CLEVELAND – Who stepped up the most in Sunday’s 17-16 win over Cleveland? Who struggled? We give you our weekly Keeping An Eye On after the Eagles opened the season with a win …
Michael Vick, QB: Obviously, his performance was all over the map. He threw four interceptions -- one that was returned for a touchdown -- and fumbled twice. He took some hits. He also directed a marvelous 91-yard drive that ate up more than five minutes off the clock and resulted in a third-down touchdown pass to tight end Clay Harborfor the winning points. Vick needs to be a whole lot better for the Eagles to win big, and he knows it. LeSean McCoy, RB: The first-quarter fumble as he tried to cut back to his right was a sign of things to come for the struggling offense, but McCoy also came up huge in the fourth quarter with 55 hard-earned yards on his way to 110 on 20 carries for the game. McCoy needs his touches (he had 26 in all), that’s for sure. Maybe even earlier in the game just to allow this offense to find some rhythm. DeSean Jackson, WR: The stats say that he had 4 catches for 77 yards, which in and of itself is fine, but what the numbers don’t say is that Jackson made a huge breakup of an end-zone pass that was nearly intercepted and would have, for all intents and purposes, ended the game. Jackson was terrific, as was Jeremy Maclin, who had a team-high 7 catches for 96 yards and a score. Jason Babin, DE: Four tackles, one for loss, and three quarterback hurries hardly tell the story of just how dominating Babin was. He didn’t have a sack, but Babin played the run very well and was in quarterback Brandon Weeden’s face all day. Working against a rookie right tackle, Babin was outstanding. Chas Henry, P: An underrated performance that deserves applause. Henry boomed six punts and averaged 55 yards a kick, changing field position several times. He was outstanding. The special teams coverage needs to be better – Josh Cribbs averaged 13 yards on punt returns and 30.3 yards on three kickoff returns – but Henry did his job. Alex Henery, PK: After making a 42-yard field goal to tie the franchise record (David Akers) with his 17th consecutive field goals, Henery pulled a 45-yard attempt left in the fourth quarter. Including the preseason games, Henery has now missed a kick in four straight games.
- The Red Zone: We all know how important it is inside the 20-yard line, and it’s probably fair to say the Eagles won the game based on their advantage in the red zone. The Browns were 0 for 2 in red zone efficiency while the Eagles scored on both of their chances in the red zone.
King Dunlap, LT: A so-so day for King Dunlap, who was called for holding once and missed a couple of blocks protecting for Vick. The Eagles seemed to give Dunlap quite a bit of help with chips on that side.
- Penalties: Speaking of whistles, the Eagles were sloppy again. They were penalized 12 times for 110 yards, and the Browns declined a couple of other calls. Some of the calls were questionable, for sure, but the Eagles have to clean up these mistakes. The Browns, meanwhile, were penalized 3 times. Ridiculous.
- Run defense: Two thumbs up against the run defense, which held the Browns to 99 yards on 22 carries. Twenty-five of those yards came on a meaningless final play of the second quarter when Weeden took off and ran. So, think about this: The Browns ran 21 times for 76 yards. That’s darn good defense. Third draft pick overall Trent Richardson carried 19 times for 39 yards.
- Inactive list: We knew that wide receiver
Riley Cooperand safety Colt Andersonwouldn’t play. But it was surprising that offensive tackle Demetress Bellwas inactive, leaving rookie Dennis Kelly as the backup left tackle. What is Bell’s immediate future here? Dion Lewiswas also a notable inactive. He is battling a hamstring injury.