Paul Domowitch's Eagles Report Card RUSHING OFFENSE The Eagles had hoped to lean on the run game to take the pressure off rookie RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai, but ran a season-low 48 plays, just 21 of them runs. Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles combined for 80 yards on 13 carries.
RUSHING OFFENSE Sitting on a two-point lead late in the fourth quarter, the one and only thing the Eagles couldn't afford was turn the ball over, and that's exactly what Ryan Mathews did. The Eagles averaged a season-high 5.5 yards per carry and had six runs of 10 yards or more. But the fumble canceled most of that out.
UNTIL THIS week, when ESPN's Ed Werder correctly reported that the Eagles are considering making him the starting right tackle if/when Lane Johnson begins serving his long-awaited 10-game PED suspension, you hadn't heard or read much about Halapoulivaati Vaitai.
ZACH ERTZ was as excited as an 8-year-old on Christmas morning. After an MRI showed that the rib displacement that had sidelined him for the last two games had completely healed, the Eagles' fourth-year tight end eagerly returned to the practice field Monday to prepare for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions.
DARREN SPROLES was nowhere to be found Sunday following the Eagles' impressive 34-3 dismembering of the Pittsburgh Steelers. As usual, he proved to be as elusive in the locker room for the reporters who wanted to talk to him as he was on the field for the Steelers' defense.
By Paul Domowitch RUSHING OFFENSE Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner came into the game with nine rushing attempts between them. Against the Steelers, they combined for 121 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns. Smallwood had four runs of 10 yards or more. Barner had two.
RIGHT OFF the top, let's give a big round of applause to NFL senior vice-president of broadcasting Howard Katz. The Eagles are 2-0, and Katz is every bit as responsible for your late-September euphoria as Doug Pederson, Carson Wentz and Fletcher Cox.
Paul Domowitch is a pro football columnist with the Daily News, where he has worked since 1982. He has covered nearly 30 Super Bowls and has been a selector for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the last 15 years.