Sunday, September 9, 2012
How you feeling? Eagles-Browns
By Dan Graziano
As the Philadelphia Eagles prepare to begin their 2012 regular season today at 1 p.m. ET against the Browns in Cleveland, here's one reason for Eagles fans to feel good and one reason for concern:
Feeling good: There's a ton about this matchup that appears to favor the Eagles, including the fact of rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden against the fearsome Philadelphia pass rush. But the key mismatch appears to be Eagles running back LeSean McCoy against a Browns defense that allowed 147.4 rushing yards per game last year -- the third-highest total in the league. McCoy should be able to find enough running room against the Browns to allow the Eagles to control the game on offense and take some of the pressure off of quarterback Michael Vick to put himself at risk by scrambling to make every possible play.
Cause for concern: The Browns cover receivers well, so if the Eagles do have to take to the air (or if they choose to), they'll need to trust Vick to avoid bad decisions and turnovers that could help keep the Browns in the game. And rookie running back Trent Richardson looks set to start the game in spite of the injury issues that limited him in the preseason. Richardson is a big-time talent at running back, and the Eagles did struggle to defend the run for much of last season. They'll need to make sure he's contained.