The Philadelphia Eagles won their opening game against the Rams, 31-13. Who
were the best players for the Eagles in this week 1 drubbing in St. Louis?
In reality, it was a true team-win because there were several players who actually contributed.
But there may have been some who stood out a little more than the others. Here are my “fab five” from Sunday’s game.
Might as well start with an obvious choice, Mr. DeSean “pay the man” Jackson. If you were worried about his contract becoming a distraction, it certainly didn’t show in this game.
Jackson reeled in six receptions for 102 yards and one TD. He was effective on short, intermediate and long passing routes. The best thing about Jackson’s TD reception was that it came on a red zone play from inside the 10 yard line.
He normally somewhat disappears in that area of the field due to his small stature and shortened playing field where his speed is less of a factor. It was good to see that he can be a target in tight spaces.
Jackson certainly helped his position in contract negotiations by turning in the kind of performance one should expect from a No. 1 receiver.
When you look at the stat sheet, it will show that McCoy had a great game: 15 carries for 122 yards and one TD along with two catches for 15 yards and another score. Rushing-wise, he averaged 8.1 yards per carry.
However, 95 of his rushing yards came on four carries in the fourth quarter, including a 49-yard TD run. That means that for the first three quarters, McCoy only ran 11 times for 27 yards.
Not that playing his best in the fourth quarter is a bad thing though. That’s when you want to run well — at the end of the game when you’re trying to control the clock.
Nonetheless, it was an overall great opening performance by the Eagles’ star running back.
Babin showed why the Eagles decided to bring him back for a second stint with the team. He’s a great fit in defensive line coach Jim Washburn’s scheme.
He started off the season in great fashion by recording two sacks on Sam Bradford. He also provided great pressure off the edge in a game where the Eagles only rushed their four down-linemen most of the time.
Hey, at this rate, he’s on pace for 32 sacks this year!
Though, I will note that Rams right tackle Jason Smith left the game with an injury. That could have had something to do with Babin’s good game but he did beat him on his first sack.
But either way, Babin did what he was supposed to do and did it very well. This was a great start to his season.
In a post-game interview, Michael Vick said “It felt great to know that I can go out and play lights out, not have to worry about anything.”
Well, I don’t think Vick played “lights out” but he did play well and was one of the stars of the game for the Eagles.
Vick’s stats for the game read like this: 14 completions out of 32 attempts for 187 yards and two TDs along with 10 rushes for 98 yards. He actually had 100 yards rushing but received -2 because of his kneel-downs at the end of the game (that took one point off of his fantasy score, watch me lose by one this week!).
Vick only completed 43 percent of his passes but his ability to prolong plays by evading defenders is what makes him special. Sunday’s game was no exception. He broke-contain on several plays and kept drives alive with his running.
He also threw a beautiful pass to DeSean Jackson that should have resulted in an 87-yard TD play. He couldn’t have placed the ball any better for Jackson as he split two defenders and broke free along the sidelines. It’s just too bad DeSean dropped it.
Avant only caught three passes for 40 yards against the Rams. But just like in the business of antiquities, it’s quality over quantity.
All three of Avant’s catches went for first downs. Two of them came on third-down plays. That’s his niche, he’s Mr. Dependable when the Eagles need to keep a drive moving.
Vick also looked Avant’s way several times during the game. Though many of them didn’t connect (bad passes), it shows how much Vick trusts Avant and looks for him when the play breaks down.
So, there you have it. Those five players are the ones who stood out to me the most as far as individual performances go. There were several players who contributed in the win though.
Jamar Chaney made a couple of nice plays and showed a lot of hustle; Trent Cole, Cullen Jenkins and Darryl Tapp each contributed a sack; and the offensive line settled down after a very shaky start.
It’s also worth noting that rookie kicker Alex Henery was perfect on the day as well.