We’re not noted for our opinions here at Pro Football Focus, but after watching two-and-a-half games of Michael Vick, we have a pretty simple question — why did it take a team with two starting quarterbacks to figure out that signing this guy was a good idea? Quarterback-starved teams league-wide have to be wishing they were more concerned with winning than image — Vick looks like a stronger, better version of a guy who was an above-average starter in Atlanta.
As for Jacksonville, there’s not much to be excited about. They’re below average in almost every trackable skill, and in the most competitive division in the league to boot.
Eagles: Three performances of note
It was a typical day at the office for Eagles DRE Trent Cole (+5.7). He did his usual good work in the run game, making six tackles (five stops) and an assist with a +1.6 rating. He added two sacks, three hits and two pressures in 33 rushes, and even showed ability dropping into coverage, forcing an incompletion on the one time he was targeted.
When the Eagles acquired WLB Ernie Sims (-3.6) from Detroit, they were hoping he’d show some of the form that made him a first-round pick. Wishful thinking based off a horrific 2008 and poor 2009, and again against the Jags. Despite playing 51 snaps he was only able to register two tackles.
Inconsistent LT Jason Peters (+3.4) showed that he can dominate and be the player the Eagles traded for. Peters shut out a rotation of Aaron Kampman and Derrick Harvey and gained a +2.2 rating in pass protection. He was average in run blocking, but showed the athleticism that made him a college TE when asked to get out on screens, impressively putting a Jaguars player on his back on one occasion.
Jaguars: Three performances of note
Left tackle Eugene Monroe (-4.1) will be glad to see the back of the Eagles. He struggled not only with Trent Cole but also Daryl Tapp when he substituted in. He didn’t commit any penalties and was slightly above average in the run game (+0.4) but Jags fans have to hope he starts to show signs of being the franchise LT they hoped when they drafted him.
The Jaguars’ defensive triangle feasted on an injured and unsettled offensive line. For a guy who struggled with his pass rushing a year ago, DT Terrence Knighton (+3.2) surprised a few against the Eagles. He had two sacks and a hit on 24 rushes (which is even more impressive when you consider he was taken out of the nickel), and did some good work in the run game that didn’t necessarily show up on the stat sheet.
Middle LB Kirk Morrison only played half his defense’s snaps but dominated when he got a chance. In his 14 run plays Morrison registered an almost-ridiculous six stops. He was only targeted once in coverage and that fell incomplete to Jeremy Maclin. The Jaguars aren’t making the mistake Oakland did of having Morrison play every down, and he’s very effective when used to his strengths.
A load of rookies got a chance to see a least some action with the way the game turned out. It was another productive game for the Eagles’ starters too, with Brandon Graham showing improvement against the run and Nate Allen sharp in pass coverage. Jorrick Calvin, Jamar Chaney and Kurt Coleman (three snaps with the starters) all saw garbage time and Riley Cooper was not targeted in his seven snaps.
The Jaguars’ selection of Tyson Alualu with the 10th overall pick was much maligned, but he had another impressive performance — especially against the run (+2.3 rating) and was +3.1 overall. For the season, he’s graded out ahead of Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy, but it’s too early to tell on any of them. Aaron Morgan saw some time as an OLB.
Eagles’ backup DT Trevor Laws saw more snaps (37) than starter Brodrick Bunkley (32). … Michael Vick had a 144.5 rating when blitzed, but David Garrard’s was 50.3. … It was a rare negative game for Garrard (-2.4) — only his second score in the red (-1.0 or worse) since we started the grades in 2008. It’ll take more than a few of those to convince us that Trent Edwards could possibly pose a threat.