10 Things We Learned From the Eagles Game: Week 12

By Bryn Swartz

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1. Michael Vick’s passing magic has greatly subsided.
Michael Vick did pass for his second most yards ever in Sunday’s game, but many of them came in the fourth quarter, with the Eagles trailing. Vick threw two touchdowns and one interception, but missed several throws, including an easy touchdown to Brent Celek. He also threw his first interception of the season, which occurred in the end zone. That pass probably cost the Eagles the game.

2. Someone needs to teach Michael Vick how to hold onto the football.
Four fumbles in a single game is abolutely ridiculous. He’s now fumbled eight times on the season, but six in the last two games. Thankfully, the Eagles have lost just one fumble of his this season, or we would all be hearing cries for Kevin Kolb.

3. The Eagles apparently have a tight end named Brent Celek…
Brent Celek finally turned in a decent game as a receiver, catching three passes for a season-high 50 yards and a big touchdown late in the fourth quarter. He now has three touchdowns on the season.

4. As well as Clay Harbor.
Harbor had just one reception for six yards entering Sunday’s game, but he caught a 24-yard pass and a three-yard pass to give him two catche for 27 yards on the day, and three for 33 in his career. I am pleaed to see Harbor finally earning some playing time.

5. Jason Avant is having a better season than I have given him credit for.
Avant tied a career high with eight grabs on Sunday, including a couple of impressive plays on high throws by Michael Vick. Avant has just one touchdown this season, but he ranks second among receivers in catches with 41. If he had just caught that touchdown against the Redskins to win the game, as well as the one against the Giants last week, he would be one of my favorite Eagles right now.

6. When LeSean McCoy catches a lot of passes, the Eagles lose.

McCoy caught eight passes on Sunday. The Eagles lost. This isn’t a coincidence. This season, the Eagles are 0-3 when McCoy records at least six receptions. In all three games, against the Redskins, Titans, and Bears, the Eagles’ quarterback (Kolb, Kolb, Vick) felt extreme pressure from the defense and was forced to check down his passes a lot.

7. Forget what I said about Bobby April’s special teams unit improving.
Hester averaged almost 30 yards per kick return on Sunday. Yeah, he is one of the best return men in NFL history, but he still had one of his better games on Sunday. I completely take back what I said about special teams coach Bobby April slowly turning this unit around. He still sucks.

8. The Eagles’ red zone offense is almost as bad a their red zone defense.
I’m tired of having to settle for field goals when we reach our opponent’s red zone. We almost lost the Colts game this way, and it practically cost us the Bears game. 4th and goal from the 18? That’s pathetic. And on defense, we can’t stop teams either. This is a four-point swing each time (the difference between a touchdown and a field goal). It’s beginning to cost us games.

9. The Eagles are not a Super Bowl, as of now.
I don’t think we can be put in the same category as other NFC teams like the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, New Orlean Saints, or Chicago Bears yet. We’re better than the Buccaneers and the Giants but we had a big opportunity to prove ourselves on Sunday and we failed.

10. The Eagles are anything but a guarantee to reach the postseason.
We’re 7-4 with a 68.8 percent chance of reaching the postseason, according to Sports Club Stats. Yet so many Eagles fans consider us a lock to reach the postseason. Why? We have to beat the Texans on a short week. We play the surging Cowboys twice. We should be able to handle the Minnesota Vikings. And we have a rematch with the New York Giants still. 9-7 definitely won’t make the postseason, but 10-6 isn’t a lock either. I’m going to be nervous if we don’t win four of our next five games. It’s time for our typical late season surge.

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