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Eagles look dangerous despite loss

Falcons tight end Gonzalez keeps both feet in for a  touchdown as  Eagles safety Page  pursues in the first half of their NFL football game in Atlanta. Reuters

Whew.  There was so much going on during Atlanta’s wild 35-31 victory on Sunday night, we need to take a second look.  

Here are eleven takeaways from the fun:

1. Mike Kakfa probably showed enough in a quarter to be the starter next week should Michael Vick miss any time with his concussion.  Consider that many Philly writers (and their sources) thought Kafka out-played Vince Young in camp.  Young hasn’t practiced fully in weeks because of his hamstring injury.  Kafka knows the offense better.

2. Life without Vick is painful for the Eagles to think about. But it comes with the Vick package.  Vick has been hit hard repeatedly in both of his starts this year.  In this game, he took his shots mostly when he was in the pocket.

The recipe to beat Philly: beat Vick up.

3. The Eagles showed why they are so dangerous, even in a losing effort. Despite three turnovers from Vick in a five minute span just before and after halftime, Philly dominated the action for the first three quarters.  The score could have been a lot worse than 31-21 Philly heading into the final frame.

4. Few teams have the weapons to make up for mistakes like Philly. Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy were the key offensive guys in this game, helping to put up three quick scores in the third quarter.  McCoy has taken his game to another level. He’s a top-five running back.

Maclin’s drop ended the game, but he showed that he’s truly over his offseason health issues.

5. Matt Ryan kept firing and he played very well in the red zone. That’s the best thing you can say about a scattershot performance. For much of the game, Ryan seemed the opposite of “poised” in the pocket. He felt pressure that wasn’t there and didn’t deal well with the pressure that was there.

6. Of course, a lot of that pressure was very real. Trent Cole absolutely manhandled Falcons left tackle Sam Baker all night. It was a one-man show. Cole had four tackle for loss and a pass defensed.  The box score doesn’t show all the time Cole pushed Baker back into Ryan.

7. It may seem like I’m praising the Eagles a lot in a losing performance.  That’s true, but the reality is that Philly left the game with more to feel positive about despite the final score and Vick’s injury.

8. Philly’s rush defense held up very well for most of the game, but finally lost steam on Michael Turner’s big run in the fourth quarter. The pass rush got great pressure without blitzing. The cornerbacks covered Julio Jones and Roddy White like glue.

Basically, the game mostly went as defensive coordinator Juan Castillo drew it up. Really, it was the short fields that killed the Philly defense more than anything.

9. Atlanta entered the offseason looking for more playmakers on offense. On Sunday night, they found some on defense. If Peria Jerry, Sean Weatherspoon, and William Moore can keep making impact plays to complement the usual suspects (John Abraham, Curtis Lofton), then this defense could be pretty good.

10. We may have buried Tony Gonzalez too soon. On a night where the Falcons receivers couldn’t get open, Gonzo made all the difference in the red zone.

11. This game ultimately meant more to the Falcons. Losing to Vick and Kafka despite all the turnovers at home to go 0-2 would have been devastating.  Atlanta looked so flat and out of it to start the fourth quarter.  They deserve a lot of credit for igniting late in the game.

Good teams find a way to win without their best effort.  The win could go a long way to stablizing Atlanta early this season.

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63 Responses to “Eagles look dangerous despite loss”
  1. jaggedmark says: Sep 19, 2011 1:03 AM

    Good teams find a way to win without their best effort. The win could go a long way to stablizing Atlanta early this season.
    ————————–
    Settle down. They looked like crap just 7 days ago.

  2. eaglesblow says: Sep 19, 2011 1:04 AM

    Wow, you’d think the Eagles won the game or something.

  3. danielcp0303 says: Sep 19, 2011 1:05 AM

    If Ryan can throw like that against the Eagles with very little time, then I don’t see how it will be a problem for other teams. Run it up the middle and spread them out on passing downs, pretty simple blueprint. Just wait for Vick to make mistakes.

  4. gilbridehater says: Sep 19, 2011 1:11 AM

    Vickless Eagles=Vicktory for Giants next week!

  5. 4whateva says: Sep 19, 2011 1:15 AM

    Its been said alll along they need an o-line!! Now Vick has a concussion….thus the eagles have been clipped

    GO COWBOYS!!!

  6. mimitaroo says: Sep 19, 2011 1:21 AM

    Tony Gonzalez could still beat the Eagles LBs in another 10 years if this is the quality we have to keep fielding every year under AR.

  7. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 19, 2011 1:23 AM

    Dangerous to their FANS. A thrill a minute, both positive and negative. Vick better play next week!!!

  8. jh500 says: Sep 19, 2011 1:25 AM

    Well, this team is pretty much done if Vick is out. Goodbye Super Bowl.

  9. botchedextrapoint says: Sep 19, 2011 1:33 AM

    Say what you want about Andy Reid’s clock management and play calling, if Kafka starts and plays well next week Reid will have to go down as one of the greatest QB coaches of all time.

  10. hcf95688 says: Sep 19, 2011 2:09 AM

    The Falcons punched them in their face. Best/smartest play of the game: Robinson’s hit on Maclin. Its tough to make 4th down catches over the middle when you have one eye on where those footsteps are coming from.

  11. dawkattack says: Sep 19, 2011 2:13 AM

    Keep dreamin Gilbride Kafka looked solid

  12. srbumblebeeman says: Sep 19, 2011 2:19 AM

    The defense continued to make plays, which is what they have paid for. I was more interested in the interceptions by Eagles defenders than any offensive catch by either team.

  13. d3murf says: Sep 19, 2011 2:31 AM

    @danielcp0303 says: If Ryan can throw like that against the Eagles with very little time, then I don’t see how it will be a problem for other teams. Run it up the middle and spread them out on passing downs, pretty simple blueprint. Just wait for Vick to make mistakes.

    ____________________________________________________________

    I was at the game. Matt Ryan’s stats will overshadow how weird of a game he had. I’d say the game was more of a negative than a positive if I’m being objective. He looked shook out there. He had great field position on most of his TD’s. He could not get the ball on the outside. They lit the Eagles up, down the middle. I don’t think this deep ball experiment/explosive play stuff will work out. Matt doesn’t throw the deep ball well. I watched EVERY Julio Jones game when he was in college, He is not a deep ball threat imo. He’s more of a catch a short to intermediate pass and break tackles for long runs kind of player. Their attempts of the deep ball looked bad.

    I’m glad my Falcs got the win, but I believe if Vick would have stayed in–the Eagles wouldn’t have been so conservative like they were with Kafka. All in All–it was a great game…

  14. trollaikman8 says: Sep 19, 2011 2:34 AM

    Wait…what?
    Did the Eagles win?

  15. nevin999 says: Sep 19, 2011 3:14 AM

    Hey, a balanced review. And here I thought Rosenthal hated the Eagles. Could I have been wrong?

  16. childressrulz says: Sep 19, 2011 3:32 AM

    they do…..? What? Honestly they look like an average NFL team at best.

  17. bringbacktheflex says: Sep 19, 2011 3:33 AM

    Based on all the hype from every sports news show and site before the year began I am completely surprised that any one even SCORED on the Eagles.

    How can you have this much “talent” on a defense and give up 31 points? Pretty funny stuff.

  18. minnysoda says: Sep 19, 2011 4:13 AM

    Wow great Logic look for a Vikings-Chiefs Super Bowl

  19. buddybowl69 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:27 AM

    No. 1: way to go NJ G’Aints fans, thinking you have a chance just because vick may be out of the game. Just goes to show how much faith you have in your team to have to route for an opponent’s team to loose their starting QB.

    No.2: Even with the lose of Vick, the Eagles show how much depth they have at QB. If not for a dropped pass by a league leading receiver, Eagles would have punched it in for a game winning TD.

    No. 3: Eagles can take this lose, knowing that their team will only get better, with time to gel. O’Line will be better with experience, as well as the Linebackers with more experience. Can your team say the same?

    So go ahead and say whatever you want about the Eagles, just remember that scared feeling you have in your team facing them. Wish all you want to have some of their key players hurt, just goes to show how much you are scared of them.

    If your team is the best in the league, you shouldn’t be scared of the Eagles 1st stringers.

  20. bluefan204 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:35 AM

    gilbridehater says: Sep 19, 2011 1:11 AM

    Vickless Eagles=Vicktory for Giants next week!

    Are you high? I’m a lifelong Giants fan, and theres no way that the swiss cheese secondary/LB’s is coming anywhere close to stopping that kind of firepower, no matter who is at QB

  21. bigdeveagles says: Sep 19, 2011 5:19 AM

    Its been said alll along they need an o-line!! Now Vick has a concussion….thus the eagles have been clipped

    GO COWBOYS!!!

    —————————————————

    Hey 4whateva, first off Vicks not done and the eagles arent clipped, expect him to play next week….. and if he doesnt, him getting hurt has nothing to do with the O-line worries everyone had, it was a freak injury, on a play that Todd H held his block no problem, but unfortunately found his huge shoulder in the wrong spot at the wrong time

  22. tiffpats4eva says: Sep 19, 2011 6:01 AM

    Yep. The Eagles looked good in defeat. They are a dangerous team.

  23. angrycorgi says: Sep 19, 2011 6:25 AM

    “Eagles LOSE despite looking dangerous”…There’s a free pessimistic headline for the local Philly newsmen. Enjoy!

  24. kevinfromphilly says: Sep 19, 2011 6:25 AM

    Hey, we knew Atlanta was gonna be tough. It just sucks Vick got hurt on a freak play. Laugh for now Cowboys and Giants fans – Vick will be back, winning the division again.

  25. richm2256 says: Sep 19, 2011 6:26 AM

    Every report on PFT talked up the Eagles, even as they were losing, and after they lost. Seems like a huge effort to polish Andy Reid’s nuts.

    They lost, get over it.

    They ain’t that good. Vick ain’t that good.

  26. JMil_ATL says: Sep 19, 2011 6:29 AM

    “scattershot performance” & “felt pressure that wasn’t there ” ??????

    Did you watch the game Rosenthal? The eagles were in the back field on every play. Almost every throw that Ryan didn’t take a hit on he had Sam Baker rubbing up against him.

    Just admit the truth. You don’t like Matt’s nickname. I don’t either and I’m a Falcons fan.

    Ryan did the best that he could under the circumstances. Especially after at least 2 illegal hits that weren’t called (hands to the helmet & helmet to helmet) not to mention the figure 4 leg lock that looked like it almost broke his leg.

    Matt Ryan is the real deal and is getting better with each game.

  27. pjack28 says: Sep 19, 2011 6:44 AM

    Cowboys Impressed by squeaking by the powerhouse 49ers. Eagles gave Falcons
    the game.

  28. jimmytwotimes says: Sep 19, 2011 6:54 AM

    This site is so tilted towards the eiggles it ain’t funny !
    Does eskin the eiggles lap dog work for pro eagles-vick – talk ! When I say pro its not short for professional !

  29. rugdaniels says: Sep 19, 2011 6:54 AM

    Yes, allowing two long drives of 80+ yards late in the game is something to really hang your hat.

  30. coys10 says: Sep 19, 2011 6:59 AM

    Hey Rosenthal,
    1. Atlanta ‘s defense is a disgrace– the Bears put up 30 on them
    2. The Eagles lit them up
    worse last year with Kolb
    3. The Eagles spent all their money on D and let up 35 point

  31. livenbreathefootball says: Sep 19, 2011 7:02 AM

    Defensed is not a verb. You defend the pass, it is not defensed. Defense is what you play against the offense.

  32. JMil_ATL says: Sep 19, 2011 7:10 AM

    This is the headline from your colleague…”Matt Ryan hangs tough as Falcons beat Eagles”.

    He must have watched the game.

  33. nflofficeadmin says: Sep 19, 2011 7:17 AM

    Good team don’t turn the ball over – That’s fundamentals.

    And McCoy is a top 5 scat back – not runnning back. AP, CJ, Jamal Charles, Darren McFadden, Steven Jackson, Frank Gore (not in that order) are all better true running backs than McCoy.

  34. tombrookshire says: Sep 19, 2011 7:27 AM

    12. Andy Reid continues to be a lousy gametime coach. Did anyone see the turnover by the Eagles that hit the ground as a dead ball? Andy Reid elected not to challenge the call. Guess he didn’t want to take a chance on loosing a timeout if he lost the challenge. Would certainly have been the right time to risk it.

  35. baroneski29 says: Sep 19, 2011 7:38 AM

    They have a lot of weaknesses. Their offensive line isn’t exactly great, and their defense is weak against the run. They are also weak against the pass in the middle of the field.

  36. abninf says: Sep 19, 2011 7:38 AM

    Week 2 and the Dream Team has already lost a game. Tsk, tsk. Is Chris Collingsworth writing these things? I was almost embarrassed for him the way he was gushing over Vick every 2-3 minutes. Very annoying.

  37. deadmanwalking47 says: Sep 19, 2011 7:39 AM

    if you guys want to crown them,then crown their a$$,quoting from denny green of course! these are the eagles! just keep that in mind! there will always be an empty championship trophy case in the eagles home office! the good news is you can go down to dc or go up to new york and look at the ones the redskins and giants got(6 between them)anytime you want if you call first.

  38. kmdp4 says: Sep 19, 2011 7:49 AM

    They lost this article is BS!!!!!!

  39. TheDPR says: Sep 19, 2011 7:59 AM

    The Eagles are no better or worse than any other year under Reid. They’ll win 9 to 12 games and make the playoffs. Then go somewhere from 0-1 to 2-1 in the playoffs and miss the Super Bowl.

    Again.

    I’m sick of it.

  40. pigeonpea says: Sep 19, 2011 8:11 AM

    Concussed by Week 2, IR by Week 7.

    I may just have to start watching Eagirls games!

  41. reidstinks says: Sep 19, 2011 8:13 AM

    Call it what it is and it’s not the “short field”

    The coach just stinks. No challenge on the INT and the play calling continues to pee wee. We’ll remember the drop on 4th but the 3rd down call was terrible

    The Linebackers just aren’t good enough. Compare their play to the Falcons

    They are very susceptible to the big run due to the style and bad linebacker and safety play

    Andy can’t draft, peroid. Not a single 1st, 2nd, or 3rd round pick from this year or last has made any difference and wont

    New head coach will fix the LB issue and call a better game and this team is Super Bowl bound. With Andy we are 1st round exit bound.

  42. tinkletinkleonyourstar says: Sep 19, 2011 8:17 AM

    7. It may seem like I’m praising the Eagles a lot in a losing performance. That’s true, but the reality is that Philly left the game with more to feel positive about despite the final score and Vick’s injury.

    Keep feelin’ positive philly, keep feelin’ positive.

  43. greymares says: Sep 19, 2011 8:32 AM

    gilbridehater, the Eagles beat the Giants next week with you playing quarterback

  44. vidiotz says: Sep 19, 2011 8:35 AM

    Two things:

    1) The Eagles D was dominant for the most part, but not when it mattered most. It looks like the main runs broke out when they were in the Nickel, and the edge LBs got exposed. The Eagles LB situation is bad, but fixable.

    2) Good corners cover a lot of problems, but they typically don’t cover LB’s. The Eagles were probably in the middle because of how much damage Gonzalez was doing in the middle. He should have gotten the Falcons’ game ball.

    3) There was no real point in the game where Ryan “gashed” the Eagles. I’m worried about the Red Zone D, LB and Safety-wise, but T-Gon played lights out yesterday, so it’s hard to gauge. It’s probably bad, but fixable, and it’s a long season. The Eagles have a tendency to start slow and end strong…

    4) If Giants fans think that they’ll win by divine right if Vick is out, more power to them. I’ll wait to see how it plays out.

  45. bobbyhoying says: Sep 19, 2011 8:52 AM

    Am i the only one who thought Andy failed to challenge an “interception” that hit the ground and cost the team the game when the Falcons scored off it?

  46. lbdpatch says: Sep 19, 2011 9:01 AM

    First of all Giants cant beat themselves and as for the cowboys without dez you have nothing and barely won yesterday. Vick will back better than ever and your still stuck with romo who if you remember was out a good part of last season and the cowboys tanked

  47. eaglesblow says: Sep 19, 2011 9:02 AM

    Say what you want about Andy Reid’s clock management and play calling, if Kafka starts and plays well next week Reid will have to go down as one of the greatest QB coaches of all time.

    ========================

    your standards are awfully low.

  48. prrbrr says: Sep 19, 2011 9:21 AM

    Atlanta made some key adjustments in the 4th quarter that will kill the Eagles for games to come. How do you avoid the pass rush, three step drops and throw the ball. Watch the last two drives by Ryan, he rarely took a 5 or 7 step drop, everything was out before Cole could get there. Wait till Brady tears this secondary apart with Gronkowski and Hernandez. I’m a die hard Eagles fan, but I may not watch that game cause it’s going to get ugly.

  49. jdbaker1860 says: Sep 19, 2011 9:56 AM

    Just like usual. Eagles beat easy teams “rams” talk how great they are then lose to good teams and excuses come out. Tell us why you paid a guy 100 million and he has 3 turnovers? Just put away your Vick jerseys and bring out your Kafka ones.
    Eagles blow

  50. eaglesblow says: Sep 19, 2011 9:59 AM

    Vick will back better than ever

    ==============

    That’s not saying much.

  51. kaf39 says: Sep 19, 2011 10:10 AM

    They’ll bounce back.

  52. goawayeverybody says: Sep 19, 2011 10:15 AM

    The headline should read: Andy Reid looks clueless, despite great team.

    My condolences to all Eagles fans who have to suffer this clueless moron who has no idea what he’s doing.

  53. n0hopeleft says: Sep 19, 2011 10:39 AM

    The only thing that looked dangerous was Vick and Maclin leaving their brain cells on the field.

    The city of Philadelphia is SOFT!

  54. trigzter says: Sep 19, 2011 10:52 AM

    n0hopeleft

    The city of Philadelphia is SOFT!

    ——————–
    That’s real easy to say behind a computer monitor. tough guy

  55. eaglesblow says: Sep 19, 2011 11:06 AM

    Cowboys Impressed by squeaking by the powerhouse 49ers. Eagles gave Falcons
    the game.

    =================

    Could say the same about the Cowboys re: the Jets.
    Bottom line: Welcome to third place.

  56. lbdpatch says: Sep 19, 2011 11:58 AM

    Eagles only lost because Vick went out with concussion,league rule. All you giant and cowboy fans have no Idea what you are talking about. First of all you both have way over rated and over paid quarterbacks and well we know what Vick did to both your teams last year. If Kafka plays only means you have a 1% chance of winning Instead of 0% and you will both will still lose. come on giant fans you lost to rex grossman.

  57. pappert says: Sep 19, 2011 12:00 PM

    “The recipe to beat Philly: beat Vick up.”

    O so your saying how to stop a good team is by getting to the quarterback. Slow down rosenthal, your starting to sound like John Madden.

    Thank You Captain Obvious

  58. lbdpatch says: Sep 19, 2011 12:05 PM

    As far as philly being soft. I dare you to wear your teams jersey In Philly and see how soft we are. Big talker’s from your computer screens

  59. foreverengland says: Sep 19, 2011 12:44 PM

    If Michael Vick had played the entire game, Eagles win.

  60. eaglesblow says: Sep 19, 2011 1:02 PM

    If Michael Vick had played the entire game, Eagles win.

    =======================

    If he’d kept playing, they might have been scraping his brains off the field with a spatula. It’s Michael Vick, he’s virtually guaranteed to miss playing time every season. Get used to it.

  61. eaglesblow says: Sep 19, 2011 1:03 PM

    Eagles only lost because Vick went out with concussion,league rule.

    ===========

    Vick doesn’t play defense, does he?

  62. jdbaker1860 says: Sep 19, 2011 1:15 PM

    Soft Eagles should have had a shuttle running to the locker room. Vick hurt macklin hurt Jackson hurt McCoy hurt. That spells soft. Vick had 3 turnovers and you say you would have won with him???? You now have a better chance of winning.

  63. dshane71 says: Sep 19, 2011 1:43 PM

    Reid’s poor play calling/decision not to challenge the “interception” and Mike Vick’s inability to hold onto the ball lost the game for the Eagles, not the defense. Only thing scary about the Eagles is thier ablility to give up the ball. I’m sorry Castillo but if you recognize that your front four are doing a great job of pass rushing and you have the corners that the Eagles have, why not continually saftey blitz? Eagles need a proper defensive coordinator to utilize the tools they have, then the Eagles will truly be dangerous.

    Vick is not a stand in the pocket quarterback, never was, never will be. Should have kept Kolb. Kafka will do fine if needed as long as the O-line keeps gelling.

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