Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Man Up: Eagles' offense struggles vs. 'Skins

Time for our weekly player-by-player look at the Eagles' offense this week.

Man Up: Eagles' offense struggles vs. 'Skins

Donovan McNabb and the Eagles´ offense were not particularly sharp on Monday night against the ´Skins. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Donovan McNabb and the Eagles' offense were not particularly sharp on Monday night against the 'Skins. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

Time for our weekly player-by-player look at the Eagles' offense this week.

I've heard from some of you that you'd like a sentence, when possible, describing each guy's overall play. I attempted to do a little more of that.

Brian Westbrook - Looked good on three carries before leaving the game with a concussion. Obviously the team (and Westbrook) would be wise to be overly cautious before getting him back on the field.

LeSean McCoy - Did not have much success replacing Westbrook. Fourteen carries for 37 yards. McCoy whiffed on a block in the second quarter, as the Redskins sacked Donovan McNabb. He looked most comfortable on a couple screen plays and had five catches for 30 yards.

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Leonard Weaver – Quiet day for Weaver. Didn't really stand out as a blocker. He did pick up a first down on 3rd-and-1 in the first quarter. His best block probably came on Michael Vick's 9-yard run in the fourth.

Donovan McNabb – Not a good performance for No. 5. He seemed rushed throughout and was off-target on a number of throws. He missed one to Brent Celek in the first and couldn't connect with DeSean Jackson on a couple more later in the game. The protection was not great, but I thought McNabb had time on multiple plays where he just didn't look comfortable.

Michael Vick - I feel like a broken record here (Do we say 'broken record' anymore? Should it be 'malfunctioning IPOD' instead? I feel like a malfunctioning IPOD). Not much doing with Vick's impact on the offense. He completed a pass to Brent Celek for 5 yards and had three carries for 9 yards, all of which came on one play.

DeSean Jackson – What's left to say about him? Jackson is without question the team's biggest playmaker, and he carried the offense Monday night. A 67-yard touchdown run and a 57-yard touchdown catch. He flat-out outran DeAngelo Hall and Laron Landry on the end around. I've heard people speculate that his injury may have occurred on the celebration of the second TD, and after watching the replay, it's quite possible. My only problem is that he didn't get the ball enough. Three touches and two touchdowns. According to ESPN.com's stats, he was targeted five times.

Jeremy Maclin – I really liked his effort, blocking downfield and holding off Carlos Rogers on the Jackson end around. Great to see from a rookie. Maclin caught three straight passes from McNabb in the first quarter when I believe the Eagles were still in the 'scripted' portion of the play-calling. Overall, five catches for 53 yards. He did a good job to keep his feet in bounds for a first down in the third quarter.

Jason Avant – The MTC favorite has been quiet, going without a catch the last two weeks. He has just three catches in the last four games and hasn't had much of an impact other than the Saints game. Avant did have a nice block on a Westbrook run in the first.

Brent Celek – His quietest game of the season. Celek had just three catches for 8 yards. As usual, he had some bright spots and some dull moments as a blocker, particularly on one play where Redskins rookie Brian Orakpo got the best of him.

Alex Smith – Not much to report, although I did notice that with the Eagles only having four wide receivers active, he lined up out wide on a third down in the first quarter. Westbrook was also split out wide on the play, and Jackson and Maclin were not on the field.

Winston Justice
– Except for a couple lapses, Justice did a good job. He was called for his first penalty of the season, a false start in the first quarter, and whiffed on his block during a WR screen to Maclin.

Nick Cole and Jamaal Jackson - Including them together because I didn't have many notes on either. The Eagles' interior struggled to create holes for McCoy.

Stacy Andrews – A lot of attention has been given to the additions and lack of effectiveness of Vick and Jeremiah Trotter. But what about Andrews? He got a $40 million contract, and can't even get on the field as we head towards Week 8. He was called for a penalty on one of the few plays where he was in and leads the team with four penalties on the season.

Todd Herremans - He struggled throughout the game, both in pass protection and especially in run blocking. Let's keep in mind that it was his first game of the season, and Herremans was dealing with Albert Haynesworth. He was clearly fatigued in the fourth, getting beat by Haynesworth for a sack and drawing a pair of penalties. The plays where Herremans was effective were when he was able to get to the next level, one on a screen to McCoy, and the other on Vick's 9-yard run.

Jason Peters – I wonder how much Peters' injury slowed him down Monday night. He was not particularly good, especially in pass coverage, and looked slow off the ball. Peters was beat by Andre Carter, who sacked McNabb from the blind side and forced a fumble in the second half. 

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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