Sunday, December 27, 2009

Broncos @ Eagles Post Mortem

Tasty sausage here tonight. Lots of reasons to look into the ingredients (penalties, 5's play in 2H, turnovers), but they got the win. That may not seem like much at home against a team 2-6 in their last 8 games, but look at what NO and NYG did today. Winning is not easy in the NFL.

And we still have not seen a complete game from this team. This would be bothering me a lot more if they weren't finding ways to win games. McNabb does just enough to engineer a game winning drive at the end of the game. The defense does just enough to get some crucial holds at the end. And David Akers is money. Remember several years back when everyone one (myself included) thought he was about done?

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29 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

- i'm worried about the status of jamaal jackson. the o-line was getting no push with fat nick cole at center

- amazing how games change on single plays. two most important plays of the game were the samuel pick/harris penalty and the mcnabb scramble. the birds would have lost this game if not for that 3rd and 25 conversion

- it's an interesting experience (and much more enjoyable) watching the other team's receivers dropping balls left and right. i love our receiving corps just for the fact that they catch balls that hit them in the hands

- was nice to see dawkins back in town. he's my favorite eagle of this generation, and he definitely is better than macho harris... but he didn't have a particularly good game yesterday. harris may be a better coverage guy at this point

-- meanguy

10:32 AM EST  
Blogger The Happy Apologist said...

TMG, our WR don't just catch balls that hit them in the hands, but they make spectacular catches (Maclin, Avant). This is a 2 order of magnitude increase in my opinion. It's one thing to catch balls that are thrown to you, it's quite another to catch balls you've got no right catching. They're making 5 look decent these days.

Jackson is done. Time for the next guy to step up.

5:29 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

Jackson loss is devastating. To lose a core piece of your O line at this point is a very bad thing. Don obviously had comfort with Jamal and rhythm not there yet with Fat Nick. It scares me that Cole draws the best noseguard in the league in Jay Ratliff this week. Don is lousy when teams can rush his mush and Ratliff does that very well. I agree with TMG, that is a huge hole. Not insurmountable, but not what you wanted to see in the 15th game.

I didn't understand that game yesterday. they looked unstoppable for 2-1/2 quarters, then Don throws a bad pick to Bailey and he goes into a candy shell for the rest of the day. Macho is no return man and that finally hurt them yesterday-although he got KILLED on that hit. But most curious was the play calling in the second half. the coaches seem to pull up and just be content to let Denver climb in. I realize that didn't happen, but they just had a terrible 3rd and 4th quarter. sausage game. Glad to come out of it alive, but these 3rd quarter lapses have got to scat or it will be a very short trip to the playoffs this year.

I see the NFC being the most competitive its ever been and any team can win as Dallas, Pack, and Birds are peaking, Vikes and Saints are talented, and Cardinals can be a matchup nightmare on any day for any team.

Bumble

8:43 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Bumble that the NFC is totally up for grabs. Amazing how much the scene has changed in the last month. The Saints and Vikings look completely vulnerable. Hopefully the Birds can avoid a Dome playoff game, but even if they have to play football indoors (a joke in my opinion), they seem to have the playmakers to win.

Best trio of receivers in Eagles history? I'm beginning to think yes. Throw in Celek and 36 and you really have something. Why would you ever Wildcat with this bunch?

10:22 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

Ed you wildcat with this bunch to mix things up and get another superior athlete on the field in Vick. Trust me, it works when you allow him the option of passing or running vs. just running dives. Against an aggressive blitzing defense, they can really create quick mismatches and force teams to change the way they'll defend. What didn't you like out of the Cat vs. the Giants two weeks ago? Methinks you're just pissed that Jackson took a major hit on his tiny 140 pound frame yesterday when running wildcat. I screamed at the TV as well. he should never be taking wildcat snaps. if Vick isn't healthy, then scrap it. if he is, then run it. No need to run it yesterday in his absence, but when he can play you absolutely run it and pressure the D.

Would it be devastating to get this gift from Chicago and then go into Dallas and stink up the joint? It has all the makings of a turd. Dallas is white hot, Birds have won 6 in a row, big game pressure for Reid and McNabb, lack of healthy players in a few spots. Oh the joy and horror at the same time.

Bumble

12:13 AM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

TMG, our WR don't just catch balls that hit them in the hands, but they make spectacular catches (Maclin, Avant). This is a 2 order of magnitude increase in my opinion. It's one thing to catch balls that are thrown to you, it's quite another to catch balls you've got no right catching. They're making 5 look decent these days.

that was a nice catch by maclin, but a professional receiver is supposed to make that catch. i think we're just unaccustomed to having receivers that catch balls regularly. nice throw, nice catch, strange to see.

anyone else thinking that maclin makes the catch that clanked off curtis' hands to end the nfc championship game last season...

8:01 AM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

Hopefully the Birds can avoid a Dome playoff game, but even if they have to play football indoors (a joke in my opinion), they seem to have the playmakers to win.

definitely agree. i think there is only one team the eagles can't beat -- indianapolis. they match up really well with everyone else, but jim johnson's defense doesn't work against peyton manning, never has.

8:05 AM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

Ed you wildcat with this bunch to mix things up and get another superior athlete on the field in Vick. Trust me, it works when you allow him the option of passing or running vs. just running dives. Against an aggressive blitzing defense, they can really create quick mismatches and force teams to change the way they'll defend.

personally, i'd be happy if i never saw vick throw another pass for the birds. he scares me.

i was on board with the wildcat at the start of the season, but now that i've seen what this team is (and has). i think they should limit its role in the offense.

gimmicks are for teams that need them. this team has too many playmakers to bother with the wildcat unless the regular offense stalls. use it for a change of pace and a plan b.

and definitely never have 10 taking the snap!

8:11 AM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

It has all the makings of a turd. Dallas is white hot, Birds have won 6 in a row

i agree this is a big game, but dallas is "white hot"?

the cowboys are 2-2 in their last 4 games, i wouldn't call that white hot exactly. beating previously unbeaten new orleans was a big deal, but NO also lost to tampa this week.

i'm not saying this is an easy game, but they're not a great team. should be fun to watch. i'm very excited.

8:19 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Wildcat

What has it really accomplished so far? I'm not going to bother to pull together statistics. Rather, I'm just going to give my impressions based on watching the games.

The Eagles have a great standard offense, chock full of playmakers, including Donovan McNabb. It seems like the wildcat is a hinderance rather than a boost. I can't remember seeing any plays that couldn't have been executed by the first string, unless you count plays that feature 10 eunning the ball. I don't want 10 running the ball unless it is out in space, preferably after catching a pass away from the really fat guys that can hurt him.

Vick was a great athlete once upon a time. He doesn't look so great now (to me). Maybe he will be in the future, and I sincerely hope he recaptures his promise, but I view any time he spends on the field as a distraction. I want 5 taking all the snaps. I feel WAY better when the ball is in his hands, particularly now that he is surrounded by people who can actually catch the ball.

The best thing about the 2009 Birds? They don't drop passes. It isn't the spectacular catches that thrill me - it's the catches that should be caught that get caught now. The wildcat just seems like a waste of time.

Throw the damn ball downfield. Run the ball hard with the 3 guys that seem to gain yards consistently. Why try to be "innovative" when the results are mediocre and you don't have any great need?

I realize that I don't understand this game on a sophisticated level, even though I've been a die-hard for 35+ years, but you'd really need to convince me that the wildcat improves on the regular offense. Don't see it.

Ed Wade

8:20 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

Vick is really coming on. his speed is returning and he has a cannon for an arm. If used properly, he is another guy who can advance the ball in huge yardage very quickly. It is a nice wrinkle. i totally see your point, but seeing what it did to the Giants in person-it literally cause defensive panic trying to get men on the field to defend it. Vick could've gained 20 yards a clip vs. them. i know, I know, so is everyone else in the league this year, but Vick is a special athlete in spot duty.

And TMG, to answer your question, No Maclin does not catch the ball that Curtis dropped because Curtis didn't drop the ball. It was a horrible pass to no man's land that clanked off of his desperate outreached hand as he had to cut off one pattern and run backwards in an awkward and desperate attempt to extend the season. Maclin also could not have done a thing to prevent the terrible three passes that preceded Curtis's "drop".

Bumble

10:11 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

You know a few things that are invisible for the most part that grind my gears? Nothing against the team, I am excited, but these are out of the spotlight things that caught my eye.

Sav Rocca sucks. He has at least one terrible punt per game that travels 30 yards. Cannot do that against good teams. Gotta upgrade there in the off season.

In addition, can we officially label Trevor Laws another second round Reid bust at this point? He has been inactive for weeks. Can we please stop drafting DL from Notre Dame? They aren't very good.

This team still sucks on short and inches. they have been stuffed twice in the last two weeks with less than a foot to go. How does that happen with this line, QB, and FB? It gets masked by the fact that they score 30 a week, but I don't understand this deficiency given their talent.

Bumble

10:15 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

Has anyone seen Jay Ratliff from Dallas play? He is the best interior DL in the league right now. Just quick and over powering. Dominates every C he plays. They have to double him this week because he will disrupt a lot of things up the gut by bull dozing fat Nick all day long.

Bumble

10:16 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

And TMG, to answer your question, No Maclin does not catch the ball that Curtis dropped because Curtis didn't drop the ball. It was a horrible pass to no man's land that clanked off of his desperate outreached hand as he had to cut off one pattern and run backwards in an awkward and desperate attempt to extend the season. Maclin also could not have done a thing to prevent the terrible three passes that preceded Curtis's "drop".

that's not what happened, but if that's how you remember it, so be it.

curtis ran an out pattern, and the ball was there in perfect position. if curtis wasn't in the process of being tripped by the d-back trailing him, it would have been an easy catch. the fact that he was falling made it a tough catch, but one that should have been made.

don made one bad pass in the last 4 plays. two others were under duress. the throw to baskett was behind him, no doubt about it, but mcnabb was in the process of getting knocked on his ass by a rusher that came in untouched. there's no point in debating though. we're never going to agree on this.

10:48 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

In addition, can we officially label Trevor Laws another second round Reid bust at this point? He has been inactive for weeks. Can we please stop drafting DL from Notre Dame? They aren't very good.

i can't believe this is something that is sticking in your craw. reid is a wonderful drafter. probably top 5 in the league! how can you complain about a second rounder than didn't pan out when 60% of all second rounders bust?

the glass is 75% full!

10:50 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

Has anyone seen Jay Ratliff from Dallas play? He is the best interior DL in the league right now. Just quick and over powering. Dominates every C he plays. They have to double him this week because he will disrupt a lot of things up the gut by bull dozing fat Nick all day long.

he's definitely a good player. has a quick first step and is a very good pass rusher.

i'm worried about how they're going to match up with him inside too. as someone else mentioned, mcnabb struggles most with pressure right up the middle. controlling ratliff without jackson could be critical.

11:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This team still sucks on short and inches. they have been stuffed twice in the last two weeks with less than a foot to go. How does that happen with this line, QB, and FB? It gets masked by the fact that they score 30 a week, but I don't understand this deficiency given their talent."

I've noticed that every team seems to have trouble in short yardage situations. Seems like it should be really easy to pick up less than a yard. The most reliable play seems to be the QB sneak. I see this play work all the time. If we need to use Vick, why not have him run this play in short yard situations to prevent an injury to 5? Call it the wildcat and everyone's happy.

Ed Wade

8:56 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TMG-just watched the NFC championship highlights on youtube and it had the 4th down play and it was more as you say and less than i remember. Curtis should've caught that ball. My bad and I stand corrected. I will say that Don made some bad decisions dumping 1 yard passes earlier in that series, but this was a ball that was PI and should have been caught.

Bumble

9:22 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

TMG-a second rounder that didn't pan out is a HUGE deal, especially when he is your first pick in the draft as Laws was. They traded Otah, who is a stud and would've been an RT for them for 10 years and with that pick got an additional second. They then used their second to get Laws and a few picks later got the best WR in football (how did he possibly fall that far?!?!) and parlayed that first into Maclin. All in all a great return for losing a solid RT. That said, Laws is a disappointment as a pro. How can a DT have 90 tackles in his senior year of college and be a complete cipher in the pros? I know it's a different game, but something has to translate. Maybe he is hurt or a late bloomer as Justice now appears to be, but I expected more out of him by now. Their Dt rotation suffers because he has been bad.

Bumble

9:25 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

Vick would never touch my field unless he is going to get into space. I'd probably use Don against lesser NT to sneak, Weaver otherwise. Don better not go anywhere near the middle of the line this week against that monster. Ratliff and no jackson is really going to screw up their blocking scheme. i expect lots of center pressure and an LB who is uncovered much of the game thanks to Ratliff.

I hate to say this, but Dallas is good. Very solid team top to bottom. Can implode at any time, but they have a ton of talent.

Bumble

9:29 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

Was it just the entire team being lousy in the second half last week, or did Champ Bailey generally neutralize Jackson? I honestly couldn't tell, but after the first drive 10 had a very meager game. That scares me a bit as Dallas has two physical corners who can jam at the line and run. 10 has got to be a major factor this week.

Bumble

9:31 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Champ Bailey is a flat out stud. The pokes don't have a DB of his caliber.

Ed

9:48 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

I've noticed that every team seems to have trouble in short yardage situations. Seems like it should be really easy to pick up less than a yard. The most reliable play seems to be the QB sneak. I see this play work all the time. If we need to use Vick, why not have him run this play in short yard situations to prevent an injury to 5? Call it the wildcat and everyone's happy.

i'd be on board with that. one of my biggest beefs with big red is his indefensible underutilization of the sneak. his explanation is that it risks mcnabb, so making vick the QB sneak guy makes sense to me.

12:22 AM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

TMG-a second rounder that didn't pan out is a HUGE deal, especially when he is your first pick in the draft as Laws was. They traded Otah, who is a stud and would've been an RT for them for 10 years and with that pick got an additional second. They then used their second to get Laws and a few picks later got the best WR in football (how did he possibly fall that far?!?!) and parlayed that first into Maclin. All in all a great return for losing a solid RT. That said, Laws is a disappointment as a pro. How can a DT have 90 tackles in his senior year of college and be a complete cipher in the pros? I know it's a different game, but something has to translate. Maybe he is hurt or a late bloomer as Justice now appears to be, but I expected more out of him by now. Their Dt rotation suffers because he has been bad.

don't get me wrong, bumble. i agree that laws has been less than productive. but

1) it's still too early to call him a bust (e.g. winston justice)

2) no one hits all their picks and reid hits on way more draft picks than anyone not named bill polian.

i definitely understand if you want to label laws a bust, but i don't see how it makes sense to be irritated at reid about it because on the whole he's a *great* evaluator of talent.

i'm not saying he's infallible or beyond criticism, just that he's better at it than anyone could reasonably expect a GM to be.

i for one am grateful we have him at GM and am willing to overlook the busts he as mixed in here and there because they are far fewer and further between than almost any other team.

12:28 AM EST  
Blogger David said...

I actually don't have a problem with Reid drafting Laws. How can you dislike a speedy DT who has 90 tackles his senior year as a DT? That is unheard of. My issue is actually with Laws himself. Obviously he had the talent at some point-why isn't it translating? He has the NFL body and athleticism, yet is inactive.

However, Reid has had a few duds in the 2nd round-McCoy, Caver. Maybe he just shouldn't draft until the 6th or 7th round.

Bumble

7:44 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

My last statement should've read shouldn't draft LB until the 6th or 7th round.

Bumble

12:08 PM EST  
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