Sunday, October 18, 2009



Football is a game of execution. Talent is great, but the players must execute or all that talent simply won't function properly. 10 players can do their job, but one critical mistake can ruin a play. Boy did we see that today. It seemed like everyone had a hand in this disaster. For example:

* Asante Samuel had a couple of terrible tackle attempts that proved costly. No one expects him to be Ronnie Lott, but the failure to even slow guys down killed us. His biggest miss was on Zach Miller's TD. Terrible attempt. Samuel also got called for a penalty that helped the Raiders.

* Donovan McNabb had his annual "what the hell?" game. The pressure got to him early and he never got into the flow of the game. He made poor throws all day long. There were some good plays on his part, but not enough. The lowlight was his attempted timeout late in the 1st half. Donovan has got to know how many timeouts we have.

* Westy put up good numbers, but when did he get so slow? There were 2 or 3 plays when he was out in the open and should have been off to the races. Brian played his tail off and was our best guy on the field, but his lack of speed did hurt us today.

* The entire OL was bad. King Dunlap I can understand struggling. He's a backup player being thrown into the fire. He battled, but had a terrible matchup. King is best vs speed rushers. This just happened to be the week when we faced a team with a 300-lb RDE. Seymour pushed King around for much of the game. Nick Cole had his worst game of the year. Max Jean-Gilles missed a block early and continues to frustrate me. He's better than Mike McGlynn?

* LeSean McCoy had his worst game. He struggled with assignments in pass pro. He fumbled. We really could have used his speed on some plays.

* Brent Celek had a costly drop over the middle. He also whiffed on a block in pass pro early in the game that led to a sack and set the tone for the whole day.

* We had a bunch of dropped passes. Celek's is the one that sticks out most clearly.

* David Akers picked a bad day to struggle. He missed 2 FGs that proved to be the difference in the game.

* The defense played a solid game. They held Oakland to 13 points and came up with a pair of takeaways. That's usually good enough to win. Unfortunately the defense was sloppy and should have even posted better numbers. The biggest problem continues to be our ability to cover TEs. Zach Miller had a great day.

* Jeremiah Trotter came up small on a couple of huge plays. He got burned on Miller's TD. I also have to wonder what he was doing on the field on the final 3rd down play of the game. Oakland had 3rd/long. We needed to stuff the run so having Trot made some sense. My beef is that they needed 10 yards. We should have been able to keep even a good run from going that far. Trot on the field gives you a slow LB in case they do pass or try a trick. They did and he had no chance to catch the FB. Game over.

* Our coaching was terrible for much of the game. I said we should attack them with a vertical passing attack. Peters went down early in the game. At that moment the gameplan should have gone out the window and we should have concentrated on intermediate stuff. Instead, we continued to go deep. Donovan got sacked 6 times and rarely had the clean pocket he needed to complete downfield throws.

Marty and Andy continually dialed up deep balls and tons of pass plays, 53 in all. RBs finished the game with 11 carries. Absolutely pitiful. We never trailed by more than 7 points, but Andy and Marty acted like we were down 30.

The moment that made me most angry came late in the half. We were driving and had already gotten into scoring territory. Out comes Michael Vick. We had no timeouts left. Shuffling personnel is a waste of time. I understand if you want a FB out there or a 4th WR or something like that. Vick? With the clock ticking and points at a premium? There was some confusion and this led to Donovan calling the 4th timeout.

There are times when I seriously wonder about Reid and Mornhinweg. I don't get the obsession with passing, but there is at least some logic behind their thinking. The love of gimmicks and trying to outsmart opponents is what absolutely kills me. How about we just line up and physically beat the team across from us? You establish some kind of base offense and then mix in your tricks. The Raiders did that today. They ran well and then the short passes to the TE, RB, and FB worked great.

* There were some positives in the game, but they were few and far between. Even if we had pulled this game out late I'd be pretty ticked off. We played like crap. I can live with a loss if someone outplays us. Getting beat by Dallas in Week 2 last year was tough, but that was a heck of a game.

I've got a lot more on my mind, but I need to re-watch the game to be specific about certain things. Time to get started on that.


Prem Prakash said...

Tommy, how can you bear to watch this thing again?

Tommy Lawlor said...

I think of it as an autopsy.

Pitmanite said...

there was a lot wrong with this game, but this is the only thing i'm going to say.

here's a number for in this is where Oakland's rushing defense ranked coming into this game. their passing D was ranked 18th.

scouting report would say we should probably attack that poor rushing defense and commit to running the ball. here's our first half plays: 32 total plays. 25 pass and 7 run (not counting donovan dropping back to pass and getting sack as a rush attempt).

so we passed the ball 77% of the time against a team whose run defense was ranked 2nd to last in the entire league!!!! that didn't work so well in the 1st half so surely we'll change things up after only scoring 6 pts in the 1st half.

so how do we start the first 2 drives? 8 of 10 plays are passes (80%) and we throw 25 out of 30 times in the 2nd half (83%)!! say hello to your 2010 eagles offensive braintrust of andy and marty folks!

Dollar Brand said...

I went out of my way to find a place that televised the game here in Houston and got this? Re: the 3rd and 10 late in the game I believe Trot was in for an injured Gaither per Andy's post-game comments. Still makes little sense though. Every year in this Reid regime the team seems to play a game (or three) where Reidenwhig act like they don't have better players just better plays. How do we lose to a team that completes NO passes to a wide receiver?

It was like watching Spurrier throw 3! straight fades in the red zone last night and fail each time.

Keep firing.

Stephen said...

All in all this was the most brutal loss I think I've ever watched. The playoff losses were worse because of the fact that losing sent us packing for the year, but I've never seen the team so disoriented and playing so poorly all around in my life.

The nonsense with Vick in the game at the end of the half is stupid, they're convinced they can make this wildcat thing work and they're going to keep calling it until it does, whether it actually gets there or not.

The run/pass balance of course is absolutely atrocious and appalling, a mirror image of what happened last year with Cincinnati. When throwings not working, why not throw some more?

Honestly I think so much of this falls squarely on Andy's shoulders. The guys did not look ready to play today, and its the head coaches job to keep people motivated. He also did a terrible job with playcalling and timeout management in the first half. Theres no way a team like us can look so bad and confused without there being some breakdown at the top.

Frankly I was so sick after this game I couldn't even watch the bears/falcons game. I pretty much just holed up and read a book and pretended the shit never happened.

The funny thing is it took about 1 quarter and I knew we were going to lose. I knew Andy wasn't going to rally the troops, I knew that Donovan wasn't suddenly going to get it together. It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion, you knew the carnage was coming and it was just taking forever to be over with. Even late in the game when we still had a chance to win it I knew we were going to lose.

How many times today did they burn our blitz with that short pass to the flat? God if we could do something as simple as fucking tackling we might have actually won today, despite how fucking miserable we were playing otherwise.

This all comes back to the biggest problem of all, because we dont even try to run the ball out of a standard formation, we don't practice it or use it in the games, when we actually NEED to run the ball we CAN'T run the ball. Some of those rushing attempts early on were just pitiful, I think I saw every single OL getting driven backwards on a few of them.

By putting all our eggs in one basket, we NEED the passing game to work. If Donovan isn't carrying the team, we're fucked because we couldn't run the ball even if we wanted to. At least a team like New Orleans has evolved into a multidimensional team, and they're reaping the rewards of that actual intelligent thinking. Just because they CAN constantly shred you with the pass doesn't mean they always DO, because they recognize the value of a decent running game, not just because of the play action value it adds (of which we have none, no linebacker ever pauses even for a second on our play fakes it seems because no one fears our running game) but because they know that eventually they might NEED to run the ball.

Its games like these that make me appreciate other teams, you know the ones who don't constantly play down to their opponents level. Playing at a high level should be such a given at this level of competition I can't even understand how a WHOLE FREAKING TEAM can play down to the damn Raiders!

Stephen said...

Oh, and I'd also like to share that every time Andy Reid, or any of the players says something about them "outplaying" us a little part of me dies. Todays loss had NOTHING to do with what the Raiders were doing. Today had EVERYTHING to do with how badly WE were playing, not how good they were playing. They were playing far above and beyond what anyone had expected of them, AND THEY STILL ONLY WON BY 4 POINTS EVEN THOUGH WE PLAYED THE WORST FOOTBALL I THINK IVE SEEN FROM THIS TEAM IN A DECADE!

How you can possibly somehow attribute todays loss to a great performance by the Raiders rather than a just nauseating performance by ourselves is beyond me. Go back and watch the game and tell me which of the two you see (especially when Donovan tries to call our 4th timeout, his game awareness is second to none I tell you).

Fortunately Westbrook I see actually echoed my exact sentiments to the press, what a surprise that someone who actually takes it upon himself to be great rather than just blaming everything on a great performance by the opponent actually had his head in the game enough to let Donovan know that we don't actually have anymore timeouts. Kudos to Mr. Westbrook, even if his knees aren't going to let him be great anymore.

jt1694 said...

I can deal with McNabb forgetting we didn't have a TO--he is busy playing the game and worrying about a bunch of stuff. Far worse was Reid's timeout before the 2 minute warning at game's end. That's just dumb clock management and should be an obvious one--you want to give them the incentive to run the ball to kill your 3rd tineout on 3rd and 10, ensuring you get the ball back for one final possession. Reid is consistently just bad with clock management, and it cost us again today.

T_S_O_P said...

I'm just going to repeat something I have been saying for a while, "Marty is not a good bed fellow for Andy Reid; which of these two will ever keep each other honest?"

Oh, and great game Sav Rocca, it could of looked embarrassing had you not been there to continually give the Raiders a long field.

HÃ¥kan said...

The moment that made me most angry came late in the half. We were driving and had already gotten into scoring territory. Out comes Michael Vick. We had no timeouts left. Shuffling personnel is a waste of time. I understand if you want a FB out there or a 4th WR or something like that. Vick? With the clock ticking and points at a premium? There was some confusion and this led to Donovan calling the 4th timeout."

Thank you for being the first expert analyst to actually point that out.

Why is it so hard for Andy to play WCO?
Call the play, let the QB find the matchup he likes, move the ball with runs,screens and passes?
Instead, Andy and Marty runs the most advanced trickery they can dream up where its practically decided in advance where the ball will go!?
Yes there's a couple of reads in their trick plays but more often than not the player called upon to make that read is a rookie(shady), a wr(maclin,jackson) or an incompetent QB who has been out of the game for two years aka Vick.

And all this just to fuck things upp for the ProBowl, Hall of fame QB he has?


Mark H. said...

This was a bag-over-the-head loss. I'm embarrassed to be an Eagles fan this morning. Thank God for the Phillies.

Watching Trotter try to cover tight ends and RB's in the flat was giving me flashbacks to Jurevicius vs. Blaine Bishop and Levon Kirkland. I don't know how many times Oakland run-blocked to one side and then ran a pass to the RB in the flat on the weakside, but it seemed to work every single time for them. Infuriating.

Our OL appears to have no depth. And we gained 4.8 yards/carry, but gave up on the run so fast. I think the pigeon was the best bird-themed creature on the field today. It did a nice job in kick coverage, maintaining gap discipline.

Jason said...

I know Trot is a fan favorite and him coming back excites a lot of people, but I am still trying to understand the move. Maybe he is still getting over some rust and it will take time for him to adjust, but have we really seen anything that would suggest Trotter is better than Gaither in any way? I mean obviously Gaither is the guy on passing downs. There should be no real question there. But even on running downs, Gaither at least makes our defense more versatile. Trot being on the team sort of forces the coaches to play him a certain amount (see last run play of the game). When he is on the field, I could care less if it is a "running" down or a "passing" down, he puts our defense at a disadvantage because the offense knows that it can attack Trotter using audibles or play action.

I have not been on board with this move from the beginning and I have yet to see it pay off. I realize it may take time, but does anyone have a good explanation for why Trot is here? Is he really that much better than Gaither?

Obviously I am picking on one of the many factors that led to our loss against the Raiders yesterday, but I am still very uncomfortable with the Trot move.

Tommy Lawlor said...

BTW...I'm not off hiding. I'm typing up the game review. I didn't like the actual ending so I changed things around. We won 3-0!!!