Sunday, November 12, 2006

Game 9 Thoughts

a good performance by the philadelphia eagles today. really, the first complete game the birds have played all season. even though it was by no means a perfect game, they did enough good things to win, and most importantly, they maintained their edge for the entire 60 minutes.

the outcome was never really in doubt as washington showed itself to be what we expected, a flawed team trying to score points with power running and gimmick plays and a defense that is aggressive but generally porous. while the birds did benefit from some fortunate calls (westbrook fumble) and lucky bounces (reggie brown fumble), that wasn't why they won the game. those plays just added some points to the final score.

- big news of the day is that andy finally gave up playcalling duties! woo hoo! not only does this put someone in charge of calling plays whose only job is calling plays, it puts andy in a better position to think about and make the strategic game management decisions that have been somewhat of a bugaboo during his tenure here. i believe this is a move that will pay huge dividends in the long run and it will manifest itself most visibly in a reduction in blown timeouts and an improvement in clock management.

- they continue to have success whenever they run without a huddle. the offense seems to run with a better rhythm.

- first drive of the game, the eagles drive down the field (no huddle) and get to 3rd and 1. why not QB sneak here? don has been very successful over his career with the sneak. why don't they use this more? why won't they use it more? i'm sure andy has his reasons, but man, that's an easy get there. because of the no huddle, the skins weren't even able to get their short yardage package in the game. there was a huge gap between the two d-tackles. don't tell me our 240 lb QB and our massive center couldn't have picked up 3 yards easily. instead, handoff to westbrook predictably stuffed.

- first drive of the second half, the eagles have a nice long drive down the field (again no huddle) and get to 2nd and goal at the 1. why not sneak? instead, roll mcnabb out to the right looking to pass to RB in the flat. RB is covered by LB, so mcnabb holds it and looks and looks and then throws it over schobel's head. just sneak the darn ball! third down, some sort of off-tackle play i think that gets stuffed.

- eagles showed a nice commitment to the run today. it was nice to see, especially on this rainy day tailor made for power football.

- reno continues to grow on me. part of it was noting how nice it was having someone who catches punts so securely back there and part of is his continued absence from the offense. now that i don't have to see him line up as the third down back, i'm pretty happy with what he can do.

- dhani jones continues to play pretty well (for him). as steve72 mentioned today at the game, he's still no emmons, but he's getting the job done. couple of big plays for him today (recall last year he had zero big plays), 1) forcing brunell into a grounding call and 2) blowing a skins running back up for the loss on a swing pass.

- eagles corners are looking really solid now that they're getting healthy and with the addition of william james (the ex william petersen). they can all run. they're all physical. i'm not sure when james came into the game, but when i noticed him for the first time late in the game, i thought he played pretty well. he even brings some size to the position too, which is something the cornerback corps has been lacking recently. they're running 4 guys deep who can start in the NFL.

- bunkley still looks awful. he stands straight up at the snap and gets no penetration, instead engaging in hand fighting with the o-linemen. steve72 mentioned that maybe he hasn't adjusted to the pro game yet, since he was used to being able to physically dominate in college. i'm not so sure about that, but it's a definite possibility. i'd just like to see him get low on a play and drive into the backfield. i haven't seen him even try that. just as a point of comparison, corey simon did that in his first play as a pro and mike patterson was able to do that quite often last year. heck, even lajuan ramsey was doing that earlier this season when he was dressing for games. i'm not asking for much, i'd just like to see him drive into the backfield once. just once. i haven't seen it yet.

- dawkins had a great game. he was very physical in run support and was very emotional. he's still one of my favorite eagles, but i have to say that it appears he's lost a step. b-dawk was a guy who used to be able to run with wideouts back in his prime. now, he's having trouble running with tight ends sometimes.

- sean considine is definitely growing on me. for a smaller guy, he is really willing to stick his head in there. i was impressed with his willingness to take on duckett head on during tj's long run in the second half. of course, he got blown backwards, but he made the play and got duckett to the ground.

- poor michael lewis, he must really be in the dog house. while the birds were running him in on first down and obvious running situations, he didn't sniff the field on passing downs. low point for him, when b-dawk went out with his injury after defending the randle el option pass, the eagles ran quentin mikell into the game to replace dawkins instead of lewis.

- it's funny how often hank baskett lines up in the wrong place. it seems like 3-4 times a game, don is directing him or pointing to the other side of the field or yanking him somewhere other than where he is headed. i think stallworth's injury hurt them more than we realized as it had a cascading effect on the whole offense. everyone on the receiving corps had to move up one level and into a role that they probably weren't ready to handle. i'm thinking that played at least some part in the epidemic of drops while stallworth was out.



Blogger The Big Dog said...

I can't say anything that's negative today, especially since Reid reads scrapple, now. Give the offensive reigns to Morningweg...check.....get Buck, Barber and M. Lewis in more....check....

The only negative that pissed me off yesterday was Walker's 2, yes 2 facemask, potential tide turning penalties....he should be fined. Boy, does Schobel suck big time or what....he was the reason that they had to kick a field goal when they had first and 1 from the one.

Boys, the NFC is wide frigging open....and the way it's playing that the Eagles come out and take care of business next weekend and knock of Indy on Turkey Day weekend for their first loss...which starts a series of events that will lead to Indy's demise.

Even the Bull can't be cynical today.

6:49 AM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

You can't call Will Petersen a starting corner or he wouldn't have been available in the middle of the year. Not saying he wasn't effective yesterday. Hood is a legit starter in this league though.

I was a little disappointed our O didn't do more until they ripped off that 9 min series to end the game. When was the last year they had one of those? More impressive than anything else they'd done though DC may have just given up at that point.

They bought themselves another week, but they're really close to 1 and done territory. Can't afford to lose to TEN next week. I sure hope they're not looking past them to IND. Would be a big mistake.

11:05 AM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

You can't call Will Petersen a starting corner or he wouldn't have been available in the middle of the year.

that's true, but he was available due to health reasons, not performance reasons. i read somewhere that other teams didn't have him on their radar because he was supposed to take an entire year to get healthy instead of the 6 months it did take.

11:30 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK. I'll admit I didn't watch the game as closely as I normally do yesterday (we had some non-football people and their kids over), but I did see the majority of the game and a little of the Ray Didinger show afterward. I wish Barkan would shut the hell up!! Hebron adds nothing also! Anyway, is anybody besides me concerned that Don was 4 for 16 in the first half ?? Fortunately, the redskins suck. But if we want to have a shot against the better teams in the 2nd half (Indy, Giants, Carolina), we can't have don getting off to these slow starts every week. I did love the commitment to the run yesterday, and the Defense played well all day.


11:57 AM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

Anyway, is anybody besides me concerned that Don was 4 for 16 in the first half ?? Fortunately, the redskins suck. But if we want to have a shot against the better teams in the 2nd half (Indy, Giants, Carolina), we can't have don getting off to these slow starts every week.

personally, i'm not too worried about him. i don't recall that he was particularly inaccurate yesterday (though there was one short throw) and i think his slow starts can be attributed as much to the lack of overall offensive continuity as much as anything that he's doing.

the continuity improved yesterday as the offense was able to sustain some drives and there weren't any egregious drops, but the offense is still not where they need to be if they're going to make the playoffs. mcnabb needs to play better too, but i'm sure he'll be fine.

3:50 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Actually, I think 5 had 3 short hops yesterday. Not that concerning as that's the first sub 50% game this year I think. Also, much better to be short than to over throw balls which typically end up getting picked.

8:59 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lots of good points, mean guy. Going 4 deep at corner (and Hanson is more than decent as the fifth corner) could be huge come playoff time for matchups and to stop some of the crazy spread offenses some teams try. James might have made a big difference if we had him for the Giants game, when they went spread in the second half.

Reno has been very solid. I was suprised last year when the team pointed out he was #1 in PR average. He catches everything and makes some nice returns. The special teams looked good in general, if they play like they did in the Ike Reese years that would be huge for this team.

If the Eagles can cut down on the mental mistakes, they are in good shape. The NFC is wide open, big dog. Carolina sucks, they can't run or stop the run, forget that line. They're Steve Smith or bust. Atlanta sucks. The Giants are comming apart with injuries. The Bears haven't shown much to me, although that's a conversation for another day.


10:41 AM EST  

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