Thursday, December 2, 2010

Offense carries Eagles past Texans

With an offense like this, who needs defense? Apparently, that's been the motto for the Eagles the last two weeks as their defense has put up little resistance and has been forced to rely on the offense to keep them in the game. Fortunately, the Eagles offense is pretty damn good and it was on full display on Thursday night in a 34-24 win over the Texans.

We'll start with the good things in the game for the Eagles, which begins and ends with the offense. Despite throwing his second interception of the season, Michael Vick was his usual explosive self, throwing for 302 yards and a pair of touchdowns and rushing for 48 yards and another touchdown. While Vick wasn't perfect, his decision-making was mostly solid as he carved up the weak Texans secondary.

As for the rest of the offense, all of the weapons were in full force, led by LeSean McCoy, who had 130 total yards and a pair of touchdowns. McCoy seems to be getting better and better this season and has forced defenses to respect the run which just opens things up even further for the passing game. The weapons in the passing game all contributed as well with DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin combining for 152 yards receiving and even Brent Celek getting in on the act with several big catches. The Eagles embarrassment of riches even trickled down to Owen Schmitt, who had a touchdown reception, and Jerome Harrison, who averaged 6.7 yards per carry on three carries.

The Eagles defense was an entirely different story. While they did force two big turnovers, the defense looked a lot like they did last week against the Bears when they gave up huge chunks of yards on seemingly every play. I'm not sure what magic wand Asante Samuel waves when he's on the field, but the Eagles D looks completely lost without him. While it's understandable that the secondary, which has several rookies still learning their roles, is giving up big plays, it's hard to figure out why the loss of Samuel causes the Eagles to not be able to stop the run or make tackles. You'd think that not having their worst tackler would actually help them wrap guys up.

While we rightly should be disappointed by the defense, the Eagles are still exactly where they want to be coming down the home stretch of the season. At 8-4 and in first place in the NFC East and facing a 10 day layoff until their game against the Cowboys, the Eagles are positioned to close in on a playoff spot and a possible first round bye. While the defense is worrisome, at least Asante Samuel should be back after the long break and hopefully that is the magic fix for all that ails the Birds. With the offense looking unstoppable, it would be a shame if the defense couldn't hold up their end of the bargain.
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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