Monday, October 12, 2009

Game Review is Posted


Here ya go:

-- Link --

I felt better about the game after re-watching it. Josh Johnson has to get a lot of credit for some of those plays. He did throw the picks, but also escaped several sacks. And who told Kellen Winslow to play up to his ability?

We're playing bad teams right now. There's no escaping that. We are blowing them out. WAS barely beat STL. Dallas needed OT to beat the Chiefs. Good teams can't help who they play. They can only focus on playing well and winning big.

We're Top 10 in yards and points on offense. We're #3 in yards allowed on defense. Scoring defense is the only pedestrian category. That Saints loss (48 points ) just kills us.

One other note...this was the sloppiest week of NFL play that I can ever recall. Teams made bonehead mistakes left and right. I'll write about this later in the week, but on a weird day it was good that we were one team to take care of business.


Stephen said...

If you're touching topics around the league, how about Derek Anderson going 2-17? Jamarcus Russel would be horrified at a stat line like that.

Peyton Manning is off to an otherworldly start. I read somewhere, how does someone have a 70% completion percentage and then increase it? By going 36-44 passing on the Titans.

Roscoe Parrish probably is sick to death today.

I smiled on the inside when the Broncos beat the Pats. I was one of the few people who was defending Josh Mcdaniels this preseason (I feel like you can't let immature players hold the organization hostage with their antics, no matter how big of a star they are). I also can't stand Bill "If you aren't cheating you aren't trying" Belichick so this was an especially fulfilling win for me. People with no integrity like Belichick cheapen the sport.

Cliff said...

While we're on the subject of the rest of the NFL, I want to bring up the Titans. On paper they're a very talented team, but I'm tired of people (mostly TV guys) saying they're "the best 0-5 team ever" and "they're much better than their record." Huh? No they're not.

Their QB is inconsistent. Their defensive line is thin. Their secondary is porous. They're 16th in offense and 23rd in defense.

How does all of that translate to being "better than 0-5?" In my opinion, bad QB play and a worn down defense gets you that record. The TV/radio guys are focusing way too much on the Titans' 2008 record. They whine about too much parody in the NFL and then forget that ups and downs happen to the good franchises too.

Jason said...

Nice review as always. I do have a question though. In your "Ugly Win-Tampa" post you wrote that Trotter had a big hand in limiting Cadillac. When I read that I was a little surprised and was hoping to read more about that in your game review. Did watching the game a second time change that opinion?

Personally, I was unimpressed by Trotter. Granted, I expected him to come out a little rusty so I'm not trying to jump to conclusions just yet. That being said, I have to admit I was not as excited about Trot coming back as many other Eagles fans seem to be. Don't get me wrong, I love what he has done here in the past. The issue I have with the signing is that IMO he is a liability against the past and the last season he played here, I felt he was also poor against the run. I understand Gaither is not a stud, but I do think he is a serviceable MLB and I prefer for him to be on the field. I think Bunk and Patterson make up for Gaither's lack of size on run plays. On the other hand, teams can easily go to a pass play when they see Trot on the field and simply attack him to make plays. Although that may be slightly predictable, I do think the advantage goes to the offense in that case. Anyway, can you talk a little more about how you see Trot fitting in?

izzylangfan said...

While watching the Eagles game this past Sunday I was a bit frustrated by the overall play even though the Eagles were winning handily. One of the things that bugged me was that it seemed that there were too many third and longs. I have been critical of the Eagles play calling, particularly situations where the Eagles pass long incomplete on first down, second down or both. I have felt that the Eagles should mix it up more on first down and in particular, use the short pass more. So I looked closely at the game book for a better sense of what happened.

The Eagles did have 9 third and long situations defined as third and six or longer. (Only one was as short as third and six and that was with Vick as QB in the end game.) Three third and longs came after Vick and Kolb were in at QB during the end game so I won't count those. I counted the two third and long plays around DeSean Jackson's offensive pass interference call as one third and long situation since I want to discuss how we got into those third and longs in the first place. I note however that of those six situations we converted three to first downs.

Of the six third and longs:

o None were created by long pass- long pass,

o Two were created by run- run,

o There was one long pass- run, one short pass- long pass, one sack-short pass, and one sack - run.

In the case of the sacks I don't know what pass was intended without access to the overhead tape. But in general it does not look like the play calling was to blame for the third and longs specifically in terms of the long pass, short pass, run breakdown.

I also thought it would be interesting to look at the Eagles play calling on first downs. The Eagles ran 23 first down plays in the game but only 19 came before the Vick/Kolb insertion at the end game. Of those 19 first downs the Eagles passed 13 times and ran 6 or 68% pass, 32% run. The McNaabb completed 7 out of nine passes on those plays and there were two sacks and two scrambles. McNabb was three for four on first down long passes and four for five on first down short passes. The two touchdowns to Maclin ended two play drives that involved first down scrambles by McNabb followed by first down long pass TD's. There was another two play drive of a 20 yd pass to Westbrook followed by a Westbrook TD run. Another TD drive included three first down plays capped of by a first down short pass to Weaver who got some good YAC for the TD. The field goal drive included five first downs including two complete short passes, a sack and two runs.

All and all I would say good results and good play calling on first down.

Tommy Lawlor said...

RE: Trot

While watching the game live I happened to focus on a couple of plays where he was near the RB on a play where we stuffed them. That led me to a false conclusion that he'd helped with the run D.

And that is why I re-watch the games carefully and take notes. I want to study each snap to make sure what I write is correct or as close to correct as possible. Without coaches tape and great angles sometimes I still have to do a bit of guessing.

I'm going to write about the MLB spot in more detail later this week.

izzylangfan said...

I also had trouble evaluating Trotter during the game. However, just from raw statistics thee tackles in 20 plays projects to 6 in forty plays which is more like a full boat for a starter - nine tackles in 60 plays if we go to the extreme. That doesn't sound too shabby.

If nothing else it appears that Trotter's return motivated Gaither. I saw him make some determined hits in the middle stopping the runner cold at least once.

izzylangfan said...

Brian Westbrook ran the ball six times for 18 yards. But the interesting thing to me was that after a long period going back to late last year where Westbrook was used almost exclusively up the middle, Reid switched gears and sent him to the outside - 4 times to the right and twice to the left.

The standard wisdom is that Westbrook is best in space so sending him to the outside where he can turn the corner or cut back into less of a crowd than up the middle makes sense.

I'm hoping that the reason Reid sent him to the outside this time is because he is seeing in practice that Westbrook is improving and wanted to measure his progress against live competition. Although it seemed clear to me that Westbrook didn't yet have enough burst to make those plays really great, I'm hoping that changes fast.

Of course Reid could have had reasons for using Westbrook that way that fit the strategy of the game plan. What to you think Reid's objective was(strategically or otherwise) in running Westbrook exclusively to the outside?

I note also that Westbrook was very effective on that 20 pass yard play when he was covered by a linebacker and that the Eagles have mostly eschewed the use of the screen play with Westbrook or anyone else. I don't remember any screens is this last game. Why do you think that is?

Pitmanite said...

Izzy, i like the analysis you did but i had a different take on some of the things you discussed. if you've read anything i've posted before you won't be surprised by my post, since i'm obsessed with our pass/run ratio and lack of commitment to the run. i really didn't get too worked up this week because we won, but i'm not all that excited because we played a horrible team.

i may have read your post incorrectly, but i think it is a bad thing throwing 68% of the time on first down, even though we were converting them. more importantly, i think throwing too much in this game was bad for 2 reasons. the 1st is related to donovan's health and the 2nd is related to what tommy mentioned in his post as our inability to put together sustained drives as opposed to just big play scores. i'll address the donovan thing first.

let's look at the game when we were up 21-7 and 28-7. we enter the 3rd quarter up 21-7 , we have a QB who has been injury prone and is coming off of a broken rib that has kept him out the last 2 games, so at this point i'm thinking you've got a nice lead, let's not let our QB take unnecessary hits. let's make an effort to run the ball and see if we can be effective. what do we do? on our first drive we come out and throw on 1st down and donovan gets sacked. then we run and throw for a 3 and out. next drive is same thing and 3 and out. the next drive we threw on 1st down for a completion and then westy scored on the next play to go up 28-7. now we're up by 3 TDs so i'm convinced Andy will not subject donny to any unnecessary hits, but the next drive we throw the first 3 plays and out of an 11 play drive we throw on 7 plays. he was sacked on one of these plays and i believe hit hard on one pass and gave a thumbs up after. He took donny out after this, but in the 19 plays we ran with Donny, while up big we threw it 12 out of 19 plays (63%). And it was a pass almost every time on first down. I don’t get why you would feel the need to have him throw so often against a horrible team with a huge lead. This isn’t the first time Andy has sent a dinged up Donovan out there and had let him sling it either when we were up big or down big, with no regard for his health. I’m glad we were successful throwing but this leads me to my 2nd point.

Pitmanite said...

When you’re up big isn’t this the perfect time to try and work out the kinks on the running game? This would be the perfect time to give Shady more carries so he can continue working on his game and getting game experience. He got 6 carries!! That’s ridiculous to be up big against a bad team and not pound the ball. In the 2nd half we should’ve had a goal to run shady 10-15 times and give big Leonard like 5 carries. You could keep resting westy or if you feel he’s good let him knock off some rust and take some of those carries. I’m glad Maclin went off, but he got a lot of production in the first half and we’ve seen what D-Jack and Celek can do. How about giving our young RBs a chance to shine and let our offensive lineman pound on people. How can you work on being “efficient” in the running game, as Andy likes to say, if you never work on the running game? We chuck it up in all tight games, when we’re behind, and when we’re ahead. Especially when your QB isn’t 100% and you’re exposing him to unnecessary hits!

I hope I’m wrong, but as much as I hate to say it, I don’t think we’re going to win it all playing like this. When that bad weather comes and late in the year you’re playing playoff teams you need to be able to run. Put together sustained drives where you control the clock and punch it in the endzone. We don’t do that. We don’t prepare our guys to do it all year even when we play bad teams. You can show me a few teams that have done that over the years, but in general well-balanced teams win. We have talented RBs and guys who want to run block but we don’t give our guys the work. I wrestled in high school and college and in practice or in matches when I wrestled bad guys I often worked on refining my technique and getting comfortable hitting moves that I didn’t necessarily consider my go to moves. I didn’t wait until I wrestled the best guys and then try to do things I hadn’t tried before or hadn’t gotten comfortable with. So it’s asking a lot of your guys to run the ball 35% of the time all year, and then in big situations against good teams in the playoffs when the other team knows you’re going to try to run, expect your team to perform. We saw how that worked in many of the close games we lost last year.

Stephen said...

I think there is some wisdom in what you say Pitmanite, I think that for the most part though most of us have just accepted that Andy is going to be a pass pass pass and pass some more even when its not working kind of coach. In the end he's been extremely successful over the years, even during playoff football using his approach, so I remain optimistic that he can get the lombardi for us regardless of whether he changes his ways or not, but I do believe our chances would increase if he would just focus on the running game more.

The biggest problem overall I think isn't the amount of actual running we do during games, its like you said, the preparation and practice put in place to be successful when you really need it. I remember Jon Ritchie saying it was an issue even in practice, because 90% of the practice reps were passing plays. If we worked on the running game more, I think it would be much more efficient when we need it to be, and in general, so that at the very least when we do run the ball that 40% of the time they are quality runs rather than the 2.5 YPC variety.

Pitmanite said...

you know, even though i complain about his play calling all the time, i'd still take Andy over almost every other coach in the nfl. he's brought us a bunch of great years and I can't argue with the past results. he just seems so stubborn sometimes. hopefully we get it done with him at some point.