Sunday, October 08, 2006

Game 5 Thoughts

what an exciting game! non-stop action between two good teams and lots of big plays on both sides. started a little sloppy with both sides probably a little too hyped, but things settled down into an intense and tight battle. even the crowd was at playoff game intensity today.

- what a game by mcfranchise! a couple of throws did get away from him, but he played an unbelievable game today. some of the throws he made today were sick -- bomb to baskett in the first quarter that hank couldn't haul in, bomb to baskett for a TD, bomb to reggie brown on the flea flicker, bomb to LJ to take the momentum back after the demarcus ware touchdown -- all of these throws were perfect. is there any doubt that if you switched the QBs in the game, dallas would have crushed the birds in this game? don is dominating at a level that i've only seen one other eagles player reach -- reggie white in 1987 and 1988.

- what a game by the d-line! seven sacks today against a team that came in only giving up 3 all season. holy moly. darwin walker, trent cole, and darren howard were all dominant while pass rushing today. they were sacking or hitting bledsoe on what seemed like half of the dallas pass plays. the run defense wasn't so great, but i suspect a lot of that had to do with making sure that me-o and terry glenn stayed in check. not a lot to complain about with this d-line, these guys can all flat out play.

- nice to see you back lito! this was the best game lito has played as a pro. even if you took the interceptions away, lito played an excellent game. his coverage was nearly impeccable and he was as physical as i've ever seen him. (did you see the hit he laid into witten? wow. that's 185 lb. corner creaming 250 lb. TE)

- JJ seemed pretty glad to have lito back. it appeared to me that JJ played as much press coverage today as he used to when bobby and troy were the corners.

- shawn barber was another guy who had an unbelieveable game. he was the best linebacker on the field -- making big hits all over the place, throwing guys to the ground, great in coverage, even making tackles on special teams.

- demarcus ware is an impressive player. sack on mcnabb going around tra like he wasn't even there. dragged down buck from behind on a sweep to the left. the fumble return was a nice play as well.

- good job by andy starting the game out with short throws to let don calm down and not let adrenaline affect the way the game started. couple of instances where i questioned him: why didn't andy challenge either 3rd and 1 spot after the bledsoe sneak or the one TO long catch that looked like it might not have been a catch. not sure how these plays looked on tv or on replay, but both of those sure looked like they could have been overturned.

- most frustrating fat [guy] moment for me: it's 3rd and inches, why in blazes do you call a pass for LJ instead of sneaking it with your best player?

- LJ attempted "tackle" on the ware touchdown was the most pathetic and embarrassing effort i've seen since the time pinkston turned away from the ball.

- i bet darwin is going to get it pretty good from his teammates for letting drew bledsoe outrun him to the corner for a first down.



Blogger iwiwag said...

Nice blog :)

10:27 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The TO ball was a catch per TV. Would've been a wasted timeout. The Bledsoe spot was not, but it would've saved about an inch. Not worth the distraction.

I too loved McNabb. Man did he throw a great ball. That Dallas D is really quick and the Fat Guy and Marty did some nice things to take advantage of mismatches and blitzes. Make no mistake Dallas is very good. Possibly a step faster at almost every position except the key position. They will never win a championship with the lawn statue at QB.

Loved the Baskett TD, particularly fighting through the tackle. Loved that reggie Brown actually caught a ball on the flea flicker. That's pretty rare. Also loved the hits being put on by the secondary. They really left it out there. I've been all over them and they played well today.

Pete you probably also couldn't really see the meltdwon that was TO live. He was screaming at teammates, coaches, and everyone near him. This game may have pushed the self-destruct button on Dallas.

A few concerns.

1. LJ Smith is a complete pussy. From that weak "my 1 year old trying to take me down" on Ware to the fact that he has all the God given ability in the world yet can never make a big play in the second half, he is soft. They need to upgrade this position.

2. Bigger than the not calling for a review on 3rd and inches was a few plays later when Sheldon just whiffed on a tackle of Witten that ended up being a 18 yard gain and should've been about 2. Kept a drive alive and Dallas ended up scoring 7. That effort was 15 year old sophomore crap.Witten is a complete stud. He is Gates in the NFC. Not sure why Parcells never uses him. He is a mismatch for any LB or DB. Still have to tackle him though.

3. The receivers drop too many balls. I know Donny zips them too much at times, but this is pro football. They need to catch balls that hit them in the hands or chests. I'm not talking Hank Baskett with the dive and stretch, I mean Reggie Brown all game and Westbrook in the flat and LJ. Drops are just killers every week. McNabb is an MVP and his receivers leave 40 yards and 4 receptions at least a week on the field.

4. They cannot run. I know Dallas is great against the run, but you need to be able to pound the ball with the Jackson 5. They are helpless to do so. They don't have a TE worth a crap in blocking, but no excuse.

5. We're all pumped, but this could have easily gone way way differently. People are going to kill Lewis for the interference at the end, but that wasn't his fault, he had to do something to guarantee no TD was scored. Jim Johnson blew that one by not bringing one guy up the gut on 4th down as he had successfully done all game. So they dump one over the middle for 20, so what? They had no timeouts left and I'll take a 20 over a 60 yard gain. That loss was almost on him for horrible defensive play call on 4th and a million.

I am very very happy. Big monkey off their back, Win over a very good team.


11:04 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually saw this game in Madrid, with a bunch of Dallas fans, so that return was way sweet.
Fantastic effort all around, especially the defense in the second half. JJ really figured out what Dallas was doing and there was pressure EVERY play.
I agree with Bumble on the 4th and million call, that was bad, though I also think that Sheldon blew the coverage.

On McNabb:
The thing I like the most is his new found calm in the pocket. He just seems to know how to step up, where the pressure is coming from and exactly how much time he has. Absolutely great game, that would have been fantastic if :
On WR:
CATCH THE G-DAMN BALL!! Just terrible, the long Baskett catch and the Flea-flicker had to be caught as they were thrown to perfection.

On the Running Game:
You cannot say whether this line can pound the ball, as Andy only calls 5 true running plays a game. Running the ball needs to be established, especially if you want to pound it. As far as I saw, there weren't any negative plays and that the most important thing. Reid needed to run more with the 7 point lead, it just takes time of the clock.

On TO:
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Its not the WR its the QB that makes him great. And yes, he wanted to fight the entire Dallas bench. High Comedy!


6:14 AM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

Bigger than the not calling for a review on 3rd and inches was a few plays later when Sheldon just whiffed on a tackle of Witten that ended up being a 18 yard gain and should've been about 2.

i'm not going to get on sheldon about that whiff. he's usually a very sure tackler and incredibly physical for a corner.

7:32 AM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

We're all pumped, but this could have easily gone way way differently.

imo, it's more likely the "differently" would have been an eagles blowout. with how the d-line, the secondary, and donnie were playing the cowboys were lucky to be as close as they were.

7:34 AM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

I agree with Bumble on the 4th and million call, that was bad, though I also think that Sheldon blew the coverage.

no that's all on michael lewis. the birds were in a cover 2, so lewis had deep responsibility. the guy is a liability in coverage, though not nearly to the degree that roy williams is. that guy is downright horrible.

you have to credit parcells on that play. that was a great coaching move. i think it's easy to say after the fact that JJ should have called x or y, but the reasonable thing to do is protect against the first down. imo that was less a mistake by JJ than it was a crafty call by parcells.

7:39 AM EDT  
Blogger The Big Dog said...

Here's my take-aways from the game....Donovan is playing at such an incredible level....right now he is in that zone where you get when you master a sport...Elway-type. Best QB in the game right now, period. With him playing like this, every game will be a possible victory....the East is tough, but no one is unbeatable...NO will be a tough game, Bucs are down this year...Jacksonville will be tough, but they did lose to the Skins, Atlanta is winnable (you know they will scheme to control Vick), Indy is not that good, we saw what Dallas did to Vince Young and the Titans, and the Carolina game will be tough, but that is on a cold Monday night in Philly. Barring disaster, we are definitely looking at 10-12 wins.

I agree with Bumble and pretty much everyone else on LJ...he makes a huge play then he has a mind freeze or 5. A lot of talent with little the way, I do agree with sneaking McNabb on that play, but I look at it from Reid's perspective...that was a play where Dallas had a high chance of nailing McNabb as it was the most obvious call...McNabb is unbelievably good on those sneaks...LJ was wide open on the slant and pulled a stone hands. Plus that whiff was embarrassing on the Ware TD.

On the potential challenges, I think the only and I mean only one Reid should have challenged was the Bledsoe spot on the 4th down run....he was short at least a yard. TO had both feet down, Bledsoe had a TD.

TO is now sparking a QB controversy in Dallas, mark my words on that. Westbrook's knee is not good. I think that people are on to something. He needs to get this scoped and now is the time....with 3 winnable games and a bye week looking at you. You need him for the 3 away conference games in December...

Heard Rhea Hughes on the way into work today. Again, she, like Howard just regurgitates what others say....I hate it forever, but what is the point on harping on the Eagles run game anymore....if Reid keeps it close to 60/40 who cares? I know they need to run more, but I think Westbrook is really hobbled. The only thing Reid didn't do this off-season was add another durable back to this offense and it may haunt us, but some of their passes are basically long hand offs.

Enjoy this for what it was....a great game, a great win, a game where the Eagles had 2 successful game plans, and had big plays. Rhea (again) harps on the Eagles for not sustaining drives and scoring on home runs (I'm sure she is hearing this from Hugh or Angelo), but my response is....they are scoring freaking TDs on home runs....who cares?

Don't get too excited, but I think it is safe to say last season was a fluke. I just enjoy competitive pro football back in Philly.

8:12 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

I think Westbrook is hurt real bad. There was a 3rd down and 3 or 4 in the second half where they took him out and put Buck in. There's no way you take your 2nd best offensive weapon out unless he's virtually ineffective. Get this fixed ASAP.

Great game otherwise.

9:30 AM EDT  
Anonymous Josh Parry (abercrombie and fitch employee of the month) said...

I am about to blaspheme.

I agree that the drops are a problem, but I don't think the WRs deserve all the blame. They cathch the deep ones, when mcnabb puts a little air under them. I think mcnabb need to pull back some of the zip he's putting on the in routes and slants. He's throwing them with the same velocity that he trows the outs.

I know that a lot of times he needs to do that to force the ball into a tight space, but on some of those drops yesterday, McFranchise could have dialed it down a notch.

9:58 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still have no voice...

And was it me, or did Lito's INT at the end seem to be in slow mo?

Just an amazing game to be at. The crowd was absolutely electric. Even though I was a little worried about a tie at the end, I think that was the most enjoyable game I've been to in years.

- Joe

10:02 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cover of the Daily News simply reads:


- Joe

10:06 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Ha-ha, happy days - it worked:

"The crowd was loud," he said. "I remember when I was here, they loved me. It was the opposite... . For whatever reason, I felt it should be worse." - TO

10:23 AM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

from david aldridge's article today:

They grow on you, Baskett and Brown. And they're growing on McNabb. He had enough confidence in Baskett to tell him a couple of series before that if the Cowboys blitzed a cornerback not to break off his route to a hitch pattern - which is the standard read on such a play.

So, when Dallas sent cornerback Anthony Henry on a weakside blitz, Baskett knew to continue on his go pattern down the sideline.

McNabb "said, 'Watch the corner blitz,'" Baskett said. "The man must be psychic or something."

No, just good. Real good.

10:54 AM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

Giving Parcells credit for calling a 60 yard bomb with no pressure on the lawn statue vs chastising Jim Johnson for not blitzing one extra guy up the middle and at least reducing that time needed to throw said bomb?

i think playing cover two against a 4th and 18 is a perfectly reasonable call. i don't fault him for not blitzing because if anything i think JJ blitzes too much on 3rd or 4th and long. witness the last play against the giants when he blitzed instead of laying back and forcing them to kick.

Not vilifying Sheldon for missing a very key tackle at a very key point in the game?

i try not to count one or two bad plays greater than a portfolio of past successes. that's why don't occasional worm burner doesn't bother me as much as some other folks.

it's one thing to be josh parry or hank fraley -- guys who have consistently shown that they cannot play. it's another to make a bad play now an again.

i think it would be highly unfair to lay into sheldon for that missed tackle. i'm sure he's beating himself up enough.

11:57 AM EDT  

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