Week 3 Observations

Great slate of week 3 games, but after watching my Eagles on Sunday afternoon, I’m not sure I can think about the rest of the league this week.  Simply put, my Eagles are in a wee bit of trouble.

The 1-2 start is bad enough, but the loss to the Giants was bad across the board – tackling the likes of which would get you cut from your pee wee team; the injury to Vick’s hand making him unlikely to start next week; a linebacking corps that keeps being exposed in the running game.  I could go on and on… getting no pressure on Eli, weak play out of the safeties, poor OL play especially in pass blocking, terrible play from the guys who got the big money in the off-season – Babin, Jenkins and Asomugha, Andy Reid’s game management goofs…. why do I cheer for this team?

“It’s only week 3” is a fair comeback as Eagles nation typically panics early in the season, but there were a couple of things that showed during the Giants game that are particularly worrisome:

  • The offence spent the entire game looking like it was trying to prevent Vick from getting hurt rather than trying to make plays.  Yes, Vick is injury prone.  Yes he suffered a concussion last week and was cleared to play.  But Sunday looked like a team trying not to lose a QB for the year rather than trying to win a game.  Ironically, that approach ended up with Vick hurting his hand.
  • Nnamdi Asomugha got burned big time on two TDs.  It takes a defence time to gel, but a cover corner needs to be able to cover.  He doesn’t look comfortable yet.   I’m hopeful this turns around, but his early performances aren’t encouraging.
  • Although the run blocking of the O-line looks pretty solid (and I’m very thankful that Andy Reid has remembered that running the ball is permissible in today’s game), the pass blocking is horrible.   This continues a trend of the past couple of years for the Eagles.  There’s a reason the best QBs in the league look so good – it’s because no one is hitting them every play.  According to ESPN, Vick is under duress on 30% of his pass attempts (worst in the league; league average of 19%).
  • Andy Reid is taking a lot of heat in the Philly media for his decision to go for it on 4th and 1 from mid field up 2 in the 4th quarter.  I’m ok with the decision, but he’s got to have a better play call.  A slow developing run against an athletic DL is a lousy call.
  • The play calling in short yardage was brutal.  In goal-to-go situations, they called a couple of tentative QB sneaks and a full back trap.  You’ve got the most athletic QB and WRs in the league – maybe try something creative – a roll-out, a play-action pass.  I can’t believe I’m actually complaining about the Eagles running the ball too much.

Life goes on, so time for some short snappers on the other games:

  • The Bills and Lions at 3-0 after massive comebacks that put a smile on my face.   Love that the Bills are doing it with a QB from Harvard.
  • The NFC West is really bad.  The Arizona-Seattle game should have been played to relegate one of those teams out of the league.  The 49ers won a 13-8 game in Cincinnati that petty criminals in that area should have been forced to watch as part of their debt to society.  Saint Louis got to 0-3 by losing by 30 at home.  That whole division should decline their playoff spot this year for the good of the game.
  • The Oakland-Jets game was the worst officiated game this year.  Made up and phantom calls all over the place and a roughing the passer call that is way out in front for the worst call of the year.
  • How is Tennessee 2-1 with their star running back not having run for 100 yards through 3 games?  
  • Mike Martz (offensive coordinator of the Bears) is going to get his QB killed this year.  How he keeps calling slow developing pass plays with a decimated offensive line is beyond me.  His QBs have been sacked 40+ times in each of the past 10 years yet he’s still employed… amazing!

Snacks were really good this week.  We made two salsas based on recipes from Rick Bayless and his amazing cookbook “Authentic Mexican” (on the left is a chipotle-based salsa, on the right is a salsa verde – both made with fresh tomatillos from the Halifax Seaport Market):

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