RB, WR, TE Review: Aikman Calls Out Maclin

Here’s a review of how the Eagles running backs, wide receivers and tight ends performed in Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys, after having re-watched the game.

LeSean McCoy – He was sick during the week, but performed well on Sunday, rushing 16 times for 82 yards (5.1 YPC). After a rough stretch, McCoy has bounced back the past two weeks (35 carries, 201 yards, 5.7 YPC). McCoy had a big 23-yard run in the third quarter and also added a 13-yarder. On the season, he has seven runs of 20+ yards. That’s tied for second-most in the NFL behind only Adrian Peterson. Quite impressive, when you consider he’s running behind a makeshift offensive line. McCoy had four catches for 20 yards, including a 12-yard pickup on a screen. Andy Reid said he wanted to spell McCoy more since he was under the weather, but he still played 81 percent of the snaps.

Bryce Brown – He played 12 snaps and was ineffective as a runner (three carries for 1 yard). Brown failed to help Demetress Bell on DeMarcus Ware in the second and allowed a hit on Nick Foles. But he did an excellent job of picking up the blitzing defensive back on Foles’ 44-yard touchdown to Jeremy Maclin. As the Fox broadcast showed, Brown was then the first person to congratulate Maclin in the end zone.

Stanley Havili – As I detailed right after the game, the end of the first half was classic clock mismanagement by the Eagles. Havili ran out of bounds after a short catch, allowing the Cowboys to preserve a timeout and get the ball back. In the fourth quarter, he had the 1-yard touchdown. Havili also had one grab for 3 yards. He played 15 snaps.

DeSean Jackson – He finished with five catches for 62 yards. Early on, Jackson broke a couple tackles and took a screen 31 yards to set up the Eagles’ touchdown. He made a nice adjustment on the 7-yard slant in the third. The interception was a similar play, but Jackson couldn’t make the catch (the throw was behind him). He generally doesn’t give the Eagles much as a blocker, but Jackson delivered good effort on the 12-yard screen to McCoy.

Jeremy Maclin – He had his legs taken out and couldn’t hang on to the pass from Michael Vick in the first. Maclin left the game briefly, but would return. Andy Reid said yesterday that he suffered a lower back strain. I will rarely mention players shying away from contact because, well, it’s easy for me to say behind my laptop. But Fox analyst Troy Aikman was honest in his assessment that Maclin pulled up on a slant from Foles. “He saw [Gerald] Sensabaugh sitting there in the safety position, and he didn’t want any part of it,” Aikman said. “He knew it was going to be a big-time collision had he continued to go in and make a play on that ball, and he just said ‘No thank you.'” Maclin had the 44-yard touchdown in the third. And he made a nice one-handed catch for 11 yards in the fourth. Overall, eight catches for 93 yards.

Jason Avant – He only played 12 snaps before suffering a hamstring strain. Avant was targeted twice and had one catch for -1 yards.

Riley Cooper – He played a season-high 44 snaps and did a great job on the 2-yard fade in the end zone in the first. It makes you wonder why the Eagles haven’t tried that more in the past. Cooper drew a holding penalty in the third. And again in the fourth, negating a Foles interception. He gave great effort as a downfield blocker on McCoy’s 23-yard run in the third, but couldn’t hold his block on Morris Claiborne on McCoy’s 3-yard run in the fourth. Overall, two catches for 24 yards.

Damaris Johnson – With Avant out, he played 11 snaps. Johnson had a 32-yard catch and run to set up the Eagles’ fourth-quarter touchdown. He also made a 12-yard grab, but it was called back because of a King Dunlap penalty in the third.

Brent Celek – According to Pro Football Focus, he was kept in to block on just five of 43 passing plays. The Eagles’ game-plan seemed to focus more on getting the ball out quickly than keeping in extra blockers. Celek was targeted three times and had three catches for 31 yards. On the first play, he faked a run block on DeMarcus Ware before going out into his route. Celek stiff-armed Sensabaugh for a 17-yard gain.

Clay Harbor – He played 17 snaps and had three catches for 25 yards. On the 3rd-and-2 throw in the third, Harbor blocked Ware, giving Foles time to throw to Maclin. Ware was reading run. If he had been going after Foles immediately, he would have had a clear path to the quarterback and likely a sack.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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