Monday, November 21, 2005

Game 10 Thoughts

the season of poor play and bad karma continues for the philadelphia eagles. it's a good thing i'm well into the stages of grieving... just about at acceptance now.

- the radio schmucks have been bleating for years now about how the sky is going to fall if they keep letting guys go once they hit 30. they must be having a field day with this team gloating about how, for once, "they are right." well, i think they are right to a degree, but not for the reasons why they think they are right. i think it's not really a loss of leadership that's the problem here. i think it's a lack of toughness. most of the players on this team have never really faced adversity before. they have only known winning and are fat and soft (so to speak). they've been the neighborhood bully and this is the first time someone smacked them back. the guys we lost over the years were the 98 lb weakling who built himself up through hard work and dedication. they were the ones who experienced 3-13 and 5-11. if your crew isn't tough, then having a great leader is only going to have an incremental effect. this will be a good experience for the young players to go through. let's see if they have the mettle to respond like the last group of core players did.

- two garbage penalties on michael lewis i thought, but that doesn't mean that i didn't think he played a good game otherwise. he's been a step slow all season and has uncharacteristically been missing tackles. not sure what's going on with him, is he hurt?

- d-line got great pressure from the front four in the first half, but disappeared in the second half. that was the difference in the game imo. secondary looks great if you get pressure, and not so much if the QB can stand in the pocket with impunity.

- trent cole had a really nice game, and is developing into a good player. his pass rushing has always been impressive, but one play in particular play stood out for me -- in the second quarter (i think), he stayed home on the fake run up the middle and pitch to barber sweeping left. in the oakland game on a similar play, he ran straight down the line and got caught out of position, leading to a big raiders gain (and didn't really play much again). it's nice to see him making progress. i also had no problems with him trying to pick up the ball rather than jump on it in the first half. the defense needed to score points if the birds were going to win.

- mcmahon looked shaky in the first half, fumbling all over the place and missing receivers by a mile. he calmed down and played a nice second half though.

- mcmullen was totally at fault on the punt block. he did a complete ole job on tyree.

- i didn't know who he was, so i had to look him up, but #50 (justin ena) just killed the wedge on the opening kickoff of the second half. he pancaked the blocker back into the return guy and stopped the return dead.

- lito's broken ankle was ugly. bad job by the announcers i thought. one of them was saying "gee i don't know what could have happened there. it didn't look like there was any contact." the dumbass apparently didn't see lito's ankle roll to the outside. it's not supposed to move that way, brainiac.

- reggie brown is going to be a good player, but i think he needs to improve his "ball skills". he's fast and he has nice hands, but the guys who are truly number 1 wideouts in this league can track a ball thrown up high and go get it. that doesn't mean they have to be able to out-jump someone for it, but much like an outfielder chasing a fly ball, they have to be able to predict where it's going to land and get to that spot. i've heard people say stuff about improving his route running, but frankly i've never been able to judge anyone's routes either live or on tv. i know that route running is as much about making your first few steps look exactly the same as much as it is about getting to specific spot, but i've never really been able to tell whether someone is running good routes or not.

- the jackson five played pretty well overall imo. mcmahon's "escapability" helped (boy was it nice to see a mobile qb again), but the eagles marched up and down the field in the second half, they just kept tripping on their own feet when they got close. jackson himself looked more vulnerable yesterday than against the cowboys. i think where his size and strength were an asset against the 3-4 with someone on his nose, he struggled a little with having someone lined up in the gap -- possibly due to a lack of experience and/or quickness. i'd still rather have someone who can handle a bullrush though.

- you know it's a bad season when akers misses a gimme at the end to keep the game going.

where does the team go from here? i'm hoping to see these things the rest of the season:

- everyone continues to play hard, which will show me that andy hasn't lost the team
- make progress on getting things back in sync and having everyone focus on the game and not the distractions
- not win *too* many games to ruin draft position


Blogger The Big Dog said...

I pretty much agree with everything that you said. Billy McMullen was totally at fault for that blocked punt. McMahon looked good, isn't that what I have been saying all year, though? A good Donovan plays like him yesterday, but throws more on the run.

The O and D lines are killing them....almost 80% of the time, Westbrook is getting gang tackled behind the line of scrimmage by a LB and a D Lineman. They need a new line coach. No pressure makes the secondary look average and Michael Lewis has had a pretty mediocre year at best. McMullen also looks shaky on patterns. I agree that you judge the team on how they battle the rest of the year.

Reid is having a really bad year. Has not handled this TO crap, horrible play calling (how about the 4th and 2, 10 yard curl to end that drive at the end of the game?)Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result (paraphrasing Einstein)....let's hope we learn from the mistakes.

10:08 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am hoping that they finish last in the division this year and will benefit from an "easier" schedule in 2006. This shouldn't be too hard, but you never know with the birds.

12:04 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

- i've always said i'd love to have alex gibbs here, so i agree with you that we should upgrade castillo... but only if we are upgrading. there has to be someone available who has a track record of developing offensive linemen.

- great point about the last place schedule. i meant to include that as a reason i don't want to see the birds win too many games the rest of the season. i don't think you can overestimate the benefit of a last place schedule.

1:36 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When my wife starts dropping the F bomb, you know the game is frustrating.

Well, I won't have to worry about putting money aside to pay for playoff tickets....

- Joe

1:37 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Is Reid still even calling the plays? Several times it looked like Morniewig (or however you spell it) had the play sheet and was talking to McMahon. That and I don't think Reid's capable of calling that many runs. Despite what the announcers said during the game, the Iggles haven't been a big screen team in a couple years, yet they called a ton of them yesterday (mostly to no effect).

2:28 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

And I passed the acceptance stage after the Skins loss.

Is it just me or is LJ the anti-Chad. One catches almost everthing that comes to him and immediately falls down while the other drops most things thrown to him, yet runs forever when it is caught. Someone needs to go Frankenstein on these 2.

2:31 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

- i didn't really notice, but if andy is giving up playcalling, i'm all for it. not because i think he's bad at it (though he hasn't had the best year), but because it will enable him to focus on the strategic aspects of the game like time management.

- i hadn't thought of it that way, but you are right about chad and LJ.

3:08 PM EST  
Blogger Steve72 said...

Is it just me or is LJ the anti-Chad. One catches almost everthing that comes to him and immediately falls down while the other drops most things thrown to him, yet runs forever when it is caught.

No. Jason Dunn was the anti-Chad. After they die, they will be forever locked at each other's throats like the black/white face guys from Star Trek. is reporting that McNabb will (finally) have his surgery.

...Oh, and that Sheppard is done for the season. Not a giant shock.

4:54 PM EST  

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