in the third. He was also part of a great group effort on the 66-yarder. Cole played well also. The Eagles' interior really did a good job throughout.

Todd Herremans – I thought Herremans looked rusty in his first action of the season against the Redskins. Not so against the Giants. He did a good job blocking Antonio Pierce on Weaver's TD run and really played well in the run game throughout.

Jamaal Jackson – Maybe his best game of the season. Jackson did a good job on Barry Cofield during Weaver’s 41-yard run. He also made nice blocks on Weaver's 17-yard run and McCoy's 66-yard run. As the center, Jackson deserves credit for keeping the changing parts on the line on the same page.

Jason Peters – An up and down game for Peters. He had a tough time with Osi Umenyiora in a couple spots. One was his holding penalty, which negated a Celek touchdown pass. And another was in the second quarter, when he got beat badly as Umenyiora sacked McNabb and forced a fumble. Peters also let defensive back Bruce Johnson go right by him in the second half. Looked like probable miscommunication on the play.

DeSean Jackson – I guess we can just mark him down for a 50-yard touchdown every game the rest of the way. He hauled in a 54-yard score and had three catches for 78 yards overall. I liked his effort as a blocker on the 17-yard screen to McCoy. Also, did you notice that two DBs were fooled on the McCoy TD run when McNabb faked the handoff to Jackson? That's what opened things up downfield.

Jason Avant - Two catches for 32 yards after being held without a reception in the previous two games. I thought it was interesting that McNabb went out of his way after the game to praise Avant and say defenses are definitely aware of him, which opens things up for everyone else. Avant picked up 28 yards on a 3rd-and-6, in part due to poor tackling by the Giants.

Jeremy Maclin - I liked seeing some feistiness out of Maclin in this one. He drove Brown to the ground as a blocker on the 7-yard McCoy run and then mixed it up with Giants defenders after the whistle. He also gave good efforts as a blocker on McCoy's big run (although he tripped) and Vick's first-down carry. As a receiver, four catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. Showing improvement in all aspects every week.

Brent Celek - One touchdown catch was erased in the first quarter because of the penalty on Peters, but McNabb came right back to Celek for the score. He did a good job as a blocker overall. On the Vick run, he opened space by getting in Justin Tuck's way. We see a 'toughness' play from Celek every week. This time it came on a 3rd-and-12 in the fourth when he picked up 8 yards after contact for a first down.

Alex Smith – Smith made his first catch of the season, picking up 11 yards for a first down early on.

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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