Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Night Thoughts

The Eagles won 27-14. It wasn't pretty, but it was a win. The Eagles have now taken two games in a row. Let's hope that is just the start of a nice winning streak.

I wrote about the need for the Eagles to funnel the offense through Brian Westbrook in my last post. They did just that and it paid off big time. Brian ran for 167 yards and 2 TDs. He led the Eagles with 6 catches (for 42 yards).

The offense is explosive when McNabb throws the ball downfield and goes all over the place, but it is efficient and consistent when it focuses on getting the ball to the RB, whether Buck or Westy.

If we can get Westy hot, that will make winning games a whole lot easier. Sunday was a great start.

* The run defense came to play. They clogged the middle. They sealed the edges. It was a total team effort. The Falcons finished with 24 carries for 77 yards.

* The Eagles ran the ball very well, 32 rushes for 192 yards and 3 TDs. They did a couple of things. The OL blocked well and let Westy get free up the middle. The edge blockers sealed well a couple of times and let Brian get outside.

Philly also had success running against the Falcons Nickel defense. With only 6 defenders in the box, the Eagles were able to get a hat on a hat and give Westbrook plenty of room to run.

* I was very impressed with QB Matt Ryan. About halfway through the 2nd Qtr I wasn't sure which team had the rookie passer. Ryan made some mistakes, but he played very well overall. His receivers didn't help him out. They had a couple of drops and sloppy routes.

McNabb really struggled until about haflway through the 2nd Qtr. He missed LJ on a seam route for a big gain and I screamed "DONOVAN!!!" so loud that I figured my neighbors would be coming over to inquire as to who this Donovan fellow was and what he did that got me so pissed off.

Once McNabb got in rhythm, he was fine. He made some great throws. I was especially happy to see him finally run some. He had 6 runs for 25 yards, including a TD. The best run was a 12-yard scramble. That set up a QB draw for a TD.

* The botched call late in the game was just terrible. You hate to see the refs miss a call like that, especially in a close game and at a crucial time. The one thing to remember is that there was no guarantee that Matty Ice would have led the Falcons down for a score. I consulted Miss Cleo directly after the game and she assured me that the Eagles would have picked a pass and run it back for a TD. Always trust Miss Cleo.

* Roddy White showed that he is the real deal. He had 8 catches for 113 yards. Samuel and Brown did a good job on him for part of the game, but Ryan kept feeding him the ball.

Atlanta has the makings of a good offense. They need a TE (or two) and some OL.

* The Falcons had great field position most of the 1st half, but could only come up with 7 points. They were too conservative with their playcalling. The offense came alive in the 2nd half when they got desperate and started throwing the ball. I was shocked to see Ryan finished with 44 pass attempts.


* Trent Cole didn't have a sack, but still played a good game.
* Chris Gocong played his best game of the year. He had a sack, 2 TFLs, and stuffed the run.
* Asante was mixed. He gave up a couple of TDs, but had a pick and 3 PDs. The TDs weren't all on him.
* Lito Sheppard had his best game by far. He had a pick and 4 PDs.

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