Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ugly Win

***

Well, we won. Getting to 4-2 was important. We had better offensive balance. That was very encouraging. The Skins played great defense most of the game. Their D-line is really good right now. Those guys controlled the game.

I was frustrated with quite a few things. We have a lot of talent, but sometimes the guys play a very dysfunctional style. That is really frustrating to watch. I understand the offense is still coming together and tonight we had to go most of the way without Westy. That makes things tough. There just isn't a good flow. We're shuffling players in and out. We're running between the tackles, then going to a spread set. We're throwing really short or really deep. Just an odd night.

I loved the early creativity with the running game. Then it stopped. Why can't we run more to the outside, with DeSean, Westy, or McCoy? We insist on pounding the rock inside. We need some of that, but our linemen seem to be very comfortable pulling and blocking on the move. I'd also love to see us go to the Ace formation (2 TE, 2 WR set) and use Leonard Weaver as the RB.

The defense played pretty well. We came up with a couple of legit turnovers. We got a couple of gifts as well. We had 6 sacks and played well on 3rd downs. This is the first time I can remember where we controlled Clinton Portis. I'll have to check on that. Penalties (on D and STs) hurt us by giving them field position and keeping drives alive. I was not real happy with Trent when he was offside on 3rd/3.

WAS lost this game more than we won it. I'll take the W, but we've got to play better. We can't count on DeSean saving our bacon each week with an explosive play (or two). We have gotten better from last year. This is the kind of game we'd have likely lost in 2008. This season we took advantage of the Redskins mistakes. There is something to be said for making plays on an off night.

Let's hope Westy is okay and able to play on Sunday.
_

17 comments:

eagles911 said...

Our offense is too dependent on the trickery stuff and our defense is too dependent on blitzing to win games. I believe we have enough talent to get to the superbowl but sadly I do not believe we have the coaching staff to take these guys back to the basics and win games with force on force. Andy Reid needs to learn moderation. I'm convinced Vick was a bad signing as it ruins the continuity of the offense. I'm also convinced these big plays are only doing us more harm than good for the long term. I enjoy them, do not get me wrong, but we have to learn to sustain drives. As for the defense, I realize our defense is predicated on blitzing but man its frustrating when they come up short on the game plan end (not this game but I believe against good offenses you mine as well roll for doubles to as whether or not this defense will hold the team to a winnable amount of points). You gotta make due with what you have, but I would've loved to save the money they spent on Samuel (I play soft and can't tackle), and spent it on a defensive end opposite of Cole so we could present some pressure with a four man rush.

PBR text leads to questions. 1)Would you rather have Seymour in this defense than Samuel? Substitute the two for each other straight up. No draft picks involved. Just what they could contribute this year. 2)Is the little running up the middle they did not at least setting a tone and giving them something to look at to improve in the future (I agree though, lets keep running to Peters and Herremans)? 3)We have the biggest offensive line in the league, why the hell cant we run the ball up the middle (it has to be lack of practice)? 4) What is your biggest improvement this team has to do in order to become a team capable of winning the superbowl this year. Or, more in your lines, what is the biggest improvement you'd like to see before the Giants on Sunday.

Stephen said...

I'm not going to take too much from beating a lifeless Washington team. I loved the first 3 or 4 plays we called, but predictably as soon as that was working we went right back into all wildcat/pass all day. Fortunately we did get back into the runs a little bit later in the game but we weren't really converting many 3rd down opportunities. We also had way too many negative plays, lots of 2nd/3rd and more than 10.

Haynesworth is a dump truck of a man, I saw him line up over Celek on the end one play and I decided to read Celek his last rites right there. Predictably 92 tossed Celek backwards like he was a child, but fortunately he stumbled a bit in the process. I guess if you can make Big Al stumble thats better than some. I'll give Celek the upper hand on that one.

It was nice to see Witherspoon acclimating himself quickly, he could end up being a nice upgrade over Gaither. I didn't notice him on any plays in particular running inside but the Skins didn't have much success regardless.

We have the best recieving core in the Andy Reid era right now and our passing game has been pretty stinky the last couple of weeks. Take away the one long toss to Jackson and Mcnabb didn't even top 100 yards passing. I'd imagine if you took out the screen passes he probably only had 70 yards or so that werent the long one to jackson or a screen pass. Thats hardly the explosive offensive output we're looking for. Any way you slice it 150 yards is not the kind of production we'd expect even in a loss.

Oh well the next 2 games are going to go a long way in determining our season, lose these 2 and we'll be squarely behind the 8 ball for the 4th strait season.

Stephen said...

Additionally, I'm not real sure what more we need to see from Vick at this point. He's obviously not the explosive weapon everyone was looking for, hell he had the best game so far this year tonight and the highlight was an 11 yard run, which was offset by 2 crappy runs. I did like that he completed that short pass to Celek, maybe Mcnabb can take lessons from Vick on mechanics in the short passing game.

Michael said...

I think people are being too negative. I saw way more good than bad out there tonight, and really, if you look at it big picture, I don't see how anyone cannot be positive.

Offensively, it seemed pretty obvious to me that Westy, coming off the great game he had last week (unfortunately in a limited amount of carries thanks to poor coaching) was going to be a BIG part of the game plan tonight.

He was off to a good start and we were running well with him, but then he had the concussion and that hurt the offense big time.

I know we all talk up McCoy around here, but let's be real for a second... he's not Westbrook. Not yet, maybe not ever.

He's a decent runner, but he doesn't have the receiving instincts Brian does and certainly he's not the blocker Brian is.

I think some of our screen plays would've worked better/gotten more yards with Westy than they did with LeSean and I think Donovan would've felt more comfortable in the pocket with Brian blocking as well.

Hopefully we'll have him back next week, because honestly I don't see us beating the Giants without him.

Also, I think it's hard to be too critical when we had so much shuffling on the offensive line. Todd played his first game, Nick was on the right side for the first time, Stacy is still working his way back and Justice is just an average player. Let's give the best five guys there a couple games to play together and I think we'll see better results.

One thing on offense I've noticed is that the passing game seems to be 180 degrees different than last year. McNabb was pretty good at short/intermediate passes last year but could not hit a deep ball to save his life. Deep balls certainly don't seem to be a problem this year, but the short stuff hasn't been there. I'm not sure what the Redskins were doing in coverage, but Celek didn't seem to be open too often. What about Avant? I don't know. I don't think he was targeted all game. He needs to be involved more.

Defensively I was really happy. I can't be critical of those guys at all. The Redskins got one garbage time touchdown in the fourth and really the defense saved the offense's bacon after they were put in some bad field position situations.

Witherspoon had a great first game and Trent was amazing, as usual. I think Cole is probably our best player right now, with DeSean a close second.

Three little things on that side of the ball I noticed...

1) Cooley got injured early, and that helped us out a lot. They're a different team with him, but even their backup tight end hurt us with some grabs, so that tells you how much of a weakness defending tight ends is for us.

2) Babin finally got some playing time and he got some pressure. I'd like to keep giving him a chance next week. Maybe he doesn't play the run as well as Abiamiri, but the guy has a motor.

3) He won't get much notice or credit, but I think Samuel did a really solid job with his tackling today. He's never gonna be Sheldon or a guy like Antoine Winfield, but obviously the guy has pride and was embarrassed by his play against Oakland and worked harder at wrapping up tonight. That one commenter who dismissed Samuel and said he'd rather have Seymour is crazy. Samuel has been nothing but a playmaker for us since the day he signed and he has been a great acquisition for us. Four picks in six games and people are complaining? Unreal.

Right now I think it's up in the air who wins the game next week, but if Westy is a healthy, I like our odds. Our DL is playing well right now and I think this is the weakest the Giants OL has been in years.

Rob said...

@Michael

Westbrook was out cold, wasn't he? That's bad for a concussion, I wouldn't expect him back in 5 days. Maybe not even the week afterward. They are scary things.

@eagles911

I'm not quite sold on McNabb's continuity argument. I think that's a self-convicting argument for inconsistency. If you're playing well, a play off here or there shouldn't hurt.

Cliff said...

I think you're be a little too harsh, Tommy, when you say "the Redskins lost the game more than we won it." I understand why you'd say that, but honestly, after we went up 17-7 or whatever the game was never in doubt. I'd say that was us winning it.

I listened to Zorn's post-game press conference on the radio when I was leaving DC last night. Yikes. That guy is WACKED.

orangecrush007 said...

Cliff took the words out of my mouth. What game were you watching Tommy?

orangecrush007 said...

I thought Vick's highlight was the pass across the middle for a first down that McNabb would have thrown on the turf. I am so sick of his inconsistency/

orangecrush007 said...

How in the hell did McNabb miss DJAX over the middle with no pressure???? He would have scored a TD. McNabb is really an inconsistent QB. I think Rush Limbaugh was right about him.

Dollar Brand said...

Tough crowd here. This is the second game this year that I feel the Eagles of 2008 would have lost. Especially on the road in a division game. Too often I have seen an Eagles team fall to a poor team after just missing on a tipped pass or failing to break that big play on offense.

One of the criticisms of the last ten or so years has been the reluctance to play young players. This year has been an eye opener in that regard. Being 4-2 while integrating new faces into an offense is ok with me. Not to mention a MIKE who was signed mid-week. Is it frustrating and maddening to watch at times? Absolutely. But let's see what happens the next couple weeks and how this team gels.

@orangecrush007

Rush?? Really?

orangecrush007 said...

"There's a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of his team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team." - Rush Limbaugh

Was it ever truer than last night?

The Old Buffoon said...

I think the Skins' D deserves a lot of credit. Haynesworth and Carter were truly dominant. Surprising that Peters and Herremens were so dominatED. I'm wondering if Peters' health was an issue in this game. Kinda hope so.

When it comes to McNabb's rhythm (lack there of), I think the OL's inconsistent play has had much more to do with it than the use of the wildcat.

I actually like seeing more wildcat when McNabb is struggling. It keeps the opposing D off balance and gives McNabb a play to regather himself. He was obviously extremely frustrated with himself last night, and those plays in the wildcat might help him regain composure when he's like that.

Next week's game is huge, and I think we'll see McNabb step up for the occasion. Perennial optimist here.

Stephen said...

I guess Rush would toss out Tom Brady's 3 super bowl wins then too because they were a long way from an offensive powerhouse those days and it was mostly the dominant defense that carried them to victory.

Vicks pass wasn't for a first down, it went for 5 yards and set up a 3rd and I believe 4.

Bottom line is the offense looked a long way from explosive against a team that had every reason to quit. We barely cracked 250 yards as a team, and the Skins spotted us a short field twice with turnovers and we had to settle for field goals. The skins directly put points on the board for us and took points off for themselves with the botched snap and Randle Els punt muff. We didn't do anything to force those turnovers, it was strait up redskin incompetence.

A win is a win, and its nice to win, but I had hoped the team was going to come out fired up and put on a dominant show against a reeling opponent. We had two big plays to Desean that accounted for literally half of everything we did and that was about it.

Dan said...

Last night's game left me feeling very uneasy about our offense, particularly the playcalling.

It was nice to see a better run/pass balance, but we simply cannot sustain drives. We are a feast or famine offense, either we hit a homerun or we strike out. Where are the slants and crossing patterns? Why aren't we working the middle of the field with Avant or Celek? Why aren't we mixing in Weaver or Buckley for a few carries each game as a change of pace?

Also, Tommy, I wanted to ask you about the elephant in the room. What happens when Kolb's contract runs out and McNabb is still our starter? I don't expect Kolb will want to ride the bench till McNabb retires? As much as I love McNabb and appreciate what he has done for the Birds, his inconsistency has me starting to think that Kolb should eventually get a shot to run this team.

Michael said...

@Dan Unless he wins a Super Bowl this year or next, that's it for Donovan. He won't be an Eagle in 2011 without a ring on his finger.

I'd expect the team to re-sign Kolb with the promise that he'll be the guy from 2011 going forward. It's not like Vick will be here next year.

The really tough part is that with the raise we gave Donovan for these two years I think management kind of made a handshake agreement to not bench him as long as he is healthy, so no matter how much he struggles, we can't sit him down for a half to wake him up and get him to play better.

izzylangfan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
orangecrush007 said...

Stephen it was actually 2nd and 9 and it was a 5 yard gain. McNabb came in the next play and threw an incompletion. Surprise!