Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Game 9 Thoughts

rooting for the philadelphia eagles has probably taken 10 years off my life expectancy... of that, i have no doubt. if there ever was a "gut punch" game (to borrow bill simmons' phrase), last night was it. the only one worse than this one was the tampa game... which of course never happened. lots of blame to go around on this, but none of it would have mattered if don doesn't make that throw. sigh. it's time to shut him down for the season, let him have his surgery and hope he comes back next season mentally ready.

pulling the defeat from the jaws of victory ruined a generally positive night for much of the team

- jamaal jackson = road grader. where have you been? why was honeybuns starting in front of you? i love this guy already... i think he ate la'roi glover last night. held up well in pass protection, but wow what a run blocker. had a couple of botched snaps, but that was expected. this guy is going to be a player.

- offensive line played well except for the penalties, and there were waaay too many penalties. the jackson five dominated the line of scrimmage as the eagles played power football. we didn't see much of the delays, traps, and gimmick runs that andy likes to call. this was line up and blow 'em off the line. "mash, mash, mash, score." in pass protection they were great. hardly anyone got free runs at mcnabb.

- defensive line played pretty well. the tackles dominated the middle of the line and that shut down dallas' running game completely. trent cole had a nice game.

- lito sheppard is too aggressive. i'm not sure what they're going to do about that. if you tell him to stop being so aggressive it might make him too passive. on the terry glenn touchdown, lito either bit on an inside move or he guessed inside. i didn't see what caused it, but lito was waaay out of position on that play.

- it's not only his fault though. the coverage is awful everywhere on this team right now except for sheldon brown.

- too many drops. this game would have been put away in the third quarter if the receivers would have just caught the damn ball. reggie brown, reno mahe, too many drops.

- JJ went into prevent mode and let the cowboys score in 4 plays.

- i spent most of the game saying "it's nice to have our team back". the birds dominated this game and they had no business losing it.

- regarding donovan, the media (especially cataldi and missanelli) will probably be bleating all day about how he's overrated and how the birds should get rid of him. you know what, he's only overrated because of the media. they're the ones that "rate" him in the first place. he's flawed, but he's still the best QB we've had in a while. until they can get someone better than him, i'd rather have him on the team. i don't see mike mcmahon or koy as long term solutions.

- i do have significant concerns about donovan
- i know first hand how it sucks to work with someone who isn't a team player, points fingers and is a general ass. it sucks, no doubt about it, but don looked great for most of the night, and i'm starting to wonder if some of his injury isn't mental. he is so sensitive, that i wonder if he isn't physically affected by negative emotions.

- he keeps making the same mental mistakes over and over and i find it incredibly frustrating.

- when he was taking those beatings from TO, none of his teammates were defending him. this is a great concern. someone on the radio this weekend noted an interesting parallel between don and eric lindros. both of them had off-field issues that got a lot of air time, and neither of them had teammates rushing out to defend them. supposedly, eric wasn't very loved in "the room" and it seems like don isn't either. i've heard rumors that the other players think he is too coddled by the organization. that doesn't seem a like a good omen. he's going to have to do some serious work to win this team back and throwing late game picks isn't helping him.

- taking responsibility... i believe in taking personal responsibility. i believe that much/most of what is wrong with the world today is because people don't want to take responsiblity for themselves. i don't see don taking responsiblity for poor play or bad decisions. he always says the team needs to make plays or play better. being a good teammates means not pointing fingers at others, but being a good teammate also means accepting responsibility for your own performance. i didn't hear the post game press conference because i was stuck in a subway car at the station for a long time, but i did hear a radio announcer say that don said "the team didn't make plays." that is not a good enough answer from him. i hope for his sake that the message he is giving to his teammates is more apologetic and honest.
- "duke" staley's quote should have been "that's eagles football, baby! mash, mash, mash, your fans"

- interesting stat that i heard on the radio yesterday: of the 53 players on the roster only 28 were on the superbowl roster. based on past history, most of those moves will likely pan out, but with that kind of turnover you have to expect to take a short term hit just from a chemistry standpoint.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll repeat. I don't think the Eagles make the playoffs this year. But I do think that next year with a little work they'll be right back at the Superbowl.

If I'm wrong, I'll gladly buy our 6 seats a beer for the first playoff game.

Losing like that last night is just piss poor. Donny is done, he's got to be.

Also, the Flyers lost last night in a very poor show on D.

- Joe

11:09 AM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Yes it was a gut punch game, but still well behind another infamous MNF meeting between these 2 teams. If you don't know which game I refer, then congratulate you on your ability to block it from your memory.

2:24 PM EST  
Blogger Steve72 said...

Phil is correct. I rank this as the third-worst loss.

The game Phil mentions is second.

5:15 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

you can definitely make an argument for the tommy hutton game as the second worst, but IMO it's worse to lose as goliath than as david. the expectations for the eagles coming into this season were sky-high, not so in the tommy hutton season. the tommy hutton loss was painful because the eagles were just starting to turn it around and beating the cowboys would have been a huge step in the right direction, this loss is more painful to me because this could be an indicator that the "window of opportunity" for this eagles vintage is closing.

7:01 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete hit on a subject which I've only lighty touched upon. I think the Andy Reid era may be close to an end. Maybe not literally, as he will probably be the coach for years to come. But think of it this way. Patton was a great general in his day. But you wouldn't have used him for the the Gulf War because his tactics were by then too well known (and he's dead but we'll ignore that). Unless Andy does something drastic (like give up the play calling) I think he's going to continue to be out coached.

Go Flyers.

- Joe

9:29 AM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

that's a great point, joe. this team is entirely too predictable right now. take, for instance the 3rd and goal play in the third quarter (i think) that could have iced the game. apparently, dat ngugen knew it was going to be a shovel pass and started screaming "look out for the shovel pass! look out for the shovel pass!"

teams have adjusted to andy and JJ, so they're going to have to switch things up a little. i fully expect they will. they're too good at their jobs not to. i don't think either of them are "one trick ponies"

10:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

If this was the first loss of the year, then yeah I could say it was out of the blue but it was the 5th in only 9 games. Frankly, them losing to Atlanta was probably even worse than this one. Just because there wasn't a dramatic interception at the end shouldn't make this one that much worse.

JJ can switch things up, but I'm not so sure about Reid. If there was ever a time to rely on the run, it would have been this year but he was incapable of it.

6:25 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

that's a great point about the previous losses and i can see how some people wouldn't think it was as bad as the hutton game. i guess that means that my confidence that this team would turn things around this year was a) way higher than everyone else's and b) pretty misguided.

for as much heat as people give reid (including me) the guy has been pretty damn good. the pass/run ratio's this season have been way out of whack, that's for sure, but i'd like to think that it isn't by design. it's probably as much influenced by them getting down big as much as anything else. people whose opinion i value (jaws, baldinger) think andy is one of the best playcallers in the league.

right now, don and andy are taking a lot of heat, but the bottom line is this team went to 4 consecutive NFC championship games, winning one. they must have been doing something right.

9:54 AM EST  

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