Here's my player-by-player rundown of the Eagles' offense after re-watching the win over the Chiefs.
And for those of you dying for my Monday night pick (hey, we were 10-5 this week against the spread), I'll take the Panthers (+8.5) to cover at the Cowboys.
And now, the breakdown:
Kevin Kolb - The numbers were great: 24-for-34 for 327 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Kolb did a nice job of fitting the ball in between two defenders on the 64-yard touchdown to DeSean Jackson. Overall, he showed the ability to hit receivers in stride and allow for big-time yards after the catch, specifically on throws to Jackson and Brent Celek. Kolb did not turn the ball over, but he could have easily been intercepted twice -- once on a throw intended for Jeremy Maclin in the second quarter and another time on a ball that was dropped by linebacker Mike Vrabel in the third. If you want to nitpick, he threw behind Jason Avant down near the goal line, misfired on a slant to Celek and overthrew Jackson in the end zone. Overall though, he looks like he can make all the throws and has the respect of his teammates. Definitely an encouraging performance.
Michael Vick - He looked indecisive and uncomfortable on the two plays where the Eagles asked him to throw the ball. Part of that is probably play design, and part of that is Vick. His most positive play was a 7-yard run out of the Wildcat in the first quarter. Vick also made a good decision, drawing a defender and tossing the ball to LeSean McCoy for a 5-yard gain in the third.
Leonard Weaver - He had a pair of catches for 14 yards. The Eagles had a chance to use him in short yardage, but chose not to. Weaver had a nice block on Tamba Hali on a Wildcat run to Maclin in the second quarter. His best block of the day came in the fourth when he cleared the way for a 15-yard McCoy run.
LeSean McCoy - Twenty carries for 84 yards and a touchdown. The highlight was his juke on Chiefs DB Brandon Flowers for a 14-yard gain in the first quarter. McCoy showed good toughness on the touchdown run, absorbing contact at the 3, staying on his feet, spinning and crossing the goal line. On the blocking front, he had his ups and downs. McCoy missed a blitzer on the Eagles’ second drive, and the cornerback deflected Kolb's pass for an incompletion. It was more a matter of McCoy's read and decision than his execution. He probably got away with a hold on a 13-yard pass to Celek in the third. On the plus side, McCoy picked up a blitzer to give Kolb time on the 43-yard pass to Jackson in the first. The effort is there, and McCoy has the ability to block. I fully expect him to continue to improve here the more he gets on the field. I'm still a little concerned with how he carries the ball. It was away from his body on a 3-yard Wildcat run late in the first half.
Eldra Buckley - He was active for the first time all season and got in the books with a 4-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Winston Justice - Another encouraging performance. He was matched up with linebacker Mike Vrabel on several plays and kept him away from Kolb. Justice actually lined up at left tackle on McCoy’s 8-yard run out of the Wildcat in the first quarter, helping to open up the hole. He had some trouble with Tyson Jackson on a run play to McCoy that was stuffed in the second quarter. And Justice allowed Vrabel to get past him for sack, but the play was called back because of a Chiefs penalty. Overall, he's showing he can start in this league.
Max Jean-Gilles - He showed more athleticism this week than last week. Nice job on Vick's first run (7 yards) out of the Wildcat. He was asked to pull on a couple plays and did an excellent job -- once on an 8-yard gain by McCoy out of the Wildcat and another time on a 4-yard McCoy run. Jean-Gilles also opened up a hole up the middle on an 11-yard gain by McCoy. In terms of pass protection, the Eagles' interior did not allow Chiefs defenders to get anywhere near Kolb.
Stacy Andrews - Unlike Week 2, he actually saw the field in this one, although he wasn't out there for a ton of snaps. Andrews helped open up the hole on McCoy’s touchdown run. He replaced Jean-Gilles during the first drive of the second half and opened up a nice hole on a 4-yard run by McCoy. Andrews was also in the game on the final drive in the fourth.
Jamaal Jackson - He had a nice block on Vick’s 7-yard Wildcat run and also did a good job on McCoy's 15-yard gain in the fourth quarter. Jackson had trouble with DT Ron Edwards in the second, allowing him to push through the line and limit McCoy to a 1-yard run.
Nick Cole - He opened up a hole for McCoy's 11-yard gain in the first quarter and also cleared the way for a 5-yard McCoy run late in the first half. Cole got beat by Edwards on a pass play in the second quarter, but Kolb got rid of the ball and completed a 9-yard pass to Weaver. Probably the only time all day an interior lineman got beat in pass protection. He was also in on the 15-yard McCoy run in the fourth.
Jason Peters - He was probably the most impressive lineman Sunday. Peters was lined up against DE Tamba Hali several times and did not let the Penn State product get anywhere near Kolb. He moved linebacker Demorrio Williams out of the way on McCoy's TD run. Peters also opened up a nice hole on a 3-yard McCoy run in the fourth quarter. Consistent play all the way through from him.
Brent Celek - Another outstanding performance: eight catches for 104 yards and a touchdown. Along with his good hands, Celek's toughness is what has really stood out through three games. He absorbed a huge hit from Williams down near the goal line in the first quarter but held on for an 8-yard gain. He dragged Williams with him for a couple yards after making a catch in the second quarter. He lined up all over the place -- as a traditional tight end, in the slot and even out wide. As a blocker, Celek had some good battles with Vrabel. He did a good job during Vick’s 7-yard Wildcat run. He also cleared space for McCoy on a 3-yard run late in the first half and a 4-yard run in the third quarter. Vrabel got the best of him in the second, stuffing McCoy for no gain. He's definitely showing improvement here.
Alex Smith - He did not have a catch, but was in as a blocker on McCoy’s 14-yard run in the first quarter.
DeSean Jackson - I did an entire post on him yesterday. We saw this coming during training camp: Jackson is taking another huge step this season. He set a career high with 149 yards on six catches. Great football IQ, as they say. He knows when to go down and how to avoid big hits. He also knows when to turn on the jets for a big play. Jackson piled up about 27 yards after catch on 43-yard gain in first quarter. And of course about 58 of the 64 yards on the touchdown were after the catch. If you want to nitpick, he had a couple lapses as a blocker, specifically on the Wildcat handoff to Jeremy Maclin in the second quarter. What's that you say? You're OK with that? I figured as much.
Jeremy Maclin - The rookie got his first start and had the expected ups and downs. Overall, four catches for 33 yards, but nothing really going down the field. He and Kolb were not on the same page on a couple plays -- one in the second quarter that nearly resulted in an interception, and another in the third where he appeared to be wide open for a big gain, but Kolb threw to his inside. Maclin did a good job of getting both feet in bounds on an 11-yard gain near the sideline in the third quarter. Poor job blocking on what could have been a big run by McCoy to the outside in the fourth.
Jason Avant - He had a pair of catches for 14 yards. One was a third-down conversion, where Avant picked up 10 on 3rd-and-6 in the first quarter. He fumbled on the play, but luckily it rolled out of bounds.
Reggie Brown - He saw his first game action since the divisional round of last year's playoffs. One catch for 4 yards, and a sarcastic cheer from the crowd at the Linc.
** Jeff Garcia, not Vick, came in during garbage time in the fourth. Garcia fumbled his first (and last?) snap of the 2009 season.
** Bad job by CBS on the 4-yard pass to Avant late in the first half. The camera focused on Kolb’s face the whole time, as we never got to see where he threw the ball.