Sunday, January 18, 2009

And Then Depression Set in...

Arizona 32, Philadelphia 25. Season over.

I never expected our defense to struggle the way they did. This was their worst game since Week 10 vs NYG. They gave up 3 long TD drives. They gave up a big play TD. They were given a lead in the 4th Quarter and couldn't hang onto it.

I felt like the Eagles lost this game more than the Eagles won it. Mistakes, mistakes, and more mistakes.

McNabb left 3 or 4 TDs on the field. Our WRs ran free and open for much of the game. Donovan made poor reads and also made poor throws.

Hank dropped a pass.

GLew dropped a pass.

Tra Thomas came up small.

Quintin Demps had a ridiculous roughing the passer penalty.

Several defenders missed tackles.

Buck had a false start penalty. So did Avant.

Klecko had a holding penalty.

And so on.

David Akers had a nightmare game. He missed a 1st half FG. He missed an extra point. He had a KO go out of bounds. The score should have been 32-30 on our final drive.

Several receivers did come up big. Curtis delivered a couple of long plays. DeSean had a 62-yard TD catch. Celek caught 10 passes and 2 TDs.

I'll go back and re-watch the tape in a day or two. I'll try to see what the problems were, especially on defense. We do have to give Kurt Warner a lot of credit. He came up huge when his team needed him.

The season is over. We have some key issues to deal with, but we'll get to them in the near future. I'm bummed. I've had a few beers. We'll start the offseason talk soon enough.

2008 was a very weird, but fun season. I hate that we came up short (again), but there is a lot to be happy about. I just hope we're able to build off it.


Fear and said...

I saw this coming. I really did. I said in a previous comment that facing the Arizona passing attack in ideal conditions, inside a dome in the desert, would be the best offense our team had faced since the first Giants game.

The difference in this game wasn't the defense, in the end. Yes, they gave up a lot of points, but you aren't going to stop that team at home. You just aren't. There is a reason that they averaged more than 30 points a game during the regular season, vs. 23 away. It was going to be a shootout. They were held under 29 points at home only ONCE all year!! Why did people expect it to be so much different with us?

The problem was that the offense couldn't win a shootout. Why not? We only punted once, after all, while Arizona punted five times. The problem with this team is that it can't capitalize on scoring opportunities. Settled for FG tries too many times when they should have scored. Same problem as all year.

What does this team need? Guys who can get it done when the field gets short. WRs and/or TEs with height and strength. Kevin Curtis and DeSean Jackson are great between the 20s, but we need a starting WR and/or TE who is going to demand special attention in the red zone. That is the single greatest flaw on the team, IMHO.

Fear and said...

By the way, that doesn't excuse the defense, but I am saying that if you expected less than 30 points, you were an overwhelming optimist.

-- shlynch

Nickname unavailable said...

I just wonder what this regime has left. 1-4 in NFC Championship Games. 0-1 in the Super Bowl. Missed the playoffs twice in the last four years. Injuries to key players (McNabb, Westbrook, and now Andrews). Consistently struggling to either come back (offense) or maintain (defense).

Time for changes? Do we keep with what we have because "it could be worse"....I guess this is why I love and hate the Eagles. They get so close only to chop your legs out from under you....but at this point, it's come to be expected at least by me.

Maybe it's just my glass is half empty perspective (well really all empty), but a buddy of mine calls me right after DeSean Jackson's TD and told me to shut up because I told him early it was over...Knowing what I've seen over the years, I told him frankly the Cardinals would win this game...So what I'm getting at, is I guess it's hard for me to even get up for this team when year after year, they just keep cutting me down.

So I ask, is it time for a change? QB, Coach, RB, GM?

Prem Prakash said...

At the beginning of the game my buddies and I talked about the factors that would result in an Eagles win. We agreed Fitz would have to be bumped at the line, Warner would have to be pressured, McNabb would need to hit the open man, we needed 7 when we got to the red zone, and Westbrook would need to have a big game.

The fact that we were not highly sucessful in any of these areas (throw in Demps penalty, dropped passes, and Akers misses) and still almost won shows how strong this team is. For me this was the most disappointing of all the NFCCG losses.

When a team plays under their potential, especially in the playoffs, I think the blame lies on the coaching. I believe something is missing in the game prep that keeps the Eagles from winning these big games. Reid is certainly responsible, but what kind of D did JJ have set up at the beginning of the game? Hanson was all over Fitz in the first game, why was Asante playing so loose?

I think McNabb still has a lot of tread on his tires but they got to get him a stud receiver. Can you imagine D-Mac with Warner's receiving core? He would be lights out. Plus, I hate to say it, but I wonder if Westbrook is the new L.T., another great back past his prime?