With the 2012 NFL first quarter now complete, the Philadelphia Eagles have mixed results on their report card. While many still feel that this team is flawed, the Eagles are still sitting atop the NFC East with a 3-1 record following Sunday night’s 19-17 victory over the New York Giants.
But this is still Philadelphia. All is not well.
Yes, the Eagles are 3-1 and hold a one game lead over the Giants, Washington redskins and Dallas Cowboys, who are all 2-2. But while the record looks nice, the numbers are not all that impressive.
Michael Vick has helped lead a couple of late game winning drives, but he has turned the ball over nine times. He has also been sacked 11 times and hit so many times that many people have stopped counting. Vick continues to make plays with his arm and legs, but many have to wonder just how many more hits he can take without having to miss some time.
But many of the hits that Vick takes are not his fault. He tries to make too many plays. That is his fault. But his offensive line has been awful at times, and head coach Andy Reid simply needs to hand the ball off to LeSean McCoy far more often than he has to start this season. Here is a look at the first quarter statistics for the Eagles through four games.
Michael Vick: 88 completions of 155 attempts for 1,146 yards // 4 TD and 6 INT
LeSean McCoy: 81 carries for 384 yards // 1 TD
Michael Vick: 27 carries for 130 yards // 1 TD
Desean Jackson: 20 catches for 333 yards // 1 TD
Brent Celek: 18 catches for 315 yards // 0 TD
Jason Avant: 11 catches for 128 yards // 0 TD
Jeremy Maclin: 9 catches for 126 yards // 2 TD
It should be noted that Maclin has been in and out of the lineup with a hip and hamstring injury so far, limiting his numbers. Celek has returned from an offseason for the Eagles last season and has gotten off to a fast start as Vick’s safety valve, especially on scrambling plays. Jackson appears to also have bounced back after a poor 2011 season.
But as always, the Eagles are about defense. Through four games, the Eagles rank seventh best in passing yards allowed and 12th best in rushing yards allowed. The Eagles have received solid production from Jason Babin and Demeco Ryans up front, while Kurt Coleman and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are leading the way with five total interceptions. And with Alex Henery coming up big in the kicking game, the Eagles are stronger than many feel, despite their 3-1 record and too many turnovers.
But when it comes to a player such as Vick, this team could go as he goes, especially with his proneness to suffering injuries. Many people feel that Nick Foles could be getting close to getting some action, but it is not known whether or not he could handle the starting role as a rookie.
But if Vick continues to take a beating, the Eagles may find out sooner rather than later just what Foles can do in Philadelphia. Whoever is under center will have some challenges ahead, including games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions before the bye week, and then games with the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints to close out the first half of the 2012 season.
So even with a 3-1 record that is best in the NFC East, the Eagles still have quite a few question marks gong forward. Through the NFL first quarter, the Eagles receive a B+ through four games.