Sunday, September 09, 2007

Game 1 Thoughts

i was hoping to write up a preview and prediction for the game, but my house is going on the market tomorrow and i had a long list of to-do items around the house.

i hope the awful game the birds played today doesn't cause mass hysteria in eagles nation. first, it was just one game. second, the eagles are notoriously bad under andy reid on opening day (which always strikes me as odd).

i had a bad feeling about this game coming in, which was justified i guess. some thoughts:

- i guess you can't talk about the game without talking about the not-so-special teams. not worth dwelling on right now, you know their return game is horrible, i know their return game is horrible, and the birds know the return game is horrible. beyond horrible, really. i'd bring bloom back. he was very surehanded in the preseason, and if his toe injury was indeed holding him back, there is a potential upside. unfortunately, what the birds will likely do is recall reno mahe from the minors (chickie's and pete's). how can you go into the season with two guys who have never returned punts as your primary punt returners? it's an egregious miscalculation.

- couldn't tell whether it was just poor offensive execution by the birds or great defense by the packers, but the eagles offense was inconsistent and out of sync for much of the day. i actually thought they started off the game ok as they were dominating the clock and making a lot of 3rd down conversions, but things got progressively worse and by the end they couldn't do much of anything.

- drops, drops, drops. how many freaking drops in this game? five? two by westbrook, one by buck, one by brown, one by lj.

- mcnabb never looked comfortable today. i can't remember a time when a QB had so many balls deflected by the d-line. between the drops and don throwing the ball directly into so many d-linemen, it's no wonder his completion percentage was so low. he threw a pick, had one dropped.

- it all starts with the o-line, however. they were horrible today. getting no push off the line and providing no pass protection. these guys have to improve quickly and get back to mauling people.

- defense looked decent. not great, but they played ok. while i still have problems with JJ's predictable blitzes (that the packers picked up way more often than not), i was impressed by how the birds squashed the packers' running game.

- considine played pretty well, all things considered. he made a few pretty good plays, and even tried to lay a few hits. no badly missed tackles, a few passes defenses. not horrible.

- dawk looked ok for a first game

- patterson and bunkley looked pretty good

- avant was the best receiver on the field today. kevin curtis caught one long ball and reggie brown was invisible except for the drop. i'm sure a lot of that had to do with the quality of the starting corner tandem on the packers (when charles woodson is healthy, i think he is as good or better than any cornerback in the league), but i think that pretty much confirms that we don't really have a number one receiver on the team.

- spikes looked pretty dynamic and made several very nice plays, but he did miss one tackle and doesn't look nearly as agile as he did with the bengals

- gocong is still a work in progress, but seemed more comfortable today. he even made a play in coverage which was nice to see.

- gaither looked serviceable

- sheldon played a terrific game

- the pack didn't target lito much today when he was in the game. a sign of respect i guess. hope his injury isn't too bad.

- westbrook continues to pack on more muscle. he has a much denser physique than he did two seasons ago. he must have borrowed some of lenny dykstra's "special vitamins". saw him make some nice yardage after contact today. of course the running game sucked as a whole, but the fact that bwest was getting some yardage after contact was a good sign.

how in blazes did they lose this game? they should have dominated this team. now i have to see reno mahe back on the team. wonder if josh parry is out there?



Blogger Big Dog said...

Must admit, I missed seeing the game because of my son's soccer game, but that isn't a bad thing at times. I probably would have thrown my remote through the TV at JR Reed's muffed punt. I don't think the sky is falling. I think that they will be okay. The offense just needed to probably play a little more in the pre-season. Defense needs to keep gelling. The special teams snafu's were egregious. If there were no drops it would have been egregious. But the drops make it look worse. It kind of adds to the pile of things that Big Red does that make me scratch my head. It's that stuff that separates him from Belichik. He's a great coach that just will throw the occasionally duffer decision whether it be personnel, clock management, or game strategy. Honestly, why do you not put Westbrok back there at the end of the game. To fair catch at least. You can't play the game thinking a guy is going to get hurt, he may, but he may get hurt like Don did last year.

In closing, it's a loss. I honestly didn't think that they would be better than 10-6 and I knew that they would lose a game that they could/should have won. It's not the end of the world. I just hope it doesn't haunt them...and that Big Red should have done something personnel-wise to avoid it.

10:39 AM EDT  
Anonymous Phil said...

Dog, don't forget Reid was the guy that brought Detmer back for the playoffs to hold before Romo botched his snap. He does have his good moments. Maybe this was Secrest's doing?

This game was very frustrating cause the muffed punts led directly to 10 points, while the INT led to another 3 (-1 yards on that series).

I thought the D played very well overall though Dawk was MIA for most of the game. Showed up a little at the end. Maybe that was just me.

I liked how Marty stuck with the run. I thought they were more effective with it though. Seemed like 36 was getting at least 3 or 4 yards per go. Not sure why they tried as many screens as they did since LB is one of their D's strengths.

10:54 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The offensive game plan was a big part of the problem imo. Their protection schemes were off early, they had Celek and Schobel on Aaron Kampman several plays. How is McNabb going to get comfortable when they're protecting him against elite ends with backups? Green Bay has three solid ends, and the Birds didn't address them either in protection or with misdirection.

Reid is getting famous for not having his team ready to play week 1. This game went beyond that: he had players in roles they've never done. My problem with their philosophy of going cheap in certain areas isn't so much the philosophy, it's that they don't protect against the liabilities they chose to take on. If they want to go cheap on kick return, at least have a back up plan.

Beyond the Eagles, the NFC is clearly terrible. Not only is there not an "elite" team, there isn't even a solid team. There might not be a team in the NFC that could make the playoffs in the AFC, amazing.

Good luck with your house, Meanguy.


12:07 PM EDT  
Blogger Matt Townsend said...

Must admit that I wasn't too upset with the loss because I don't really expect them to win on the road to open the season. IMO, the offense really lost the game. 1st down at Packers 38 with four minutes to go in a tie game and your run Buck on first, Bwest on 2nd and 14, holding penalty and then throw a deep sideline pass on 3rd and 22. If the offense gains 5 or 6 yards, Akers has a good shot to take the lead. And even if Reed doesn't fumble the punt, I had no faith in the offense to move the ball into field goal range.

The reason why I'm hopefull is that Reed teams usually don't peak until the second half and they are very good at making adjustments throughout.

1:30 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes a pen is just a pen.

Ed Wade

9:28 PM EDT  

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