Monday, November 10, 2008

Giant Disaster...That Almost Wasn't

I don't know what to say after watching the Eagles lose to the NY Giants, 36-31. I don't know that I've ever been more confused after a game.

The Eagles got completely out-played. They got out-coached. They got no breaks from the zebras. And yet the Eagles had the ball near midfield late in the game with a chance to go down and score the go-ahead TD.

How the hell did that happen?

Red Zone offense, largely a problem this year, was great. We were 4 out of 5 in the RZ and 3 for 3 on goal-to-go situations. David Akers was busy kicking extra points instead of field goals. That was the main reason we kept the game close. The Giants couldn't put us away because they had to settle for FGs on a few drives.

The defense was terrible. No two ways about it. They came up with a couple of takeaways, but that was hardly enough. The Giants converted 7 of 15 3rd down attempts, as well as their only 4th down try. They ran at will (219 yards). They piled up 401 yards. They won the time of possession battle by about 2 weeks.

Don't try to blame one player or position. It was a group effort. The guys stunk as a group. Give them some credit for unity. There wasn't a lack of effort. The guys did play hard. It was just futile effort.

About that final drive...

We moved from our 14 to our 43 pretty smoothly. We faced 3rd/3. Donovan didn't rush a play prior to the 2-minute warning. The coaches had some time to think about what they wanted to do. We needed 3 yards and had 2 downs. The decision was to run a toss play on 3rd down. Westy got the ball and ran for a couple of yards. He got out of bounds. That stopped the clock and left the team with 4th/1. What to do...

The Eagles had 2 options as I saw it. They could spread the Giants out and run a QB draw or they could roll Donovan out and give him a run/pass option. Instead Andy/Marty decided to run to the right side from a standard I-formation.


We lack a good FB. We lack a dominant blocker at TE. Our Pro Bowl RG is busy rehabbing his back/soul. Our RT is so old that he played for the Houston Oilers. Westy had run for 25 yards all night. What F'ing part of that told Andy and Marty that the way to go was running from the base offense?

We ran right and the Giants destroyed the play. No gain. Game over.

Did I mention that was a horrible call?

Here's my problem. Who the heck am I supposed to be mad at? The offense scored 31 points against the Giants, a top notch defense. The defense struggled all game long, but did stop the Giants when they had to late in the game and get the ball back for the offense.

Painful game no matter how you look at it or who you blame.

We fall to 5-4 and 0-3 in the division. Not good.

We have a Top 10 defense, but think about the games within the division. Our defense has been awful:

41 points to Dallas
36 points to NY
23 points to Washington

We've given up 100 points to teams in the NFC East. That's horrible. Sure, it is the best division in the NFL, but you can't allow 33+ a game and expect to win.

All 3 teams have run on us. We controlled Dallas for the most part, but Barber got yards in the 2nd half...when they were needed.

Dallas - 68 rushing yards
Washington - 203
NY - 219 rushing yards

That is 490 yards in 3 division games.

We have Brian Westbrook on offense, an elite RB. How's he done in the division games?

Dallas - 58 yards
Washington - 33 yards
NY - 26 yards

Westy has a total of 114 rushing yards in 3 division games (our most important games). He did hurt his ribs in the Washington game, but you can still see that simply isn't enough carries. He's our best player on offense, but isn't getting the ball in a way that reflects that. I know he's versatile, but he also isn't piling up big numbers as a receiver in division games.

I don't know what the hell all of this means.

We're 0-3 in NFC East games. We've been physically dominated in 2 of the 3 games, but probably should have won all 3 games. Yes, that is as confusing as it sounds. We're not a good team. We're not a bad team. We're stuck in the middle.

Next up is the Bengals. We have to forget about the NFC East at this point and concentrate on winning games and getting into position to get a Wildcard berth. If some miracle scenario puts us back in the NFC East hunt...great. Not likely. Sorta like my proposal to Megan Fox.

2008 is shaping up to be one of the more confusing seasons in recent memory. We have too much talent to write the team off, but too many mistakes and bad games to make me believe in the team.

We wasted a big opportunity tonight.

1 comment:

Mark H. said...

I think the bottom line is that a good team should be able to get 1 yard when they need it, and we've had at least 3 losses due in part to the fact that we couldn't. It hurts to say, but we just don't appear to be in the same class as the Giants.

Thank God for the Phillies!