Sunday, October 02, 2005

Game 4 Thoughts

i love going to see the games live, but it's also nice to be able to sit at home and watch multiple games too. thoughts on the early games:

- eli manning surprised me. i honestly didn't think that he was going to amount to much more than a journeyman because of his demeanor, sensitivity, and general sourness. i'd still like to see him do it against a good defense and do it after he's had some dawkins in the mush, but kudos to eli for a good outing today. looking forward to seeing what JJ comes up with for him. eli certainly won't have time to sit in the pocket with impunity like he did today.

- the eagles and the patriots like to think that parts are interchangeable, but as the eagles defense suffers without trotter, today the patriots defense suffered without their losses. the two plays that highlighted this in particular were LT's two touchdown runs. on the first TD, tomlinson ran up the middle, juked the first wave of tacklers and ran smack into chad brown. he powered brown through the last 3 yards into the endzone. ted johnson likely stops him cold here. on his second TD sweeping left, he encounters monty beisel and shrugs him off like a gnat. bruschi might have stopped him on that play.

thoughts on the birds:

- that was as bad a first half that i've seen the eagles play in the reid era... and yet they were only down 11 at the half. historically, that kind of start, especially against AFC teams on the road, dooms the birds to an entire day of so-so play. it was nice to see them turn it around and get a big win on the road.

- can we have tony gonzalez block on kearse on every passing play? kidding aside, i thought kearse played pretty well and had several momentum changing plays -- larry johnson fumble, tony gonzo ole sack, two passes knocked down.

- mike patterson played great i thought, though i must admit i am biased because he's my new favorite fat guy.

- nd kalu made a great play on patterson's sack. the tv announcers were focusing on trotter's coverage on gonzalez, but to me the guy who made the play was kalu who dropped into coverage when his pass rush was stymied.

- tough day for rod hood. he hung in there though and came up with a nice deflection on sheldon's second pick.

- can't say enough about andy reid's ability to stay level headed and not panic. even after france's blocked kick and subsequent kickoff return for a TD, andy stood on the sidelines with a wry grin. compare that with dick vermeil on the other sideline who went completely apeshit on trent green after throwing the first sheldon pick and score. i think that mindset was a big part of the difference in this game.

- as my friend ben emailed to me the other week, can we have troy aikman announce every eagles game? i think he not only is the best in the biz now, but he's the best and most insightful football analyst i've ever heard. good job by him explaining that TO was getting so wide open because KC had keyed their defense around stopping westbrook.

- the o-line played great in pass protection today. mcnabb had lots of time and had a nice pocket... but artis hicks still cannot play.

- about mcnabb. he didn't have his 'a' game today, but it was more than good enough. how sick is it that you can talk about your qb not having his 'a' game when his line was 33/48 for 369 yards 3 TDs and 1 INT? even his INT was on a play where it seemed like TO was gassed and should have been able to break up. we're looking at an nfl MVP in the making.

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