Sunday, December 27, 2009

Early Postgame Stuff


PHI 30
DEN 27

Absolutely bizarre game. We got up 27-10 and looked great. Then we fell asleep for most of the 2nd half and Denver tied the score at 27. A big scramble by McNabb helped to flip the field late in the game and led to us getting good field position on the subsequent drive. Jeremy Maclin made a great sideline grab that set up the winning FG.

You can look at this game any number of ways.

* We survived
* We choked after building a big lead
* We got lucky
* We won a key game
* We were clutch

I'll let you be the judge. I'm all over the place after today.

I think one thing that really hurt us was losing C Jamaal Jackson to injury. I'll have to check the score, but we had control of the game when he left. (Correction - score was 0-0 and there was 5:36 left in the 1st Qtr). Nick Cole was awkward as the C. He has the ability to play there, but doesn't have many reps there this year. He was just rusty.

Donovan McNabb was red hot to start the game. Then Denver adjusted and he struggled mightily. That wasn't all good D. Donovan got out of his comfort zone for some reason. People can complain about the playcalling, but there were too many passes badly off target.

Jeremy Maclin stepped up in a big way. He caught 6 passes for 92 yards. Brent Celek had a huge 1st half, catching 4 passes for 121 yards and a TD.

Westy came back and looked fine. He ran 9 times for 32 yards and caught a pair of passes. We didn't run very well in the game. RBs were 22-79. Again, I'm curious what those numbers were after JJ went out.

The defense had a mixed game. We only allowed 241 yards. We tackled okay. We played the run well. We came up with 3 sacks and got decent pressure. The problem is that we let Denver go 3 of 4 in the Red Zone. The defense was given a short field twice, once from a fumble and once from a short punt. Both series turned into TDs. The defense was given tough circumstances in both situations, but failed to step up. The defense did rally late in the game. Denver was limited to 3 points in the 4th Qtr. They only had 41 yards.

Random Stuff

* Macho had a nightmare day as KOR. He fumbled twice, one being recovered by DEN.
* Macho played FS in the game. I'm not sure what happened to Sean Jones.
* Sheldon Brown played through injury again. He had a good game.
* Akeem Jordan stepped up late in the game.
* Tracy White played well on STs and as the Nickel LB.
* Patt and Bunk controlled the middle of the field. Good to see them have a strong game.

I don't want to lose sight of the fact we beat a Broncos team playing for their postseason lives. The Saints lost to Tampa. The Vikings lost last Sunday to Carolina. This is the time of the year when anything can happen. We saw that when the Panthers demolished the Giants on Sunday. We withstood a furious comeback by Denver and found a way to win. I'm not thrilled with the way it happened, but we've talked about this Eagles team and the fact they are more clutch than other recent groups. Resiliency goes a long way this time of the year.

In case you haven't seen it...PHI @ DAL will be 415pm on Sunday. NBC is going to show CIN/NYJ. That's odd, but I'm ecstatic. I wanted no part of another Sunday night game. Waiting all day would kill me.


Myron said...

If McNabb and the offense can play like they did in the first half *consistently* throughout the playoffs, they have a shot at a Super Bowl title. If they/he decide to take a quarter or a half off like they did in this game, they don't stand a chance.

Simple as that, really.

This game epitomized the 2009 Eagles. Equal parts ultra-exciting and ultra-frustrating.

Dr. Ogrodnick said...

well, despite taking a quarter and a half off, they still put up 30 points. If they score 30 points a game in the post season, they have a very good shot at winning the super bowl.

Ben said...

One concern I have with the NFC playoff bracket is that there is no one who I'd be "ok" with playing.

Saints have struggled for a month but are dangerous. Same with the Vikings.

Green Bay is extremely explosive. Dallas knows us as well as anyone and they're playing pretty well. Arizona? Let's not talk about last year. They can get hot at any time.

In the AFC if I wouldn't be too scared of the Bengals and I wouldn't be too scared of any wildcard team. Their top teams (chargers/colts) may seem better than ours right now but we as a conference appear to be more consistently good up top

em26jamie said...

Referee Mike Carey had an aweful day. He must have used ultra sensitive laser measurement to see the "forward pass" at the he beginning of the game that took a TD away from us. But he couldn't see any of the obvious holding going on right in front of his face, especially on the play right before the tying FG.

jamie said...

Why was Macho's hit on scheffler a personal foul? it was a bang bang play. plus he became a defender the moment the ball was intercepted. he's elligible to get demolished.

Cliff said...

When you put this game in perspective with the rest of the league, I feel a little better. As you said, Minny (last week) and New Orleans lost to teams with no shot at the Playoffs. I was watching our game with my dad and he was getting pissed in the 3rd quarter, so I had to remind him: Denver (before the loss) was a Playoff team. They were fighting to keep the Wildcard, so of course they wouldn't just lay down.

Sav Rocca is absolutely atrocious. There's no way he's our punter next season. He had to kick twice from inside the end zone, but those are the moments when we need his booming punts, not his 25 yard shanks. Geezus Christmas.

Next week will be really interesting. If Minnesota wins tonight, I guess we'll be playing to keep our home playoff game. But how do you approach a game like this? Do we throw everything at the Cowboys to assure ourselves of a first-round home game? Or is this game really an extension of the game plan for the playoff game?

Either way, beat the f#$%ing Cowboys.

Cliff said...

@ jamie

I thought the same thing! I was thinking "great block" after the INT...

Then, shortly after that play, Macho was lit up on the KR and that looked like helmet-to-helmet, but wasn't called.

Cliff said...

Oh, and for what it's worth, I don't EVER recall Macho fumbling a return at VT and he did a lot of dancing around, i.e. lots of opportunities to get stripped or fumble.

So the fact that he fumbled TWICE in one game baffles me.

Boyboy said...

Deep thoughts...

Yeah, that was absolutely a clean hit by Macho. A) Had the ball went through Samuel's hands, Macho's hit would have been a potential pass break up. B) It was shoulder to shoulder. C) The receiver became a defender after the pick and was eligible to be blocked. I guess we got some 'gift' first downs in the first half, but that call changed the landscape of the game.

Hard to totally fault the defense for those two short TD drives, but you can't make hold them to a FG on at least one of those? And Jabar Gaffney? I've said here many times, we always let some stiff have a great game against us.

How has Sav Rocca gotten worse over his 3 years here? Last year he had some shanks and was inconsistent, but he was doing some good things with directional kicks inside the 20. This year, he can't do anything right.

I'm not too concerned with the offense in the 2nd half. We all knew that Denver could rush the passer a little and play good pass defense. There will be days like that. We perservered and that was good to see. We've seen the close wins recently, but this one was different. We showed we could handle adversity and hold on for a win.

The o-line didn't open many holes in the running game. I'm sure Jackson's injury had something to do with that. Westbrook looked fast out there for the first time in a long time. I guess his ankle has had ample time to heal. He's going to be a factor before it's all said and done. Mark my words.

I love Jeremy Maclin. He uses his body to shield defenders and catches the ball with his hands, not his chest. Then he has a great burst after the catch. I think the explosive plays from him will come soon enough -- hopefully in the playoffs.

CBS' coverage was brutal, especially in the 1st half. They went to break on EVERY stoppage of play. I guess they filled their ad quota early because in the 4th quarter they seemed to stay with the game more often. Oh, Phil Simms is horrible too. What a country bumpkin. Some of his explainations make ZERO sense. You can't hit a defenseless player high on the shoulder with your shoulder? What?

Pitmanite said...

Tommy, I agree that Donovan was off target and missed on passes he should've made. I'm not letting him off the hook, but this is the reason a lot of us complain about the play calling, because when it's clear Donnie is off this would be the perfect time to start trying to rely on the run. Andy just keeps forcing it though, whereas if we have 1 bad running play Andy acts like running the ball will give him the plague. I know this isn't anything new, I'm just trying to make the point that we aren't overlooking the fact that Donnie is off target, just frustrated once again by Andy's reluctance to run when it looks like our best option.

T_S_O_P said...

On Sav

Under Daisher he has definately tried to become even more of a directional punter. FranklinFieldBUpper (a poster on the EMB) has as always, been keeping a close eye on out ST stats. According to him, over 50% of Sav's punts have landed outdide the numbers (toward the edge of the field). On the other hand, opposing punters are at 26%. Sav holds the Eagles all-time net punt distance last year. This year, he is set to come close enough that he will post 2nd all-time in net punt distance.

As he showed yesterday, he still has a leg when he boomed it 60 yards, yet what we remember (and rightly so) is the shank for direction which landed O.O.B. I don't understand why he goes for direction (if indeed he did) when we are pinned deep. Is that his call?

Prem Prakash said...

McNabb put the team on his back and made it happen on the final drive. Way to go, Donovan!

I was surprised at the lack of blitzing in McDermott's game plan. I don't get to watch film now that the game is over, but I'd like to know if Orton had as much time as it seemed, especially in the 2nd half. I think the last time we blitzed so little may have been the Saints game.

Dr. Ogrodnick said...

Word on the street per CSNphilly is that J jackson tore his ACL, which pretty much puts him out next season too. Uhg.

rick said...

Horrible call on the Macho block. I might be able see the point if it were a dropped pass but it was a change of possession.

Very impressive showing by Maclin coming back from the sore foot. Like Tommy, I was one who wanted us to take Hakeem Nicks after Knowshon went off the board last draft. But that play yesterday along with a TD catch earlier in the season with a CB draped all over him, shows his big play talent. I think he plays 'bigger' than he is with his leaping and stretching ability. His speed is not far off deSean's and his toughness approaches Avant's. It'll be fun to watch him get better as time goes on...

Weird about JJackson injury. had just run a story about him being the stalwart who has anchored the line while everyone else around him got injured. It actually occurred to me before the game that I hoped this spate of articles on him (2 or 3?) wouldn't jinx him. Bam!

Not sure what to think about Sav except he's gotta do a better job when we're backed up like that. You're definitely going for distance in a situation like that, directional or not.

Cowboys are playing with a lot of confidence right now. Nonetheless, let's go kick some boy butt this Sunday!!!!!

Cliff said...

@ T_S_O_P

Those are interesting numbers. I guess I just notice Sav's negatives more when we need a great punt, and get something not-so-great out of him.

rick said...

tv stuff: I've been away from the computer for a couple of days and just read the tv discussion. I also loved The Wire which I just recently saw off Netflix as I don't get HBO. I'm into the 2nd season so I had to skip over some of your 'revealing' comments - don't want to spoil the surprises. It's a smart show, keeps you on your toes (sometimes I don't have a clue what they're talking about but figuring it out is half the fun). The acting is terrific - the guy who plays Bubbles should've won Best Actor if he didn't... The show's badge of honor is its allegience to realism and I found it completely believable. I used to live in a drug invested neighborhood in Brooklyn and while it's not as bad as depicted on The Wire, it's not far off. Also, there was apparently a series in the Philly papers about the breakdown of the judicial system in Philly - bad guys getting off, witnesses being harassed, etc. Made me think of the end of the 1st season. Close runner-up for me was Six Feet Under, which I liked for totally different reason. Deadwood I liked for a season and then became formulaic.

Ben said...

Torn ACL for JJ. It's on

There goes our continuity. I'm really not a fan of Max. If Nick Cole takes over C will Stacy get a look at RG? What about McGlynn @ C and keep Nick at RG? I've always like McGlynn and had high hopes for him but it seems like he doesn't even really get much looks.

I guess we could be looking at a 1st or 2nd round center now. Any Alex Mack type of prospects?

Pitmanite said...

rick: couldn't agree more about the wire. it's my favorite tv show of all time. season 4 with the kids was my favorite, but overall it was a great show.

i really hope stacy andrews has healed up and can play because i'm not looking forward to depending on MJG.

Altoona Eagle said...

re Punt game: I've seen several EMB posters claim that Rocca gets worse as the season progresses (i.e. as the weather turns cold). Not sure if there is any validity to that or not.

Regardless - - it just doesn't *seem* like he will be back next year.

Cliff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edward said...

He is from Australia, if he's from anywhere remotely northern he's grown up with nay a cold tootsie let alone snow. I quite like Rocca but we definitely need to bring in a punter this year. I bet there are a few decent punters that go undrafted this year with the expected rush of players coming out early. No harm picking one up.

That game was pretty emotional, it was great to have my "100% confidence" in our "typically clutch" team rewarded on that final drive. Who'd have thought we'd convert 3rd and 25! This is a great team to watch, i'm just hoping now that Nick Cole can shake off the rust and plays as well as he has the potential to play at center.

Have you noticed how many of Dons picks recently have been when throwing to Djax? Be interesting to break them down to understand why. Though from memory it seems to be McNabb having a little too much faith in Desean and making throws he shouldn't.

Cliff said...

My favorite season of The Wire is Season 3, so much happens. FYI - iTunes is running a sale on all seasons of The Wire this week. $19.99 per season.

* * *

MJG isn't terrible. I'd like to see how McGlynn handles the start just so multiple players aren't being shuffled, but I'm confident MJG can handle RG. I am worried about Cole at C though. That was his original position with the team, but he seemed rusty last night.

Good thing we have next week to figure it out.

orangecrush007 said...

I have said this before. Sav Rocca is our achilles heal. What was Reid thinking when he took him over Dirk Johnson. Kicking the ball 60 yards is fine if you never shank it. He is abysmal!