Philadelphia Eagles: 5 Players Who Will Stumble in Week 2
5 Eagles Who Will Stumble in Week 2
Much was written about the Eagles and all of it good after a 33-27 opening-night win at the Washington Redskins. It makes you wonder if the Eagles have read the press clippings and are done patting themselves on the back. Among the words the Eagles players saw written about the brand of football their coach Chip Kelly brought East, are "cutting edge" and "revolutionary." We'll reserve judgment on that for a few weeks.
The reality, though, is that this was a four-win team and many of those four-win players are back. They are not going to go 16-0 or anything really close to it. Kelly brought his college offense to the team, but he was not able to recruit a whole new group of players in Philadelphia.
There are some flawed players on this team and, while many of them performed well in the opener, there are enough questions out there. Even after Kelly introduced his hurry-up offense, the NFL and ran an eye-opening 53 plays in the first half, Kelly lamented that the pace was “too slow” and that his team would have to pick it up this week.
That could result in a more efficient team, but it could also mean more turnovers. If the Eagles do put the ball on the ground, that’s going to make things even more difficult for their defense, which was the weak link of the team last season. Here are five players who figure to flame out in Week 2:
5. Cary Williams
Williams has a temper and that flared up in last week's practice scuffle with Riley Cooper. Chip Kelly says that Williams is going to have to learn how to play between the whistles, but old habits are hard to break and Williams has a costly penalty or two in this one.
4. Michael Vick
Vick has been a solid citizen and team leader the last two seasons, but he did have a turnover against the Redskins when his lateral resulted in a touchdown ... for Washington. Vick has not mastered the art of sliding, though, and refuses to do it, setting himself up for a big hit that could cost him or the team this week.
3. Nate Allen
The Eagles drafted Earl Wolff out of North Carolina State with the specific intention of replacing the soft-tackling Allen, but Wolff's learning curve was not sharp enough to win the job outright in training camp. If Allen showed one thing in preseason, though, it's that while he's decent on cover skills, he takes bad angles on the running game and this will hurt the Eagles until Wolff is ready.
2. Riley Cooper
Do the Eagles still have a good reason to keep Cooper on the team? The answer to that would be a negative. Cooper blocks well, but he's a liability in the passing game, where he just cannot create enough separation against defensive backs to be a viable option for Vick. The Eagles should scour the waiver wire for a speedy replacement and cut ties with Cooper soon. The locker room would be a much more peaceful place and they might be able to make some plays in the passing game on his side of the field.
1. Bryce Brown
Last year, Brown had four touchdowns and four costly fumbles. The four fumbles came in relatively close games and Brown was a big reason the team went 4-12 last year. He just has not mastered the art of keeping the ball high and tight and that is going to cost the Eagles against the Chargers. With LeSean McCoy getting 32 combined passing and rushing touches last week in the opener (and gaining 184 yards from scrimmage), Kelly will look to limit McCoy's carries by giving the ball to Brown and that would be a bad mistake.