Monday, December 18, 2006

Game 14 Thoughts

a hugely entertaining and suprising win by the philadelphia eagles yesterday. a team that was given up for dead after the abomination at indy continues to scratch and claw to keep itself alive in the (knock on wood) playoff race. the reason this is possible is that the entire NFC stinks and the eagles might end up being... never mind. let's just see how the season plays out.

- garcia continues to manage the game well. he's making mistakes but when he does they're either not killing the team or the defense is dropping the ball. it's nice having a professional backup QB able to play at a decent level. i keep waiting for the garcia who i saw in cleveland and detroit to show up, but as it turns out, it seems like that was more a reflection of those teams than garcia himself. nice work by jeff. unfortunately, this means the morning idiot is going to use this to try mobilize the dregs of eagles nation to stir up some sort of QB controversy. ugh. gotta get that guy off the air.

- dawkins played an unbelieveable game yesterday. while he doesn't quite have the range he once did, his instincts and ability to create turnovers still make him a force on the field.

- i thought aikman was pretty bad yesterday, making several mistakes or ridiculous assertions. a few that i remember off the top of my head:
1) "the eagles are doing a nice job of getting plaxico the ball", yes it's a minor point, but it was the start of a series of head scratchers
2) joe buck says "plaxico got away with a little push-off there", aikman says "... lito just misplayed the ball in the air, buck sneaks in a "well, plus there was a little push-off" right before the next play starts. seemed pretty obvious that plax pushed off a little.
3) dawkins causes brandon jacobs fumble. aikman says "gee i don't know what caused that fumble. it doesn't look like anyone put their helmet on the ball." meanwhile, the replay is clearly showing dawkins put his hat right on the ball. aikman closes with "maybe it was his shoulder".
4) hank baskett gets called for a hold on a long running play. aikman says "i don't see where the holding call is." meanwhile, baskett is in the center of the screen, clearly holding someone and twisting them away from the runner".
yes, most of these were minor gaffes, but there were a few more of these during the game. he seemed off his game yesterday.

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17 Comments:

Blogger The Mean Guy said...

I think the Mean Guy needs to redo his problems as Team Chemistry clearly is not an issue.

actually, i think the recent success validates my concerns about team chemistry. remember, donovan was the team superstar who had teammates stab him in the back last season. maybe having don go out was the solution to fix team chemistry.

Ditto the JJ criticisms. I can't remember the last time I saw that many effective blitzes out of him.

was that JJ designing new blitzes or was that due to the giants playing with a new center playing center for the first time of his career and with a LT who should have retired 3 years ago? i didn't see anything different out of JJ this game. his stuff works against bad o-lines and bad QBs.

And maybe Reid's hands off approach is just what this team needed.

possible. i have lots of thoughts on this and a post planned on problem #3 (reid's style) if i can ever find the time. i've always believed that you need either your coach or your team captain to be an in your face kind of guy. since reid isn't that guy, maybe having garcia play that role has helped.

10:04 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

unfortunately, this means the morning idiot is going to use this to try mobilize the dregs of eagles nation to stir up some sort of QB controversy. ugh.

Heh, you called that one. Took the guy all of one day to turn a fun win into a way to attack McNabb.

-Behan

11:47 AM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Aaron Schatz: "After a while with Philadelphia, their DVOA and W-L record were so far apart that I was looking for any reason to make excuses. When McNabb got hurt, it made things really easy — I could just point out that the team was about to collapse without him. Instead, the Eagles have now won three straight, pretty much iced away a playoff spot, and still could win the division by winning the last two. The lesson, yet again, is trust the numbers and don’t be so quick to look for excuses when DVOA looks strange."

1:11 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here comes the rain, but in my humble opinion, the offense runs much better with Garcia at the helm. They are forced to inject more balance because he alcks McNabb's God-given gifts, so they run short routes and more running plays. I am not and will never say he is better than Donny, but the offense is running better and is thus more fun to watch with him at the helm. Again, not as gifted as Mcnabb but maybe a better option right now for what this team needed. maybe Mcnabb will return with less mobility and be forced to become a more accurate, more decisive QB.

Bumble

12:22 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Bumble, sounds more like you're advocating more for keeping Morniweg as play caller (he's the one calling all those runs) rather than Garcia as QB (who you say is not better than 5).

And we're not winning now because the O stopped sucking, we're winning because the D has picked it's game up. If anything's running smoother with the offense, then it might be the WR not dropping so many balls the past couple weeks. And I don't think you can lay that at 5 either.

2:02 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

Here comes the rain, but in my humble opinion, the offense runs much better with Garcia at the helm.

the eagles had the number 1 offense in the nfl when mcnabb was at the helm... and that was with the receivers dropping balls left and right and westbrook's fumble problems.

don't buy the hype. i like his fire and the "rah-rah" approach he brings, but in the end, garcia is what he is -- a good backup.

3:08 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

Aaron Schatz: "After a while with Philadelphia, their DVOA and W-L record were so far apart that I was looking for any reason to make excuses.

i saw that. i was thinking the same thing for a while, except the other way. "i wonder if this year's eagles kind of punch a hole in DVOA?"

turns out DVOA continues to be as good an indicator as there is...

3:10 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

And we're not winning now because the O stopped sucking, we're winning because the D has picked it's game up.

i agree

3:11 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not really true on the D. They are getting gashed and giving up points to the tune of 20 plus per week since Garcia took over. They have been especially terrible in run D before Sunday, giving up 200 rush yards a week. The change hasn't been a better D, it has been an opportunistic unit that makes plays when they have to and an offense that has been finding a way to grind out 25ish plus points each week. The D has also benefitted from some terrible calls by the other team's O coordinator-Delhomme throwing the fade in the last few seconds, Gibbs not running Betts at all from the 20 in, Coughlin not running Jacobs at all Sunday. No sire the D is not fixed. They will not go anywhere because that unit is still bottom 8 in the league.

The O has been more consistent. Has that been betetr play call by Marty? I am not going to firmly say that, but I will say that Westbrook si being sued more and being productive. Is Andy mixing it up or is Marty forcing the issue? In addition, i don't at all buy the "you cannot lay blame on Mc5 for the drops". These guys didn't suddenly get hands. Just an observation, but Garcia hits people in stride and enables them to do things with the ball after the catch. His short ball is better than Don's-not 100 mph, not too high, right where only his receivers can catch it. Donn'y deep ball is much much better, but Garcia throws a better touch pass. He just does.

Again, this is not a call for a controversy or even to compare what these two can do. Mcnabb is a superior athlete. My only point is that they do different things well. I would love to have Garcia as my backup for the next 3-4 years. He's earned my trust. My point is merely this-something has changed in Donny's absence. it may be that Reid realizes that if he continues to try home run ball, that they'll get blown out because Garcia can only throw 20 yards. thsu, he has shortened the field and the clock with underneath routes and Westbrook, then gone for the home run from 30 and in with success. Something has changed about the team for the better right now and I hope Andy applies it to the 2007 squad.

Bumble

4:52 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm probably not adding much here but I think it's pretty clear that Donovan is a WAY better QB than Garcia. But I really respect the job Garcia is doing. He has saved the season by being a solid competitor. It's nice to see someone come in and do exactly what he is paid to do.

The predictable tripe from the morning crew at WIP is pathetic. I'm not sure how Cataldi sleeps at night. The fact that people (not here) are making serious-sounding noise that Garcia should take over for McNabb full-time is a compelling argument against the presence of intelligent life in Philadelphia.

Picking up on a Mean Guy theme, I also thought Aikman sucked Sunday (and I normally sing his praises). At one point in the telecast I needed to convince myself that it was actually Troy's calling the game. He sounded like an imposter. Buck was beside himself. He must of been thinking, "I get enough of this bullshit sitting next to McCarver." I hope Aikman was loaded, or at least hung over...

Ed Wade

9:46 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also related to the game...

I'm now ready to elevate Jeremy Shockey to my all-time Overrated List. For those who don't know me well, let me stipulate that "overrated" (to me) doesn't mean "not good/great." It means, "not as good as people claim he is." It means "reputation overstates ability."

Shockey makes some nice plays, but can he please block somebody without grimacing in pain for the next three plays?

Take away the body ink, the flowing blonde hair, and the crazy antics, and he's just another above-average tight end in the NFL.

Ed Wade

10:01 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

Not really true on the D. They are getting gashed and giving up points to the tune of 20 plus per week since Garcia took over.

bumble, i'm not suggesting that the d is "fixed" by any means, but you can't deny that the way the other team scores impacts the way a game plays out.

the first game garcia played, he threw something like 48 passes in relief of mcnabb.

the second game that garcia played, the eagles fell behind big, early and i didn't see anyone saying what a great impact garcia was to the offense.

imo, the reason the balance has been better recently is due to two factors:

- the birds haven't fallen behind big early in the game

- the coaches don't trust garcia as much as they do mcnabb because they know he's simply not as good

These guys didn't suddenly get hands.

actually it seems they did, because the receivers sure did drop a lot of balls in garcia's first 2 games.

Mcnabb is a superior athlete.

mcnabb is the superior QB in all aspects except for his moping tendencies.

fact: garcia threw two gift interceptions dropped by the defense in both of the games prior to the giants game.

does the fact that the defense didn't make those plays make garcia a better QB? would you be saying these things if garcia had 5 INTs right now instead of 1?

don't go overboard. garcia is a very good backup QB.

12:46 AM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

Take away the body ink, the flowing blonde hair, and the crazy antics, and he's just another above-average tight end in the NFL.

i agree with you, ben. shockey's entire reputation was built on two things:

- probably the best play i've ever seen a TE make (the one where he catches a ball, runs over a defender, then shoulders over a guy as he's running down the sideline... too bad it was in preseason)

- playing in new york and getting hyped by guys like peter king

12:54 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My message has been misconstrued. McNabb is better than Garcia. Garcia has managed the offense well. He is limited and they are playing to his strengths, which means more running and shorter passes. That fun and gun long toss plan they ha dwith McNabb is not a good sustainable offense, despite the fact that he has the arm to throw those balls. It is a dis-service to Donny to make him run that offense. I hope that Andy sees how making the field smaller for most of the game and stretching once you draw the secondary in with play fakes is the way to go, not long toss, long toss, long toss.

I do stand by the fact that Garcia throws a much better touch and short pass than McNabb. I cannot be the only person on this site who sees this.

Again, McNabb overall better, Garcia playing with poise, Andy changing his offensive philosophy a bit, let's keep that open mindset when Donny comes back.

Bumble

11:32 AM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

I do stand by the fact that Garcia throws a much better touch and short pass than McNabb. I cannot be the only person on this site who sees this.

it's possible, bumble, but personally, i don't really see it. for most of mcnabb's career, all the eagles did was throw short, so much so, that we fans used to b*tch all the time about how the birds never threw the ball down the field.

i remember mcnabb being pretty darn successful as an all short-ball QB. the downfield throwing has been a fairly recent development in andy-ball.

2:00 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

addendum. you're definitely right about the "touch pass" part of it though. garcia throws ball that have to float out to the receiver pretty well.

2:35 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said Mean Guy. Do you think Bigguns Reid will learn from this year and it will sink in that maybe, just maybe, the running game is much more important than he previously assumed and establishing it can lead to Ws?

Bumble

10:29 PM EST  

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