Monday, November 9, 2009

Early Thoughts


Too many mistakes. You can't pin this loss on any one player, unit, or coach. The whole team was up and down. The problem was that critical mistakes just got the best of us.

* Sheldon Brown jumps on a pump fake and lets Miles Austin get behind him on 3rd/13. The play turns into a 49-yard TD. What the heck is Sheldon thinking? Play smart. I wrote about the danger that pump fakes posed in the preview. I hoped Sheldon would be smart enough not to get burned on 3rd/long.

* LeSean McCoy came up big for us on many plays, but he had some big mistakes as well. His failure to get upfield on 2nd/1 led to 3rd/1 and 4th/1. McCoy should have focused on moving the chains on 2nd/1. Instead he was dancing and looking for a lane. Get the friggin yard.

McCoy also dropped 2 passes. Both came under tough circumstances, but this is the NFL. You have to make plays when you get the chance.

* Asante Samuel got called for taunting when he got in a Cowboy's face. Asante was joking around with the guy, but the official doesn't know that. He threw the flag. Dumb.

* Jeremy Maclin had a rough night. He failed to catch an early pass and it bounced off his hands and was picked off. That led to Dallas' first TD. Maclin failed to look back on a pass that came his way early in the game. I don't know that he could have done much on the play, but you still want him looking for the ball. He later had a facemask penalty on a ball that was picked off on a throw to him.

* Moise Fokou went low on a block and drew a flag on Sheldon's return after an INT. That cost us about 50 yards of field position. He was also called for a penalty on Ellis Hobbs KOR for a TD.

* The coaches made a bonehead decision on a deep pass play in the 1st half. They kept in plenty of guys to block, but left Todd Herremans all alone on DeMarcus Ware. Maclin split the DBs and was wide open for a TD. McNabb saw him and was about to release the ball when Ware hit him from behind and the ball fell short on the throw.

* McNabb made an errant throw to DeSean on a crossing route. That play could have been a big gainer. Just put the ball behind him.

* We lined up to go for it on 4th down. A Cowboy jumped offside, but Jamaal Jackson didn't snap the ball. That would have been 5 free yards and a 1st down.

* Tracy White was running into place late in the half on a pass play that went for 64 yards and set Dallas up for a FG. White should have been covering the Crayton on the play or at least in that area.

Not everything was bad. We lost 20-16 in a game where Dallas got half its points off turnovers. It isn't like we got dominated. I guess that is what makes the loss so frustrating. We had a real shot to win the game, but didn't do it. Will the loss cost us a playoff spot? The division title? Who knows. It does hurt.

Some good stuff:

* We limited their RBs to 19 carries for 73 yards. Barber had a long run of 16 yards.

* We only gave Miles Austin 1 catch. That one was a disaster, but we kept him under wraps most of the night.

* We sacked Romo 4 times and hit him a couple of other times.

* The offense was relatively balanced.

* Donovan made a terrific play on his TD pass. He started to run, then saw Celek come free and got him the ball.

* We had 4 pass plays of 20 or more yards.

* McCoy had a run of 17 and a screen pass of 45 yards.

* The pass protection after halftime was much better. Jason Peters came back from his ankle injury and did a good job on Jason Peters.

* Sheldon Brown picked off a pass.

--- Gamebook ---


Prem Prakash said...

I really thought the Eagles would come out and take care of business with the Cowboys. After we battled back and took the lead, I expected the strong character of the team to hold steady and continue slowly building a lead and take this one to the finish line. What a frickin' night for me to be wrong.

Plenty of mistakes to go around, on both teams. What really gets me, though, are the challenges by Reid and the 54 yard field goal call. Both spots that Andy challenged were obviously lousy, but it was likely that there was not enough conclusive evidence to overturn. I simply can't figure out why Coach brought in Akers when we were down by a touchdown, when a missed field goal gives Dallas good field position, and when we had no time outs left? Oh yea, did I mention we were down by 7? I guess if we got the ball back and scored a touchdown we'd be thinking he was right, but we didn't. If a player made the same bone-headed moves every week, he'd be on the bench. I've got an Eagles hangover this morning.

Edward said...

When was the last time McNabb stepped up and carried the load to make up for other players playing poorly? I can't think of one. Sure he can be great when the whole team is on but it doesn't seem to take much for him to play sloppy and inconsistent football. He is such a frustrating quarterback. I'm not putting the blame on McNabb, but a supposedly elite quarterback would have made some of those throws he missed and been the difference between a W and a L. Dallas could easily be 9-2 in 3 weeks time and that is quite possibly game over for the division.

I guess the one highlight is, Dallas played a good game and beat a sloppy eagles team by only 4.

Boyboy said...

--Let's not forget that McNabb had another subpar performance. I'm one of #5's biggest defenders, but c'mon, this is for the the division lead against arguably your biggest rival. Maclin did have the ball bounce of his hands for McNabb's first INT. But the ball was a fast ball right at Maclin's head. If #5 put the ball in front of him there were some YAC yards to be had. Ditto on the throw to DeSean in the 4th quarter -- except this time the ball was thrown high and behind him. You're supposed to be the star QB and you're missing wide open receivers with the game on the line? Pu-leeze. He had at least 1 ball in the dirt again this week, and a couple low balls where the WRs had to go down to make the catch. On the 2nd INT, he simply underthrew it. Maclin was behind his defender. McNabb had a clean pocket to step into his throw. Ugh.

--Ref. Tracy White running in place; did you watch the play? He collided with his own man while trying to slide over into coverage. I don't think you necessarily want White in coverage on a WR anyway, but that's the way things go. Only cost us a FG (nice stand by the defense).

--Ref. Sheldon Brown; It was only a matter of time. Two weeks ago against the Skins, Sheldon did the same thing but Campbell didn't see the open WR. Last week Sheldon bit again and Eli just made a poor throw.

--Nice sequence (I believe it was on our TD drive to start the 2nd half)...3rd & 2 pass falls incomplete. We get the flag to pick up the first down and out trots Vick. The wonderful world of the wildcat offense netted us about 2 yards. Timeout. It seems like every game we blow a timeout tyring to get the Wildcat personnel either on or off the field. F'n ridiculous.

--Ref. The first challenge; The spot was iffy and because you need conclusive evidence to overturn the ruling on the field your chances of winning the challenge are really less than 50%. We needed about 6 inches. I texted my friend and said "I guarantee that we lose this challenge and he just goes for it anyway". I was right. So why take your chances on the challenge in the first place? It cost us a timeout and then we had the false start. Andy is a Moron.

--Ref. The second challenge; I have no idea how the refs didn't respot the ball after that review. But ya know what? We had 3 downs to get a yard and we couldn't do it. We can blame McCoy for not turning that ball upfield on 2nd and 1, but really, the o-line let us down. They allowed quick penetration into the backfield. And then they couldn't push the pile on the next two dows. They flat out suck.

--Ref. Screen pass; I don't know what inelegible receiver downfield is anymore. It looked like we had a lineman at least 7 yards beyond the the LOS before the ball was caught on McCoy's long catch and run.

--Ref. Final FG attempt; This made ZERO sense (although it did win me a fantasy football game).

--Ref. A sign that this era is coming to an end; When McNabb took off on 3rd down with daylight in front of him and a backup LB tripped him up. That would have never happened in the past. In the past, McNabb shakes that guy, picks up the 1st down and we use that momentum to finish the drive and win the game.

--Final thoughts: for the longest time it looked like neither team wanted to win. There were mistakes and penalties by both teams and nobody seemed to want to capitalize on them. Hell, how many times did the Eagles have futile drives extended because of defensive penalties? There's enough blame to go around but in games like this you need your big stars to make big plays. McNabb didn't do it. DeSean Jackson was invisible. Trent had a sack. Asante Samuel? Nope. The Eagles don't look even remotely capabable of hanging with the Vikings or Saints right now. My confidence in AR and DM to lead this team to a championship is slowly declining.

Adam S. said...

I'm still trying to figure out why Brown jumped on that pump fake. Mikell was right thee in position to make a play on the ball or at the very least make the tackle on Austin if they do throw to the slant. Brown has been around too long in this defense not to know that he had NO help over the top.

I hate when I see Reid with that challenge flag in his hands.

Ugh I feel violated this morning. And now we have to go across the country to face the basketball team.....

Boyboy said...

Yeah, I know what you mean about Reid throwing the challenge flag. I loved how they showed the stat that the league average for successful challenges was something like 43% and Reid's success rate was at 33%. And all I kept thinking was, "I can't believe it's even that high".

Stephen said...

Fortunately I was out with friends watching the game and halfway plastered the whole time, so it wasn't quite so miserable a viewing experience for me. I do remember how sloppy the game felt, the biggest highlights for me though were Sheldon biting on the slant despite Mikell having underneath coverage, and then Sean Jones running himself out of the picture letting Austin score the easy TD, and Mcnabb throwing that ugly second interception. I'm not sure where he thought the open window was there but Mike Jenkins had perfect coverage on that the whole way.

Mcnabb put a few more balls in the dirt this week. Go back a few weeks after the Raiders/Redskins games and look at my comments to see my feelings on the predictability of Mcnabb reverting back to "bad Mcnabb" instead of "hall of fame Mcnabb". I wrote then that its inevitable that Mcnabb will get hot for a few games then come out and put up a clunker or two. I don't understand how he can look so poised and accurate against the Giants and so all over the place against the Cowboys.

Even his TD pass to Celek was about one foot from being a vintage Mcnabb lets scramble past the LOS then throw the ball play. Anyone remember that one where he was a good 2 yards past the LOS when he threw a couple years ago?

I predicted we would lose by about 5 minutes into the first quarter. For some reason with this team once we're sloppy we rarely can pull it together and get things right during the game. Once we're struggling, we're struggling.

Boyboy said...

I opted not to read any of Spadaro's columns this year because, quite frankly, they sicken me. But I'm dying for Eagles talk today so I couldn't help myself. And now I remember why I stopped reading his sucka$$ crap. Not one mention of Andy's role in last night's debacle! Spadaro is a shill. If you threw midnight green on H1N1, he'd put a positive spin on it. Here's the link:

Stephen said...

considering that Dave is actually on the Eagles payroll, how many bad things do you really want him to write about his employers? Dave works side by side with these people every day, how much bad do you really think is appropriate for him to write? The expectation that Dave should come out and rip everyone in the organization is stupid, and accusing Dave of being a shill is stupid as well, he's very publicly (and very obviously) a member of the Eagles payroll, thats not a secret, so why would you call him a shill? I'm so tired of hearing people rip on Dave as if though he's a member of the general media, not a paid member of the Eagles organization.

Frankly Dave is oftentimes more critical than he could get away with, and in this article he does not paint the picture in all rainbows and butterflies. Just because he didn't take the angle you wanted him to take (and trust me, there are many different angles you could take with this game) doesn't mean he doesn't think Andy could have done things better too.

Boyboy said...

By definition, he's not really a shill as he does admit his association with the Eagles. I just love using that word jokingly to describe him. However, it's hard to take his journalism as being objective when he fails to mention key ingredients in the outcome of the game. He can question some of Reid's decisions without ripping him or the organization. And his articles this off-season may have been the most forthcoming I've ever seen from him.

Of course he's going to have a bias but to make no mention of what every other outlet (both local and national ) are talking about just comes across as disgenuine -- or at least not telling the whole trutsh. It's like the elephant left the dinner table and walked over to

Edward said...

I think there are plenty out there who aren't actually blaming Andy for losing this game. Sure some of those decisions weren't brilliant but had the players executed anywhere near their ability on the associated plays the game and those decisions look very different.

Boyboy said...

You're reading me the wrong way. There's plenty of blame to go around and you really can't point to any one player or coach and say "we lost because of them". Everyone had their hands in this cookied jar. But some of Andy's game management decisions were questionable to almost everyone. I just felt that they should have been noted.