NFL Grades, Week 3: Eagles offense sputters for second straight week
Week 3's 2013 NFL Grades, featuring a second-straight poor performance for the Eagles on offense.
Alert the holders of the red flags: Chip Kelly's offense struggled against an AFC West team for the second-straight week. I said on our Pregame Live show I felt that a short week actually hurt the Eagles, even at home. And it appeared that was the case as Michael Vick reverted to the quarterback that nearly got run out of Philadelphia after a turnover-filled 2012.
Vick went 13 for 30 in Thursday night's 26-16 loss, throwing one touchdown and two interceptions for 201 yards before suffering an injury on a game-sealing fumble with 1:07 left in the game. LeSean McCoy had a dominant game, but it was largely irrelevant given the Eagles' struggles.
So what do we actually think about this Philly offense? Chip Kelly's a mastermind, no doubt. But they've not exploded the past two weeks the way we expected after a monstrous first half against the Redskins in Week 1.
Ten first-half points against the Chargers eventually became 30 total, but the first 30 minutes last week were a mess. Thursday was even worse. Vick was discombobulated most of the game and never got in sync with his receivers.
The Chiefs defense shouldn't be discounted -- Justin Houston had 4.5 sacks and was an absolute beast Thursday -- and definitely deserves credit for shutting down Philly and making one jolly, red-colored fella smile wide when he got destroyed by a pail of Gatorade ...
But there are issues for the Eagles on offense. Desean Jackson's a great burner but can Riley Cooper and Jason Avant as the No. 2 and No. 3 wideouts make this fast formation work? Can the Eagles find the necessary rhythm to keep their defense off the field? Because that defense isn't good and three-and-out drives are going to make life tough for them.
I'm not calling into question Kelly's approach at all. I believe it will work in the NFL. But the expectations we placed on the Eagles for this season after Week 1's domination of a terrible Redskins defense may have twisted the way we look at Philadelphia.
Two weeks into struggles on offense after those expectations we should pause and remember that sometimes the NFL doesn't play out exactly as Week 1 would have you believe.
The Eagles aren't done -- the NFC East is a total mess as I noted in this week's Stock Watch -- but they're not going to run roughshod over everyone just yet.
|Chiefs 26, Eagles 16|
|C+||The offense has major question marks. Alex Smith is a game manager and everyone's proud of that, but let's not get too excited. This was a defensive effort that carried things for the Chiefs and Justin Houston deserves an A+ for his performance. Smith was much better in the second half but a strong effort from this offense would've buried the Eagles early.|
|D||All-around poor performance for the Eagles. LeSean McCoy, who ran for 158 yards and a long touchdown that briefly brought the game back within reach, was the lone bright spot for this team. Michael Vick looked like he regressed, the defense can't tackle (and gave up 141 receiving yards to Donnie Avery!). Sixteen points at home on primetime is a major concern for an team based on offense.|
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