Sunday, December 02, 2007

What Now?

the playoffs are basically a pipe dream now, but i don't think it's all bad. as bad and heartbreaking as this loss was, there were some good things that happened today.

chief among them is the fact that the eagles would have won this game easily if they had gotten anything close to mediocre qb play. that's a good thing. while they obviously did not come out with the same fire as they did for the new england game, they controlled the game most of the time and only game up 14 points not gifted to them by qb picks. they ran the ball effectively, played decently on defense, and had a good day on special teams. all of this was masked by the horrible performance of feeley.

biggest concerns for me were in the secondary: lito's worst day as a pro and dawkins continued decline. not sure how it looked on tv, but lito looked like he was high out there. he was not his usual instinctive self and he was shying away from contact. he was either trying to hide an injury or he was on drugs. i've never seen him so uncomfortable out there. bumble mentioned that we may be overvaluing him, but i don't think that's the case. lito's not ever mentioned as an elite corner. he's a good corner with a penchant for the spectacular play. today's bad day doesn't necessarily change that. i really think there was something wrong with him today. he didn't look right.

more concerning for me, since he's my favorite eagle, is that brian dawkins doesn't seem like he can play anymore. he's s-l-o-w. this is a problem. mikell and reed have been the two best safeties on the team this season, but i don't think they'll make a good tandem -- while both are good tacklers they have limited coverage ability. safety is probably the top area to address in the offseason.

at 5-7, the birds are pretty much out of the mix for the playoffs, but i think there is a potential silver lining in today's loss. while i'm sure andy will take this opportunity to reinsert mcnabb into the lineup, i'm not sure that's the best decision. maybe what would be best is to regroup and gear this team up for a run next year. since there is little to be gained by putting mcnabb and westbrook at risk this season, maybe it makes sense to sit them and play feeley and buckhalter/hunt? i know "you play to win the game", but you also have to try to win a title. this team is not going anywhere this season, even if they make an improbable run to 9-7 and sneak into the last wildcard spot. why not try to get your qb as healthy as you can, and try to make one last run with a mcnabb/westbrook combo?

brian isn't getting any younger and his chronic knee problems aren't going anyway, he probably only has 1-2 good years left. if you switch to the kolb era now, westbrook will be done by the time he's ready to play. gotta maximize your chances while brian is still on the roster, and (a healthy) mcnabb is your best shot. take one more shot next year and then blow it up.

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8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today was definitely the best kick return and coverage we've had all year. Feeley lost the game today. You can not win spotting the team 14 points with 2 of the picks, and then killing 2 other drives with the other 2 picks.
Now granted, if there was some better play calling...........

Westbrook is a stud. It is a shame for him that he's on an Andy Reid team.

3rd down and 1. He passes the ball!? Stupid fat fuck.

I agree Lito was off. I'm not a huge fan of his to begin with, but today he was shying away which is odd. Dawk was slow, but even Sheldon wiffed on a couple. Field was a mess with the freezing rain, but I'm not sure that was it.

- Joe

12:32 AM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

You forgot to mention the 2 dropped INTs by the LBs today. Couldn't have been gift wrapped any better than that.

7:15 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After Sheldon's forced fumble, Westbrook takes it 29 yards to the house. Eagles up, 24-21. Their playcalling from there to end of game ?? 8 called runs vs 22 called pass plays. What the fuck ?? Backup QB, your best player is your RB, the weather is brutal, and this asshole is calling passes at a rate of 3 to 1.
Fuck him, I am done with Andy Reid. IMO this loss today is squarely on his shoulders. He put AJ in a position to fail, and he couldn't even get out of his own way after his best player tried to salvage the game for him. They should have been so pumped after that punt return that they should have blown Seattle off the line and walked it in. Awful.

Captain

6:33 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"since there is little to be gained by putting mcnabb and westbrook at risk this season, maybe it makes sense to sit them and play feeley and buckhalter/hunt? i know "you play to win the game", but you also have to try to win a title."

What? Rest your two best/most entertaining players for the rest of the season to avoid "risk" because you think this team may have a shot at the title next year? This team isn't winning a title next year, dude, no matter how well preserved we keep our frontliners, but that isn't the point.

I bet the people who shelled out big money for their late-season tickets would love your suggestion.

What about resting Andrews, Brown & Lito and others? Why risk playing them, either? Why even play the games? Can we pass on them and just start practicing for next year?

I have a better idea. Why don't we man up and take out our frustrations on the Giants? Why don't we get Don back in the saddle and try to establish some momentum for next year, maybe rebuild some confidence. Let's play spoiler with pride and try to win some games. If we don't have enough self-respect to do this, let's try to think about the integrity of the league.

It was bad enough when you wanted the Sixers to tank last season. Now the Eagles also?

C'mon, TMG - I know you're a pragmatic fellow, but this trend is getting worrisome. The Eagles are in the professional sports/entertainment business. There is an implied obligation to try hard, even when the results aren't perfect.

Ed Wade

8:35 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

C'mon, TMG - I know you're a pragmatic fellow, but this trend is getting worrisome. The Eagles are in the professional sports/entertainment business. There is an implied obligation to try hard, even when the results aren't perfect.

i don't disagree with your point, but i would like to point out that i'm not suggesting that they throw games on purpose, just that they take a longer term view. for the same reason that you take out your starters when you have no shot at winning a game, there is little to be gained by playing the glass brothers in the last 4 games but potentially a lot at risk (their health for next season).

by no means do i believe they are a frontrunner for the superbowl next season, but a healthy mcnabb and westbrook give them whatever shot they have. if either of those guys goes into next season with an injury, the birds have no shot at all.

i absolutely agree that it's unsavory to throw games, but i'm not suggesting that they do that. you can play hard and play to win while still keeping an eye toward next year by resting your running back who's to hurt to practice and your qb who's only 1 year removed from a blown acl.

I bet the people who shelled out big money for their late-season tickets would love your suggestion.

well i have tickets to the late season games and am ok with it, but my thinking is definitely unconventional.

9:21 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

F*ck him, I am done with Andy Reid.

i've been done with andy reid the coach for a while. andy reid the gm i like, but andy reid the coach gives me agita.

9:23 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

I'm with Ed Wade, but for an entirely different reason. Winning in the NFL is as much a mental mindset as physical execution. We (primarily the coaches) should NOT be sending the message that losing is OK. I don't believe "momentum" can carry over to another season, but I do believe a culture of losing (or even that it's OK to not give 100% on every snap) can carry over.

Just look at how hard it is for ARI (or CIN or SF now) to win despite all the stud players they have on that team. The Eagles have a winning culture and an even bigger disservice to us fans than passing/running 3-1 while up on the Pats would be to imperil that culture.

10:41 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil -

I think we're kind of on the same page. I agree with you that winning games this season doesn't necessarily translate into winning games next year. I spoke of "momentum," but what I really should have emphasized better was trying to get Don's confidence and mojo back.

Don's a funny guy, and right now it's probably apparent to him that the team and fromt office has lost a little faith in him (I don't think this is fair, but I'm not in the room). I think it's really important to get him back on track. I know I'm in the minority, but the notion of giving up on him at this point in his career seems crazy to me.

I'd hate to bench the guy now because I think he represents the best chance for the Eagles to succeed in the immediate future. That said, some things need to be accomplished first. He needs to reestablish himself with the team now so that next year it isn't Donovan? but Donovan!

I think he can do that by getting back onto the field and having some great games. I don't think he can do that by allowing Andy to sit him for the remainder of the season. I actually appreciate TMG's pragmatism on this issue, but I think sitting Don now would have the effect of ending his career in Philadelphia. I don't want to see that.

I also believe the Eagles have an obligation to try to win games. Imagine how we would feel if the Eagles were going after a playoff spot and a lessor team rolled over when it was playing one of our rivals. You can't have that in professional sports.

One of the things I love about baseball is that absent the clear draft bonanza (think basketball), every team plays hard to the wire, long after playoff hopes expire. Think of the teams that beat up on the Mets during the stretch drive this year, for example...

Ed Wade

8:30 PM EST  

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