2009/08/28

Eagles-Jaguars Postgame


The Eagles beat the Jaguars 33-32 with a nice 4th quarter comeback on Thursday night in their 3rd preseason game. The score does not indicate how poorly the Eagles actually played. They needed a 4th quarter comeback by Kevin Kolb to win the game.

The Eagles offense and defense really continue to be very average. They looked average in the first preseason game, but did some good things, so I wasn't too worried. They also did not look very impressive in the 2nd game against the Colts, and that trend continued last night in preseason Game 3.

The actual result of the game last night is not very significant, I wanted to see the players make plays, and see how the Eagles try to use Mike Vick. It didn't take long for Vick to see the field, he came on for the 2nd play of the game, and threw a shovel pass to McCoy. It became apparent fairly quickly that there was no flow to this almost alternating plays for McNabb and Vick, and the play calling was way too gimmicky, even when McNabb was under center. If this were the regular season, I would be yelling at Reid to run the ball more. Of course that isn't too easy when the offensive line in my opinion has been horrible this preseason. I understand there are multiple injuries on the offensive line, so lets hope that this unit gets better once the season starts.

Shawn Andrews and Todd Herramans did not play, and it was revealed after the game that Herramans will have surgery and will miss the start of the regular season, and will miss multiple weeks of the regular season. Stacy Andrews did start, and couldn't make it as far as the regular starters went, but apparently, it was more of a precaution as to why he was taken out. Jason Peters didn't play... ohhh he actually did play, you just wouldn't have known that he showed up. Peters has not been good this preseason. It's hard for me to tell how a center is doing, so I'm not sure if Jamaal Jackson looks good, but the overall unit flat out looks bad. McNabb has pressure on him almost every time he drops back to pass, and has to keep plays alive by getting out of the pocket and trying to make something happen. The O-Line run blocked well in the first preseason game, yet I haven't seen them open up a hole on an inside run in the past 2 games. The running backs are running into walls when they try to run up the middle. The offensive line is a unit that has to get back by the regular season.

The play calling was also an area of concern for me. Like I said earlier, if this were the regular season, I would be yelling at Reid to run the ball more. I understand you wanted to get Vick involved, and I liked that they did that, but the play calling just wasn't there, and it got gimmicky very quickly. I would like to Vick line up in the slot more often on multiple plays in a row, whether you plan to use him on a play or not. Keep McNabb under center, and have Vick in the slot. This way, you don't have to do anything gimmicky, you run the regular offense (yes, I want to see Vick go out for passes), you don't have to keep running McNabb and Vick on and off the field, and you have multiple weapons on the field at one time. I'm not sure who calls the plays at this point, probably Reid because he is so arrogant, but the play calling needs to get better in the regular season. I don't anticipate this however, as the play calling in my opinion has not been good for years. Morningweg is a below average offensive coordinator.

On defense, the 1st team is still getting points scored on them, and letting teams drive down the field. This defense was the 3rd ranked defense in the NFL, and 1st ranked in the NFC last season, and I think for the Eagles to be successful, their defense needs to be in the top 10 at worst. Losing Stewart Bradley is still hurting this team, as Joe Mays has been a non-factor at the middle linebacker position. In fact, the entire linebacking corps have been mostly invisible in the preseason, besides rookie Moise Fokou, who has been a beast. I will say the Eagles did a better job of getting to the QB, and disrupted many plays by getting in the Jaguars' quarterbacks faces. On the line, Trent Cole stood out, and was in the backfield a lot. Asante Samuel continues to play well, and had a pick last night. I think Quintin Mikell is also playing well, but you expect that out of him.

The Eagles do have some things to work on still, and need to improve in multiple areas. If they run this team and this game out in the regular season, they will be completely average. But this is what preseason is for, to work on the kinks, and get ready to play well in Week 1 of the regular season. Lets hope that the Eagles are ready to Week 1 against the Panthers.

7 comments:

Kotite's Corner said...

Also wanted to say that the red zone offense continues to be horrible, and the play call on the McNabb backwards pass to McCoy was not only executed poorly, but was a horrible play call to begin with. It was 1st and goal from the 1 or 2, just run the ball up the middle, or do a sweep, or a pass to the TE.

T-Bone said...

1. Jason Peters completely sucks and is liable to get McNabb killed this year! How the hell did this guy make two Pro Bowls the last two seasons (though he didn't play in either)? The Bills must be laughing their butts off that they snookered Reid into signing this bum (though they won't be laughing long once TO gets into full psycho mode...).

2. If most of the O-Line starters don't get back and working well together, offensive production will be pitiful no matter who's in the backfield or under center.

3. What was the point in trotting out Vick for those ridiculous plays? With the exception of one decent 17-yard pass completion, Reid's use of him was basically irrelevant. Rather see him in the slot, or even lined up as WR. When he was under center & McNabb lined up wide, did anyone on the Jags D really think he had to bother covering McNabb? Of course not! A complete waste of plays, and typical of Reid's inability to think creatively.

4. D-Line finally looked better pressuring the QB, even with just a 4-man rush. The linebackers, though, are nothing to write home about, and are continually suckered by the screen pass. Hate to say it, but looks like we'll be seeing this bunch give up big yardage plays at the worst possible times.

5. Don't know which of the two offensive geniuses -- Reid or Mornighweg -- called this game, but the play calls sucked (yet again). Looked like Reid's myopic overuse of the pass, despite having an O-Line that can't protect worth crap. But, then, with the exception of preseason game #1, they haven't exactly shown they can open holes either.

6. The most egregious horrible play call was that lateral pass to McCoy at first and goal on the one. Aside from the fact that McNabb (again) tossed it too high, this was an absolutely asinine call with no potential upside, but quite a few potential downsides (one of which we saw...). Absolutely stupid call by, I assume, Reid.

7. I've given up even hoping, much less expecting, McNabb to show consistency. Even when he has time to pass, he sometimes looks like a raw rookie. Then a few series later he'll look like a Pro Bowler, only to revert back to incompetence, and then back to Pro Bowler again. This constant yo-yoing between the good and bad McNabbs in the course of every game drives most of us nuts, but looks like we're going to have to sit through this lousy movie again, even though we already know the tragic ending... It will be interesting to see when the "We Want Vick" chants start rolling through the Linc.

Anonymous said...

The jerk store called, and they're running out of you!

Kotite's Corner said...

Yeah I guess we should have kept A.J. Feeley at QB. Ohh wait he is still on the roster, he can probably still get the job done. Maybe Jeff Garcia can come in. I'm sure idiots will be calling for Vick to replace McNabb soon. There are only a handful of QB's better than McNabb in the league, so get over his deficiencies, every QB has some, besides P. Manning, and Brady. McNabb is not the problem with this team. I understand the QB takes more of the blame than any other position, and he should, but to finally get over the hump, there are plenty of other issues with this team that deserve more attention and criticism than McNabb. Stop listening to Angelo in the morning, who essentially has no clue what he is watching when he watches a game, and stop emoting this hackneyed idea that McNabb throws the ball into the ground every other throw, when it maybe happens once a game. McNabb has the lowest interception ratio in NFL history, and this season he is going to hit 200 career TD's and will still be under 100 career INT's. Not too bad. But I should digress, because I'm sure a Feeley/Ricky Williams combo would have won us multiple Super Bowls by now.

T-Bone said...

Remember those analogy tests? For instance, lead:pencil as ink:pen? Well, here's one for you: Eskin's lips:Reid's backside as
______:McNabb's butt. Answer: Mr. Green's nose.

I understand Mr. Green's perennial complaint that McNabb is grossly underappreciated in light of his stats and multiple NFC Championship appearances. I also get it that compared to the vast majority of QBs throughout the league, McNabb is year after year consistently among the top. My observations of Mr. Green's hero do not in any way dispute these accomplishments, nor do they suggest I'd prefer Feeley, Garcia, Kolb, Vick, Favre, Cutler, or the ghost of Johnny Unitas to be under center for the Birds. My point isn't that McNabb stinks or is overrated -- it's simply the demonstrable fact that the guy's game is internally inconsistent when compared to his own considerable talent level, and it's precisely this inconsistency judged against his talent that drives the fans nuts. Over the course of a season, or many seasons, Donovan exhibits consistently high levels of performance. But within the course of a single game, or series of games, he exhibits enormous inconsistency. He didn't struggle to eke out a tie in 5 quarters against the woeful Bengals, or get benched in Baltimore, because of his glowing stats. No, he stunk in those games. And that's the issue: as good as he clearly has proven to be over time, you never know from play to play or game to game which McNabb is going show up. He's kind of the Phil Mickelson of the NFL, only without any majors...

And as for Anonymous: Well, I had sex with your wife -- even though she was in a coma.

Kotite's Corner said...

I would argue that every single QB in the league is at some point "inconsistent" throughout a game. I'm not sure how you can measure inconsistency, which is why I do rely on a lot of stats. It also depends on ones definition of this word. If McNabb drives down the field and scores a TD, and then throws 2 incomplete passes on the next 3 and out drive, does that mean he is inconsistent? That seems like more of the ebb and flow of the game to me.

There are also plenty of other factors that I could argue that go into a QB being successful. Obviously the easiest one is that the Eagles still don't believe in #1 receivers, and Reid thinks you just win with Greg Lewis' out there. Also, contrary to what Reid believes, you don't actually improve your chances on winning by throwing the ball 60 times a game, and running 10. Most QB's improve a lot with a successful rushing attack. Even as good as Westbrook is, the Eagles are not a team that can run the ball 30 times a game up the middle, gaining small yards at a time, controlling the clock, and keeping the QB off the ground. You talk about other QB's such as Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, and Kurt Warner who really benefit from a good supporting offensive cast. Ryan and Flacco benefit from great rushing attacks, so all they have to do is be efficient, and throw the ball 20 times a game and not make mistakes, and Warner had not one, not two, but three 1000 yard receivers last year. I could go on and on with what other factors would help a QB, but you know all this, I am not going to insult your intelligence, I know I am not talking to a typical "McNabb hater" who thinks McNabb should be benched with every incompletion he throws.

I understand McNabb isn't perfect, I just believe McNabb is a top 10, possibly top 5 QB in this league, and there are many others things and problems with this team that need to improve more important than McNabb. I don't mean that to mean McNabb isn't the most important part of the team, because I think he is, but throughout his career, I think that if there would have been some other things that were improved with this team, McNabb could have won a Super Bowl. The notion that McNabb will never win a Super Bowl, just like people used to say Iverson will never win a championship just always seemed stupid to me, because there were so many other issues going on with their particular teams, other than McNabb and Iverson.

Bottom line, McNabb is asked to do a lot more for the Eagles to win games than say a Roethlisberger is for the Steelers to win games.

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