Sunday, December 20, 2009

Solid Win Over SF

***

I'm just getting ready to start on the Review, but figured I would post some initial thoughts. The win wasn't pretty. The overall team played pretty well, but Donovan McNabb had an off day. He wasn't awful or anything like that, but he didn't have his A-game. There were two main problems that I could see. McNabb forced the ball to DeSean. Donovan threw to him 10 times. The other WRs had 11 combined throws come their way. I have no problem with DJax being our primary target, but a few of those throws were really forced. Both of the INTs were passes to DJax that Donovan had no business throwing. The other problem was happy feet. McNabb would drop back and his feet were going up and down in a hurried fashion. He wasn't relaxed in the pocket. The blocking was fine, but McNabb was just anxious for some reason.

The good news is that he played well enough for us to move the ball and score points. Donnie was 21-36-306. He had 1 TD, 2 INTs. He also ran for a TD. That was huge. RZ execution was critical. He saw an opening to the left side and took off for an 8-yard score.

DeSean did have another big game. He caught 6 passes for 140 yards and a TD. He's now over 1,000 yards for the year. He added another 50 yard pass play. Brent Celek also had a good day for us. Kevin Curtis was real rusty.

The offense gained 422 yards. We were 6 of 14 on 3rd downs and 3 of 5 in the RZ. I was happy with our running game. Weaver and McCoy combined for 26-100. LeSean had a TD. Those numbers weren't helped by long plays. Our best run was just 9 yards.

The defense had a strong bounce-back effort from last week. We held SF to 261 yards and 13 points. They were 0 for 11 on 3rd downs. We had 3 sacks and came up with 4 takeaways. Maybe most important was the fact that we tackled well. SF receivers got very few RAC yards. The Niners only had one drive that covered more than 50 yards and more than half of that drive came due to penalty yards. That wasn't great Eagles defense, but it was good.

Trent Cole came up with 2 sacks. Asante had a pretty good day as a tackler. He also picked off a pass. Sheldon was terrific in coverage. He broke up 3 passes. He also forced a key fumble that saved us at least 3 points.

I know Andy's decision to go for it on 4th down will be a hot topic. I thought it was a bad idea before the snap and an even worse idea after we were stopped. The only thing I can guess is that Reid sensed the need to get something going. The team certainly wasn't flat, but there was an odd vibe to the game. The stadium wasn't full due to the weather. We only had a 7-3 lead at the time. It felt like Reid was trying to give a boost to the team. That play might have failed, but the thinking behind it might have worked. We scored on 3 of the next 4 drives. I didn't like the decision. I'm not trying to defend it. I just want to understand what Big Red was thinking and how the decision fits into the overall game.

We've now won 5 games in a row and we're 10-4. We remain on top of the NFC East. For some reason that makes me want to constantly check the NFL standings. We did clinch a playoff spot (8th time in 11 years). That's great. We still have work to do. MIN is losing to CAR as I type this. That keeps us in the hunt for the #2 seed in the NFC. That would be awesome to get. A week's rest can be huge in the playoffs.

We might get Westy back next week. We are another week close to Maclin returning. I haven't read anything about Vick yet. Akeem Jordan played pretty well. Kevin Curtis got back on the field. We're not in great health, but there is some reason for optimism.

10-4. 1st place in the division. Playoff bound. Not too shabby.

-gamebook-
_

15 comments:

Tommy Lawlor said...

CAR 26
MIN 7

3 minutes left in the game. The Vikings have tanked 2 of the last 3 games. Wow.

Tommy Lawlor said...

Minnesota lost. We are one game out of the #2 spot.

If we win out and the Vikings lose one more game we'll get the #2 seed.

Ben said...

ideally-

we win out, gmen beat vikings in week 17 (I forget who they play next week but I remember thinking easy win)

Dan said...

Can we officially nickname #43 as Leonard "The Dream" Weaver? So glad to see him getting work, we have GOT to resign him.

Stephen said...

I didn't get to see the game sadly as I had to go in to work today, but it sounds like Desean Jackson worked over another teams pass D. I see his long on the day was only 59, he's slacking.

Brett Favre is one of my least favorite people and I'm happy to see him tanking. Tom Brady is another of my least favorite people and though the Pats won today they barely beat the dismal Buffalo Bills and Tom Brady had poor numbers. Pats hardly have the look of a playoff contender and I couldn't be happier.

Anyone know of a way I could see a replay of the game? I caught a few plays here and there where I could (saw the one interception mcnabb forced into the endzone, that was fugly) but I'd love to see the whole effort.

Cliff said...

NFL Network will have the 30 minute replay at some point tonight and tomorrow.

Minny plays Chicago next week.

How hyped up is the Dallas game going to be? Nothing less than chaos in Week 17.

Myron said...

All I want for Christmas is a First Round Bye, a First Round Bye...

Most festive and awesome scenario possible this year:

Redskins beat the Giants and eliminate them from playoff contention, Eagles beat the Broncos and the Cowboys in decisive fashion to win out and go 12-4, then the Giants try to salvage some pride and fight the Vikings hard on week 17 and beat them, giving Philly the #2 seed and the First Round Bye we haven't had since 2004!

Santa, please?

The way Old Man Winter (Bad late-season Brett) has been playing, this is a realistic possibility that looked ludicrous in October. Awesome.

Tommy Lawlor said...

@ Myron...

I like the way you think.

Edward said...

I think Dave is in a bit of a dreamworld now we're definitely in the playoffs.

"The Eagles had 422 total yards of offense and they converted 6 of 14 third downs. Fantastic."

6 of 14? Fantastic? Really Dave?

Cliff said...

Well, that is about 43%. That's 5 points higher than our season average of 37%. To put it in perspective, San Diego has a 42% conversion rate for the season.

But I get your point. That's an area that needs improvement. Stupid penalties that get 1st downs called back don't help, of course.

Boyboy said...

Minny is at Chicago next week. The Bears stink, but you never know with a road divisional game in December. Of course, all that really matters right now is that the Eagles take care of their own business. Ideally, we beat Denver and Dallas loses to Washington next week. My heart can't handle Week 17 being for the division crown.

Re: McNabb

Let's hope he got the carelessness out of his system. He was playing a little bit like Favre yesterday. I'm sure some of those throws were driven by overconfidence. He's probably gotten used to being able to hit receivers downfield with ease. Anyway, I'll give him a pass this week. He played a good game otherwise, and you know those turnovers probably won't continue.

Re. Kevin Curtis

I can't wait for Maclin to come back. If I watch that dirty hippie (KC not JM) drop one more pass, I swear that I'll destroy all of the granola on the planet. Rust or no rust, dude was dropping passes at the beginning of this season and the end of last season. Ugh. I have got to believe that the Eagles would have rather parted with him over Gibson, but because of his injury he had no value.

Cliff said...

I know he's got the hippie look going, but KC is from Utah. I doubt he's a hippie.

I mean, just stay away from my freaking granola, dude.

Boyboy said...

Haha. Yeah, I kinda like granola too. It would pain me to do that...

Adam S. said...

I can smell that #2 seed and gentlemen it smells amazing....

I'm really hoping the Redskins can piece together a 2 game win streak. It looks like if we win out and Minny wins out we could be playing Dallas in back-to-back games. I read an article last week on NFL.com about that very thing. Only one team has won both games (week 17 & wildcard) out of like 8 or 9. I can't seem to find the article now so I can't state the actual number of teams but I know it was the Raiders over the Broncos and i was quite some time ago.

Pitmanite said...

I agree about Donnie forcing the ball to Desean. Hopefully he spreads it around more and after watching the tape I think he'll see it. I can't wait for Maclin to get back. I'm not too concerned about Donnie throwing INTs, since he's one of the best in the league at keeping his INTs to a minimum. I'm just glad he did it in a game where we never faced real danger of losing.

I didn't like Andy's call, but I think he must not have had a lot of respect for the 49ers offense.

I'd love to get a home game and a first round bye to get some of our guys healthy.