Random notes on Eagles-Steelers

• Three more fumbles by Michael Vick, and a fourth that was overturned on review because Vick was lucky that the defender hit his leg, meaning that the ground could not cause the fumble.  -2 on the day in turnover differential.  The Eagles are now -7 in that category, which is 2nd to last in the NFL.  One of those fumbles was of course at the Steelers 1 yard line.  Red zone turnovers are killing the Eagles.  Because they’re leaving so many points on the field, they’re 2nd to last in points per game, with 16.  The only team that has scored less is that offensive juggernaut, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

• Typically, losing to Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh is nothing to be ashamed of.  Lots of teams lose to Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh.  However, I think there’s a perception that the Steelers defense is force of nature.  I didn’t see it.  Troy Polamalu missed most of the game, and James Harrison looked ineffective to me.  Take those two guys out of the equation, and this is not the scary Pittsburgh defense that we’ve come to expect.  Opportunities were there, but there were too many times where the Eagles simply didn’t execute.  This game was there to be won.

• One drive where they did execute was the long drive to take the lead in the 4th quarter.  17 plays, 79 yards, 8:18, two 4th down conversions, and the score was on 3rd down.  Clutch.  If you can look past his warts, Michael Vick has been fantastic on drives where the game is on the line this year.  If there one positive to take away from this game, that’s it.

• Teams are not afraid to throw at Nnamdi Asomugha anymore.  Those days are over.  Without having gone back at looked at the tape yet, I’d guess they threw at him around 7 times yesterday in the first half alone, with success.  Oddly, the Steelers stopped attacking Nnamdi him in the second half.

• The Eagles special teams units continue to be outplayed.  Colt Anderson returned from injury and made a great play on a Chris Rainey kick return, so his return helped.  However, Rainey had a 44 yard return on another kickoff.  Last week, David Wilson had 5 returns of over 35 yards for the Giants against Philly.  The Eagles haven’t had a kick return of over 35 yards since 2010.

Continued…

• The Eagles didn’t dress Steve Vallos yesterday.  That means that if Dallas Reynolds had gotten hurt, their backup center would have been Evan Mathis.

• The Eagles OL had some breakdowns.  There was one play where the Steelers only rushed four, and nobody blocked a Steelers rusher.  That can’t happen.  There was another where Evan Mathis completely whiffed on a rusher, and Michael Vick had to throw much earlier than he would have liked, which caused him to misfire to Brent Celek, who had a favorable matchup against Jason Worilds.

• Kendricks had a rough series.  He bit on a fake lateral by Ben Roethlisberger in the open field, and then missed a tackle on Rashard Mendenhall in the open field.  Mendenhall ran in for the score on the play.

• Vick missed DeSean Jackson on a deep ball.  They completed so many of those in 2010.  This year, not so much.

• I thought Nate Allen had a nice day.  He seemed to be around the ball a lot, and had a key pass breakup.

• LeSean McCoy is great.  If teams are going to continue to blitz the Eagles, they need to utilize McCoy more as a weapon in the passing game.  Yesterday, Vick lobbed a simple pass to McCoy over top of a blitz and McCoy scored easily.  He also did a great job on his second effort on the first 4th and 1 play on the Eagles’ long 4th quarter drive.

• The biggest play of the day was the Steelers’ 3rd and 12 in their own end on the final drive.  Tim McManus of Philly Mag did a great job getting quotes from all the players involved in that play.  Andy Reid said they were in “2-man” on the play, which is a two deep look with the safeties and man coverage underneath.  All the Eagles players said they were in zone.  My guess is that Andy thought they were referring to the 3rd down conversion that occurred later on that drive in which the Eagles were in man, which the Steelers also converted.  Jason Babin had a chance to get Ben Roethlisberger for a sack, but Ben stepped up and made a nice throw to Antonio Brown, who got in behind the Eagles intermediate zone.  I’ll have more on that play later this week.

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9 Comments

  1. [...] Michael Vick has been a huge liability to the Philadelphia Eagles offense this year. He is turning the ball over at an extremely high rate and is on the brink of being benched for the rookie Nick Foles. Three more fumbles by Michael Vick, and a fourth that was overturned on review because Vick was luck… [...]

  2. Jalarsen says:

    I wish Bobby April was criticized more often. Our return game has never matched the returns we’ve given up since he’s been here. He’s consistently lost the field position game, and yet I never hear his name.

  3. mjoedgaard says:

    Jimmy, I think NA is only officially charged with giving up 2 catches.

  4. Juz Sayin says:

    Steelers still run da Penn ST !

  5. tst29 says:

    In Vick’s defense, the 2nd fumble netted the Eagles 8 yards.

  6. triplej says:

    Castillo ever hear of a blitz. Let him know it is a defense used by many teams and especially on the Eagles. He might just try it and maybe get a few sacks and turnovers. Eagles rank near the bottom in both categories.

    1. bentheimmigrant says:

      But he’s towards the top of the league for points allowed. I’m sorry but if that’s the trade off for less sacks and turnovers I’ll take it.

  7. Corry says:

    Mike Vick is clutch, but would he need to be clutch if he stopped giving the damn ball away? I realize that’s kind of like Harry Carry asking if you were hot dog would you eat yourself, but Vick is responsible for 11 of the 14 turnovers and 3 of 4 in the red zone. You can’t win like that. Philly won’t win like that.

    The Eagles are 3-2 and on top of the East, so obviously benching Mike Vick probably isn’t an option as long we keep winning. I do wonder how much longer Reid can live with this.

    1. Corry says:

      I mean “Philly won’t in the playoffs like that.”

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