For the second week in a row, I must begin with an Eagles rant. There are three phases of football – offence, defence and special teams – and frankly, the Eagles found ways to screw up in all three (not to mention some spectacularly boneheaded coaching as well).
Offence: On the surface, the stat sheet looks pretty good (Vick throws for over 400 yds and actually plays the whole game). Look closer and you’ll see only 9 rushes for McCoy – Andy Reid once again falls in love with the passing game and forgets he has a real running game to rely on. There were drops at key times by Maclin and Jackson (Vick could have thrown for 500+ without the drops). Maclin had a weak fumble after a large gain late in the 4th quarter (not to mention he was caught from behind by a 290lb defensive end). When an offence puts up 500+ total yards and only scores 23 points, something is very wrong.
Defence: The secondary (especially the stars at CB) look disinterested in covering anyone (Asomugha missed tackles and got beat on a TD for the 3rd week in a row). A relatively weak 49ers offence ripped big plays at will on the run, continuing to show a fundamental weakness the Eagles have. In the past 3 games, the Eagles have had 4th quarter leads and have been outscored 36-0 in that span to lose all 3 games. Everyone on defence is missing tackles.
Special teams: Two missed field goals by a rookie kicker. If he makes one of those, the Eagles likely would have pulled out the win.
Coaching: Reid and his staff have always frustrated and baffled me. Short yardage in the red zone and they’ve got Schmidt and Brown in the backfield and have Herremans lined up as an extra TE (in other words, they take out McCoy, Jackson and Avant for a key goal-to-go play). Reid and his OC are trying to be the smartest guys in the room with what they cook up. Here’s an idea, keep your best players on the field and let your $100M quarterback try to find a way to score.
Odds and ends from the other games I watched to take my mind off my 1-3 team:
- The Redskins are out to an early share of the NFC East lead. Rex Grossman’s prediction of a division title for them doesn’t seem so far fetched now, even if it did make me chuckle back in August.
- The Cardinals-Giants game was surprisingly close and a great one to watch. The officials made a terrible call in the 4th quarter on a Giants fumble (ruling the runner went down intentionally thereby nullifying the fumble – wrong call, and the next play was the Giants game winning TD)
- Kevin Kolb has become too infatuated with throwing to Fitzgerald. If he feels pressure, he’ll throw it up for grabs to Fitz. That cost him an interception on a key drive in this game. He also forced a 4th and 2 pass into Fitz who was tightly covered – the pass went incomplete and that was it for the Cardinals chances. On the other side of the field, his TE was wide open, but he never looked there.
- Love the Lions getting to 4-0 with yet another huge comeback win. Romo gave away this game with interceptions meaning he’s been a hero twice and the goat twice this year. Cowboys looking like an 8-8 team with the good-Romo bad-Romo quarterbacking this year.
- Is Wes Welker open on every play? The offensive line of the Patriots gives Brady a ton of time and allows Welker the time to run through inside coverage by safeties and linebackers (and you can’t jam him at the line because he lines up in the slot off the line of scrimmage), but really, take him away and let someone else beat you.
- Jets-Ravens: In a season of completely ridiculous games (comebacks, video game stats), this one takes the cake. Five returns for TDs including 4 by the defences. The Jets O-line looked like it would get Sanchez killed. Lots of chippy stuff between whistles. A ton of penalties. Two QBs who couldn’t complete any passes. After the opening Thursday night Saints-Packers game, this one was the most fun game I’ve watched so far this year even though it was a sloppy mess.