Skip to main content
Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles News

Eagles Must Learn From Poor Performance

I'm restless. Not thinking straight. Upset about the 48-22 loss to the Saints and at the same time understanding that it was one game out of 16 and that the Eagles -- and every team -- have games like this. Still, there are some things I cannot get out of my mind, whether they are factually correct or not. Off the top of the head, then ...

  • I really like the way the Eagles are using the Wildcat, and I look forward to it continuing and to, actually, expanding. Michael Vick's ability to throw the football should take this formation to a new level. While the Wildcat is effective running the football and gaining smaller chunks of yardage, what will really revolutionize things is the Wildcat gaining large gulps of real estate. I don't buy the "offense can't get into a rhythm" nonsense that comes when an offense starts and stops like the Eagles is doing right now and when blame goes to the use of the Wildcat.
  • Upon further review, Kevin Kolb played OK for his first start, but he sure could have been a lot better. The third-quarter interception on an out route in Eagles territory was a killer, as was the pick he threw to Darren Sharper that went 97 yards the other way. On the plus side, Kolb saw the field well and generally made good decisions. He showed plenty of arm. He was pretty accurate. Kolb handled all of the formation changes well. He has a bright future.
  • Seven penalties for the Eagles to three for the Saints. Big difference.
  • Poor, poor performance in the red zone. The Eagles were one of five in touchdown efficiency in the red zone while New Orleans scored four touchdowns in six trips inside the Eagles 20-yard line. There is your ballgame, folks. Kolb probably should have thrown to DeSean Jackson early on a fade route that instead he threw out of bounds toward the end of the first half. The Eagles instead settled for a David Akers field goal.
  • Ted Daisher knows his special teams must improve after a mistake-laden outing against New Orleans. Jackson has to make a better decision than he did on the punt he caught at the 2-yard line. Yes, he had a nice return, but the Eagles were penalized for an illegal block (actually, two) and a 10-10 game quickly went south. Jackson has to understand the situation there and let the ball go into the end zone. Ellis Hobbs is a home-run hitter in the kickoff return game, but his fumble to open the second half was a huge play. On the plus side, the punt coverage teams stifled Reggie Bush and Akers is booming his kickoffs and field goals. Sav Rocca averaged 45 yards on five punts, but he had a poor punt in the fourth quarter that gave the Saints great field position for a drive that turned into the gone-goodbye touchdown.
 Safety Quintin Mikell said the defense "played on our heels" against Drew Brees and the Saints offense. It happens. The Eagles have to learn from it and not let it happen again. Brees had a masterful performance working the pocket because the Eagles didn't get the pressure they needed up the gut. Brees stepped up time and again to make big throws. The Eagles gave up 133 rushing yards after closing off the Panthers' vaunted running game a week earlier. Brodrick Bunkley and Mike Patterson were too quiet.

* Akeem Jordan has become quite a WILL linebacker. He had a sensational tip and interception, and three of his eight total tackles were for losses. Jordan is a rapidly-improving player. * I could be totally wrong about this, but didn't it seem like the Saints paid wide receiver Kevin Curtis very little respect? They single-covered him and tried to use press coverage on Curtis and held Curtis to 3 catches for 44 yards. According to the official play-by-play sheet, Kolb had Curtis as a target 9 times and completed just 3 passes to him. That isn't very productive. * Meanwhile, Jeremy Maclin had a couple of catches for 13 yards and I wouldn't be surprised to see him get a few more reps in the coming weeks. The Eagles need his explosiveness. * Bottom line on this game: The Eagles needed to play an excellent game to defeat the Saints. Instead, they turned the ball over four times and made costly penalties and a close game quickly snowballed the other way. * Not a huge concern on the injury front with a bye week after the Chiefs come to town, but I don't want to see Brian Westbrook on the injury list at all. Some watch Westbrook and wonder if he has his quickness and burst back, but that isn't really what bothers me. For whatever reason, Westbrook has only 6 catches for 22 yards, an average of just 3.7 yards per reception. If the Eagles can't get Westbrook in space against linebackers and take advantage of those matchups, this offense is going to struggle. * Hard to tell how well Max Jean-Gilles played at right guard in his start, so I won't comment specifically. The Eagles seemed to have good push at the line of scrimmage. A couple of blitzes beat the blocking -- one on a designed Kolb quarterback draw in the red zone -- but for the most part the line seemed OK. * Macho Harris was solid in start No. 2. The secondary was really not bad, but when you play against the Saints and a quarterabck like Brees with receivers like Marcus Colston -- he was unstoppable with 8 catches for 98 yards and 2 touchdowns -- secondaries don't have much of a chance unless the quarterback is hurried. And Brees wasn't hurried as he worked the pocket so masterfully. * Not sure what happens with Dimitri Patterson (broken hand, surgery coming) is going to be out, but it's a loss for the special teams. Patterson is an excellent gunner in coverage. * Brent Celek has become an outstanding tight end. Some of his catches came in garbage time, but Celek has great hands and leg strength after he makes the catch. He got to the sticks and he is so great on is routes. Celek has 14 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown in two games.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content