Monday, February 8, 2016

What I saw: Eagles vs. Falcons

Here are my instant observations from the Eagles' 35-31 loss to the Falcons:

What I saw: Eagles vs. Falcons

Jeremy Maclin looks at the scoreboard in disbelief in the closing minute of Sunday´s loss. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Jeremy Maclin looks at the scoreboard in disbelief in the closing minute of Sunday's loss. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

Here are my instant observations from the Eagles' 35-31 loss to the Falcons:


* Jeremy Maclin had a monster game with 13 catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns. There were only two balls thrown in Maclin's direction that he didn't catch, but one of them was huge. Mike Kafka hit Maclin in the hands on 4th-and-4 late in the fourth quarter, but he couldn't hang on, and the Falcons were able to pretty much run the clock out.

* It didn't seem like anyone missed their assignment on the play at the end of the first half where Falcons defensive tackle Peria Jerry stripped Michael Vick at the Eagles' 4 yard line. Judging from the replay, the play was dependent on Jerry at least being fooled somewhat by the fake toss. That was supposed to buy time for Jason Peters to block him. But Jerry didn't buy it and went straight for Vick. Ray Edwards recovered and scampered all the way to the Eagles' 24 before DeSean Jackson made a great hustle play and tackled him. Matt Ryan ended up hitting Tony Gonzalez for a touchdown on Atlanta's ensuing drive.

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* Steve Smith made his first catch as an Eagle in the second quarter and had two catches for 29 yards.

* As a passer, Vick's numbers look good: 19-for-28 for 242 yards and two touchdowns (QB rating of 103.6). But he turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions in the second and third quarters.

* LeSean McCoy had another big game with 95 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns.

* Kafka completed his first seven passes. His only incompletions were the Maclin drop and the Hail Mary. By the way, it's a little thing, but did you notice that Kafka ran over to Maclin to pick him up off the turf after the game-ending drop? Nice gesture by Kafka.

* Eagles quarterbacks were hit six times, but the offensive line did not give up a sack.

* Vick, Maclin, Jackson and LeSean McCoy all left the game at one point or another because of injury. Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson, the same player who led with his helmet and gave Jackson a concussion last year, led with his helmet on Maclin and drew a 15-yard penalty.


* Michael Turner picked up 23 yards on his first two carries. The Eagles then completely shut him down until the fourth quarter. Turner picked up 61 yards on a huge run and finished with 114 yards on 21 carries (5.4 YPC).

* It's nothing new, but the Eagles struggled against a tight end. Tony Gonzalez had seven catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns. Matt Ryan completed just 7 of 14 attempts to his wide receivers for 71 yards.

* Nnamdi Asomugha made his first interception as an Eagle near the end of the first half. And Asante Samuel had his first interception of the season.

* Trent Cole was a one-man wrecking crew. He finished with a sack, two QB hits and four tackles for loss. But his impact was greater than the numbers suggest.

* Cullen Jenkins had a pair of sacks. Jason Babin had one too.

* The Falcons converted 5 of 5 red-zone opportunities. Ryan threw four touchdowns - two to tight ends, one to a running back and one to a wide receiver.

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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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