By Kenny Brock
A win is a win.
That’s the overused, cop out phrase we heard after an ugly, disastrous, dreadful win like the Eagles had Sunday in Cleveland. Heading into the game, most fans, analysts, writers assumed the Eagles would head into Week 2 with a 1-0 record. They were correct there. But everyone was woefully wrong was when they suggested the Eagles would roll the Browns.
To come out in Week 1 and put up a performance as meager as what was on display in Cleveland is embarrassing. From top (that’s Andy Reid), to bottom (pick anyone riding the pine), the attempt to look like a team ready to compete for the NFC East was meek and the message was not delivered.
If anything, Sunday exposed the Eagles. Teams much better than the Browns will bring to light the their vulnerabilities.
The Eagles narrowly escaped with a come from behind, last minute victory. Mike Vick saved face, sort of, completing six of twelve passes ending with a touchdown pass to Clay Harbor with 1:18 left in the 4th.
Starting a quarterback who only played 12 snaps in the preseason, Reid felt the best way to attack the Browns defense, which was ranked 30th out of 32 teams in rush defense in 2011, was to throw the ball 56 times. Those 56 passes, 29 of which were completed, four of which were interceptions, left me scratching my head wondering why that was the plan of attack. Vick also fumbled the ball two times, but both were recovered by the Eagles.
LeSean McCoy, one of the most electric running backs in the NFL, had 20 carries for 110 yards. He should have run the ball 30 times. Reid constantly deferred to the inconsistent arm and decision making of Vick.
In the first half alone, I counted at least ten good hard licks that Vick took from the Browns defense. To say the offensive line play yesterday was poor would be to put it kindly.
“Survive and advance” will likely be the mantra for this year’s Eagles. Survive and advance is what they did against the Browns.
But the way they played on Sunday isn’t good enough to survive and advance against most NFL teams. And that will make the dreadful 2011 season seem like a fond memory.
Kenny Brock is a producer at WIP, and contributing blogger for CBS Philly. You can follow him on Twitter @KBrockJr.