PICTURE UNRELATED: Awesome vintage 70s Eagles artwork, just because
BY MIKE WOLVERTON SPORTS GUY So, what have we learned?
1. Mike Vick can throw it pretty well. We never really got a chance to see this last year — there were a few nice passes here and there, but it was such a small sample size it was impossible to tell what he would do with 30 attempts in a game. Again, he can throw it pretty well. Don’t let the fact that the Lions dropped two interceptions make us forget that those passes were there to be picked. In what wound up being a close game, those picks could have made the difference. I’m not going to include “Mike Vick can run” under “things we’ve learned” because we already knew that. But behind a shaky offensive line, that ability to evade rushers may make him a better fit for this Eagles team.
2. Jason Peters’ legs are always in the way. I lost track of how many times Eagles players smashed into Peters’ legs from behind, buckling them like rear-ended SUV. It happened at least three times in the first half alone. Peters rolled around on the ground a couple times, but to his credit came back in the game every time. A good sign seeing as his toughness was called into question last season. The Eagles O-line is problematic even with Peters — they need him out there.
3. The defense runs hot and cold. The Eagles’ D looked alternately stiff and sieve-like in the first half. On several plays they made Jahvid Best look like – I can’t stop myself – The Best. On Detroit’s first scoring drive, all the Lions did was run six straight times and gobble up 76 yards in the process. The following two series saw the Lions run eight plays for merely seven yards. The next time Detroit had it, Best took a short pass 75 yards for a score. Best may be pretty good, but the Birds should have been keyed up to stop him, because the Lions had journeyman Shaun Hill under center. And in the end, Hill and the Lions put up 32 points. So how do we grade this defensive performance? I’ll give it a C+. The important thing to me is that after falling behind 17-7, they kept Detroit off the board long enough to score 28 unanswered points and (mostly) put the game away. And they shut down the Lions’ final drive after the successful onside kick. But something tells me this won’t be the last time this season that the Eagles and their opponent both put up 30+ points.
4. Lions DE Kyle Vanden Bosch is a man possessed. I don’t mean this figuratively. Did you see this dude’s eyes? Bright freakin’ red. No joke, and not a trick of the camera. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. But if he’d sold his soul, wouldn’t he be on a team better than the Lions? I did a little research and was quite disappointed to learn that he uses tinted contact lenses. Some players say they are more effective against glare than helmet visors. What a letdown.
5. Lions fans suck. After they recovered the onside kick, Detroit had a very good chance to win that game, or at least tie it up. And the stadium was 60% empty. I know the Lions were down by 18 at one point, but NFL tickets are not cheap, and you’ve already committed the majority of your day to attending. What’s another thirty minutes? The further behind you are, the more epic and legendary the comeback is. Why risk missing out to save a little time?
Lions fan #1: “Hey, remember that time we came back from down 18 in the fourth quarter to beat the Eagles?”
Lions fan #2: “No, but I do remember beating the traffic.”
(and by the way, if everyone is leaving in the 3rd quarter, you’re not beating the traffic, you are joining it)
Don Watch: How’d McNabb look in Week 2? Pretty darn sweet, carving up the Texans’ defense. I was in DC over the weekend and listened to the Skins’ radio broadcast on the way home. Those guys were jockeying for position for who could stroke McNabb hardest, at one point yelling, “Thank you Philadelphia!” (for trading Don). Among other unintelligible statements made by Sonny Jurgensen and company were, “Your offense is broken out with the measles” (don’t ask me). McNabb had nearly 350 yards passing by the midpoint of the 3rd quarter and finished with 426 yards and a TD. But…the Washington defense couldn’t hold on to a 17 point lead and lost in overtime. So, Vick and McNabb both had excellent games, both against questionable defenses. I would have given the edge to McNabb on sheer numbers, but the Redskins lost, so Week 2 goes to Vickeagles. I’m going to start scoring this Donovan vs. Eagles QB piece like a boxing match, on a 10-point-must system (whoever wins the week gets 10 points, the loser gets 9 if it’s close, 8 or 7 if it is lopsided). Here’s where we stand after Week 2:
McNabb Eagles Notes
Week 1 10 8 Kolb brutal, concussed. Redskins win
Week 2 9 10 Huge numbers for McNabb, but Eagles win
Totals 19 18
Finally, where does this leave the Birds’ QB situation? I said last week that the Igs had to go with Kolb. Vick’s performance against Detroit has to cast some doubt on this, but it was against the Lions, while Kolb looked awful against a very good Packers defense. I’ll stick with Kolb for now, but if he looks as bad against the Jaguars as he did against the Pack, the hook will be deservedly quick.