This was expected to be a rebuilding year for the Philadelphia Eagles, as the young guns of the offense were to finally establish themselves under Kevin Kolb. But that was not meant to be. With Kevin Kolb injured during the game against the Green Bay Packers, Michael Vick won over the Packers 21-16, and eventually, led the team to a 10-6 record, after the quarterback controversy initially between the two. Unfortunately, the Eagles had to face the Packers again for the second time in the NFC wild card playoffs. And with Vick, lightning never strikes twice…and well, if the Philadelphia Eagles had to face the New England Patriots in this year’s Super Bowl and for the second time, they would face the same result, a loss. But some good came as a result, as well as some fads and ugliness.
- Wide receiver DeSean Jackson became one of the top leading receivers, but he is still not a top-tier wide receiver yet. He led the league with a 22.5 yard per reception record. He was also 12th in the league in receiving yards by the close of the regular season.
- Cornerback Asante Samuel was 4th in the league with 7 interceptions by the season’s close.
- The decimation of the Washington Redskins by Michael Vick in NFL week 10 by a score of 59-28. It was a historical moment in Eagles history, but it was also the moment that the defenses around the league started to find ways to counteract Vick.
- Well, the Philadelphia Eagles, despite being closed out of the playoffs at home, do have 5 players going to the Pro Bowl in some fashion. The most notables are Michael Vick, Asante Samuel, David Akers and DeSean Jackson.
- Quarterback Michael Vick was first a great pocket passer, then a great rushing quarterback, then a great athlete and the list goes on and on. Some of the media embraced Michael Vick a bit too much this year in my honest opinion. His quarterback rating declined after the game against the Washington Redskins steadily from 150.7 to 79.9 in his final game against Green Bay, as defenses understood his tendencies.
- The release of Donovan McNabb by the Philadelphia Eagles to the Washington Redskins who quite possibly will be released again, after gaining himself a big contract. That is, until Rex Gossman took over and established himself as the official starter for the Redskins.
- The Philadelphia Eagles offense is explosive but not solid or balanced. Although the talent is there, most of the wins have come from a single offensive explosion in the second half. But that kind of gamble can only get you so far.
- The Eagles offensive line couldn’t protect Michael Vick or Kevin Kolb during the regular season. Although there were glimmers of brilliance and consistency, even into the wild card game, they were far too inconsistent and porous.
- The Eagles red-zone defense used to be solid. Now it has fallen apart, as becoming one of the worst in the red-zone in the league. When the rookie Joe Webb of the Minnesota Vikings can score against the Philadelphia Eagles as the third option on their roster, that’s not bad, that’s miserable.
- Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was far too underutilized for his talent. McCoy did improve from 35th to 14th this season in terms of rushing yardage and has 3 more touchdowns than last year. He had demonstrated this season that he has potency, but he still lacks vision. That requires experience which Michael Vick has taken away from him — as the most of the defenses respected the rushing ability of Vick more than McCoy ironically enough.
- The New York Giants blueprint to stop Michael Vick was transferred to the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings. Vick can lead the team, but he tends to carry the team on his shoulders by himself — often and frequently. The near-loss to the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys early mid-season and the losses to both the Chicago Bears, the Minnesota Vikings and the Dallas Cowboys at the end of the season exposed much of his — and the Eagles flaws.
- Backup quarterback Kevin Kolb wants out of the Eagles. I don’t disagree with his decision. He felt he was teased and tested by coach Andy Reid throughout the season. I imagine a few of the others may be feeling the same way. Jealousy may not be rampant in the locker room, but frustration is.
- Michael Vick is not that durable compared to Donovan McNabb. Within about five solid hits or tackles into any game, he begins crumbling.
- Lastly, Michael Vick makes the Philadelphia Eagles one-dimensional, not in terms of physical talent but in terms of talent used. This offense is not balanced. It is simply a lot of smoke and mirrors.