Monday, December 14, 2009

Great Win at NYG


PHI 45
NYG 38

I did not see this game being a shootout. It was and then some. The only other games like this that come to mind are:

1992 - PHI 47, NYG 34 ... Vai punches the goalpost after PR score
2008 - NYG 36, PHI 31 ... turnovers contributed to the scores

I want to focus on the positives for a minute. We won a big game...on the the division...with a lot on the line. There were plenty of breaks in the game and most went against us. So what. We own Sunday night. We are now the clutch Eagles. We make big plays and score in the Red Zone. The pass protection was great. McNabb wanted to throw downfield and that meant he needed time. The big sexies up front gave it to him. McNabb then did a good job of getting the ball to his receivers for big plays. He missed Reggie Brown on one play, but made up for it by throwing for a TD on his next pass.

We had a 91-yard TD drive in the 4th Qtr that ate up the clock and gave us a 14-point lead. McNabb didn't miss a pass on the entire drive. He also hit Avant for the 2-point conversion. That was a great drive to watch. That was as good as it gets. Marty Mornhinweg did a fantastic job of calling plays and the guys did a great job of executing.

Now let's talk about the defense. Things were not so good on that side of the ball. There are several reasons for this:

* Tackling - for much of the game we did a terrible job of tackling. We let short passes turn into long TDs because we failed to tackle. We let short runs go for and additional 5 to 7 yards because we failed to tackle. This normally isn't a problem for us. Bad night.

* Poor MLB play - Trot had plenty of tackles, but he stayed blocked for most of the first 3 Qtrs. We must get better MLB play. I'll make more in-depth comments after studying the game.

* Eli was on - much as Eagles fans hate to do this you sometimes have to give credit to the other team. Eli had one of his "on" games. Think of the little dump pass to Bradshaw. We had Eli going down and he gets that little dump pass off. 31 yard gain. Eli did a similar thing when Babin had him on the way down in the end zone at the end of the game. Eli threw some great downfield passes. Manningham cost him a couple of TDs with sloppy routes.

* Blocking - the Giants OL had a great game. Give those guys their due. They consistently blocked us well. That OL was the best in the NFL last year. They started this year as the best before having problems the last couple of months. The Giants blockers rallied up and had a great showing tonight.

* No rest - We scored on big plays on offense. We scored on D. We ran back a punt. That meant that the defense didn't get much rest. They were right back on the field in a hurry. That can wear you down when playing a physical running attack like the Giants. This wasn't a huge factor, but it sure didn't help.

There is some good news. We scored a defensive TD. That helped quite a bit. We made some timely plays on D. We had a stretch late in the 3rd where we stopped them a couple of times. We also got good pressure on the last drive of the game. That killed any hopes of a miracle.

Great win. It wasn't pretty, but I can't say enough about the fact this team can now win some games where there are some hurdles to deal with. I'm liking what I'm seeing.


Joe said...

Tommy, I understand why AR has the guys practicing w/out pads this time of year and it makes good sense. But I wonder if working like this during the week can lead to sloppy tackling on gameday?

Mr_Boomy said...

I love this game, I love the Eagles winning close games, haven't seen this kind of win for the last couple seasons.

Offense did a great job, only 1 turnover and a lot of great drives.
The D got something to fix, obviously.
Special team was decent.

And I got $60 from this game, sweet.

Tommy Lawlor said...

Last week we played great D. This week we struggled. I wouldn't make any major changes. If we struggle against next week that changes things. I think this was more of an off night than anything else.

Quintin Mikell had a very bad game. How many times has that happened in the last 3 years?

Tommy Lawlor said...

Completely off topic, but I'm fairly certain that the best quote of 2009 is this:

"He ain't no computa hacka".

Mr_Boomy said...

I think most of the mistakes tonight were miscommunication, the mental mistake kind of thing. Should be easy to fix tho.

Myron said...

Tommy, I definitely love the clutch-iness of the Eagles lately, but tell me you are not worried about how ridiculously bad the defense looked this game?

They couldn't tackle anything, and they couldn't cover anyone, and the only turnovers we got were due to freak accidents: ball slipping out of Jacobs' hands, and Eli inexplicably sliding headfirst into the ground.

What happened? Does the cold/wet weather possibly have something to do with this?

Also, I'm worried about McCoy's production the past two games - less than 3 ypc in both.

Loved Weaver, McNabb, DeSean freakin' Jackson, and even Vick this game, however.

Myron said...

Also, how many more games does Asante Samuel have to play wherein he misses crucial tackles and gets burned for big plays constantly before somebody realizes he's an overpaid, overrated cornerback in this league? A pick-six here and there every few games doesn't really make up for horrific coverage and tackling in almost every game.

I figure that if you give a guy that kind of monster contract, he needs to play like Derelle Revis of the Jets or that Asamugha CB the Raiders have: shutdown corner with the ability to make plays and tackle guys consistently.

Tommy Lawlor said...

Of course I have concerns about the defense. At the same time, let's not act like this game is more than just one game.

We played okay D vs CHI and WAS. We dominated ATL.

When you have a 4-game sample you can't choose the worst and act like that is the norm. Let's see what the guys do next week. If they bounce back we'll be okay. If they struggle again then we need to get worried.

Michael said...

I'm pretty happy with the win. This might have been the single worst defensive game we've played in my 21 years as a fan of this team, and to still come out on top is a big relief.

I know the defensive guys have a lot of pride and they won't play that bad again for a long time (hopefully not until next year).

McDermott is a bright guy and he'll plug the leaks, Jordan will play more next week meaning we won't have to rely on Trot as much, and there aren't too many running backs that can pound us like Jacobs can. That guy's a load.

I really felt the tone setter for our defense's bad game was Trot dropping that easy pick. I know it only led to a field goal, but still, if he makes that easy play, we have the ball up 14-0, the Giants have two turnovers in two possessions, their fans will be booing the offense, and if we score on the drive it could've been like 17-0 or 21-0 and the game would've been different.

Anyway, really excited about the offense. Marty called a great game. Even when we got stopped, we pretty much stopped ourselves more than anything NY did. McNabb had a couple bad throws. He and Celek miscommunicated on the pick, and he just missed Reggie on a bomb.

I'm also really excited that we "caught up" back to our schedule. Before the year started I thought we'd be 9-4 after 13 games and here we are. The hell of it is, I thought we'd be licking our wounds after a two game losing streak right now @Atl and @NYG, but I guess the bad streak came earlier than I thought it would.

The Niners game won't be a pushover like a lot of people think. Vernon Davis will be impossible for us to cover and Gore is always a threat to pop a long run. It's gonna be a tough game.

Myron said...

Tommy, the defense was burned big-time by both New Orleans and San Diego too, if you remember. I had the same feeling that the opposing offense could move the ball up and down the field at will against us in those games too. In this case, it just so happened that our offense was clicking and we had a few fluke turnovers / special teams plays go our way.

There's something disturbing about the way our defense gives up huge chunks of yardage in any of these games. I never saw that kind of stuff (or very rarely) from the old JJ defense.

I hope McDermott can figure this out, but it really bothers me to see all the missed tackles and blown coverage.

Myron said...

Also, recall that vs. Chicago our CBs left guys wide open on the field many times but Cutler couldn't make the passes, and vs. Washington we let the inept Campbell uncharacteristically put up respectable numbers and score multiple touchdowns.

Prem Prakash said...

The 4th quarter drive was a thing of beauty.

Can someone help me understand the significant differences between being a pr and kr? I always thought returning punts is harder and more dangerous because there is less reaction time. In this context, why not let Desean handle the kr duties?

izzylangfan said...

What I liked about this win was that the Giants probably played their best game of the year and as well as they possibly can. True the Giant defense leaves a lot to be desired but that has been the case all year. However the Giant offense was awfully good. Manning's passing was extremely accurate and while Nicks and Manningham accounted for a number of blunders they have been doing that all year. Nicks made up for his with that TD catch and Romp. Finally Jacobs for the first time this year was squaring his shoulders and running downhill and bowling over guys. Those dropped passes and fumbles were probably the difference.

Still the eagles run defense limited the damage. The pass defense was horrible and I did not see much pressure on Manning in the first half. The missed tackles were painful. This is the first thing to fix next year but in the mean time the Eagles need to tighten things up defensively if they are going to win a Superbowl. We can mix Trotter in but if he plays for an extended period of time our opponents will find a way to beat him on the pass. Brown and Samuel are good but just seem to get beaten a bit too often. Quentin Michael probably will never have a game as bad as this last one, but I'm not sure Jones is doing enough at the other safety spot. Maybe we could have used Dawk for one more year.

Boyboy said...

I don't buy the no rest for the defense argument -- not this game. The 'D' couldn't slow down the Giants offense from the word "go". I don't think any amount of time on the sideline would have improved their performance.

It reminded me of the NFC CG last year and the game against the Saints earlier this year. Nothing we threw at them worked. The poor tackling didn't help, but there was virtually no pressure on Eli for most of the night, and somebody was wide open on nearly every 3rd down.

VERY troublesome considering we will most likely have to play the Saints or Cards (or both) to reach the Super Bowl. Why can't we just put together a COMPLETE team just once? Damn't. When the 'D' is great, the offense isn't and vice versa. Grrr...

By the way, I love 'Q' (not Demps), but he sure is not proving to be the next Dawkins. We simply don't have a safety who can cover - or make any sort of play in general. And hitching our star to Abiamiri's wagon wasn't such a good idea. Still no consistent pass rush outside of Cole. I'd really like to see Gocong get some snaps as a rush end. As for the linebackers, I'd like to see AJ-WW-MF out there.

Jay said...

Tommy, I was watching the game partly on NBCs sky cam online, and the thing that stood out the most about our defense was how bad Witherspoon played.

He was out of position and getting blocked all over the field for most of the game. A couple times he covered the same player as someone else...once it lead to a 5 yard TD pass. I was just wondering if you saw the same thing, or if I'm just crazy. Thanks

Boyboy said...

Oh yeah, how about the look on McNabb's face when the Giants took the 31-30 lead? He must have been thinking, "how is this going to be my fault tomorrow?"

But he was stoic. He strapped on the helmet and went out and won the game. You can always see a difference in Donovan when he's confident. Nothing was going to stop him last night. People who question his ability to perform under pressure should re-watch last night's game.

What's more pressuring than knowing you're going to have to score virtually every time you touch the ball becauase your defense isn't stopping anybody? And then to go out and actualy do it...on the road...when the momentum had shifted to th G-men? Oh...and with the division on the line?

Excellent performance.

orangecrush007 said...

Extra point. They scored and kicked an extra point. The next time they scored a TD they went for 2 points with Avant. That doesnt make sense to me.

izzylangfan said...

On delaying the two point conversion attempt. The conventional wisdom is to wait until the end of the game to take the risk of the two point conversion attempt. Because you do not know how important that one point is going to be, you do not take any risks in that regard until the fourth quarter, and preferably late in the fourth quarter. I agree with this strategy.

How about Michael Vick. Is he playing like a starting quarterback? Well, maybe/maybe not. But he is probably playing well enough for some team that really needs a quarterback to take a risk and give up a first round pick. So if the Eagles have two first round picks next spring I'm going for a left defensive end and a safety. Probably no surprise after yesterday's defensive showing. With the Eagles second round pick I'd go for a running back.