Sunday, January 10, 2010

Rock Bottom

***

That was an awful finish to a really fun year. Who ever thought that 11-5 would give you the #6 seed in the NFC? There have been plenty of years when it felt like 8-8 would get you that spot.

Dallas was the better team tonight. Simple as that.

Donovan McNabb is supposed to be a star QB. He didn't play like that tonight. Frankly, he was awful. At one point Tony Romo was 5 of 6 on 3rd downs and McNabb was struggling to complete any pass. He wasn't clutch. McNabb made poor decisions and poor throws. Very frustrating performance.

I'm not going to get into offseason talk tonight. I'm too bitter and I've had too much beer. My plans right now would be a tad idiotic (can we find some guys that don't suck?).

I am happy with Sean McDermott and the defense. Sean called a good game. The D gave up yards and points, but they were hurt by the lack of offense. Dallas ran more than 70 plays. We were in the mid 50s. The D was aggressive and played hard. They had some mistakes as well, but at least we went down swinging.

Losing to Dallas in the playoffs is about as bad as it gets. Wade and Romo and Jerry Jones having a smile-fest is basically my personal version of hell. Last year Dallas got humiliated by us and made some major changes. It will be interesting to see if the reverse is true for us. We do have to take into account the fact that we had one of the youngest teams in the league and injuries started to really hurt. Who knew Jamaal Jackson was so important?

Have some more beers. We'll talk tomorrow.
_

35 comments:

Baloophi said...

Let's hope so.

Myron said...

I knew what this team was immediately after the Chargers loss: a potentially good team with lots of talent hamstrung by injuries to key players and entirely too reliant upon rookies to be competitive with the upper tier of the NFL. I knew they were eventually going to get smashed by a better team in the playoffs, but unfortunately that team happened to be the Cowboys.

I much rather would have traded this season for an 8-8 or a 7-9 season without a playoff appearance than one in which we get humiliated twice in a row by the Cowboys, however. Ah, karma's a bitch after 44-6 last year, though, huh?

All that's left now is to root for an prompt Cowboys exit from the playoffs and season-ending or even career-ending injuries to the following players: Ken Hamlin, DeMarcus Ware, Keith Brooking, Miles Austin, and Tony Romo. Well, maybe not Romo - he just deserves to be personally responsible for a 4 INT loss or another classic bobbled hold on a field goal or something.

Fernando said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fernando said...

@Myron-I can understand feeling bad for your team after a season ending loss. I can understand you wanting the Cowboys out of the playoffs asap. Wishing season or career ending injury to Cowboy players is downright classless. In all the years that I have been a Cowboy fan, never have I wished for any kind of an injury to an opponent, even after last year's 44-7 thrashing. It is just wrong.

Myron said...

Nah, it's totally right. Miles Austin and Ken Hamlin are scumbags. I'm just disappointed one of our Eagles didn't take them out of the game.

Also, enjoy your victory over a hobbled, injury-riddled Eagles team in the playoffs. The Cowboys are not that great, and will most likely lose at some point in the playoffs in the coming weeks.

Next year the Eagles will get right back to owning you guys after we get some of our injured players back, trade/draft for some new ones, and the rookies we have learn the game better.

Myron said...

Also, what the hell are you doing in an Eagles blog after your team destroyed the Eagles in a playoff game? *That's* classless and patronizing. I don't care how nice you try to come off, I don't want to hear any damn Cowboys fans in an Eagles blog after a loss like this.

Get the hell out of here, dude.

Fernando said...

It's wrong and classless.

At least my team is still playing and didn't get consecutive week ass whippings by their hated rival.

Myron said...

Doesn't mean anything if they can't win the big game.

The Eagles whipped the Cowboys last year but lost in the NFC championship game. I doubt the Cowboys will even get that far.

The Eagles team the Cowboys beat was hamstrung by injuries all year. NExt year will assuredly be different, just as this year was different for the Cowboys following 44-6 last year.

Now seriously, what the fuck are you doing in an Eagles blog. Get the fuck out of here.

Tommy Lawlor said...

There is no good discussion to be had tonight. We're all emotional.

Fernando said...

First and foremost I am a football fan. I am a frequent visitor to this blog because I find it a good place to get a pulse on the Eagles. I typically just read but felt like I had to comment when I saw your idiotic, unsportsmanlike comment wishing Cowboy players injuries.

Enjoy your offseason.

Baloophi said...

Throwing around "classless" accusations between these two teams won't fly. Cheering for Michael Irvin motionless on the field? Classless. Blasting "Nah Nah Goodbye" over your stadium's PA (tonight)? Classless.

It's all a wash.

Myron said...

Fernando: enjoy Tony Romo choking in a big playoff game again, you know it's coming.

The Eagles will win a Super Bowl before the Cowboys win another one. At least this I am certain of, even if the Cowboys were the better team *this year*.

Pitmanite said...

there was a game tonight? i wasn't even aware. i just got finished back-to-back viewings of PS I Love You and Definitely Maybe. Who won the game?

ZackISM said...

There has to be a new QB next year. I'd also love a new coach, but I know with the extension that is a pipe dream.

McNabb gets colder than any QB in the NFL. Sure you have guys that are just terrible that McNabb can put up similar numbers too, but give me a Kyle Orton over a Donovan McNabb circa 2009.

Kevin Kolb should be this teams QB. I think we probably have a similar offense, and maybe a better record with Kolb at the helm all year. If he doesn't take over next year, it will be another HUGE mistake by Andy....which I guess won't be a surpise.

Edward said...

I'm surprisingly apathetic about this loss. Not that it isn't tearing me up but it seemed fairly inevitable.
The o-line couldn't block and McNabb got shook up because of it. Exactly what i predicted.

This is gonna be a long 7 months.

Joe said...

Offseason Wishlist:
1. change at QB.
I don't necessarily blame DMac for the past two losses, but how many times can we repeat this routine? Time to see KK take the helm.
2. muscle on D.
We've lost our identity on defense. We need an enforcer. This team needs its own Bdawk, Trot, someone to bring a culture of pain and pride.
3. stud at RDE.
enough said
4. Running Back
5. upgrade to Alex Smith
6. DB/Safety help

Edward said...

How much do you think we could get for Donovan? A high first seems like too much because of his age but there is no way he gets dealt for less.

A high first could get us Eric Berry, our pick could get us a stud LE, then go LB/CB/OL with our 3 picks in rounds 2 and 3 + the health of our o-line and our team looks a whole world of different.

I have no problem with McNabb, he /is/ a great QB. Kolb is just a much much better fit for this offence. You could see it clear as day in the chiefs/saints games. Not once did McNabb throw a TD like the one Kolb threw to Desean against the saints.

Edward said...

I just watched the Kolb highlights from those games again and i'm overreacting. Just pulling at straws because we just got flat beat.

Dr. Ogrodnick said...

As terrible as Donny was, Mandy gave him no help. When the Cowboys take away the deep routes and get a lot of pressure, a good gameday coach adjusts. Mandy just keeps trying to do the same figuring it will eventually work. Where were the 3 step drops and slants? No where until it was too late. So we go with Kolb, Mandy will still find a way to blow it at the end.

Ben said...

dr.-

I like Kolb and think he would be a good QB for us, and I would only want to get rid of DMac for a fat price, but there actually is an argument against what you're saying.

Some feel that marty and big red are basically too infatuated with McNabb's skill, so they call some things, hoping for big highlight reel plays, that are actually more than likely detrimental to his success. Tommy actually wrote about this "theory" earlier in the year saying that Andy's a great coach and 5 is a special QB, but they can often bring out the worse in each other. The argument then is that if we get an intelligent "normally skilled" QB like what we expect Kolb to perform like, then they will play call differently (and better) to make it work, similar to what we did with Garcia.

Dr. Ogrodnick said...

Ben;
I kind of hear what your saying. But take a step back for a second. Andy needs a worse QB to help his coaching. That to me sounds like a bad coach. Yes Andy does some things well, but gameday coaching has never been his strong point. I don't think a worse QB will make that better, despite the bizzare logic supporting it

Dan said...

As much as McNabb deserves some blame for this loss, I think the majority of the blame should be pointed at Marty and Andy. Horrible game plan, no adaptation or reaction to Dallas, the offense was simple unprepared to play this defense.

We had a great offense this year, but there are times when Marty seems to be totally lost, unable to respond to a defense that isn't giving us what we want to see. The same playcalling and strategy will not work 100% of the time. And so much of it seems so simple....if they are taking away the deep routes, throw lots of short and intermediate passes to move the chains. This is Madden-level strategy here.

I know Marty will be staying put, and he probably should, but I would love to see what another OC could do with this offense.

I am ready for the Kolb era. McNabb has been the heart of the city for a decade, but it's over. He's lost his mojo. Just trade him. Get a first and a second, or two seconds, and let's move on.

Kolb is our future for better or for worse, get him on the field and gelling with this young group of players.

I have hope for the future. We are a young team, and our offense is stacked for the next few years. If we can patch the holes on D and stay healthy, I honestly believe that in 2-3 years we will be MUCH better than this year's team.

Baloophi said...

Our first game against the Giants this year created all of this. Andy/MM bought into the "explosiveness" of the team, believing we were never really out of any game, despite the score. You heard Chris Collinsworth say last night - "with this offense, they can be back in it like that." I think we all know better...

I was at the San Diego game, and that was a valiant comeback effort (powered by Avant intermediate throws), but that was the only continued period in which we played like that. Seriously, what happened to Avant in the last quarter of the season?

Also, to play the sort of catch-up, boom or bust style they seem to favor, you need a defense that can get off the field after 3rd down... that just wasn't happening as much as it needs to. And that includes during our win streak. Don't forget we scraped by teams like Denver and Chicago.

I don't know what the answer is, and I don't know who - if anyone - gets to Andy. He's going to be real tempted to say "we had a great season and just hit a rough patch against a better team. Remember, this is a heckuva young team. We'll just build on what we have and do a better job of preparing..."

What are the big moves he's made in the past? Finally drafted a receiver high... demoted Rory Segrest... Benched McNabb... I don't know if he's got it in him to make a change at OC or trade McNabb. And I honestly don't know whether either of those changes will improve the team, but you have to think he has to do something.

Chris said...

It was as frustrating a loss as I can remember, and we were clearly outplayed at every level. I know fans hate the injury excuse, but when healthy, this can be a very good team (I don't believe Super Bowl caliber yet) with what we have right now.

Any chance we have a shot at Peppers in the off season? How long can Carolina keep paying that guy at the incrementally higher pace they are paying him. Could we do sort of trade to get him on our roster so we had first dibs on giving him a new contract? The prospect of reaching for a DE to compliment Cole scares the heck out of me. Too many visions of McDougle there.

I am ready to jettison McNabb. I doubt he is worth a first rounder given his age, length of contract, and the miles of film people have to see that he can struggle at inopportune moments. I have no illusions about him...when he is hot, he is much better than Kolb, but at this point, I would like to see a more consistent player. If we had a guy who consistently put the ball in the receiver's stride, guys like Maclin and Jackson would be twice as dangerous. Who knows if Kolb is that guy, but we do know Don isn't. Think of what Brees would be doing with this receiving core though.

Other things I want to see this offseason...extension for Weaver, raise for Sheldon, draft/acquire DE, CB, FS, SLB, maybe another RB (what happened to Westy's wheels...he looked so slow), and maybe a C.

Finally, what would you do at center? Didn't we tender Cole last off season and does that make him a free agent?

rick said...

I'm loving this shellacing Harbaugh's Ravens are putting on Evil Empire II Patriots. 21-zip in 1st Quarter?! Wow!

Baloophi said...

Also the Patriot fans are booing Brady and their team!

Hypocrites!

Edward said...

Derek's latest post on igglesblog is pretty much doom and gloom for the Eagles!

I hope he's just bummed and thats not what he really sees :s

Edward said...

Its not been a good weekend for my friends and I who pay attention to the NFL over here in the UK.

Between us we support the Bengals, the Pats and the Eagles...

Myron said...

One last thing about the game last night: did any of you think that if that Sean Jones pick hadn't been overturned, and we went up 10-7 or even 14-7, the game might have turned out differently?

Seriously, was that not an interception? I get the feeling that the refs blew that one and it might have cost us a possible game-changing event.

rick said...

The ball hit the ground so I thought it wasn't an interception, but the announcers were saying something to the effect that it COULD touch the ground and still be an interception if it looks like he has control before he hits the ground?? ...not sure about that rule...

Joe said...

Myron:
"One last thing about the game last night: did any of you think that if that Sean Jones pick hadn't been overturned, and we went up 10-7 or even 14-7, the game might have turned out differently?"

I did think that it was an interception and I did think it turned the game around. However, if the Eagles are so fragile that they couldn't survive a bad review, then it was probably not gonna change that much in the end.

Dan said...

As much as it pains me, I think the refs made the right call on the Jones pick. The ball touched the ground, he didn't have control yet.

And yes, I think the game could have turned out different if we get that turnover....or if we don't turn the ball over twice in the 2nd quarter.

Pitmanite said...

Obviously, many of us have issues w/ the Andy/Marty's gameplan & the decisions they make during the game. It's also true that McNabb played like crap, but we just need be honest that DALLAS IS A BETTER TEAM. They are a more talented team and going 3-0 and beating us up the last 2 games removed all doubt from this argument.

If you objectively look up and their roster and on both sides of the ball they had the better players. Their front seven on defense is far and away better than ours. If you want to argue our secondary is better it's def not by much and it didn't show in the 3 games. Our defense needed to rely on trying to be gimmicky and rely on a blitz to stop them. We didn't have the talent to just line up and let our front seven play. It's clear we need help at DE, LB and FS (Macho looked horrible trying to tackle). Also, a CB in the draft would help.

On offense, their o-line is better than ours due to our injuries. Being better up front on both sides of the ball is a huge advantage for a team. Dallas' three RBs are better than ours. We have nobody who can match Jones' playmaking ability (westy is a shell of his former self). I also think they are better at QB and TE (not by much at either position but still better). WR is a wash to me, but i like what we have for the future better. When they take away the deep play and we have no running game to go to bc our coach doesn't believe in it, then it's going to make your passing game seem even more inept.

I love our young talent on offense, and hopefully we can add more playmakers on defense. So let's hope we make the right personnel moves this offseason and we come back an all-around better team. We're not far off, but how many times have we said that before.

Baloophi said...

Here's a stupid point to ponder re: defense in general.

Has anyone noticed the trend (perhaps started by Peyton 2 season ago) of the delayed snap? I know attempting to read the defense, using hard snap counts, and audibles are nothing new in football, but it seems much more uniform and universal across the league.

Here's how it works: The QB lines up, gets set, uses a hard count, then re-sets the offense with particular attention paid to protection schemes, uses a snap indicator (Eli likes "Omaha!") and then snaps the ball. (the collegiate version of this is the entire offense turning to look at the sideline for instruction after the hard count). Think of it as the legal version of video-taping the defensive signals.

My little stupid hypothesis is that defenses have not evolved to defeat this yet. Some teams will try to "fake" out the quarterback or even start in one formation and quickly shift to another, but at the end of the day since they have to respect the quick-snap, they're at a disadvantage.

Closer to home - our week 16 game against the Cowboys felt as though we were telegraphing our plays on every snap... Romo essentially knew what we were doing before snapping the ball.

I wonder if a simple response would be to eliminate the run-up altogether. In essence, every blitz would be a delayed-blitz. You don't bring anybody until the ball is actually snapped... no cheating, in other words. The strength of your design then comes in formation disguise and OL assignment breakdown. No amount of "Omaha!" would betray the call.

I'm not suggesting a vanilla defense, simply better coaching re: the snap... i.e., we'll trade any "jump" you might get guessing the snap for the offense not knowing where the pressure is coming from.

I'm not a football guy - this would probably elicit a giant eye-roll from any defensive coordinator - but as an observer of the game, I feel the element of surprise has largely been eliminated from the defense. Some teams don't care - they're bigger and faster and know they will beat you - but most need to evolve to preserve the element of deception.

Jason said...

Hey everybody,

I know we're all still hurting today, and I don't know if Tommy's going to do an in depth analysis, but you can firmly stick me in the camp of people who have McNabb further down on the list of elements to blame for this loss. I disagree with Tommy that the defense was let down by a bad offense, I think it's the other way around. Although Dallas didn't score on their first two drives, you could see that they were doing whatever they wanted against our D. We didn't stop the WR bubble screen at all last night. Apparently we can't defend the slant pattern either. Or get pressure on the QB. On the offensive side of the ball, I think there are a combination of things, one of which is the fact that McNabb played badly. But let's really get after the O-line here for making McNabb jumpy all night long, especially when you have at least 3 guys up front turning in really bad performances (LT, RT, C). I don't think many QBs in the league can look good when that happens.

I don't want to hear any talk of not bringing back McNabb for next season. We have to remember that this is still the first season of this pimped out offense we have now and it should be even better next year (though they do need to call better plays). Furthermore, I think in general this team overachieved based on the fact that the LB situation was jacked up all year, the FS position never was as good in the big play dept as when Dawk was here, and the O-line was in flux for most of the year and then lost its starting C down the stretch. Let's not forget that Westy was out for most of the year too. Considering that you weren't going to get much for McNabb anyway, I think he should be around for next year. I agree with whoever said earlier that if the QB is as talented as everyone says he is, then its up to the coach to make it work better...