10 Things We Learned From the Eagles Game: Week 14
1. Cliff Lee gives the Phillies the greatest four-man pitching rotation in the history of baseball.
Okay, so this isn’t about the Eagles, but honestly, I am so psyched right now. I can’t wait for baseball season. Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.
2. Michael Vick is going to be injured if the offensive line doesn’t protect him better.
The Cowboys played to hurt Vick and they beat him up pretty badly, according to a report by ESPN’s Philly-based reporter Sal Paolantonio. Vick took a late hit by linebacker Anthony Spencer as he headed out of bounds in the second quarter. The play didn’t even warrant a flag. Our offensive linemen have to do a better job of protecting Vick or he is going to take a hard shot and not get back up. I like Kevin Kolb but I think we’re a Super Bowl team with Vick, and a borderline playoff team with Kevin Kolb.
3. DeSean Jackson is made for NFC East prime-time football.
Jackson has played 43 games in his NFL career. 15 of them have come in prime-time. In those games, he has caught 61 passes for 1252 yards and seven touchdowns. He has rushed 15 times for 171 yards and two touchdowns. And he’s returned 29 punts for 381 yards and two touchdowns. His 210-yard, four-catch performance against the Dallas Cowboys is probably the best game of his NFL career, and his 91-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter is the play of the season for the Philadelphia Eagles.
4. Brandon Graham’s disappointing rookie season is coming to an end.
Brandon Graham tore his ACL in yesterday’s 30-27 victory against Dallas and will not play anymore this season. He had three sacks, two forced fumbles, and 12 tackles this season. But he was a little bit of a disappointment. After a quick start, he admitted that he had hit the rookie wall. He’s been getting better, but his rookie season is over after 13 games.
5. David Akers is having his best season.
The most effective kicker in Eagles history is making all of his kicks. He converted a big 50-yard field goal in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys. He leads the NFL in points scored and has scored double-digit points in seven consecutive games, easily the longest stretch of his career.
6. Trent Cole has been fading down the stretch.
Trent Cole exploded at the beginning of this season but has been a disappointment recently. He will undoubtedly end up with his third double-digit sack season of his career, and probably a Pro Bowl selection, but he’s overdue for a two-sack, forced fumble game.
7. DeSean Jackson is a major disappointment as a punt returner this season.
Jackson hasn’t returned a punt for a touchdown this season, after breaking off one in 2008 and two in 2009. He is averaging under 10 yards per return and seems afraid to go forwards for fear of taking a big hit. Jackson is so valuable to the Eagles that I think it might be time to relieve Jackson of his returning duties.
8. Jorrick Calvin’s antics may prove costly.
First the rookie returner made a fool of himself by trying to run out the clock in the Eagles-Giants game. Then he shoved/punched one of the Giants players in the helmet after a minor exchange of words. He was given a 15-yard penalty and was yelled at by Reid immediately upon returning. I wouldn’t want to be Calvin during film session this morning. His attempt to run out the clock was a stupid rookie mistake but his punching of a Giants player will probably draw a fine and could have easily cost the Eagles the game.
9. Jamar Chaney led the team in tackles, and is now starting, like it or not.
Yesterday Chaney picked up a team-leading seven tackles, which was great. Losing Stewart Bradley for the season was not great. Chaney will probably start for the final three games of the season, unless McDermott choose the veteran Omar Gaither to start. Chaney has potential but he’s not as good as Bradley and I’m worried about the next few weeks. At least Bradley may come back for the postseason. A first-round bye would be nice.
10. The Eagles can wrap up the NFC East with a win against the Giants next week.
The Eagles can all but wrap up the NFC East with a victory against the New York Giants next week. The Eagles and Giants both have a 9-4 record, but the Eagles lead the Giants, due to their victory on Sunday Night Football a few weeks ago. If the Eagles win their tenth game next week, their magic number to win the division would be one Giants loss or one Philadelphia win.