Friday, November 17, 2006

Game 10 Preview

tennessee titans at philadelphia eagles

a solid win last week against a crumbling redskins team got the second half of the season to a good start. we'll see how much the birds learned about let downs from multiple first half debacles. this is a team the eagles should cream, absolutely cream.

footballoutsiders.com
- eagles stay at 2nd overall in weighted DVOA, drop to 3rd on offense, jump to 4th on defense, and move back to 17th on special teams
- titans come in ranked 30th overall, 27th on offense, 27th on defense, and 18th on special teams
The Eagles made a major bye-week change last week: Andy Reid turned play-calling duties over to coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. Those of use who remember Mornhinweg's tenure in Detroit may compare this decision to giving Ferrari keys to a 12-year old, but Eagles players said they didn't notice a change. In fact, receiver Reggie Brown admitted that he had no idea who called the plays. "He's the offensive coordinator, isn't he?" Way to be on top of things, Reggie. One difference was apparent in last week's win over the Redskins: the Eagles ran the ball 30 times and threw it just 26 times, though a few of those runs were really Donovan McNabb scrambles. A rainy day concession, or Marty Ball II? Either way, the Eagles are once again playing up to their ability level, which is a bad thing for the Titans.
les bowen
IF YOU'RE familiar with the Eagles' season, the 13-point line might seem generous. When you're 5-4, it's hard to say you're nearly two touchdowns better than anybody, especially a team that has lost one-point games to the Ravens and the Colts.

The Birds ought to be able to continue their commitment to running the ball, against the 32nd-ranked run defense, and their defense ought to be able to keep rookie Vince Young from spurring a huge road upset. But I'm not sure this will be a blowout.

Prediction:

Eagles 24, Titans 12
vegas vic
One 27-3 win over a lousy Redskins club lifted everyone's spirits, but Jeff Fisher's Titans have covered four of their last five, and never stop fighting. We like the Birds, but by a dime or less.

Pick: Titans (+13) over EAGLES
espn scouts inc
This could end up being a closer game than most people think. Titans head coach Jeff Fisher is a master at coming up with a defensive game plan to stymie powerful offenses. The Titans are close to as healthy as they have been all season and are apt to come out with fire in their eyes after a tough loss to a strong Ravens team. The key will be to limit the number of explosive plays they allow the Eagles and how well Tennessee is able to control the clock. However, Philadelphia just has too many weapons. It will be fun to watch a top offensive mind (Andy Reid) match wits against a top defensive mind (Fisher).

Prediction: Eagles 28, Titans 17
madden 07

It was another tough offensive day for the Titans, who got just 235 total yards of offense and missed out on two scoring opportunities inside the Philly 10-yard-line, having to settle for field goals both times. The Eagles kicked off the scoring as Donovan McNabb took it in himself in the first quarter, and then Philly mounted a nice goal-line stand and knocked a Tennessee first-and-ten at the two back to the four, where the Titans kicked it to make it 7-3.

Philly increased its lead to 14-3 in the second quarter as McNabb hit Donte' Stallworth, and added a field goal early in the third to go up 17-3. The Titans found the end zone on a Travis Henry score midway through that period to cut the lead, but then had to settle for another short field goal early in the fourth, and the Eagles wrapped up the scoring on McNabb's second TD pass of the game, this one to Reggie Brown.

Prediction: Eagles 24 - Titans 13

what i think
should be a blowout based on matchups. might not be a blowout as a sandwich game between a division opponent and a showdown with the colts looming.

titans o vs. eagles d
the titans have to run the ball and control the clock to shorten the game to have a shot at winning. they'll be toast if they get into a shootout. they have a future star at QB, but he's still a rookie. they have some talent at halfback and tight end, but their wideouts were nondescript prior to david givens blowing out his knee and their o-line is below average.

biggest concern for the birds defense is vince young's legs. historically, JJ's defenses haven't controlled mobile QBs well because they play so much man defense. young's scrambling shouldn't be a factor in who wins or loses the game, but it's something to watch. still, young is not like vick in that he is trying to be a pass first QB, so JJ should have a field day confusing the heck out of him.

eagles o vs. titan d
the titans d is well balanced, meaning they stink against both the run and the pass, but if you had to pick a specific weakness it would be the secondary. not a good sign coming in to play a top passing offense. they do have a couple of playmakers in kyle vandenbosch and keith bulluck though.

the number of points the eagles score will largely be dictated by how well they play. jeff fisher can scheme all he wants, i don't think he's going to be able to overcome the talent difference between the two teams.

bottom line
the birds will not lose this game unless they turn the ball over 4 times... even if they come out flat.

prediction
eagles 23 - titan 13

Labels:

16 Comments:

Anonymous Phil said...

I disagree that the Eagles haven't done well against running QBs. They've historically done a pretty good job against Vick (see playoff game 2 years ago for Exhibit A) and Culpepper's only ever really burned them through the air.

12:21 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fisher game plans well against powerful offenses????

Maybe when he had a defense, but the titans are giving up 27 points per game, only the 49ers are worse.

Simon

12:53 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

They've historically done a pretty good job against Vick (see playoff game 2 years ago for Exhibit A) and Culpepper's only ever really burned them through the air.

here's how i think about it:

against vick, they can play zone because he's not a threat to pass. culpepper hasn't been a running QB since he crossed the fatter side of 250 (at one point he was up around 270 lbs).

here are some examples of running QBs they've faced this season:

- david carr - 4 carries 25 yards i recall at least 2 were for 1st downs

- alex smith - 6 carries 39 yards, again at least 2 first downs

- david garrard - 8 for 36, a couple 1st downs on 3rd and long

39 yards doesn't sound like that much, but that projects to a 600+ yard rushing year for a QB. that's a lot, and that's not even accounting for the value of gaining a 1st down on a third and long.

as a point of comparison, here are alex smith's rushing totals this season:

- 0 for 0
- 3 for -1
- 6 for 39 (eagles)
- 3 for 15
- 2 for 10
- 0 for 0
- 5 for 23
- 3 for 4
- 8 for 15

6:31 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stubborn again!

Aside form coming out flat, AGAIN, they refuse to run the goddamned ball from the 2 foot line and McChoke throws a pick. This team's philosophy just sucks!

Bumblew

1:32 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was really impressed with the way the Birds killed the clock in the second half. Who says the dink and dunk offense is useless?

Wow. This team is nothing without McNabb - not that they would have won yoday even with him.

The rest of the season promises to be really exciting.

Anyone out there besides Bumble who understands that this is the beginning of the end?

Ben

4:28 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Their season is fuckin over.

Listen, Pete, i disagreed with you about garcia, becuase if say, mcnabb was out for 2 or 3 games, garcia could fuckin come in and maybe go 1-1 or 2-1 in that stretch. But you can bet your fuckin life that one of those wins would HAVE to be Tennessee AT HOME. Where as McMahon was guaranteed to go 0-2 with a ton of picks, Garcia at least could manage a couple wins youd hope. But he sucked a big one. I want feeley. We're toast anyway, and garcia is not now nor ever again in the future. Fuckin Garcia can suck on it. PS: maybe i move up in my wait for eagles season tickets. Maybe.

5:36 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least the Phillies didn't complete the death-sentence double-play by inking Soriano to this absurd contract:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2668465

It kind of makes you wonder why Martini Pat didn't set his sights (correctly) on A-Ram the entire time.

Now we have all sorts of money, but no one to spend it on. How about doing something creative and daring with Howard and Utley to build some cost certainty into the next five years? Think we can stop hiding behind the "We signed Pat Burrell to a premature long-term contract and it bit us in the balls" mantra long enough to think this through??

Football season is over.

Ben

6:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Donovan out for the year.

Hint to Andy:
The chance of a QB to get injured increases by the number of passes thrown per game!

6:36 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eagles season over
Flyers season over

Phillies, who cares

I am done reading about sports for quite a while guys.

Sigh....now what am I going to do at work?

- Joe

9:10 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be the guy who asks this, and then fire will rain down on me on this very site.

Do the Birds need to draft a QB? Mc5 has missed half the year in 3 of the last 5 seasons. He has an ACL and will probably never be the same again. We'll get a high first round pick-Troy Smith? Brayd Quinn? I love Mac, but I fera he may be done.

Bumble

9:21 PM EST  
Anonymous Dan said...

sorry for not signing my name on the previous one. I tell you who id love in this draft is Tyler Palko, the lefty from Pitt.


but yes a qb, and a fuckign big back would be nice, and a stud TE, and a linebacker. and a real punter in the 6th round, and a fullback, how about the kid from rutgers? Im sick of Dirk Hit another Diggler Dribbler Johnson.

~Dan

10:01 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan,

You need to cut back on the caffeine bro. Your rant on Garcia was pretty scary. No one ever said Garcia was the answer and savior for this team. We all saw the hellhole our season has become as Garcia struggled to throw past 20 yards today, but to imply that anyone ever believed he could do anything here is zany. Besides, look on the bright side, it will open our Sundays as they spiral toward 6-10 again.

Bumble

10:49 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS, Tyler Palko sucks. With a capital S this kid sucks. S-U-C-K-S!!!! You need mobile in today's game, and he isn't. Also a whiner and large vagina IMO.

Bumble

10:51 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

Now we have all sorts of money, but no one to spend it on. How about doing something creative and daring with Howard and Utley to build some cost certainty into the next five years? Think we can stop hiding behind the "We signed Pat Burrell to a premature long-term contract and it bit us in the balls" mantra long enough to think this through??

you're a hard man to satisfy, ben. what? you're not going to be happy when the phillies bring in adam fucking eaton as their prize free agent pickup?

12:18 AM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

Do the Birds need to draft a QB? Mc5 has missed half the year in 3 of the last 5 seasons. He has an ACL and will probably never be the same again. We'll get a high first round pick-Troy Smith? Brayd Quinn? I love Mac, but I fera he may be done.

doing that pretty much means you're closing your own window. this team has to try to maximize their opportunity to win while mcnabb is here, because he's a once in a generation player (at least for this franchise).

the only guarantee with any of the guys you mentioned is that there will be a 2-3 year period where they suck. they have to continue to shore up weaknesses on the team to maximize their opportunity to win while don is still good.

12:24 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know I'm not a "football guy," but the one thing that becomes clearer and clearer ALL the time to me is just how good McNabb is. I said this earlier, but it bears repeating: The Eagles (at least the offense) is NOTHING without McNabb.

He turns 30 on Saturday. Why the hell would we be thinking of giving up on him. The ACL injury isn't that bog a deal in the grand scheme of things, even if ot takes a full year to recover. Ok, maybe Donny's running days are behind him. So what?

Ben

9:55 AM EST  

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