Thursday, October 19, 2006

Game 6 Thoughts

sorry for the lack of activity from me, i've been out of town and furiously busy since sunday night.

i don't think there is any reason to panic as a result of the loss to the saints, but there are several areas of concern.

- my biggest concern is one that has been growing for several years (dating back to the superbowl season): the league has caught up to JJ. we've discussed this several times, but JJ has specific tendencies and when the game is on the line he reverts to them. when an announcer can predict a blitz "JJ likes to blitz on the play after the opponent crosses the 50", you know you have to go back to the drawing board.

- michael lewis is obviously a concern. i know people like him and have been defending him, but the proof is in the pudding. in every game this season, lewis has given up some manner of big play. he is a good run defender, but not good enough to overcompensate for his coverage deficiencies like say a roy williams. roy sucks in coverage, but he can be devastating as a tackler. the same cannot be said for lewis. michael sucks in coverage and is good in run support.

- still cannot run the friggin ball. i'm a believer that points come in the passing game, but you need to shorten the game when you have a lead. the eagles are just not able to do that via the run. in past years, they were able to compensate by using the ball control passing game but that area seems to be lacking as well due to some combination of lack of timing/chemistry between don and the receivers and the damn *drops*.

- can someone on this team recover a fumble? can we try to do that please? i've never seen a team with such a low fumble recovery rate. i don't know if anyone tracks such things (i'm sure someone does, i'll look around a try to find something when i have more time), but the eagles must be hovering somewhere around 20% recovery rate for fumbles by both teams.

- has any team missed a field goal against the birds so far this season?

there is a glass half full aspect to this though. the eagles lost by three to a 5-1 team after a game where the didn't show up in the first half, no one could hold onto a pass, they made horrific momentum changing mistakes, and they had catastrophic defensive breakdowns. even with all that, they took the lead late in the game. assuming that JJ can fix whatever is wrong with the defense, i can still see them being a contender to do some damage in the playoffs.

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15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to NFl.com, the Eagles O has fumbled 10 times and lost 7. The D has forced 14 fumbles and recovered only 5. So in 24 total fumbles (and I don't think special teams is included in either), The Eagles have recovered 8, 33%. Pretty poor.

The Eagles have a +4 turnover margin thanks to a 8/2 advantage in picks. But if they were recovering half of the fumbles, they'd be +8. Almost an extra turnover a game.

I have to disagree with you on the running game. Westbrook has an ok 45% success rate, Buck a 54% rate. Put together, they're at about 48% (West has twice as many carries). That's reasonable. I think the problem is more that Andy only runs in predictable situations, not the RBs or the line. In the Eagles' only 4th quarter drive Sunday, Westbrook ran four times for 23 yards, a first, and was successful on three of the four plays. A dumb sack (after a WB 5 yard run on 1st), another stupid timeout, and another horrible punt were the killers on that drive. The Eagles ran the ball effectively overall, also, 19 times for 99 yards, or 5.2 a carry.

-Behan

1:02 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Opponents have hit 9 of 10 FGs with the 1 miss from 54 yards. We've effectively lost each game by 3 points so if opponents were an average 7 of 10 and both those misses came in the right games . . .

2:40 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

I have to disagree with you on the running game. Westbrook has an ok 45% success rate, Buck a 54% rate. Put together, they're at about 48% (West has twice as many carries). That's reasonable.

westbrook's 45% success rate puts him at 23rd among running backs.

3:14 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One big elephant in the room that no one mentions because we don't want to believe it is the head man. He is just not good enough. Drafts well, caps well, relates to players well, but he does not win them tight football games. I think it all comes back to how stubborn he is. He cannot veer from his grand plan, even when the other team is using said plan as Charmin. He simply loves control, he refuses to give rope to his O coordinator or his QB, yet he takes 20 seconds to get the damned plays in! For 8 years we've seen this-he's as bad at it now as he was in his first game. He doesn't learn from his mistakes and make corrections, his fatal flaw. I like the guy, but he seems to be a "get you from the ashes to respectability" guy vs. a "get you over the top" guy. I hope I;m wrong, but deep down, in places we don't like to talk about at parties, we may not want him on that wall. We may not need him on that wall.

Bumble

11:15 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Westbrook's 5.1 yards per carry puts him at third among starting backs, and his 4 TDs are tied for fourth. The eagles have the #1 running attack according to DVOA. The running game was not the problem against the Saints, the predictable play calling on both sides of the ball was.

I disagree with Bumble about Reid, also. I don't think there's any lack of criticism for the guy, this town is easily the most or second most critical place to coach pro football. The WIP has had callers slamming Andy all week. It's not like everyone in town is trying to be polite to this guy, when has that ever happened?

The guy has won big games, and lost them. He won a tight game against the Cowboys the week before, so I don't see how he "does not win them tight football games". He doesn't win them all, sure, but he wins some and loses others.

I will give you that he's slow to adjust, sometimes painfully slow. But this is a team with a great offense and a fixable D in a crappy NFL. They have a shot, maybe as good as anyone. Who would you want coaching this team?

Sorry for the rant, but I hear that all the time about Reid (including at parties), and it is both unproveable and bizarre. He's been the best coach in the NFL not named Belliceck for the past six years.

-Behan

10:16 AM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

One big elephant in the room that no one mentions because we don't want to believe it is the head man.

i'm with behan, if anything this gets mentioned too much.

He is just not good enough. Drafts well, caps well, relates to players well, but he does not win them tight football games.

all the eagles used to win were tight games when they were first getting good under reid. the criticism back then was that they never blow anyone out.

I think it all comes back to how stubborn he is. He cannot veer from his grand plan, even when the other team is using said plan as Charmin.

why would he want to veer from his plan? frankly, it's working pretty well for him. you can't win every game. we certainly can expect him to fine tune because of a loss here, but to expect a strategic change? why would he do that?

He doesn't learn from his mistakes and make corrections, his fatal flaw. I like the guy, but he seems to be a "get you from the ashes to respectability" guy vs. a "get you over the top" guy.

3 nfc champ games in a row is much more than respectability. losing a superbowl by 3 points to a dynasty patriots team when your o-line couldn't block and your QB threw 3 picks and your defense couldn't stop anything in the second half doesn't make him seem too far from "get you over the top" to me.

I;m wrong, but deep down, in places we don't like to talk about at parties, we may not want him on that wall. We may not need him on that wall.

who do you want on that wall? because deep down, the only guy who is coaching right now that i'd take over reid is belichick. seriously.

big red's not perfect, but most of the stuff you get hung up on, bumble, is stuff that exists in every coach out there. *every* coach burns timeouts consistently. *every* coach has their way of doing things (and most of them don't have the track record to support that they know what they're talking about).

personally, i'm sick of talking about big red. after every eagles loss, like clockwork, someone is bitching about him.

11:49 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only problem I have with Reid, is that he doesn't seem to have enough (though he does have some) confidence in Donovan's ability to call his own plays. Andy takes too long getting the play out to Don, when he should really let Don make more calls himself. He could then adjust better, make audible's and throw off the D better.

- Joe

12:41 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Charlie Manuel makes bad game day decisions, he's dumb. When Charlie Manuel stammers at news conferences and repeats the same lame catch phrase answers over and over, he's incompetent.

Andy does a lot of things well. I like him and want to keep him. He also needs to become a better time manager. He also needs to become more entertaining.

Bill

1:30 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

I think we're all dancing around the real problem with Reid - his weight. Dude makes Andrew's look like Pinkston. How are the players supposed to aspire to be the best ATHLETEs in the NFL if their looking up (around?) a head coach who considers Hummers to be compact cars? Once he gets his weight under 3 bills, he'll be able to get the plays in much quicker (amazing how much time you save without gasping for breath every 3 words). He'll stop over-compensating for his inability to walk, by running the ball more. His self-esteem will be increased to such an extent that he'll give Morningwig and JJ more latitude to do what they think best. And lastly, he'll be able to dance a gig. What could be more entertaining than that?

2:02 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is amazing how you cannot dare question Andy Reid in this town or you have no clue what you're talking about. I don't understand why we give him so much rope and no one else gets a thread of patience.

The reasons I have and will continue to get on him are this.

1. He is a terrible time manager who burns time outs unecessarily every game. Saying all coaches do this is wrong. Some will burn one, but Andy burns several a game because he cannot get the play in. That is shameful after 8 years.

2. On every level of football, you have to be able to run and you have to stop the run. Running stretches a game and keeps your defense fresh. Everyone is bitching about Johnson this week, but Andy puts them on the field all game with too many 3 and out where you only sucked 2 minutes off the clock. The good coaches-Belichek, Cowher, Parcells, Fox-can all run the ball. It is football's most basic philosophy. Run and shoots don't work yet he continues to pass over 60% of the time. Why can't he see when they run well, they win. he has guys who can run block, use them!

3. He puts together good game plans most weeks, but when his game plan is nto working, he cannot shift gears. As I watched them throw long toss all first half last week and saw that those opportunities weren't there, I said to myself, "OK, time for plan B". Well 17-3 and no plan B. Then they claw back into it, only to go back to long toss once the saints tie it at 24 and they are running for 5 and 6 yards a clip. Makes no sense, but his scouting report said long toss, so he went long toss. Good coaches adjust when things go away from the game plan.

4. To even say that only Belichek is better is naive and closed-minded. I am not saying fire Andy at all costs, but he is not the second best coach in the game. I'd personally take Lovie Smith, John Fox, and Eric Mangini over him just to name a few, but I am biased toward their philosophy of solid defense and good running game as I believe that is what wins. In any weather or any stadium, those two things will win games. Maybe I just despise the west Coast offense, but Reid is and will always be a West Coast offense guy. It isn't fooling anyone anymore. Either he needs to tweak or a change needs to be made. I'd love to see him tweak and move with the times, but 8 years of stubbornness tells me he won't.

And we'll see at the end of this year when they're 8-8 or worse despite 11-5 talent how everyone feels about the great and powerful reid. they have core flaws that are not being addressed.

Bumble

2:02 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

First off, you have it reversed. Teams that are winning run more not that running more causes wins.

Also, seems pretty silly to run more when at most you get 4.5 yards per attempt vs. 7+ per pass (5's running over 9 yards per attempt in the early going). I'll take 7 yards over 5 all day long.

Most of those long passes early in the NO game were to players who were open. I think that was a case of good game plan, bad execution.

My critisisms are the O needs to get better on 3rd down. Lewis needs to stay out of Cover 2 assignments. Reid needs to lose some weight.

2:11 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

It is amazing how you cannot dare question Andy Reid in this town or you have no clue what you're talking about.

i'm not saying you can't question him. i'm just personally sick of talking about it. as an overall package, he's very good. not perfect, but very good.

He is a terrible time manager who burns time outs unecessarily every game. Saying all coaches do this is wrong. Some will burn one, but Andy burns several a game because he cannot get the play in. That is shameful after 8 years.

so, you're proposing to fire him based on this flaw? the eagles burned 4 of their 6 timeouts in the saints game. the average timeouts burned by visiting teams in new orleans this season - 4.

On every level of football, you have to be able to run and you have to stop the run... The good coaches-Belichek, Cowher, Parcells, Fox-can all run the ball. It is football's most basic philosophy.

so the superbowls won by walsh, holmgren, seifert, and gruden with primarily passing teams don't count? also, recognize that belichick won his first SB with a team that couldn't and didn't run and joe gibbs comes from the air coryell coaching tree not the woody hayes coaching tree.

fox hasn't won sh*t. andy is by far the more accomplished coach.

bill parcells, the hero of conservative football fans, historically passes the ball more than he runs the ball during the first half of games.

that said, i'm the first to jump in and scream about wanting andy to run the ball more, but you can't argue with his record or the fact that the academic research backs andy's approach.

He puts together good game plans most weeks, but when his game plan is nto working, he cannot shift gears. As I watched them throw long toss all first half last week and saw that those opportunities weren't there

i saw guys running free and dropping balls. i saw don throw the ball up to baskett in single coverage 3 times and baskett didn't catch a single one. can't blame andy for that. if the eagles had made any plays in the first half and not had moats blocked into wynn, the birds would have gone into halftime with a lead instead of a huge deficit (which they overcame anyway) due to combination of andy "switching gears" and the team making plays.

I'd personally take Lovie Smith, John Fox, and Eric Mangini over him just to name a few

last year you were willing to trade donnie for eli. the grass is always greener. those guys are nothing special. what in tarnation has lovie smith *ever* done? seriously? except for the intervention of God, the bears lost to the cardinals. eric mangini? i'm speechless.

And we'll see at the end of this year when they're 8-8 or worse despite 11-5 talent how everyone feels about the great and powerful reid. they have core flaws that are not being addressed.

i guess we'll see. i'll take over 8 wins if you're proposing a bet.

2:33 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, seems pretty silly to run more when at most you get 4.5 yards per attempt vs. 7+ per pass (5's running over 9 yards per attempt in the early going). I'll take 7 yards over 5 all day long.

This is pure insanity. The numbers you cite come from nowehere. The logic flies in the face of almost every football mind that has ever donned a whistle. This statement is unanswerable. I am seldom rendered speechless. Conrgatulations Phil.

How can you say Fox has accomplished shit but Reid has accomplished way more? Same number of Super Bowls played and won last time I checked. What the eff has Reid won? He feasted on an NFC for years that had Dave Campo and Steve Spurrier coaching. He does some things well and some things very poorly. This is the most talented QB and overall offense we'll ever see in Philly yet they'll never win the big one. I don't know, that isn't something I simply sit back and accept.

Note today vs. Tampa is not Reid's fault. Also not how running has opened the game up. It isn't Reid's fault they drop so many frigging balls. It isn't Reid's fault that Mcfranchise keeps throwing picks. It is somewhat his fault they don't take the 3 at the end of the first half as an 8 year QB isn't smart enough to throw the ball in the end zone. It will certainly be partly his fault when they lose this game by 3.

I just don't understand why everyone is so willing to assume Reid is as good as we can do. We've seen his best, it doesn't cut it. Isn't it leat worthwhile to assume they could get someone who can take this upper tier talent to the promised land?

Bumble

2:40 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil said...
I think we're all dancing around the real problem with Reid - his weight.


I'm pretty sure Phil meant "the real problem with Leslie Gudel," but who knows...

8:32 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

How can you say Fox has accomplished shit but Reid has accomplished way more? Same number of Super Bowls played and won last time I checked. What the eff has Reid won? He feasted on an NFC for years that had Dave Campo and Steve Spurrier coaching.

andy reid is 74-45 (.622) and john fox is 40-30 (.571). neither have won a superbowl, but andy has 4 straight seasons where he got to at least the nfc championship game and most of those facing severe adversity -- mcnabb broken ankle in 2002, 14 or 15 players in IR in 2003, me-o broken ankle in 2004. fox can't even have a winning season if steve smith isn't healthy (2004).

you can't make things digital and say "same number of superbowls", but that's an oversimplification.

fox may play "old-school" football (the kind i personally enjoy watching as i've written many times), but there are many ways to skin a cat and, based on his track record up to this point, i believe that andy will get there someday.

9:22 PM EDT  

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