26-16 doesn’t sound like the Eagles got crushed, but believe me, if you watched the game, you’d know that they did. There was almost nothing positive to take out from that game. The offense, which only committed two turnovers total in the first two games, gave up the ball 5 times last night against the Chiefs. That’s just completely unacceptable. In addition, Michael Vick was sacked 6 times and posted a passer rating of 49.4. DeSean Jackson was basically shut down, being limited to 62 yards, which is clearly an off night for the guy that was leading the league in receiving yards. And it all came against the Chiefs, who are coached by the man that Eagles fans know all too well: Andy Reid.
So now that the Chiefs are 3-0, what can Eagles fans say? It means he still knows what he’s doing, and he arguably has less talent in KC than the Eagles had last season. Sure, they don’t have the amount of injuries (yet) that the Eagles, had, but he seems to still be doing a pretty good job. The Eagles had 4 wins all of last year with Reid, and he’s already won 3 with the Chiefs. Hmmm…
As for the Eagles, this is actually the type of game that I expected from them this season. While their defense actually performed a little better yesterday, it still wasn’t great. The main story is that their offense couldn’t get it done, which is exactly what I thought would happen. Defensively, the Chiefs are 8th in the league in YGP and 2nd in PPG. This is the first real defense that the Eagles have played so far, and they clearly struggled. They didn’t even look more impressive than the Chiefs offense (not that the Chiefs offense is bad, it’s just nothing special). This basically says one thing about the Eagles offense that many people were unable to see: they aren’t as electrifying as people think.
I know I probably sound very cynical saying this, but it’s likely true. They only did so well in the first two weeks because they played the two worst defenses in the league. The Chiefs actually gave them a fight, and they sacked Vick 6 times and forced 5 turnovers. I’d say that that’s a solid way to ruin and offense’s day. Vick definitely didn’t look like the unstoppable force he was in the first two weeks. Jackson was definitely shut down for most of the game. Overall it was just an average day that was destroyed by a lack of time of possession due to turnovers (once again, the Eagles were nearly doubled in time of possession).
Not everything offensively was terrible for the Eagles though. LeSean McCoy had an excellent game on the ground, racking up 158 yards and a TD on 20 carries, very impressive numbers. Vick even looked great on the ground, compiling 99 yards, the majority of which came off a huge 61 yard carry. And the best part is, most of Vick’s runs resulted in him running out of bounds or avoiding a huge hit, something he’s been unable to comprehend throughout his whole career. Has he learned his lesson? Well, he certainly looked like he did based on that performance.
Even though the Eagles were handled in last night’s game, I’m not totally upset. Sure, the Eagles aren’t going to have a very good season (I really wouldn’t be stunned if they were in the bottom 10 of the league), but there are a couple major developments for the future that I’m liking. First, they are actually running the ball and running it well. They actually had more rushing yards than passing yards! This concept was unheard of in the Andy Reid days. In fact, the Eagles are actually leading the league in rushing yards per game! I feel weird even typing that because it’s so much of a change from the past few years. They are actually averaging over 200 yards rushing per game, an amazing feat even after just three games. In addition to the committal to the run, Jackson has become an integral part of the passing game again. He may not have had the best game yesterday, but he’s still leading the league in receiving yards at the moment. If Jackson and McCoy can stay healthy, their offense can make a huge impact in the future.
With Denver next on the schedule, it will be interesting to see what happens. The Eagles are averaging 209 rushing yards per game while the Broncos are giving up just 40.5 a game. Which team will give? Hopefully it’s Denver, but I still have a hard time believing the Eagles will be able to stop Manning and win the game.