Eagles Vs. Ravens: Gold Stars And Demerits
By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Through two games, the Philadelphia Eagles have turned the ball over nine times, including three times in the red zone against arguably the best team in the AFC. They lead the league in fumbles. Michael Vick leads the league in interceptions. No big deal, they’re 2-0.
It hasn’t always been pretty, in fact, it’s barely ever been pretty, but thanks to the fourth ranked defense (yards per game) in the NFL, and two fourth quarter game winning drives from Michael Vick, the Eagles are undefeated.
Gold Star #1 – Michael Vick
We’ve always wanted a quarterback who can take the team down the field in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to win the game (of course ignoring the tens of times McNabb did it), and Michael Vick has done it two weeks in a row. In the 91-yard drive against the Browns, Vick accounted for 78 of them. In yesterday’s fourth quarter game-winning drive against the Ravens, Vick accounted for 70 of the 80 yards. He didn’t play perfectly, but Vick played far better than he did against Cleveland, and looked sharp, aside from the interception on the opening drive. The bomb to Jackson was beautifully thrown.
Demerit #1 – The Replacement Officials
I’ve said many times that we’re paying too much attention to the mistakes that the replacement refs have made, and that the regular refs make plenty of mistakes as well, but yesterday was pretty terrible. Two times I was screaming “wait a minute, how could you not see that was a pass?!,” there were two two-minute warnings, and they blew a pretty obvious defensive holding call that benefited the Eagles. But worse than all of that, they’re not nearly sure enough of themselves. Either they’re not good enough, or the pressure has gotten to them, but either way, it’s going to get worse.
Gold Star #2 – DeMeco Ryans
Maybe you weren’t freaking out, but you had to at least be a little bit concerned about how Ryans looked during the preseason, especially considering the Achilles injury and drop in production in Houston. Concerns, erased. For the second week in a row, Ryans was all over the place. He’s not only as good as advertised, but makes the linebackers he’s playing with better as well.
Demerit #2 – LeSean McCoy
Overall, Shady played alright against the Ravens, but had his second fumble in two games. 94WIP’s Ike Reese has said again and again that the way McCoy holds the ball makes him nervous, and we’ve seen why twice so far this season. He will most likely never change this, and it will most likely make Ike and the rest of us nervous every time.
Gold Star #3 – Brent Celek
As Celek was running along the sideline, and I saw Ed Reed coming for him, I knew it was coming. All of us knew it was coming. It wasn’t at all surprising to see Brent Celek leap over Reed, but it was still plenty impressive. It’s a move that we see often from the league’s top tight ends, and that’s exactly what Celek looked like yesterday, a top tight end. Does anyone on the Eagles look tougher to bring down?
Demerit #3 – Chas Henry
Chas Henry looked awesome against the Browns. Chas Henry looked pretty terrible against the Ravens (39.2 avg). I don’t want to have to guess, Chas. If you could just settle somewhere in the middle of the two I’d be fine with it.
Honorable Mentions: Juan Castillo (no one will give him any credit), Michael Vick’s tackle on Ray Lewis that was erased, Ray Rice complaining that the Eagles take dirty shots, the Eagles taking dirty shots.