Tale Of The Tape: Philadelphia Eagles At Indianapolis Colts

(Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
  • Quarterback
    Nick Foles could not believe his eyes when he looked at the scoreboard in Week One and found his Eagles trailing the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars 17-0 at home in the first half. The Eagles woke up at halftime and rolled to a 34-17 victory over Gus Bradley’s upstarts. Nick Foles finished the game with 322 yards and two touchdowns, and his performance is the key to the Philadelphia offense.
    The Colts may have lost their season opener at Denver, but there is no reason for head coach Chuck Pagano and quarterback Andrew Luck to panic. Luck will almost certainly be a Pro Bowl quarterback this season, as he has command of the Colts offense and the passing ability to light up the scoreboard. Luck is also an outstanding runner who can make key plays with his legs.
  • Offense
    The Eagles are a high-powered offense that can cause problems for opponents with the speed of their attack. LeSean McCoy is an explosive runner who also makes plays as a game-changing receiver. The Colts will have to make stopping him a top priority. Tight end Zach Ertz is a skilled receiver who can wall off defenders with his body and make key catches.
    The Colts are going to have to find a cohesive ground game if they are going to fully take advantage of Luck’s overwhelming talent. Trent Richardson is clearly a disappointment – 20 yards vs. the Broncos – and it appears unlikely he be a key contributor. Reggie Wayne returned from last year’s knee injury with six catches, while T.Y. Hilton is an outstanding deep threat.
  • Defense
    While the Eagles gave up a couple of big plays early to the Jaguars, they settled in and found their level in the final 30 minutes. Linebacker Mychal Kendricks is coming off a solid game with six tackles and a sack, while defensive end Fletcher Cox also had six tackles. The Eagles are going to give up some yards, but they are going to try to take away big plays.
    The Colts have quite a few question marks associated with their defense, and they were unable to make any progress in their season opener. Safety LaRon Landry led the team with eight tackles against the Broncos, and he is an instinctive and nasty hitter. Former Cleveland linebacker D’Qwell Jackson gives the Colts added toughness, while ex-Ravens defensive end Arthur Jones is dependable.
  • Special Teams
    The Eagles have entrusted their FG duties to unknown free agent Cody Parkey, and he made both of his FG attempts against Jacksonville, including a 51-yarder. Donnie Jones placed five of his six punts inside the 20 and he has excellent directional punting skills.
    The Colts are hoping that Griff Whalen can give them credibility as a punt returner, but he averaged just 4.8 yards per return against the Broncos. The Colts know that Adam Vinatieri is going to be oblivious to pressure on late-game FG attempts, while Pat McAfee averaged 49.8 yards per punt in the opener.
RESULTS
The Colts lost their opener, but there is no sense of panic. They should be prepared to play an outstanding game in their home opener against a good-but-not-great Eagles team. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports