Sunday, December 21, 2014

What I saw: Eagles vs. Browns

Here are some quick observations on tonight's Eagles-Browns game.

What I saw: Eagles vs. Browns

Michael Vick finished with 98 yards in the air and 24 on the ground, including a rushing TD. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Michael Vick finished with 98 yards in the air and 24 on the ground, including a rushing TD. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

Here are some quick observations on tonight's Eagles-Browns game.

OFFENSE

* The offensive line was horrible early, and Michael Vick took a beating in the first half. I'll have to go back and watch the game to provide the full breakdown, but it seemed like Danny Watkins had many moments to forget. Jason Kelce also. On the Eagles' first offensive possession, Vick got crushed, was sacked and fumbled. Vick and Kelce also had a fumble on one exchange.

* I noticed that in two wide receiver sets, Riley Cooper joined DeSean Jackson, not Jason Avant.

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* Did you see the Eagles' new short yardage option? Tight end Clay Harbor took the handoff on an end around and picked up a first on 4th-and-1.

* Vick had no time to find his receivers in the first half. Avant had one catch for 14 yards. Cooper and Jackson didn't get on the board. Half of Vick's first-half targets (9 of 18) were to LeSean McCoy, who had seven grabs for 69 yards. Overall, Vick was 10-for-18 for 98 yards.

* Ronnie Brown had a nice 13-yard TD run. Kelce and Avant provided nice blocks on the play.

* The second-team offensive line was Austin Howard, Evan Mathis, Jamaal Jackson, Julian Vandervelde and Reggie Wells. Spencer Johnson also saw time at right tackle.

DEFENSE

* Trevor Laws did not dress as he continues to recover from a hip flexor injury. Laws showed a lot of improvement last year, but as Paul Domowitch wrote this week, you can’t make the club in the tub. The Eagles could be forced to choose between Derek Landri and Laws if they keep five defensive tackles. If they keep four, both could be gone. Landri played well again tonight.

* Speaking of which, one of those DTs, Anthony Hargrove, also played defensive end in certain packages tonight.

* The same theory that applies to Laws applies to Daniel Te’o-Nesheim. He didn’t play either. Could Phillip Hunt make the squad ahead of him? He had a sack tonight.

* The first-team defensive line was Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson and Trent Cole. Nice moment for Patterson when he got a sack early.

* Coming in, the focus was on the linebackers. I'll have a full rundown in Man Up, but it certainly seemed like they played significantly better. Casey Matthews made a couple plays against the run and also in coverage. Jamar Chaney looked better too.

* In the nickel, it was Brian Rolle joining Chaney. I don't have a real good feel one way or another on how he played. Again, will post thoughts on Man Up. 

* Interesting to see cornerback Brandon Hughes on the field in the Eagles' dime package ahead of Curtis Marsh and Trevard Lindley. It seems like they really like him. Does that mean Lindley could get cut? Joselio Hanson could get traded. Or maybe they find some way to keep seven cornerbacks. That'd be tough though. I don't remember seeing Hanson on the field at all, but he wasn't on the injury report. Should know more when Andy Reid speaks.

* The second-team defensive line was: Hargrove, Cedric Thornton, Derek Landri and Darryl Tapp. Marlon Favorite saw some action with the second group, and Landri replaced Patterson with the first group later in the second quarter.

* Cole picked up a sack on a play where Landri provided good pressure up the middle.

* Jarrad Page got the start at safety and had decent coverage on the tight end in the first on a deep route.

* Nnamdi Asomugha got tested deep, but had good coverage and drew an offensive pass interference penalty. Asomugha lined up both outside and in the slot. Same for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

* Asante Samuel had an interception in the second quarter. On the play, Rodgers-Cromartie was lined up at right cornerback and Asomugha was up near the line of scrimmage. Also on the play, Jenkins ran a twist behind Babin and hit McCoy.

* The second-team linebackers were Akeem Jordan, Keenan Clayton and Brian Rolle. Jordan was in the middle, Rolle at WILL and Clayton at SAM. Matthews continued to play in the second half in the nickel alongside Clayton.


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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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