Friday, October 31, 2008

Game 8 Thoughts

a slow start to the game, which wasn't a complete surprise considering next week's measuring stick game against the division leading giants. it took a while for the team to get in sync, but once they did, the game was never in doubt.

- mcnabb's day in a nutshell -- terrible start, hot middle, conservative end. he's streaky, we all know that, but westbrook or no westbrook, if mcnabb isn't on, the offense goes 3 and out. he ended the day 28/43 for 349 with 2 TDs and 1 INT, which isn't shabby at all, but it definitely could have been better. still, if there is such a thing, i'd rather have him save his A game for the hated giants.

- dawkins looked old and awkward trying to tackle koren robinson, but ended up with a solid game overall, breaking up a couple of passes and making some hits. he can still make plays when he gets there in time.

- middle of o-line still getting stuffed on short yardage

- i don't want to kick him while he's down after taking one for the team, but brent celek made a number of catches yesterday that lj probably would not have made. in addition, celek protects the ball better, so i didn't get the usual lj smith agita when celek turned around ran downfield. i don't know how good he's going to get, but honestly, he is already better than littlejohn ever was.

H-U-G-E game looming against the giants folks. the birds opened up as a 3 point favorite but it seems like people are already betting the giants. the line hasn't moved, but the eagles -3 is listing at +105 on mid-season home game. put up or shut up time birds!



Anonymous Phil said...

Wow. Not sure I'd have the Eagles as a favorite in this game even if they are at home and no matter how much FO's DVOA loves them.

Is it just me or is Sheldon Brown playing coverage much better than before? He's always been very good against the run and a great tackler limiting YAC, but he seems to be batting down/defensing a lot of passes (OK, I remember 2 from Sunday). Maybe Samuel's teaching him something.

1:51 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree TMG, middle of the O line was god awful all day long. And they were playing Seattle's JV D line with lots of subs. 93 for Seattl;e looked like Merlin Olsen in his prime vs. Jackson and Gilles. Not good. That discouraged me a lot. They did such a poor job blocking that the running game never got untracked and they got stuffed all day in the red zone. That game should've been 42-0 and it could've been as the Birds shook off a sluggish start nicely and moved the ball, but egad they need to move the ball betetr on the ground.

This game this week scares me. Giants are the best team in football right now in the fact that they are committed to doing what they do-running the ball and obliterating the run-and they do it very well. Couple that with a nasty pass rush and I unfortunately see a very long day for the Birds offense. D has to play as well as they did yesterday to keep them in the game. Eli is bad under pressure and he hasn't been touched much this year. JJ really needs to step up his game plan and Big Red needs to do a helluva lot betetr game planning an offense than he did in both games last year. This game will be won and lost in the trenches (aren't they all) and from the play calling. I'd also play Samuel man up on Burress as he seems to eat our tiny DB for breakfast, especially when he plays them on the heels of a poor game like he had yesterday. I hate the effing Giants!


10:21 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm generally an optimist and right now is no exception. I see the Birds coming up big on Sunday night and winning a hard-fought, close game against the Giants.

Sure, there will be bumpy moments, bone head plays, defensive gaffes, etc, but that's Eagles' football.

The Giants have played great this year, but for some reason I think that leaves them vulnerable to a clunker game, or at least to a game where the other team gets the bigger share of good breaks.

A win here and the entire picture changes. That's the way it goes in the NFL, which leads me back to the question no one seems able to answer: Why don't NFL teams try to improve themselves by filling holes before the trade deadline?

Did Andy know that Celek was a potential party in a can, or is a second round draft pick really more precious than a single-season, potential playoff birth? Given the year to year uncertainties each team faces with respect to injuries, age, luck and everything else that separates winners from losers in the NFL, I would have loved to see the Eagles go for it this year by upgrading the TE position. I guess Andy knows what he's doing.

Ed Wade

9:11 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

Ed, besides the trade deadline being too early in the season, I think the reason why Reid specifically didn't push harder to get a TE is because of how complicated their playbook is (or any for that matter). Is it really worth a 2nd round pick if he's not contributing until mid-December?

10:46 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...or is the playbook just too damned complicated if a hall of fame TE can't contribute until December.

I'd love to see the Birds employ a no huddle for chunks of the game on Sunday. the Giants thrive on mismatches and getting the right people in the right places. In that disastrously digusting loss in 2006 at home, the Birds ran no huddle for almost a half and just blew the Giants off the field. they didn't know whether to shit or go blind. Then of course they stopped, they sputtered, they lost and haven't really returned to it since. I don't know why, maybe McNabb can't run it but he sure looked super running it that day. I think in a huge game like this, you need to mix it up, do the unexpected, blitz guys you don't normally blitz, a few gadget plays in the return game, a no huddle. Do something that messes with the Giants heads and says "we're not the same old Birds Spags, your blitzes aren't going to get us today". I fear they go out and do that pass-pass-pass game where they start slow and just play into the Giants hands. Maybe they'll do the end around reverse that they do every week, but don't expect much different and creative on Sunday. if they don't get creative, they don't beat this team because man on man football, the Giants have superior talent and a better offensive and defensive system.


8:42 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

I still want to know how the Eagles are favored in this game.

Lots and lots and lots of screens to slow down the pass rush then deep to Curtis/Jackson. I like the no huddle as well since it keeps the 4 DE package off the field. Frankly, I don't know why you don't run that more often given how versatile 36 is. He'll let you put a 2WR, 2RB, TE package in and you can do just about anything from smash mouth football to 5 wides.

2:06 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is disgusting! Their O line is just destroying the Birds...AGAIN! McNabb looks absolutely lost...AGAIN! This game plan sucks on both sides of the ball...AGAIN. They're going to get pummelled by the Giants...AGAIN!

Sad this is I knew this was going to happen in this exact manner.


8:59 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and the defense gave up 176 yards in the first effing quarter! Jim Johnson should be fired before halftime. Disgraceful how far behind the Giants this sorry franchise has fallen!

But we're in good shape. Our feckless QB is looking LJ's way all night, so that's good.


9:01 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aside from an unimaginative offensive and defensive game plan that saw you pretty much do nothing to slow down Big Blue for most of the night, Andy Reid goes one further and pisses away two timeouts on clear as day situations when he wasn't getting the call over-turned, only to need them at game's end because his brilliant decision to take the ball out of the only player on his team who was doing anything for most of the night and become a power running team vs. the best run defense in football.

Why?!?!?! Why do people still defend this guy as a good coach. he is NOT a good coach. He has not won them a game in years, they are again 0-3 in the division and one loss away from being on the outside looking in for the 3rd time in 4 years, why, why does everyone blindly support this turd? His time has past. Fire him and his staff, hire Spagnulo as your head coach and mix it up. The state of the franchise is completely disgraceful-they can only beat losing or sub-par teams. Why not make a change? What do you have to lose at this point. We know how bad Reid is. I for one would prefer the unknown who may come in and mix things up and guide the team to bigger things. This is just slow atrophy right now.

And I'll say it now, the season is on life support officially unless the Birds get a ton of help. Washington has an absolute cakewalk for their last 7 games, the G Men are the best team in football, and there is no way on God's green Earth 3 teams from the NFC East make it this year, not with Carolina and Tampa looking good.

I hate this team!


11:54 PM EST  
Anonymous Phil said...

The Eagles lose by 4 points to the best team in football and it's time to blow it up? Yikes. Offense runs a play from the Wildcat formation and you say they're not imaginative?

This loss squarely falls on JJ. Any time the offense can put up 30 points with hardly any contribution from 36, you've got to win. No excuse for that run defense. Any someone needs to teach Samuels how to tackle. Saw him Oley 2x to give up another 20 yards or so.

9:33 AM EST  
Blogger Simon said...

they are 5-4. That's no good, but still better than half the teams in football. The biggest problem is that unless you ge Cowher there is no improvement over McNabb and Reid.

I am not alays hapy wit them, but they are pretty good.

10:42 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are both right. They're 5-4, average. If ya'll are OK with being 8-8, beating terrible and other average teams and losing to any good team, then you must love what you see. That isn't quite high enough of a bar for me, but hey, to each his own.

Phil let's not understate what happened last night. The Giants annihilated them and could've run for 600 yards if they chose to do so. Had McNabb not played like a man possessed for large chunks of the game, they lose 42-0. Division rival, at home, and you give up over 200 yards on the ground. It has become an all too familiar scene. Again, that may be OK by you, but it isn't my cup of tea.

And for God's sake stop with the "we couldn't possibly get a better guy" crap. Cowher is not the only NFL caliber football coach on the planet. I'd take Spagnuolo today.


1:59 PM EST  

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