Thursday, October 05, 2006

Preliminary Game 5 Thoughts

- my read on the situation is that big red has been preparing for this game almost since the season began. i believe part of the reason that the birds started out with a ball control gameplan against the packers was to try to win the game with as vanilla an attack as possible to a) give the cowboys one less game to study and b) to hold some wrinkles in reserve to use during this game. ultimately, andy ended up having to go into his bag of tricks to put the game away, but i'm pretty sure he'll have some creative things to roll out.

- all signs point to westbrook needing to get his knee scoped to get it right. if they are planning to make any sort of playoff run, westbrook needs to be healthy. does it seem like andy and brian have been trying to ration him enough to just get him through this game? i wonder if they'll shut him down and let him get the surgery post-cowboys game so that he'll be fit and ready to go for the playoffs?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cannot agree on the Westbrook front. They cannot consider the playoffs without him. He makes the offense click. To think of life long term without him is useless because there is no long term without his short term contribution. The fact that red failed to get adequate RB depth burns me and will haunt them over and over.


12:15 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

westbrook can be a difference maker, but he's not indispensible. having a stud running back is a "nice to have" rather than a "need to have", much like a true number 1 receiver is not on the critical path.

imo, the only player who this team cannot afford to lose for any significant time is mcnabb. the second most important factor on offense is the o-line.

everything else is gravy. this team can make the playoffs without westbrook, especially if they can get him back in time for the brutal 5 game stretch in the second half.

1:10 PM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

I gotta go with Pete on this one. Am I the only one who interested in what Moats could possibly do? While he does not have Westbrook's upside, he's the better runner. Man, I can't wait for him to learn how to pick up blitzes as a Moats/Westbrook backfield could truly be transformative.

2:37 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Westbrook is not an every down back, but he is a weapon at WR feared like no other RB in the league. He forces defenses to change what they want to do because he must be covered by a DB. You cannot be as blitz happy with him in there. You cannot double cover the WR with him in there. He is not the traditional runner, but you have to respect him because when you don't, he's capable of busting it 70 yards in a hurry. Just him being in the game opens things for TE and WR. I'll even say this-the Birds have no shot Sunday without him. They win the game if he is around 85%. Simply because he can force Dallas to do things defenseively that slow down the rush and enable Donny to just pick them apart all day.

Maybe Moats can do all of that, but Westbrook can definitely do that. I don't know, but when I watch Moats, I see a tiny guy who cannot remember his plays, pick up the blitz, run the rigth hole, or hold on to the ball. Give me a choice between losing Tra Thomas and Westbrook and I'll lose William every time.


10:39 PM EDT  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

Westbrook is not an every down back, but he is a weapon at WR feared like no other RB in the league.

Give me a choice between losing Tra Thomas and Westbrook and I'll lose William every time.

i don't disagree with what you wrote, but your initial statement was about the long term playoff possibilities.

for this single game, losing westbrook probably has a bigger impact on the eagles ability to win because the cowboys are a good team and westbrook could be the deciding factor.

for a (for the sake of argument) 6 game stretch, i'd rather lose westbrook. why? because over the long term, losing TAFKA tra may impact mcnabb's ability to stay healthy, and that will have an impact on the team that is a degree of magnitude more than westbrook.

having someone who opposing defenses have to specifically gameplan against is a great thing to have, but the eagles won and made the playoffs before westbrook got here and they did it without him after he got here.

i'd rather have him missing for 6 games mid-season with the possibility of having him healthy for the playoffs than see another rerun of westbrook out for the entire playoffs. the eagles only need westbrook to be a difference maker against good teams.

7:52 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't believe Phil hasn't jumped in to agree yet...

8:28 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

I agree.

9:18 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I buy that logic, but my point is they have lots of good teams in the not too distant future who want to pummel their passing game with blitzes-Skins (twice) Dallas (twice) Jags, Tampa (not agreat team but a tough D who will attack them), Carolina, Atlanta. I'd argue they need Westbrook vs. all of those teams.

At some point are people sick of the fact that Westbrook is so fragile and think they need a more reliable RB. I am almost there. I know I've been extolling his virtue, but give me someone who can play and practice every week and is 90% of him. maybe that is Moats. Maybe I'm full circle back to Pete. Pete you are the Dali Lhama of blogs.


11:04 AM EDT  

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