Taking a look at some key stats above, we can easily see that the Eagles dominated the Browns in nearly every facet of the game. This unfortunately included penalties and turnovers, however. The Eagles amassed a whopping 12 penalties for a massive 110 penalty yards, which is even more alarming compared to just 3 penalties for 35 yards for the Browns. Both QBs -Michael Vick and Brandon Weedon- threw 4 interceptions; just for good measure, LeSean McCoy tossed in a fumble, too. Based on these stats you'd expect a sloppy game, but also a loss for the Birds. But of course, there's more to the game...
Now let's look at the offensive numbers for each team. Can you say total domination? Vick and Co. ran nearly 30 plays more than the Browns, gained better than a yard and a half more per play, and more than doubled their net yards. First downs were 25-12, third down conversion rate was nearly tripled, and time of possession was 60/40 as seen above. Wow. Vick passed for over 300 yards, and the Eagles defense, who looked great by the way, held the Browns to under 100 yards on the ground and barely over 200 total. Oh, and they did not allow a touchdown, even with 2 Red Zone possessions by the Browns. Those numbers would lead you to believe this game was a blowout in the Birds favor, but you'd be wrong about that too.
Bottom line is that the Eagles squeaked by the Browns, because the Browns stink like something else that is brown. They were extremely lucky to have a lead in this game at all, and thankfully an upset was not in the cards. Vick was clearly rusty, and let's hope that all it was. His poor decision making, coupled with the Eagles inclination to kick themselves in the foot with penalties and a missed field goal, kept the Browns in the game until the final minute of the 4th quarter. The Eagles scored on only 3 of 15 real possessions: of the remaining 12, 7 were stalled prematurely due to penalites and/or turnovers, and 1 from a missed field goal. Take away a few of those 8 failed drives, and the score could easily have been at least 30-16. Let's face it, the Browns were gifted the ball 5 times (and even a touchdown) and still couldn't pull it out. That's what she said.
Score may have been the only facet the Eagles didn't dominate in, but for now all that matters is the "W" next to Week 1 on the schedule. 17-16 actually makes sense, considering the conflicting stats discussed above. Chalk this one up to the defense, and the offense consistently gaining yards despite the penalites and turnovers. A cleaner game needs to be played next week, for sure.
-I liked Punter Chas Henry, he nailed a few 60 yard punts, didn't shank any, and allowed no long returns. That's the best you can ask from a punter.
-Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie made me forget about Asante Samuel. I even said "Asante who?" at one point. Should have had 3 interceptions.
-I can't see too many people complaining about Andy Reid's play calling this game, as it certainly was NOT the issue and I had no qualms with it.
-DeMeco Ryans is the best MLB the Eagles have had in a while, did you see that rush defense?
-Looks like DeSean Jackson worked on his hands over the break, he caught some tough balls that he usually drops. If he and Jeremy Maclin play like that the rest of the season, the rest of the league better watch out.