Eagles-Cowboys: A Breakdown Of The Beatdown
It took almost two months, but the Philadelphia Eagles finally looked like the team they were perceived to be in August. Their 34-7 win on Sunday Night Football over Dallas was as dominant as the score suggests. Here is what I noticed:
-Michael Vick was cool, calm, and collected in the pocket: His ability to recognize coverage and hit his hot routes killed any momentum that Rob Ryan's defense was trying to build. Of all the gaudy statistics put up last night by the Eagle offense, this was the most impressive: 18-20 for 258 and a TD in between the hashes. Vick has made a career out of making throws outside the numbers. Succeeding in the middle of the field is a good indicator of a quarterback's vision of the field. Vick has that right now.
-Nnamdi Asomugha being used all over the field: He was a corner in press coverage. He was a corner if off coverage. He was a safety ala Charles Woodson. He was even a linebacker for a play or two. If you are going to give big money to the man that was touted as the next best thing to Revis, you might as well use his skills.
-Andy Reid feeding LeSean McCoy: 30 carries on Sunday night, 28 carries before the bye in Washington. McCoy said last week that he would like to average around 16 carries per game and anything more than that would be selfish considering the depth of Eagle playmakers. Running for over six yards per carry against the best rush defense in the league is going to make any coach re-think a balance.
-Juan Castillo's defense smothering Jason Garrett's offense: The script hasn't totally flipped yet, but everybody's whipping boy defensive coordinator looks like he has something figured out. His pass rush was ferocious, tacklers sound, and coverage blanketed. It seemed like he has the right defense called on every single play and used players in spots where they could be successful. Even Moses Fokou made a play!
-Time of possession: Philadelphia: 42:09, Dallas: 17:51
-Turnovers: Dallas:1, Philadelphia: 0
-Howard Mudd might have been the biggest off-season acquisition: After all the shuffling, all the obsession with sleek, quick lineman, and all of the debate on who should start and in what spot, one thing is clear right now: Philadelphia has a good offensive line. Jason Peters is playing a dominant left tackle, Todd Herremans is a versatile of a quality offensive lineman in the league, Evan Mathis almost never makes a mistake, Jason Kelce gets better every week, and Danny Watkins has barely missed a step since regaining his spot. This group manhandled a Dallas front seven that is really big and strong. The DeMarcus Ware four sacks were troubling, but overall the group was outstanding.
-Brent Celek's return to the offense: The former fantasy stud tight end is back as a serious receiving option for Michael Vick. After only tallying 9 catches for 73 yards across the first five games of the season, Celek has re-established himself as a threat with 11 catches for 136 yards over the last two. It looked like the same block-release screen pass worked two weeks in a row. Last week's victim was Brian Orakpo, this week DeMarcus Ware.
-Sean Lee's impact on the Dallas defense: It's no coincidence that the Dallas defense folded when Sean Lee had to leave the game with a wrist injury in the 2nd quarter. Bradie James just can't cover his shadow at this point.