Monday, November 07, 2005

Game 8 Thoughts

tough loss for the philadelphia eagles today. there was some progress made in the last week and i saw enough good things to think that this team can still be as good as anyone in the flawed nfc, but in order for that to happen they have to correct some critical issues.

- what the hell was that last play? first of all, westbrook, your newly signed "ultimate weapon" is on the sideline. secondly, the skins called timeout to get a look at the formation and the birds came out in the same damn formation. the skins obviously knew what was coming and there was no chance that play could have succeeded without don scrambling for 10 seconds trying to keep the play alive. teams have caught onto what the birds do on offense and defense. that is a scary, scary thought. they have no game planning advantage over teams right now.

- case in point: teams are easily recognizing our screen passes and are stopping them before the blockers even get into position. before the screen on the last drive, the eagles hadn't run a successful screen all game.

- great game by the o-line today. run blocking still could be better, but they were terrific in pass blocking. can't really see too much of the line play, watching the game on TV.

- don got good protection today and looked more mobile than he has all season. i thought he played pretty well except for one bonehead play. i don't blame him for the last play of the game. he was not set up for success there and he couldn't afford to take a sack as it was 4th down. he threw just before getting hit and there was no one open. the 4 receivers flooding the right had like 6 defenders surrounding them. he made a nice throwaway on the birds' second possession of the game when they went max protect and no one got open (a good sign as it shows that he's learning some things)... but... what was that at the end of the half? when a team is struggling like the eagles are, you have to get back to basics. why try to get fancy there? i understand you need to be aggressive, but when the team is struggling, just take the points. that was a stupid play, don.

- too many dropped passes and it seemed like all of them killed drives. westbrook, brown, greg lewis, lamar gordon all dropped catchable passes.

- looked like lito was still having a tough time with his knee. his burst wasn't there and he two missed tackles on the skins second drive alone. his pass interference on patten was ugly.

- mike patterson looks like he's slowing down. he's either dinged up or hitting a wall.

- reggie! reggie! reggie! he could be the best wideout drafted by the birds since fred barnett.

- tackling continues to be a problem. this team used to be such a good tackling team. tonight i counted at least 5 missed tackles - 2 each by lito and michael lewis and 1 by sheldon.

- big red showed a nice commitment to the run game. they still sucked at it, but he did stick with it throughout. they even had a run on third and short! however, i thought the different running styles of the two teams did ended up affecting the outcome of the game. since washington uses more of the power running scheme with lots of plays where linemen pull and build up a head of steam, the eagles defense looked much more worn down by the end of the game (even though the eagles had the edge on time of possession).

- they needed to do more with the big field position edge in the first half.

- darwin walker opened up at end to start the second half and did a nice job of stopping the first washington play of the second half.

- it's bad enough that joe theismann is one of the dumbest analysts around and doesn't provide much insight into the game, but he actively roots for the skins. i guess you can't begrudge that since he played for them. here is an example taken from this game. "look, ladell betts ran right down the middle of the field!" it was a circle route by betts and he could have talked about how brunell hit betts perfectly as he was crossing between two zones, or he could have talked about how the eagles lack of pass pressure allowed brunell to calmly pick them apart. nope. "look! ladell betts ran right down the middle of the field!" good job joe. plus, you can't really respect someone who changed the pronunciation of his name in college from thees-man to thize-man to try to boost his heisman candidacy.

- while the espn monkeys were busy kissing lavar arrington's ass, "did you see arrington get under parry? what a great play!" i was watching josh parry whiff on yet another block. why is he on the team? he sucks. he cannot block, he cannot play!

- trent cole looked much better tonight and looked very much like the player who reminded me of derrick burgess.

- can someone jump on a fumble, please? three fumbles recovered by the skins? any one of them could have made a big difference in this game.

- spach sucks too. he bobbled both balls he caught and he doesn't seem to block too well either.

- clock management is still a problem (please give up play calling andy!). if andy had been looking at the game as a whole instead of having his head in the play chart, he would have realized the birds should have called at least one run once they got into the red zone. even if they had scored, there was way too much time left on the clock.

- bottom line, it's one loss. the team is 4-4 and still has a good shot at the playoffs.


Blogger The Big Dog said...

Pete, Pete, Pete....another tough loss. Unfortunately I don't share your enthusiasm. The only thing today is that I am not that upset. Unfortunately it is because I am in acceptance stage of this shit.

This team has nothing special to offer anymore! It is really no better than the end of the Ray Rhodes and Richie the K eras. Not much left in the tank and just a mediocre team. Maybe, just maybe, they can pull out some more wins this year. They are undefeated at home, so I see this team 9-7, 10-6 at best! And that is because they do play Arizona and St. Louis on the road.

This team needs some fixing, I'll tell ya. If I was GM for a day, here's what I would do:
1. Talk to Don. Right now Don is a mediocre QB. Eli Manning, Brunell, and Drew Bledsoe, are all better drop back QBs than him. What makes Don special is his creative ability outside of the pocket and the threat of running the ball. Ask any D-Coordinator... that is what they don't like about him. I would do exactly what everyone else is doing. Keep him in the pocket and let him (I am going to laugh) pick them apart. Convince him to come in next year as a sleeker model (about 225 lbs, not 250) and tell him that being a scrambling QB is not a bad thing (Reid screw-up #1)....if this can't happen, it may be time to start looking for a QB in the draft!!! Sorry.
2. Bring in a new Offensive Line Coach. You figure that Tra and Runyan are gone. While Juan Castillo is a hard worker, he isn't very good. Make it a priority to bring in a top notch line coach, maybe even a zone blocking specialist. Westbrook is better at being a Portis back, not a slammer.
3. Make it the #1 priority this off-season to beef up the Defensive Line. Make the Freak that Joker that he was against Minnesota last year. He is better at lining up all over and confusing the defense. You need to get bigger and better here. The only guys that I retain may be the Freak, Dave Barr and Mike Patterson. Kalu is better when his legs are fresh on 3rd down, he's not a starter.
4. The first pick in the draft needs to be a complementary back to Westbrook, unless there is a stud DE.
5. Try to get a Dan Campbell, Rick "Doc" Walker blocking TE in the FA market. Not having Chad Lewis is killing them. LJ is just a receiver and Spach has to go. Just because he has dreads.
6. I think that they need a William Henderson-like FB that can make holes open and catch some balls out of the backfield. Parry is as useless as tits on a bull.
7. Draft fast, athletic LBs in the draft. Boy are they weak at this position.
8. You will get Pinky back and Reggie Brown will be good. McMullen may be a wash on this team. There are no FAs this off-season worth a shit. There are some second tier receivers like Reche Caldwell that will be FAs, but I would rather spend my money on the Defensive Line. I don't know why they can't develop better receivers, I think that this may be Don not throwing to open guys, however. I would have to see the tape.

Sadly enough, I think the Philly team that has the best chance for a title is the Flyers and second best chance is...don't laugh...the Phillies. The Eagles are in valley right now, let's hope that they can do the right things to get to the apex again.

9:00 AM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

having the team take a step back isn't the end of the world. it isn't time to panic.

there are issues with the team, but none that can't be addressed. i'm sure andy will right the ship. just give him time. even if he has to blow the whole thing up and start all over, i'm sure he'll come up with a good plan.

9:48 AM EST  
Blogger Steve72 said...

No comment on Josh Parry's exceptional play?

10:14 AM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

it was hidden in the blurb about the awful announcing crew gushing about arrington all night.

"- while the espn monkeys were busy kissing lavar arrington's ass, "did you see arrington get under parry? what a great play!" i was watching josh parry whiff on yet another block. why is he on the team? he sucks. he cannot block, he cannot play!"

10:23 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ESPN announcers don't even earn th right to be called monkeys. They didn't know the rules, for god's sake! They didn't know it was a penalty to hit a guy after 5 yards, they were talking about whether TO would wind up somewhere else THIS year, obviously oblivious to the expired trade deadline. I wanted to drive down there and smack these idiots. And I have NEVER seen national announcers out and out CHEER for a team before. Fucking awful.

I hate to say this, but I don't think the Eagles are making the playoffs this year. Something that wasn't mentioned was the fact that if you're 3rd and long against us, just throw up the middle, because we'll have no one there, and you'll get creamed, but you'll get 20 yards.

- Joe

12:16 PM EST  

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