Tuesday, January 13, 2009

DGR is Posted


I was just as impressed re-watching the game as I was sitting through it the first time.


I hope the Eagles remain focused. We've played with an edge for quite a while now. I hope beating a rival like the Giants doesn't lull them into a sense of accomplishment. I think this is a grounded group, but you never know how guys will react to a situation like this.

This is a real tough time of the year for players and coaches. You want to celebrate a big win, but also want to remember that there is work left to do. That can make for a tricky balancing act.

I feel pretty confident in the Eagles because many members of the team have had playoff success before. We're also not blowing people away. Playing in tight games can help to keep you on edge.

I've written a few times that I really like the character of this team. One of the good things is the mixture of grizzled vets (McNabb, Dawk, Tra, Jon, etc.) and youth. Guys like Stewart Bradley, Brodrick Bunkley, and Chris Gocong are new to this. They're bringing a lot of enthusiasm. I also like what Asante Samuel brings to the mix. His INTs are nice, but he's also got some attitude. I like a defense that plays with emotion.

One other very encouraging thing is that the team hasn't played a great game yet. The Eagles haven't had a masterful performance. They are just playing good football. There's nothing fluky about what is going on.

Let's hope Sunday is a fun day. It sure feels good to be back in the hunt for a Super Bowl.


Stephen said...

I've watched both of the Cardinal's playoff games, and the biggest contrast I see between them and the Eagles right now is this: The Eagles are playing like an old junkyard dog, scrappy, tough, physical football. Nothing flashy or clever, we're just taking it to the other team, socking them in the mouths. The Cardinals on the other hand look just excited to still be playing. They took down an equally surprising Atlanta team barely, and then took a gimme from the Jake Delhomme turnover machine. I don't think the Cards are ready for the kind of old school thumpin style we're about to bring into their house.

Fear and said...

I worry about this game, much like I worried about the Washington game 15. Arizona is a passing offense, and is at its best in optimal conditions. Playing in the desert is a huge benefit to them. Last time we saw them they were clearly under-prepared, thanks to the short week and travel. I think back to the successful goal line shovel pass, for example, that never would have worked against a well-prepared team who knew our tendencies.

I also have not seen our offense be able to perform very well of late. It could be that the optimal conditions will allow our passing game to flourish; in fact, I would hope that this happens, because I think it is our best chance for a win. But make no mistake, this is the biggest challenge our defense will have faced since probably the first Giants game.

Tommy Lawlor said...

The key thing for me is that we have to understand that ARZ will score points. We won't hold them to 11.

Our offense will need to score points, and not just FGs.

This game will be an interesting test for our D. The last 2 teams were running squads. Now we go to a pass happy bunch. Is that good or bad for us?

Brad said...

The key is of course pressure. They absolutely have to get in the face of Warner on a consistent basis. I would imagine the LB's will be blitzing since I think it will be necessary to keep the safeties deep to help on Fitz.

In addtition, turnovers, more so than normal. If the Eagles do not turn the ball over, and are able to consistently pick up first downs as they have been, the Eagles will win this game. Arizona will not be able to continuously drive down the field against this defense without making mistakes themselves. I would still be surprised if this defense allows 20 or more points as long as the offense takes care of the ball.

Mark H. said...

I think Brad has it right. Pressure on Warner is essential, and a ball-control offense that keeps converting third downs and keeps their offense off the field would be huge.

Prem Prakash said...

Every one of these comments is spot on. But, having said that, I think we are touched by Philly pessimism. There's so much talk about the improved Cardinals, but put yourself in their spikes and look at the Eagles. Our D is a monster right now. Fitz will get his yards but Warner, as great as is his arm and poise, is a corpse in the pocket. I hope our D ends and blitzing Dawkins are salivating.

Plus, McNabb has never played better, using his weapons in an effective and efficient way. I am also hopeful that Buck will be involved in a significant way, especially if Westy is, indeed, banged up.

Finally, the Cradinals may have looked strong last week, but their month of December was not impressive. If I remember, they lost to the Giants, Vikings and Pats, with two of those games at home. I'm a homer, for sure, but I think the Eagles improvement is much more significant and sustained. It may not be easy, but I see the Eagles taking care of business and going to Tampa.