Sunday, December 12, 2010

DeSean's huge night leads Eagles over Cowboys

The Eagles will put up with DeSean Jackson's post-touchdown celebrations as long as he keeps making big plays. Behind a career night from Jackson, the Eagles edged the Cowboys, 30-27, to remain atop the NFC East.

It was all about the big play for the Eagles, as DeSean Jackson needed just 4 catches to amass 210 yards, the third most in one game in Eagles history. His two biggest plays were the first and the last time Jackson touched the ball, as he caught a 60 yard pass on the first play of the game and had a dynamic 91 yard catch and run touchdown in the 4th quarter that proved to be the game winning score. Sure, Jackson drew a stupid penalty for falling into the end zone backwards on his 91 yard score, but it's something we have all grown to live with (and love) from number 10. Remember when Jackson had trouble doing anything against the Cowboys last year? Yeah, neither do I.

The rest of the Eagles offense did work in this one, too. Despite throwing a pair of interceptions that weren't his fault, Michael Vick put together another solid performance, throwing for 270 yards and a pair of touchdowns and rushing for 16 yards and another touchdown. He didn't always make the perfect play and he took a ton of hits but Vick continues to evolve into one of the most reliable QB's in the game. Also having a great game was LeSean McCoy, who ran roughshod over the Cowboys in the 4th quarter to rack up a career high 149 yards on just 16 carries for a ridiculous 9.3 yards per carry average. With the way the Eagles continue to set up the run with their tremendous passing game, expect McCoy to have a lot more games like this in the coming weeks and years.

Without Asante Samuel, the Eagles defense continues to look weak. While the Cowboys do have a respectable offense, there is no excuse for the defense to get shredded by a mediocre quarterback like Jon Kitna. Samuel can't return to the Birds fast enough but I'm not sure his presence will eliminate all of the blown assignments and missed tackles that plagued the Eagles defense.

In other injury news, it sounds like Stewart Bradley will be out for at least a few weeks after a nasty injury caused him to dislocate his elbow. While Bradley hasn't had a stellar season, the Eagles need all the help they can get on that side of the ball and will miss their defensive leader.

The win over the Cowboys keeps the Eagles in the drivers seat in the NFC East with a showdown against the Giants looming next week. While the Eagles are fortunate enough to catch a break with the Giants getting a shorter week because of their game being moved to Monday, the Birds will need to be at the top of their game with the division on the line. While we can be sure the offense will produce their fair share of big plays, let's hope Asante Samuel finds his way back to the field and gives the defense the boost it sorely needs. With another game against a Manning on the schedule, I'm sure Asante has a few more interceptions in him.

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