Monday, December 25, 2006

Game 15 Thoughts

merry christmas eagles fans! what a great day and a great game. while it is especially sweet because it came against a division rival and me-o, really the best part is that this team is peaking at the right time and looks to be a serious contender in the weak nfc.

- how nice is it to have a real, live, professional backup QB on the team instead of good ol' neck beard? holy moly, this team can still compete. garcia didn't play a perfect game by any means, but he manages the game pretty well and does enough good things for the team to win.

- it continues to amaze me how coaches and scouts focus so much on arm strength. garcia looked pretty bad as a brown and a lion and all the reports said it was because he lost some arm strength. his arm seems strong enough to get the job done to me.

- garcia's big mistake of the day came in the middle of a series of huge momentum swings that played a big part in the outcome of the game -- dallas fumble, garcia interception, goal line stand. i'm a big believer in the analyses that show that coaches should go for it a lot more often than they do, but those analyses don't (or can't) take the emotional impact of a failed attempt as much as they should. the cowboys lost a lot of confidence after they failed to score on that 4th and goal, and it greatly impacted the outcome of this game.

- i continue to be underwhelmed by brodrick bunkley. on that spectacular goal-line stand, bunkley got bent over backwards and carried about 5 yards into the endzone on second down. fortunately for bunkley, darwin walker and a LB (didn't see who) pinched in and filled the void.

- great game by quentin mikell. dallas ran so few plays today that mikell tied for the team lead with 4 solo tackles. still, when the cowboys had the ball, mikell made some big plays. none was more important than the 4th and goal tackle that mikell -- blitzing from the offensive right side, evading the fullback, and making a solid tackle on barber -- but that wasn't the only impactful play he made. a couple of others of note were the fumble he caused on the eagles first kickoff and a play where he didn't even make the tackle. sometime in the second quarter, mikell came flying into the backfield from the offense's left on a running play designed to sweep left. quentin attacked the fullback and completely blew up the play. he didn't make the tackle, but mikell's ability to take on and control the fullback was impressive.

- true to form, JJ was able to eat up a relatively inexperienced tony romo today. one interesting thing that madden mentioned was how JJ loves to attack when the eagles get the lead and how that is when the eagles d is most effective. observations like that are what continues to make me nervous about JJ's scheme. isn't everyone's defense more effective in that situation -- i.e. when offenses get more one dimensional? seems to me that having a lead be a prerequisite for defensive success might indicate a flaw in the defense.

- shawn andrews celebrated his pro bowl selection with a great game. he was dominating at times today.

- the eagles are getting a lot of mileage from new long snapper jon dorenbos' magic act. i think we've seen the last of mike bartrum. thanks for your years of service, mike.

- the team seems to be validating those of us who believed that this team is plenty talented enough.

just one more win and we're guaranteed a home playoff game! joe, i'll take mike's ticket if you haven't sold it.

it's wishful thinking, i know, but i can't help but hope for a phil simms/jeff hostetler type outcome to the season.



Anonymous Phil said...

What a great game. I honestly can't believe it but they've sucked me back in. Completely. Some really solid D being played right now. I'm not sure how much of it is Gaither and how much is a rejuvenated Dawk, but I like what I see.

8:28 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't seen an ass whuppin' like that on both lines of scrimmage ever from a Birds team. My Lord they just physically man handled Dallas. Did anyone see Jackson choke slam a blitzing Lb on Buck's TD, then fall, all 340 of him, on top of the blitzer. That looked painful. Garcia continues to impress and the WR can now all catch clutch balls. Amazing if you run, you open all sorts of things up for your team.


2:42 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I.....I don't know what to say. I never thought the Eagles would make it into the playoffs. I also never thought that they would commit to the run.

I'll say what I think about the rest of this year further down.

For next year:
We need to sign 2 LBs, a power RB (get rid of Buck and Mahe, and keep Moats if he can learn to hold onto the ball). Trade Bunkley and Trotter. Mean-Guy, go back and search for my post, I'm sure I said not to sign him after the hold out. Re-sign Garcia as #2 QB. KEEP Moringweig (sp) calling the O. Keep the run game mentality and Donovan will win the Superbowl next year. Our WRs are fine, our O-line is fine (can we keep Runyan another year?).

Now, this year.....Hmmmm, I think we're in for a let down next week. No, Atlanta isn't a better team, I just think we might get out coached because Big Red will go back to being conservative worrying about getting players hurt.
As far as Playoffs. I think we COULD win one. It would be a battle, but I think we could do it. Only because we'd likely play a team just as poor as us. The playoofs this year will be chok full of crappy teams, we should be able to win against one of them. Once we hit the Bears, it's all over though....

- Joe

10:41 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bears suck. They play in the worst division in football and any time they play a good team, they lose. Their D is tough, but if you make them respect your passing game and not crowd 8 in the box, then you can run on them with consistency. Urlacher is the most over-rated player in football, Briggs makes that team go. Tommie Harris injury and Mike Brown injury make them weak vs. the run. their O is nothing special. i'd rather play the Bears 10 times before the Saints in Nawlins. they have some offensive mojo going on that scares me.


1:10 PM EST  
Blogger The Big Dog said...

I concur with Bull on this one...the Tommie Harris injury has made them prime for a beatin....Urlacher is a fraud...that defensive line drove this team. I am very serious when I say that they are now mortal and very susceptible to getting exposed. JJ and Marty are licking their chops to get those frauds. I think that the Saints are also slightly better than mediocre. Christ, they start Simoneau. If the Eagles can not get smoked by McCallister and don't have Bush thrash them on the perimeter, those mediocre receivers won't be able to toast them. And that defense blows. Right now, none of those teams scare me...if I am the Saints or the Bears I wouldn't want to play the Eagles...I would pray for an Atlanta win as the Eagles are improving every week and are starting to become a pissed off team on a mission. Which is good for us. Don't sour on Bunkley so quick....a tandem of him and Patterson is going to be good....he is familiar with mauling ACC guards, now he needs to get better technique in the pros....DT in the NFL is not as easy to learn as one would think. You need Trot around for the room...but hey, if you can upgrade 2 LB positions this off-season, so be it. I still think that they need a run stuffing defensive tackle and defensive end....I think the Birds go as far as their defense lets them. I would also invest in a SS. Considine and McCoy are nothing more than special teamers or role players...hopefully Gocong pans out.

8:30 AM EST  
Blogger Steve said...

Article from Chicago Sun-Times analyzing the Bears potential playoff opponents (from BEFORE the Eagles/C*wboys game. Lists the Eagles and C*wboys as the scariest matchups.

9:55 AM EST  

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