Sunday, October 11, 2009

Eagles cruise past Tampa Bay despite sloppy play

(AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Normally when a team is penalized 10 times and makes an inexperienced quarterback look good, they lose. Not the Eagles, though, as they found a way to overcome their shortcomings on defense and special teams to beat down the Bucs, 33-14.

The reason the Eagles were able to win this one easily? Their offense was dominating. With Donovan McNabb returning to the field, the Birds offense clicked all game long, picking up a number of big plays while basically looking unstoppable. McNabb spread the ball around the field to 7 different receivers, although his number one target was Jeremy Maclin, who started the game at wide receiver in place of the injured Kevin Curtis. Maclin made the most of his opportunity, catching 6 passes for 142 yards and 2 long touchdowns of 51 and 40 yards. Maclin looks like the real deal and it's only a matter of time before he supplants DeSean Jackson as the Birds number one receiver.

As for the things the Eagles did poorly today, there were quite a few. While they did manage to pick off Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Johnson three times, the Bucs offense moved the ball all day long on the Eagles defense. Johnson threw for 240 yards and kept the Bucs driving down the field thanks to some timely throws and some timely penalties on the Eagles. The Birds were mired with penalties all day long, committing 10 of them for 111 yards, all 10 of which seemed to happen at the worst possible time. Despite looking mediocre throughout the day, the Eagles defense does deserve credit for clamping down when they needed to, sacking Johnson three times and even getting a safety late in the game.

The Eagles special teams were also a mess today, committing their fair share of penalties. Just once I'd like to see the Eagles go a quarter or even a half without holding someone or blocking someone in the back on a return. That's not too much to ask, is it?

While some Philadelphia fans will complain that the Eagles weren't dominating enough, you really can't complain with a 33-14 win for the Birds. The Eagles beat down a poor team just like we expected them to despite not being perfect on either side of the ball. They have a few things to work on, a few tweaks to make, but what team has everything figured out 5 weeks into a season anyway? With a game against the Raiders next week, the Eagles have another game to work the kinks before they start playing the real teams.

Great job by the Eagles offense today, now just knock off all those penalties and clean up the special teams and they will be just fine when they start playing some real teams.

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