Confirmation Code: GNMBMVF16370781
There is no reason for Eagles fans to feel disappointed.
The team played a short week against a team with a bye, in a dome. They did so without their best offensive player (McNabb), their best DL (Kearse), and their best CB (Sheppard).
They went 6-1 in their division. They made it to the final 8, after looking like the worst team in football in late November. A three point loss on the road is nothing to be ashamed of.
And yet... how do you go for it on 4th and 10, but punt on 4th and 15?
And how do you, year after year, get killed by your inability to stop the run? (Don’t believe me? Go look at Corey Dillon in the Super Bowl. Or the Panther loss, or the Buc loss, or Marshall Faulk saving the Rams…)
And why, no matter who the QB is, can't the offense ever show up in the first quarter?
I love Andy Reid. He's the best coach in the history of the franchise. This has been the best time ever to be an Eagles fan -- 6 division titles in the last 7 years, a bunch of playoff wins, and they’ve made the division their bitch. They've given us a lot to love.
But oh, man, they're frustrating.
A few more specific points from tonight’s game…
1) Let's make this the last game for Dhani Jones in Eagles green. Andy, if you're going to raid the division for FA talent, hit Washington first. They never notice when their young players are good. The Giants do. (Don’t believe me? Consider one William James, nee Peterson.)
2) Nice moment for Fox when they show a female fan wearing a profane shirt. Oh well, it wasn't a nipple, so I guess Joe Buck and Congress won't soil themselves in indignation, and I somehow doubt the FCC fine will be that intense. (Clip used to be up on YouTube, but isn't now. Conspiracy!)
3) In baseball, they call it the shut-down inning: when your offense gives you runs, your pitcher has to go out and get 3 outs. The Eagles D was terrible in those situations tonight, and it’s why they lost.
4) I'm probably in the minority on this, but Reggie Bush still looks overrated to me. Sure, he's got moves, but not so much power, can be muscled at the line in coverage, and is loose with the ball. He's got a ways to go before he's Barry Sanders, folks. Right now, he’s just a bigger Warrick Dunn – good, not astounding.
5) I guess I'm rooting for the Saints now, but those CBs bite more on double moves than Anne Heche. (Andy Dick? Tallulah Bankhead? You could go a lot of ways with this one.)
6) Brian Dawkins was great this year. He wasn't tonight. Tight ends that aren’t good enough to stay with the Houston Texans (that'd be Billy Miller) should not be a factor against a great safety.
7) Anyone else notice Moose Johnson and Tony Siragusa achieving orgasm on the McAllister touchdown, after he faked out Jeremiah Trotter? Very professional, Fox. And by the way, go screw yourselves.
8) Sweet play by the Saints punter to get the first late in the half... but if Shawn Barber makes the play, or anyone else on the coverage team notices the lack of punt sound, the Eagles get the ball with 30 seconds left in the half at mid-field. The possible 3 points might've come in handy.
9) I love Brian Westbrook; it was nice to finally see him get love at the goal line in the last few games this year. I wouldn’t mind seeing a big back for those situations, but that’s not really concerns me. It's just not a good sign when he's returning punts.
The Eagles need to upgrade the returner position with someone who actually has the ability to break one. They haven't had a quality return situation since JR Reed in the Super Bowl, 2 years ago. Reno Mahe doesn’t cut it, guys. At least try Ryan Moats back there next year, and see if he can put his quicks to use.
10) Sean Payton's done a great job this year, but the play call with the flip to Bush with 3 minutes left was insane. I'm continually amazed at how so many NFL coaches refuse to stay with something (McAllister up the gut) that the opponent isn't stopping. It's like everyone is trying to win the game and style points. Bush is a goat for whiffing, but there's no reason to make that play call.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Confirmation Code: GNMBMVF16370781