Film review: Eagles' offensive studs and duds

Film review: Eagles' offensive studs and duds

October 1, 2013, 9:00 am
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Chris Polk rushed for one of the Eagles' two touchdowns in the team's 52-20 loss to the Broncos on Sunday. (AP)

Once again, the Eagles churned out more than 400 yards total offense and had tremendous success with their running game.

Once again, they lost anyway.

Here’s a film-review breakdown of studs, duds and other notables from the Eagles’ offense in their 52-20 loss to the Broncos.

(To read the defensive film review, click here.)

Studs

LeSean McCoy
LeSean McCoy ran tough against the NFL’s top-ranked rush defense. He didn’t eclipse 100 yards, but he didn’t have the wide open lanes that he’s had for the first three games. He also left the game briefly to get some air back. He rushed for 76 yards on 16 carries and averaged 4.6 per carry.

Chris Polk
Second-year halfback Chris Polk scored a touchdown on his first NFL carry, powering four yards for a touchdown. Later, in mop-up, he reeled off a 28-yard burst against an eight-man box. Chip Kelly said Polk warranted more playing time, so expect to see more of Polk going forward.

Jason Kelce
When he got into the second level, center Jason Kelce swallowed up Broncos linebackers. He paved the way for many of McCoy’s best runs and fended off 330-pounder Kevin Vickerson on Polk’s touchdown run. He demolished Broncos linebacker Nate Irving 10 yards downfield on a 15-yard run by McCoy in the third. Kelce still gives up occasional pressures when single blocking against beefy linemen but his run-blocking more than compensates.

Duds

Lane Johnson
Rookie right tackle Lane Johnson had too many breakdowns again. It’s becoming a recurring theme. If not for Mike Vick’s ability to get away from pressure, Johnson could have been saddled with at least three sacks. He was charged with at least one, when Shaun Phillips breezed past him to take Vick down in the third quarter.

Brent Celek
Tight end Brent Celek caught three passes for 57 yards but dropped a routine pass from Vick inside the Denver 5-yard line that surely would have been a game-tying touchdown in the first quarter.

DeSean Jackson and Riley Cooper
Wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Riley Cooper were bottled up against the Broncos' defense, which played a ton of man coverage. Jackson caught two passes for 34 yards, although a penalty negated a 19-yarder, and his speed wasn’t enough of a benefit to the offense inside the red zone, where the Eagles scored touchdowns just twice in five trips. Cooper managed just two catches for 25 yards.

Not great, not bad
Left tackle Jason Peters had some uncustomary breakdowns against the Denver pass rush and is clearly still hampered by the dislocated finger, but he also had some crippling blocks in the run game.

Right guard Todd Herremans and left guard Evan Mathis were OK. Mathis had a costly holding penalty after getting turned around by reserve defensive lineman Malik Jackson, and Herremans got pushed back more than once. Both were very good, as they usually are, in run blocking.

Jason Avant did a better job getting off Denver’s tight coverage but caught just one pass for seven yards because Vick had trouble finding him as pressure came from all sorts of directions.

Tight end Zach Ertz ran a nice route on his 38-yard catch and halfback Bryce Brown showed nice moves on a 35-yard screen reception, until he slipped inside the Denver 5.

The book on Vick
Vick made some sharp, crisp throws. His 14-yard strike to Jackson at the end of the first quarter -- a needle-threader past Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie -- was a thing of beauty. But he was under duress often from Denver’s pass rush and fell back into a habit of running if his first read wasn’t open.

When he doesn’t get tremendous protection, he’s inconsistent. But that’s been the story of his Eagles career. He didn’t turn the ball over, which is always a bonus with him.

Denver rushed more than four on only nine snaps. He was 2-for-2 against five-man rushes with completions of 15 and 35 yards and 2-for-3 against six-man pressures. The others were runs. He ran eight times total for 41 yards, keeping several plays alive with his feet.

But he was just 6-of-18 (33 percent) against four-man rushes and started off 3-for-14. There were some snaps in which Vick had open receivers but either didn’t see them because of pressure in his face or had locked into his first read.

(To read the defensive film review, click here.)