Detailed Game Review – BUF 31, PHI 24

Posted: October 11th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 96 Comments »

Dumb, Dumber, and Dumberer

What a slopfest. It was more frustrating to watch the second time than seeing it live. You knew when the mistakes would happen.

The Eagles played a very flawed game. 5 turnovers. Critical penalties. Mental mistakes that led to turnovers and penalties. And missed tackles. Oh wow. If missed tackles were gold, Jarrad Page would be Bill Gates. The coaches didn’t want the players to feel special so they made some bonehead mistakes of their own. This truly was a team loss.

The most infamous moment will be the 4th/1 play where all 6 billion people on Earth knew that the Bills would use a hard count to try and draw us offside. We were out of timeouts. There was less than 90 seconds left and that was the game. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick used a hard count. No one jumped. He used a second hard count and Juqua Parker did jump. Game over. Time for local, national, and international ridicule. The Eagles are idiots.

That moment was beyond frustrating. The great Merrill Reese had the perfect call.  The worst part of that was how well we had played for much of the 2nd half. We got down 28-7 early in the 3rd quarter. Mike Vick then took off on a 53-yard run and that seemed to ignite the whole team. In the final 7:17 of the 3rd and all of the 4th quarters we held Buffalo to 76 yards and 3 points. We had 238 yards and 17 points. That doesn’t even include the 53-yard run. Unfortunately, we had 2 turnovers and that killed us as much as the Juqua debacle.

In the end, it was too little, too late. My hope is that the mojo of the 2nd half can carry over to the next game. We won’t know that until Sunday at Washington.


Some fans are on Andy Reid for “not having the team ready to play”. There was no lack of effort by the team. We just made a ton of mistakes. Even the mistakes were odd. We had tipped ball INTs. Jason Avant fumbled, a guy who never makes mistakes. Parker jumping offside. Juan Castillo and the coaches told them to expect the double hard count. And yet a 10 year veteran jumps? That’s just insane.     

Andy made a couple of decisions I didn’t like. He decided to punt on 4th/4 from the BUF 37 w/ 3:22 left in the half. I’m sure he would say that the offense was struggling at that point, which they were. My problem is that not many punters can pooch kick well from inside the 40. We’ve got a rookie. Is it worth it to rely on him vs Vick/Shady/the WRs? If you get stopped on 4th down, you’re handing Buffalo 17 yards. This was a time when the risk/reward said that going for it was the smart thing to do. Andy got lucky that Jamar Chaney picked off a pass and got the ball back for the offense, but that led to a truly bad decision.

We drove down to the BUF 26 and had :08 left. We had no timeouts. You have two choices there. One is to throw a quick out and pick up 5 to 8 yards and shorten the FG attempt. The other is to kick the FG and not risk anything. Reid stupidly went for option 3. Let Vick try for the endzone and have the clock run out so we get no points. This is a complicated situation. Lots of blame to go around. Reid trusted his veteran QB to act quickly. Problem is that Vick wasn’t playing a smart game at that point. If he’s not making great decisions, then don’t let him deal with that situation. They did and Vick held the ball too long before throwing it away. Now, the refs also looked to be at fault. FOX showed :01 left when a person behind the endzone touched the ball. If that clock was accurate, then we should have had another down. The refs ruled that time had expired and the half was over. 3 points wouldn’t have drastically changed the game, but it would have been a big morale booster going into halftime to be down 21-10 instead of 21-7.

I have no major issues with Marty and the gameplan. BUF took away deep balls so we used a lot of crossing routes and underneath stuff. Smart. Shady didn’t run enough, but the score got bad so we had to open things up. They did get him the ball more in the RZ and I liked the RZ play calls. That area showed promise. It did help that BUF has a terrible defense.

As for Castillo and the defense. The lack of press coverage was highly frustrating. Fitzpatrick is a smart QB. Play off on 3rd/4 and he’ll eat you alive. The Bills were 6 of 6 on 3rd downs in the 1st half and opening drive of the 3rd Qtr when we played soft and they build their 28-7 lead. We got better after that and they didn’t convert another 3rd down the rest of the game. Shouldn’t have taken that long to adjust.

We didn’t do a good job vs their Wildcat. The Ravens are the best team in the NFL vs the Wildcat. They load up the LOS and attack off the edges. We sat in a standard set and let them run. We didn’t get gashed, but they did get a 5-yard TD run out of it on one play. Can’t go base against that look. Dumb.

I’m really upset with Juan for having Asante Samuel on the field on the final series. We knew Buffalo would run. Why on Earth would you put your worst run defender on the field? This makes literally no sense to me. It is beyond stupid. Put Hanson out there. Put a Safety at that spot. As I’ve mentioned before, slide a Safety there and put Keenan Clayton at Safety. Dare the Bills to throw it. Dare them.

I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.


* 2nd/GL from 2. Motioned DJax over to the left, where Mac was. DJax went up the field. Mac crossed. 3 DBs went with DJax and Mac was wide open for easy TD. Simple play, but nice execution.

* Very inefficient game. Only 2 of 9 on 3rd downs.

* Did go 2 for 3 in the RZ. Promising.

VICK — Odd game. 26-40-315 as a passer. Had 2 TDs. Also had 4 INTs. Ran 5 times for 90 yards. There were times in the game when he was highly frustrating and other times when he was amazing. My biggest beef with Mike is that he needs to be smarter. He was at fault for the pick-6. Kelce missed block of LB that killed the play, but Vick has to know he can’t put that ball over the middle like he did. Take the sack and live for the next play. Think. Value the football. We were down 14-7 at that moment. You don’t just fire passes over the middle.

Vick also made a critical mistake late in the half. Took off running to his left. Had a chance to get out of bounds for a gain of 5 to 7 yards. Would have been 21 or 22 seconds left. Instead he focused on getting yards. He got an additional 5 or so yards, but after the ensuing spike there were just 13 seconds left. We needed the seconds more than the yards. Situational awareness. You have to think in terms of yards vs seconds in that situation. The clock should have been his focus. With 20+ seconds you can throw over the middle and then go spike the ball. With :13, no such luck.

Mike made some great throws. He and Avant were terrific. Those guys have good chemistry. Vick took some shots in the game and fought through it. Lots of issues with guys hitting him/tackling him with shots to the feet and ankles. He limped around at times in the game and afterward, but never came out. Tough as nails.


* Early on we had Vick roll to his left. That kept pressure off Watkins and also got Vick out of the pocket.
* Had screen pass picked off on opening possession. Ball was batted in the air and CB got it. Had another pass batted later in the game.
* Took a nasty shot from LB Danny Batten. It was late and helmet to helmet. 15 yds and a 1st down.
* Gave out hand signals prior to 15-yd run by Shady in the early 2nd. Might have been calling an audible. If so, well done. Played worked perfectly.
* Vick was late with pass on next-to-last play of half. DJax was wide open inside the 10. Ball was late (no pressure) and the DB broke it up. Was only a 2-man route. Don’t know why Vick didn’t read it sooner and get ball out on time.
* 53-yd run was a thing of beauty. Thought he might score on that.
* Finally ran Vick in the RZ. Buffalo played that well, but Mike got a couple of yards.

SCHMITT — Very quiet game. We did very little out of the I-formation.

MCCOY — Good game. 11-80 with TD as runner. Long gainer was a 32-yd run to the right side. Got by a DL and used his speed. Thought he might go all the way, but DB made a strong open field tackle. Got his share of RZ touches this week. We handed him the ball on inside run on 1st/GL, but LB stuffed it for minimal gain. TD run was impressive. Went to the left and covered 10 yards. Fought through a couple of defenders to get inside the pylon. Had a huge drop in the mid-3rd. We ran screen out of our own endzone. Shady got the ball and dropped it. Huge area for him to run in. Next play was the Avant fumble so that was a very costly drop. Ran about 25 yards on screen in late 4th just to get a 3-yd gain. Did get the 1st down by doing that. 4 catches for 27 yds.

BROWN — Played very little. Apparently he was being punished for last week’s RZ debacle. I say, good. Players need to be punished for critical errors like that.

D. LEWIS — Had 2 carries for 8 yards. Highlight was 6-yd run in mid-2nd. Showed real good burst on the play. Ran draw from shotgun.

DJAX — 5-86, with a TD. No drops, which was nice. Bills played end around to him well and we lost a couple of yards. Finally turned a WR screen to him into a big play. Great RAC job. Weaved through traffic and delivered a 31-yard TD. Love to see DeSean making big plays with his RAC ability. Next catch was the 2nd play of next possession. Great play design got him the ball in the middle of the field with room to run. DeSean was great initially. He moved fast, but under control so he could read his blocks. Really pissed me off at that point. Got down to the BUF 28. Had a DB in front and the sideline to his right by 3 or 4 yards. Mac and Jason were just ahead, but to his left. It wasn’t likely for DeSean to make it through that traffic, but you never know. He slowed up and then stupidly hopped. He tried to hop by/over the DB and went out of bounds. The sideline doesn’t miss tackles. Never help the defense out. Always go inside. If DeSean gets by that guy, he might have scored. Hard to say. Really frustrating to see that crap on a 4th Q play when you’re down 10. Stuff like that drives me nuts.

MACLIN — “Quiet game”. Only caught 6-54. Did have a TD. Mostly caught short throws. Best catch came late in the half when he caught a pass along the far sideline and made sure to get out of bounds.

COOPER — Played, but didn’t have any catches or highlights.

AVANT — Heaven and hell. Best game of his career with 9 catches for 139 yards. Bad game because he was directly involved in 2 turnovers. Had a couple of 3rd downs where he was short of the chains. Part of that is Jason working back to the ball, but still, he’s got to know that and go beyond the sticks to make sure he gets the necessary yardage. Got us 10.5 yds on 3rd/11. We threw him a short pass on 4th/1 and Jason got us 7 yds. Throughout the game Jason did a great job of getting open and working the middle of the field. BUF took away the deep passing game so we needed Jason to be productive. Final turnover was a bizarre play. He ran quick out from slot. Basic play. It worked early in the game on 4th down. Jason was initially open, but CB on Maclin let him go and jumped pass to Jason. He knocked the ball loose and LB Nick Barnett made the grab. It’s hard to blame Jason on that play, but the ball did hit him in the hands. You always expect a guy like him to make that grab.

His critical error came late in the 3rd Qtr. We were backed up to our 2-yd line. The OL blocked well and Vick threw a strike. Jason caught the ball 30 yards upfield and then ran for more. He had a couple of defenders on him. I yelled at the TV “Just go down”. Guys like him mean well, but that’s when bad things happen. And sure enough FS Jairus Byrd pried the ball loose and the Bills recovered. That led to a FG, their final points of the game. Can’t have fumbles like that. Love the effort, but sometimes you need to know when a play is over and just go down.

CELEK — How the mighty have fallen. Gamebook has him being thrown at 5 times, but only with 1 catch for 6 yards. The catch came on a little dump pass in the 4th. Had a good block of LB Barnett in the early 2nd that gave Shady lots of space. Got 15 on the play.

HARBOR — Quiet game. 1 catch for 3 yards. That came in mid-2nd. Just sat down in hole over the middle. Easy pitch, catch. Lined up in backfield on 3rd/long to help pass protect. Solid block, but ended up on ground and that affected Todd and let his guy get loose. Didn’t seem to get a ton of snaps.

DUNLAP — Got the start at LT with Jason Peters hurt. Solid overall. Sloppy block on 1st Q pass play led to 91 getting a shot on Vick. Very good job on Shady TD run in mid-3rd. Shoved DE downfield. It was draw, so that created initial room. Then went and blocked DB up the field, which gave Shady room to get to the GL. Might have gotten away with a block in the back on DJax’s TD. Did push DB, but it was right at the LOS so I’m not sure if that’s legal or not. Called for holding on 2nd/GL in the 4th. Questionable call. Looked like Merriman was leaning on King as much as anything. While Dunlap had a solid game, Merriman has nothing left so he wasn’t much of a test.

MATHIS — Good game. Didn’t have any highlight blocks. Looked really fast running upfield on DJax’s WR screen TD, but didn’t have anyone to block.

KELCE — Up and down game. Very good on the 2nd level, but had some blitz issues. Poor block attempt on 92 led to TFL in the mid 1st Q. Made a huge mistake on Vick’s pick-6. Was supposed to go left and get blitzer. He went way left for blitzer, but it was guy the RB already had. Let LB come free to the inside of him and hit Vick, hurrying throw. Should have been a simple block. Good block of Barnett on Shady’s TD run in the mid-3rd. Sustained the block until Shady was gone. Dareus got by him on pass play and hit Vick, forced throwaway. Problem was Kelce tried to protect both sides and thought Watkins was helping. Danny peeled off to get blitzing LB. Kelce should have blocked Dareus, but momentary hesitation was all Dareus needed to get by him.

D WATKINS — Made his NFL debut and was okay. Lost Dareus on early draw play, but he didn’t affect anything. Good block of Dareus on direct snap to Shady and run. Play went for 10. Bills used zone blitz to fool him on 1st Q pass play. Blitzing LB got by. Almost looked like Danny grabbed the guy’s jersey. Had a good reach block of Dareus on 2nd Q run. Sealed him and that let Shady go right for 15 yds. Big hole. Anchored well in pass pro. Made a critical mistake in the 4th Q. Called for hands to the face on 2nd/GL play where Vick ran for TD. Did a good job of sustaining blocks when he was able to cleanly get his hands on defenders.

HERREMANS — Up and down. Beaten by LB Arthur Moats in the late 1st. Sloppy initial block, then couldn’t stick with it because Harbor and blitzer were on the ground, in his way. Moats hit Vick as he threw and the ball was picked off. Made poor block on Dareus on pass play and he was able to hurry Vick into an errant throw. Showed great hustle on DJax’s TD. Raced 30 yards downfield and blocked DB inside the 5 to make sure DeSean would score. Generally did a solid job in the run game. Good block on Shady’s 32-yd run to his side.



* FOX had some ridiculous graphic that Fitzpatrick didn’t get hit til the 3rd Qtr. He clearly got hit with 1:42 on the clock in the 1st Q. Might have gotten hit on an earlier pass play, but they failed to show a replay so I can’t say for sure. We hit him a couple of times in the 2nd Q. The pass rush wasn’t good, but that stat was just dumb.

* 3rd/5. Empty set. Both DTs lined up in 3-technique, meaning the outside eye of the G. That’s pass rush mode. The empty set moved Chaney out wide and left the middle open. BUF ran QB sneak for 9 yds. PIT did the same thing in the preseason. Need to adjust and move one DT to the NT spot when teams go empty.

* Buffalo’s final TD came from the Wildcat formation. They had Brad Smith at QB. He was in the shotgun with 2 RBs. There was TE to the left. One WR was in the slot and Fitzpatrick was way out right. Asante covered the slot guy. Nate Allen went out wide on Fitz. We had a standard 4-3 set with Page walked up over the TE. That meant we had 8 in the box. They had 5 OL, TE, and 2 backs = 8 blockers. They ran right. The OL got push and moved our guys off the ball. The LBs got caught up in traffic. Asante in the slot was useless. TD run for Smith.

I really hated this play. Asante should have gone wide on the QB. That would have given us a better run defender near the formation. We should have attacked off the edges. You attack the Wildcat by sending players off the edge. Ask Ronnie Brown. STL did that to him and killed him. BAL does it when they face the Wildcat. Attack. Smith can pass the ball, but in that case you dare him to beat you by throwing. As I touched on last week, get creative. Pull Asante. Put Nate at CB and Keenan Clayton at S vs that look.

PARKER — Backup at both DE spots. Fairly quiet game. Wasn’t able to burst off the edge and generate much pressure. Had 1 tackle. Did have one awful moment. On 4th/inches late in the game he fell for hard count by Fitzpatrick and jumped offside. Dumb. Dumb to infinity. And beyond. That gave BUF the 1st down and ended the game.

PATTERSON — Disrupted run play to open 2nd series. Got penetration and just missed TFL. Rolle finished the RB off. Got pressure in the early 2nd. Looked like he hit Fitz just after the ball was out.

JENKINS — More quiet than I wanted to see. Had our only sack of the game and was in on 6 tackles, but Cujo wasn’t as regularly disruptive as I expected him to be. Got his sack in the early 4th. Beat the RG with an inside move and then chased down Fitz. Coverage played a major part in the sack. Fought off cut block to tackle Jackson for no gain in mid 4th.

BABIN — Was better on tape than I expected, but still was up and down. Had 5 tackles, TFL, and hit the QB a couple of times. Chased down run play from behind. Drove the RT back into Fitz’s face on 3rd down, but Ryan was able to get the pass off. Chased down Jackson from behind on run up the middle for short gain. Used spin move to the inside to help stuff run play that came his way in the early 2nd. Got a TFL of Jackson when he fired into the backfield and got him from behind. Used a quick burst and spin move to hit Fitz on pass play late in the half. That’s the play where Fitz forced the ball into coverage and we picked it off. Got sealed on opening play of 3rd Q and that led to big gain for Jackson run. Got sealed on the next play, but thankfully it just went for short gain. Maybe the coaches had him doing something I’m not familiar with. If not, Jason’s an idiot for giving up the edge on consecutive run plays to his side. Once you can live with, but twice in a row?

D TAPP — Started at RDE. Didn’t get much pressure, but did hit Fitzpatrick a couple of times. Credited with 3 tackles and TFL. Got a hit on Fitz in the late 1st Q. Drove the LT back and hit Fitz right after the ball was out. Used spin move to the inside on run play and got Jackson down for short gain late in the 1st half. Hit Fitz in the mid-3rd on a 3rd down and force the pass to go wobbling out. Perfect INT ball, but it fell harmlessly to the ground.

D LANDRI — Solid game. Only listed with 1 tackle, but was active and disruptive at times. Shed his blocker and swallowed up RB for minimal gain on 4th play of the game. Got penetration and had a shot for TFL on RZ play in the early 2nd Q. Couldn’t quite get to RB.

LAWS — Fought through block in the early 3rd to get TFL on run play. Excellent effort. Had a couple of tackles. Almost got RB in the early 4th, but was held on the play and drew a flag. Got in on TFL on 1st down of Bills final drive. Didn’t look like he was blocked, but give him credit for getting to the runner and making the stop.

HUNT — Backup at RDE, LDE. Didn’t really stand out.

CHANEY — Played better than last week. Still wasn’t good, but at least he’s headed in the right direction. Continues to get stuck on blocks and/or get out of position. Had 8 tackles (4 solo). Picked off a pass and deflected another. We need him to make some plays like that. Jamar has that kind of potential. Got off block on first drive and slid over to RB, but then missed the tackle. Made our first LB play of the year late in the half. Dropped into his zone, read the QB, and then went up high and picked off an errant pass. Excellent catch. Showed good hands on the play. Returned it about 10 yds. I was praying for a pick-6. Still has bad habit of taking false steps and getting out of position on run plays. Good tackle of Jackson after he bounced run out wide. Tackled WR after catch and then slung him forward for the 1st down. Tackled Jackson on run up tthe middle that came right at him. Got Jackson on 3rd/4 late in the 3rd and held him short. Forced FG. Batted down pass to start the 4th Q when we lined him up in the A-gap. Got off block and tackled Jackson on run up middle or it might have been big gainer.

ROLLE — Got another start. Up and down game. Credited with 9 tackles (5 solo) and a TFL. Too aggressive at times. Got out of position on some runs because he was being nosy and not taking good angles to the ball. You expect issues like that with a rookie. Got a TFL to open 2nd series. Came upfield quickly to get RB. Chased down WR after short throw on 2nd series. Got caught peeking on RZ run play and Spiller was able to bounce the run out wide for good gain. Rolle should have stopped him for short gain. Hustled out wide and helped get a hit on Spiller on 3rd down pass play where Nnamdi made the initial stop. Good effort on screen pass. Got blocked. As he started to get up saw Jackson near him and Brian just wrapped him up. Nate finished the play off. Made good tackle of WR on screen pass. Minimal gain. Got TFL in the late 3rd when WR caught pass behind the line and fell. Brian jumped on him. Got in the wrong gap on 4th Q run and it almost cost us big time.

FOKOU — Didn’t get a lot of PT because Buffalo so rarely was in a conventional set. Fokou was solid when he was in there. Made a good tackle of Jackson for short gain in the late 3rd. Hustled over from the other side to make the stop. Got in on 3 tackles overall. Shed block and helped tackle Jackson in mid 4th.


COLEMAN — Made good tackle of Roosevelt on catch in the early 3rd. Luckily the Secret Service didn’t intervene. Took over for Page full time in the 4th Q. First play he flew up in run support and got Jackson down right at the LOS. Flew up to help Nate on tackle of WR on crossing route. Wasn’t needed, but it was good to see him there had the guy broken the tackle.

ALLEN — Best game of the year. Not great, but headed in the right direction. Led the team with 13 tackles (10 solo). Had a TFL. Finished several plays in the game, which is something you want a Safety to do. Played aggressively and really seemed to trust his knee. No hesitation. Very good sign. Came up and made solid tackle of Jackson after short run up the middle to open 2nd Q. Generally aggressive in run support. Good tackle of Jackson on screen. Rolle had him down low and Nate came in high and slammed the trio down to the ground. Made a good tackle of Johnson after DRC missed tackle of him. Made a shoestring tackle of Jackson to open the 3rd or that might have been an 80-yd TD run. Good result to get the stop, but needs to be a cleaner tackle in the future. Came upfield on run blitz in early 3rd. Fought through blocker and hit Spiller in the backfield, but couldn’t make the stop. Good effort. Came up quickly to help Laws get TFL in early 3rd. Got his own TFL in early 4th. Bills threw short pass to Jackson. He had to jump for hit. Nate closed quickly and put him down with force. Came up quickly to get Johnson on crossing route after short catch on 3rd down. Stopped him short of the chains.

J PAGE — Slightly less than awesome game. Was in on 11 tackles and it felt like he missed that many as well. Of course that’s not true. He took poor angles and that prevented him from even missing tackles on a few plays. Should have made the tackle on the first play and held RB to a yard or two. Missed tackle and the play went for 7 yds. Did make a solid stop on the next play, also an inside run. Still wasn’t a clean tackle. Blitzed off the edge on 1st/GL. Ran by Jackson, who then had an easy path to endzone. Made good stop in the early 3rd. Flew upfield and got Jackson down for just 1 yd gain. See…Page can do that. Next play he flew up and popped a WR after short catch. Put the guy down hard. Hurt himself on the play and left for snap. Came back and missed tackle on his next play. Flew up in run support and let Jackson go right by him. Ugh. Took a poor angle on screen pass to Jackson in the 3rd and that turned into big gain. Came up quickly to help tackle Jackson on 3rd down late in the 3rd. Missed tackle of WR in early 4th. Play should have gone for 5 yds, but went for 19. On the very next play he missed a tackle of Jackson at the LOS. Easy play. Football 101. No blockers. Just tackle the guy who is almost standing still. Whiff. That went for 10 and got him benched.

ASOMUGHA — Poor tackle attempt on Johnson’s catch/run on early 3rd down. Good effort, bad results. Must solidly wrap up. Made a solid tackle of Jackson on run in the mid-2nd. Was down in the box area on that play. On the next play he had a TFL of Brad Smith when he ran the Wildcat. On next play he tackled Spiller on quick pass play out wide. That led to punt. Very good series for NA. Missed tackle of Spiller in the early 3rd. Took poor angle and then could only grab for one foot when he dove. Dumb penalty on 3rd down. Hands to face. Had them stopped. FG?

SAMUEL — Bad game. Gave up completions on his side. Terrible day as a tackler, even for him. Wasn’t credited with any tackles. His effort was really poor. Asante was way too casual yesterday. There is a middle ground between being Antoine Winfield and Kate Middleton. Hell, she’d have tackled harder yesterday. Played off on 3rd/5. WR released inside and was wide open. Johnson caught the pass and had free run up the middle of the field. Asante made a terrible tackle attempt. Dove at him, but showed no interest in actually holding on. Slid right off the guy. Sure looked like Johnson pushed Asante away on 3rd down pass play that moved the chains. No call. Johnson’s shove created good separation. Had tight coverage on Johnson on downfield pass in late 1st Q. Ball was incomplete. Had good coverage of WR on 2nd/6 in early 2nd Q. Forced errant throw. It looked to me like Asante was mostly responsible on the short TD to David Nelson. Hanson had the wide zone and player who was out there. Nelson was the only guy near Asante. And Asante was sitting several yards in the endzone waiting to break on the ball. He did, but only after the ball was on the way to Nelson, who was right on the goal line. TD. Made one physical play. BUF had WR pull and try to block him. Strange play. Asante aggressively took on the guy and that forced Jackson to stay inside, where a couple of teammates were waiting. Most other run plays Asante was embarrassingly soft. Tried to tackle Jackson by tapping him with his elbow. And whiffed at that. Bobby Taylor and Deion Sanders think that’s soft.

RODGERS-CROMARTIE — Up and down game. He will chase the ball, but isn’t a good tackler on plays where the ball is in front of him. Got in on 3 stops in the game. Had a chance to make huge play in late 1st Q. Jumped route and got his hands on a pass. With his speed, that’s probably a pick-6, but DRC dropped the ball. Hustled to chase down Jackson after he got loose for long gain on screen pass. Hustled to shove Jackson out of bounds after nice gain on shovel pass. Had chance to tackle Jackson on screen, but whiffed. His presence did funnel Jackson to Rolle. Gave up catch to Johnson on 3rd/4. Played off and was half second late in getting to him, then missed tackle. 1st down. Pressed on the next play and was beaten for short gain on slant, but made them at least earn it. Poor effort on 3rd/short pass play. Gave up the catch, only for a couple of yds. Problem was how passive he was on tackle. Page got the guy down right after the catch, but DRC has to fire over there. What if Page had missed? Played off on next play and WR caught slant for nice gain. Never broke hard on the ball.

HANSON — Played, but didn’t have any standout plays. Credited with 1 tackle.


CHAS HENRY — Punted twice and averaged 36 yards per kick. One was a complete shank. The other came when we punted from our 37, so that was supposed to be a short punt. Unfortunately, it was a touchback. He got the distance almost perfect, but the ball didn’t come back. Went forward.

ALEX HENERY — Generally got good depth on his kickoffs. Only got 1 FG try, but it was right down the middle. That was important to see after last week’s disaster. All kickers are going to miss. Good ones don’t miss much and they bounce back.

PR — DeSean had one PR that looked promising. Got upfield for gain of 20, but then got leveled.

KOR — Dion is still awkward. Just doesn’t have ideal KOR speed. Has gotten smart about what to bring out and when to stay in. Averaged 21 yards per KOR on 3 attempts. Long was only 22 yds so that should tell you he’s doing the same thing each time.


* Riley Cooper made good tackle in KO coverage.

* Colt Anderson made great tackle of Smith on 4th Q KO. Pinned the Bills at their 9.

* We attempted an onside kick to start the 2nd half, but it failed.  We got a break.  Refs hadn’t signaled the play ready to begin so the play didn’t count.


96 Comments on “Detailed Game Review – BUF 31, PHI 24”

  1. 1 Anonymous said at 4:44 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Tommy said: “There was no lack of effort by this team.” If by team you mean “everyone except for DRC,” then I’d agree. He’s a bum, a BUM! And that’s all he’ll ever be.

  2. 2 Steve H said at 5:08 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I dunno DRC seems pretty good he just looks hesitant when he’s in zone coverage. He seems to cover too soft on recievers in his area when he’s in zone.

  3. 3 Gary said at 6:08 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I think DRC showed a lot more effort than Asante. I would like to see him play more on the outside, maybe in short yardage situations where Asante likes to give a 10 yard cushion on a 3rd and 3. DRC still doesn’t look too comfortable in the slot.

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 9:32 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I re-watched the game too and I would have no problem benching either Asante or DRC and using Hanson. And that’s how bad they were, effort-wise, on some plays. Playing off and then never breaking towards the guy who makes the catch … running parallel with him doesn’t do a bit of good. I’d rather see Curtis Marsh.

    I played CB in my measly little career and zoned out on some plays so I understand what they’re going through. You’ve already got an aversion to contact and you sometimes watch the film and wonder “where the hell was my head at?”

    Pull ’em from the game for a series. That wakes you up more than anything. If they don’t show more effort when they go back in, bench em for the rest of the game.

    I know that’s drastic and those are our best cover guys, but teams know they can’t tackle and they aren’t making stops on short throws, so they’re a liability on two of three ways a team tries to move the ball.

    I’m sure this is a gross overreaction … but gross is how I felt watching those guys run next to players who had just caught a pass. Until then I really thought DRC had been hustling and giving his all.

  5. 5 Jon Blank said at 4:57 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    As always, a good write up Tommy. The only thing I would argue is that having your team prepared to play is as much mental as it is physical. Sure the effort was there, but when they make a ton of mental mistakes I still consider that not being prepared to play.

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 5:50 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    When the coaches tell the players to watch for the hard count and the guy still jumps…how the heck is that on the coaches? At some point, players are well paid professionals and it is up to them to show that.

  7. 7 Jon Blank said at 7:24 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    But I’m not talking about 1 specific play Tommy. In that one instance, yes, that is all on Parker. Though I don’t think its wrong to question the culture when there are boneheaded mistakes like that every single week. I am referring to the slew of first half mistakes on both sides of the ball. The team was not mentally crisp or prepared.

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 7:33 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Jon, did you catch the video clip with Maclin defending the coaches. You can probably find it. It’s brief, but he essentially scolds the reporter for asking to say something that lends blame to the coaches. Specifically, he says that the coaches cannot be blamed for fumbles. He got me thinking.

  9. 9 Jon Blank said at 7:45 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Not exactly the best move politically to blame your coaches. I’m not saying the players are blameless, far from it. Yet every single week an Eagles player seems to be responsible for the single dumbest play all week. They could rename the “c’mon man” segment to “c’mon Eagles”. When stuff like that keeps happening, you have to wonder about the preparation and the culture, both of which ultimately come back to coaching.

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 8:06 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I hate that I laughed at “They could rename the “c’mon man” segment to “c’mon Eagles.”

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 9:01 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Yea, it usually does come back to coaching, and I’ll scream at the coaches about the continued poor tackling. Not everything, though, is prep, culture or coaching. This past game, the big errors made on offense were by Parker, Avant, and Vick. If these guys would have avoided dumb mistakes, we’d have won the game and be having a very different discussion.

  12. 12 Anonymous said at 9:34 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Yeah I’ve been a blame the players guy through this whole thing, but after a while, if it’s almost every player, every week, I’m okay going higher up the chain.

    It’s such a shame these guys aren’t playing up to their potential. Some guys only need to be adequate for this team to win and they haven’t even done that.

  13. 13 Mac said at 8:11 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I have picked up a vibe of embarrassment from Andy, Juan, and Marty. I get the same sense in interviews by Vick and Nnamdi.

    Overall though, the impression I get is that players are worried about their individual mistakes and their individual success.

    Is this what Eagle’s football has become? Is this team plagued with “business decisions” because it’s not a sport, and “you have to keep in mind this is a business?”

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 9:53 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I have to agree with Jon on this one. On an individual basis, Parker is absolutely at fault for jumping offsides, but we seem to have a habit of sloppy play, with penalties, turnovers, missed tackles, and missed assignments/players out of position. There is no question that the players share in the blame for these mistakes, but it is the coaches job to make sure those mistakes are limited. When there seems to be a pattern of these mistakes, the coaches are at fault for not finding an effective way to make sure players are properly aware of the situations they are in. That’s not to excuse the players for the mistakes they make, but coaches have a part in those mistakes as well.

  15. 15 esteban winklevoss said at 4:29 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    i think juqua’s play was a culmination of all the undisciplined play on this team. do you think anybody on the green bay packers, even a practice squad call up, would make a play like that?

  16. 16 Anonymous said at 5:07 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    It’s not the wide 9. It’s not the lockout. I’m not even sure it’s Juan. It’s personnel. Abundantly clear. Obviously we missed Trent Cole and Dixon, but our D line has to play better than that. Need much more from Jenkins/Patt/Laws. Landri spelled well. Watching our linebackers is just pure misery. I know Page played ahead of Merriweather last year in NE, but the guy looks lost in play recognition, and somehow forgot how to tackle. Glad Nate played relatively well. Glad DRC has no desire to make a play for the other ten guys on the field. Asante is becoming a distraction.

    As far as offense, it’s the same old story of the last 4 weeks, yards, yards, and more yards – and only 24 points. Mistakes and turnovers are killing them.

    I do think we can beat the Skins this week, that said, I don’t see a miracle stretch of wins with this team as it’s currently built.

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 9:36 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Watching the LBs is like watching a never-ending reel of guys running themselves out of position, and O-linemen easily blocking them. Their play diagnosis actually makes the OLs job easier a lot of the time.

  18. 18 Rai Wilson said at 5:17 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Thanks for the write up, and the blog generally. I was wondering if you could tell me if this feeling I have is dumb: With all of our changes, it would have been hard to win the Super Bowl this year. Hopefully our guys can take 7 of the last 10 (or something) and build some momentum. Our young safeties, linemen, and linebackers have a real offseason. We trade Asante, cut or trade Parker, get a great middle linebacker 1st, and then d-line depth, maybe a new tight end or fullback if a great one appears early. We then go 16 and 0 next year and have a parade. This scenario is helping me get through this season, so if you hate it, be gentle.

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 5:37 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    That’s what we said last year — when Kolb/Vick replaced D-Mac

    And that’s what we said the year before that — when Maclin and Shady were mixed in.

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 5:53 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    The hope was that the star players could carry the young guys this year and the team could still challenge for the SB. Remember that GB had 2 undrafted rookies start in the Super Bowl last year.

    That said, this team wasn’t built just for 2011. And I think too many people overlook that. We’ll lose…Vince Young, Steve Smith, anyone else of note? DeSean needs his deal, but the core of this team is in tact.

  21. 21 Brian said at 6:53 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Oh no not Steve Smith!

  22. 22 Anonymous said at 9:38 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Ronnie Brown.

    The core is intact … of course, using the word differently, the core of the team (the up-the-middle part of the defense) is what most needs to not remain intact.

  23. 23 Anonymous said at 10:20 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I think overall, we are in a pretty good situation. That being said, I am worried about this very point. Lets say that by the end of the year, AR has righted the ship enough to stay here as the head coach. We all have different feelings on what “enough” has to be, but that’s a separate argument. That being said, if he is still here, with his clear undervalue of LBs, does anyone really think he will go out and draft a LBer in the 1st round? He has drafted one in the second round in the past, but would anyone be truly comfortable with an AR drafted LBer in the 2nd round (or later for that matter). Maybe they go the FA route. I don’t know who is available, but it seems to me, with the lack of talent we have at LBer, and the added importance of LBers due to the wide 9, we need an impact player there. Will anyone like that be available at a price the Eagles are willing to spend?

    As for safety, it’s hard to imagine they would draft another safety. Hopefully, the Nate Allen we saw this last week is the guy we can expect to see (and improve) the rest of the season. If that ends up being the case, one of those spots is solved. I don’t think they would give up on Jarrett that quickly though. All that being said, maybe with those two, we can hope for some improvement at safety that comes from players already on the team.

  24. 24 Anonymous said at 3:27 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    Yeah you’re right about safety; there’s not even a Jarrett to give up on yet.

    The LBs, only because the need is so blatant, yeah maybe I’d buy that they would draft a plug and play guy who can shed blocks and make tackles. Maybe two.

    I don’t think rookies always solve all your problems but I think if Allen and Jarrett are a decent tandem by the end of this year, the place to focus in the draft is LB, Eagles value history or not. And remember, there was a time we thought they didn’t value WRs either, so maybe they’d surprise us.

    However I can’t bring myself to think draft when there’s a season to fix right in front of us. Giving up after 5 games is so beyond wack I’m speechless.

    The plan isn’t working so far, but had we gone in with the mentality that we have x number of young players and we need them to develop before we’ll be a good team, we might actually be encouraged. Who knows? Expectations are killer.

  25. 25 Anonymous said at 6:09 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    The thing about WRs not being valued here was largely a misconception. AR has always valued WRs, he has just had very little success in drafting them until DeSean and Maclin.

    Starting from ’99, here are the WRs he has drafted
    1999: Na Brown – 4th round/Troy Smith – 6th round
    2000: Todd Pinkston – 2nd round/Gari Scott – 4th round
    2001: Freddie Mitchell – 1st round
    2002: Freddie Milons – 5th round
    2003: Billy McMullen – 3rd round
    2004: None
    2005: Reggie Brown – 2nd round
    2006: Jason Avant – 4th round/Also drafted Bloom in 5th, but more for his potential as a RS
    2007: None
    2008: DeSean Jackson – 2nd round
    2009: Jeremy Maclin – 1st round/Brandon Gibson – 6th round
    2010: Riley Cooper – 5th round
    2011: None

    Also, add in T.O. in 2004, Donte Stallworth in 2006, and Kevin Curtis in 2007. In other words, except for 1999 (ARs first year here), 2002, and 2007, the Eagles have spent at least a 3rd round pick or made a significant move at the WR position every year until we had both Jackson and Maclin and a largely set WR corp. In other words, WR was important to the Eagles, they just were awful for a long time at evaluating talent at the position until more recently (which considering guys like Gibson, Amendola, and Baskett, late round picks that have had success, is something that has changed).

    As for LB, the story is not the same. While we have had some solid LBers, it clearly has not been a priority for the Eagles.

    1999: Barry Gardner – 2nd round
    2000: None
    2001: Quinton Caver – 2nd round
    2002: Tyreo Harrison – 6th round
    2003: None
    2004: None
    2005: Matt McCoy – 2nd round/David Bergeron – 7th
    2006: Chris Gocong -3rd round/Omar Gaither -5th round
    2007: Stewart Bradley – 3rd round
    2008: Joe Mays – 6th round/Andy Studebaker – 6th round
    2009: Moise Fokou – 7th round
    2010: Keenan Clayton – 4th round/Jamar Chaney – 7th round
    2011: Casey Matthews – 4th round/Brian Rolle – 6th round/Greg Lloyd – 7th round

    From that list, i guess you can conclude they are willing to spend at least a 2nd round pick on LBs, but really, Joe Mays and Chris Gocong are probably the 2nd and 3rd best LBer on that list behind Bradley. It’s certainly not a list that gives you any confidence what-so-ever that we can successfully draft a LB to step in next year.

  26. 26 Nathan said at 2:27 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    I was thinking about the Steve Smith signing the other day and I’m wondering if the move was more to screw the Giants than anything else. We already have a great slot receiver in Avant and a guy in Riley Cooper who seems more than capable of spot starting or playing in the slot when needed. Sure Steve was a great 3rd down/slot guy for Sheli, but we already had a good receiving core (who would’ve thought we could have said that a few years ago). I get all of the offseason moves, but that is one I question some.

  27. 27 Anonymous said at 5:34 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Tommy —

    You wrote re: Mohrnenwig:

    “I have no major issues with Marty and the gameplan. . . . Shady didn’t run enough, but the score got bad so we had to open things up.”

    Last week against SF, with the Eagles winning 20-3 at the half, Shady ended up with 9 rushing attempts.

    Against the Bills, with the Eagles trailing 21-7 at the half, Shady ended up with 11 rushing attempts.

    I don’t think the score had anything to do w/ Marty’s play calling.

  28. 28 Anonymous said at 6:01 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    We’ve discussed this. Andy/Marty intentionally avoided running last week because they felt that played to SF’s strength. They wanted to attack the weakness, which meant throwing, sometimes to him. He had a season high 6 catches. They wanted him to get the ball, but thought doing that in space was better than hammering away with runs.

    After 3 weeks, Shady led the NFC in rushing. Do we not remember that? The coaches want him to get the ball. Each game is different. BUF had a bad run D. If we had the lead in that game I guarantee you Shady would have gotten more runs. Worlds different than SF and Willis/Bowman.

  29. 29 Anonymous said at 6:44 PM on October 11th, 2011:


    Yes. I remember.

    I’m just so damned aggravated . . . and I made a lousy comment.


    I just wish the TOs would stop. And that would go so far to fixing things.

    Keep up the great work.

  30. 30 Anonymous said at 5:40 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    There’s some good action taking place on Twitter right now amongst the philly contingent. Our very own @shlynch was mixing it up with Jon Tamari over the D/Front office.

    One tweet that made me laugh out loud was a RT by Les Bowen when a follower said, “Wide 9. We line up wide, and they run for 9. I didn’t know it worked like that?”

  31. 31 Anonymous said at 5:50 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    One thing this team lacks is situational awareness. From Juqua jumping offsides to Vick taking 8 seconds with 8 seconds left, these are situations that veteran players need to recognize and know what to do/expect. I’m starting to think the coaches are partly responsible.

    Coaches should be driving these things into the player’s heads right before the play and sometimes during practice. It’s impossible to know that they didn’t, but remember Donovan throwing a pass short of the endzone with no timeouts? Or not knowing that the game results in a tie after the first Overtime period? Jeff Garcia calling a timeout with the clock running and 2 seconds before the 2 minute warning?

  32. 32 Anonymous said at 6:03 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    The coaches did warn the D about jumping offside. They specifically told them to listen for the 2nd hard count. And that’s the one where JP jumped.

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 7:00 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Got it. I guess Dumb to infinity is the best way to describe it.

    For about ten minutes after the game, I was angry enough to cut JP as a scapegoat for all these mental mistakes. Then, I calmed down and thought about who would be available at DE next week.

  34. 34 Anonymous said at 5:53 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I wonder how much of the truncated off-season has to do with “Reid not having them ready”. That said, we have been a sporadic team for a long time now.

  35. 35 Anonymous said at 9:45 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I think because of the youth and all the changes it’s definitely a factor. Because when you watch this team they need coaching — not scheming but teaching.

  36. 36 Anonymous said at 6:15 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Anyone else interested to start Nnamdi and DRC at corner, Hanson in the slot, Asante on the bench? I am… he looks like he is intentionally showing a lack of effort, compared to how we’ve seen him play in the past.

  37. 37 Anonymous said at 6:18 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Put Nnamdi and DRC in press man coverage on the outside, use Hanson on Cooley, and go from there.

  38. 38 Anonymous said at 6:29 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Also got to thinking today… I would put money on it that after the bye we cut Page for Graham’s roster spot, and Jarrett will be ready to take the back up SS/FS role.

  39. 39 Mac said at 6:33 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I like the sound of that.

  40. 40 Anonymous said at 6:34 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Agree with cutting Page. Dislike activating Graham. If we’re 1-5, why rush him back?

  41. 41 Anonymous said at 6:35 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Very good point, I should have put a clause (If we win in Washington)

  42. 42 Anonymous said at 6:37 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I go back and forth on this, but I’m leaning toward activating Graham. If he could just give us 10-15 snaps as a backup if another DE is hurt, that might be worth it. Take it easy on him, but use him if we’re down a body or two.

  43. 43 Anonymous said at 6:39 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    You think with the bye in there, Jarrett could be ready to for the back up role?

  44. 44 Anonymous said at 7:17 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I think if we lose in Washington you have to seriously consider letting him sit out the year. If he does get on the field this year I hope he tears it up…..

  45. 45 Anonymous said at 8:13 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Maybe rephrase that last sentence.

  46. 46 Anonymous said at 7:35 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Young players need to get PT. If he is ready to play (by that I mean the injury is healed and his conditioning is there) then we need to see what he can do. If the guy is going to be injury prone, waiting to the right time won’t matter. We need to find out if he can play or we need to move on and find someone else in the upcoming draft when we could have some high picks.

  47. 47 Anonymous said at 6:34 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I sure hope so, I wanted to fly to Buffalo and personally strangle Page and whoever’s idea it was to keep him on the field for so long

  48. 48 Mac said at 8:34 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Was the Page debacle better or worse than last years Hobbs hamstring humiliation?

  49. 49 Anonymous said at 10:22 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Hobbs was definitely worse. Directly cost us a W … whereas Page was the mistakiest in the a multitude of mistake-makers.

  50. 50 Anonymous said at 6:56 PM on October 11th, 2011:


    I remarked earlier on the limited number of runs by McCoy. You’re right — the comment was off base.

    It just seems that this team literally waltzes down the field — even with all the blitzes teams are throwing at Vick — and commits a TO.

    If the TOs get eliminated, I think things turnaround. Quickly.

    The defense may still struggle week to week.

    But the offense is very high octane. Other than the Giants, no one has stopped this team except the Eagles.

    Also, I think Vick’s played very well. Despite the TOs (except for a couple of fumbles because he wasn’t protecting the ball).

    I remember games between the Colts and the vintage NE Patriots defense, with Richard Seymour, where Manning had people in his face all day. And Manning looked lousy.

    Well, Vick has to play that way every week. And cudos to the guy. He has guts.

    This team is too good, certainly on offense, to continue floundering.

    I like their chances to right things. Nothing says they can’t run off a 9-2 streak — even with this defense. As long as they protect the ball.

    So let’s go Eagles. And let’s go Merrill Reese

  51. 51 Anonymous said at 10:57 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I actually buy that it’s possible too. They might only need to go 8 and 3 to win the division.

    It would be interesting to see how they do if they could get out of their own way. Just get at least 3 on each red zone trip, turn it over 1 or 2 times and get 1 or 2 turnovers, and then make open field tackles.

    Honestly if this team played vanilla base defense and tackled, it could probably score enough to win each week … if of course, the offense could finish.

  52. 52 Anonymous said at 7:41 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    A good buddy of mine is a Packers fan. He believes the Pack will win the NFC and probably the SB. He thinks that is something happens to Rogers and the Packers go down, the Eagles will win the NFC. He thinks the Eagles are a top notch team and that Vick and Reid will right the ship. He says the Eagles have had real bad luck, they’re going to correct their mental mistakes, and they will go on a run and be in the playoffs. He is also a guy I play poker with, so he’s a gambler. He is putting money down on the Eagles to win the SB now that the odds have gone from 6-1, at the beginning of the year, to 35-1. It’s a long shot with a potential huge payoff.

    He almost got me believing.

  53. 53 Anonymous said at 10:58 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I want to put a bet on them to win the NFC East. The odds ar 18/1, and THAT I can actually see happening.

    I can see why Packers fans respect us … we earn it when we play them.

  54. 54 Anonymous said at 1:21 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    The establishment that handles my business has the Eagles at 18-1 to win the NFC.

  55. 55 Anonymous said at 7:42 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    According to a TATER, Sal Pal said on 97.5 that the Eagles were turned down by Mangini for defensive consultant.

  56. 56 Anonymous said at 7:48 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    No idea if that’s true. Sal has some sources, but can be wildly wrong as well.

  57. 57 Anonymous said at 12:49 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    I actually listened to the interview just now. Don’t listen to TATE.

    He said Eric Mangini wouldn’t be a consultant if he was asked. He’s happy at ESPN, plus collecting his Browns checks still.

    And most of the rest of the interview kind of sucked, except for this very interesting part if true:
    Castillo was the 6th choice.
    -Rob Ryan was a top choice but he already had a “handshake deal” with Jerry Jones and didn’t want to break that. And Buddy was pissed. But Rob was contacted by the Eagles.
    -Mangini was a top 3 choice. Didn’t elaborate except that he was happy with his $3.9 mil a year from Browns still
    -Jim Mora Jr. was most likely 3rd choice, and the eagles contacted him.
    -Dennis Allen was a key choice, but he went to Denver because he didn’t think his system would work with the already in place Wide-9.
    -Mike Zimmer was a top 5 choice. Didn’t elaborate.

    Then they settled on Castillo because he would have to adapt whatever his plan was to the wide-9.

    Obviously, take it for what it’s worth coming from Sal Pal.

  58. 58 Anonymous said at 4:02 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    Even if only some of that is true, it’s interesting. Especially Allen passing on the Wide 9.

    That said, why wouldn’t a defensive coordinator want to come here knowing you have this offense to prop you up? Methinks they could have had any reasonable candidate they wanted … but they just didn’t fall in love with anyone available.

  59. 59 Mac said at 8:36 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Even if you found out, why would you report something like this?

    Sal is noone’s Pal, he is the epitome of Negadelphianism. This is one more reason to continue to pray that pigeons view his car as an ideal target.

  60. 60 Anonymous said at 8:50 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Why would a reporter report something he learned from a league source? Is that really your question?

  61. 61 Mac said at 1:35 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    I always get a bad vibe from Sal. He comes across as smug, and I wind up feeling like he enjoys “scooping” stories that basically throw the team under the bus. I mean, what is the value of this info? They contacted a mediocre D.C. who couldn’t win anything… great… woo hoo… “shrug” maybe I’m missing the point. If they actually hired Mangini I would probably throw up in my mouth a little bit.

  62. 62 Anonymous said at 10:06 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I try to share as much info as I can. I’m not able to say everything. Sometimes you have to read between the lines.

    I’ve heard nothing about Mangini. The Eagles publicly say they’ll not pursue a consultant so I take them at their word. I know Reid changes his mind at times, but this is more organizational than Reid saying something at a PC.

  63. 63 Anonymous said at 7:42 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I’m really hoping we won’t see dumbererest.

  64. 64 Anonymous said at 7:47 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Awesome. Made me laugh on what’s been less than a great day.

  65. 65 Anonymous said at 8:20 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Why the heck would the Eagles bring in Mangini?

    He ran a 3-4 w/ the NYJ and Cleveland as HC.

    He learned the 3-4 as an assistant w/ Belichick at Cleveland in the mid-90s, then the NYJ in the late 90s, and then at NE.

    On the other hand, if Mangini actually was queried, does that mean the Eagles are considering a move to the 3-4.

    Or that — as I’ve argued before — running a defense from a 4-3 or 3-4 is NOT rocket science.

    (And that’s why Rob Ryan should have been hired before Washburn — whose hiring in mid-January may have forced every potential legitimate D.C. to say thanks but no thanks to Reid.)

  66. 66 Anonymous said at 12:59 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    Really? You think what we need is more linebackers on the field?

  67. 67 Mac said at 1:29 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    lol and ugh

  68. 68 Mark Smith said at 8:20 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Obviously the FO doesn’t have a whole lot of coin this year. Would a logical move be to trade 22 at the end of the year and move DRC over and keep Hanson, who is proven, in the slot. Thus freeing up moola for whatever else. Money to be spent on LB’s or A LB.

  69. 69 Mac said at 1:31 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    As long as DRC is reasonable with negotiating his new deal, and actually wants to stay here…

  70. 70 Anonymous said at 8:48 PM on October 11th, 2011:


    Do you still think not going after Barnett and Tulloch in the offseason was a wise move by the Eagles???

  71. 71 Anonymous said at 10:03 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I don’t recall saying those were wise moves/non-moves. I know we tried to figure out why the Eagles weren’t going for the players.

    Tulloch was insane when he wanted $6M a year. That scared teams off. He dropped his rate and signed with DET for $3.25M. I don’t know if the Eagles ever had interest and the money scared them away or if they just didn’t have interest.

    Don’t know what the deal with Barnett is/was. He could have been a good tutor for the young LBs and a temp fix. Maybe he wanted a long term. He signed for 3 yrs/12M and got 6 guaranteed. That’s a lot for a veteran LB coming off injury.

  72. 72 Anonymous said at 8:56 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Not a huge Les Bowen fan… but I think he brings up a very valid point on why the offense seems to be turning the ball over and playing so wrecklessly.

    Here is his piece:

    Sometimes people say “vicious circle,” sometimes they say “vicious cycle.” Means the same thing. I never know which is correct.

    Came to mind while rewinding a Michael Vick interception, the one he threw into the chest of Buffalo linebacker Nick Barnett.

    The play began with an undetected false start by Jeremy Maclin. As Peter King pointed out on, after the snap, rookie center Jason Kelce has blitzing linebacker Kelvin Sheppard lined up, then leaves Sheppard to pick up another blitzer, a defensive back, about to be blocked by Shady McCoy. McCoy is probably just off the edge of Kelce’s peripheral vision.

    So Kelce and McCoy double the DB and Sheppard goes in free. Instead of taking the sack, Vick unwisely unloads early, unable to step into his throw, and it sails over an unwitting DeSean Jackson, straight to Barnett, who returns it for a touchdown and a 21-7 Buffalo lead in the second quarter.

    As Vick noted afterward, that pick can’t happen. But I think I understand why it did, and I’m not talking about Kelce’s gaffe. Vick saw the Bills’ offense easily cash in on his first, deflected interception. Then, after another deflected pick, he led the Eagles back to tie, only to see Buffalo easily drive straight through the pliable Birds’ defense for a 14-7 lead. At that point, Vick feels he has to score, can’t take a sack, can’t go off for the punter.

    My opinion, some of the Eagles’ 15 turnovers this season are inexplicable, but some of them are because the defense is so awful, the offense is trying to do too much instead of taking what’s there. And of course, turnovers don’t put a struggling defense in position to succeed.

    Vicious circle. Or cycle.

  73. 73 Anonymous said at 9:29 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Exactly my thoughts while watching it unfold…I definitely felt Vick was pressing trying to counter the Bills score with one of his own…Vick has actually played well except that he wants to put team on his back and presses sometimes too much…also he is getting hit way too much and I cringe every time he drops back to pass – even when a receiver makes a catch or there is a big play, I tell myself I hope Vick didn’t get hurt…watching the Lions game last night, I was keeping an eye on Tulloch – though he did not play great – he did play decent (of course if u listen to Gruden – every player is a stud)…why the heck would the Eagles not sign this guy when he was on the street for such a long time completely baffles me…instead we go and get Steve Smith..and we hardly use him…stupid Roseman

  74. 74 Anonymous said at 9:46 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    Don’t blame Roseman for Steve Smith.

    All Roseman did was evaluate Smith, maybe recommend him.

    ANDY REID is Chief of Football Operations — and nothing happens on the football side without his approval.

    Remember, after the 2001 season, Reid maneuvered GM Tom Modrak right out of the organization — so that Reid, like Holmgren at the time in GB, could have ALL THE POWER.

    So let’s not blame Roseman for anything. He has NO authority to pull the trigger on anything.

    If he did, he could have vetoed Castillo at DC — just like any GM.

  75. 75 Anonymous said at 1:04 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    I was watching Tulloch too. I had to remind myself that playing behind possibly the best DT pair in the NFL can’t hurt a MLB.

  76. 76 Anonymous said at 1:05 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    I said the same thing, less poetically (but not Les poetically) after the SF game, referencing Maclin’s fumble and Andy’s 4th and short decision.

  77. 77 Anonymous said at 9:04 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    How does Steve Smith look? Haven’t really noticed if he has been out there.

  78. 78 Anonymous said at 11:26 PM on October 11th, 2011:

    I have a lot to read yet, but this was too good to wait.

    I clicked on the link to Merrill’s call while my two boys were eating supper and I was sitting at the table with them. The older one has been sick yesterday and today, the younger one fine.

    When Merrill starts talking the younger one, 4-years old, gets up and walks around the table to see what is on the computer. About the time Merrill says the Eagles jumped for the second time, he vomits. A lot. All over the table, floor, and edge of my computer.

    He is a bright kid.

  79. 79 Anonymous said at 1:10 AM on October 12th, 2011:


  80. 80 Anonymous said at 1:31 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    A hall of fame post!

    My son is almost 9 and he’s about 3 years into his Eagles fandom. Sometimes I’m afraid someone is going to call social services on me. Encouraging an innocent boy to undergo the pain and frustration of being an Eagles fan may well be some kind of abuse.

  81. 81 Anonymous said at 1:51 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    Yeah, but what are the alternatives?

    Without guidance he could very well end up a Patriots or Giants fan! I remember when my older son was 4 and in preschool he suggested we should root for the red, white, and blue team because of the flag.

    I was watching an Eagles-Giants game at the time.

    I (mostly) stopped watching and we had a talk.

    He is okay now and wears his Eagles jersey to school.

  82. 82 Anonymous said at 4:44 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    Mine are 5 and 6. I tell them they can like whoever they want, but if they want to watch my TV, we’ll be tuned into the Eagles.

    All their friends like the Redskins or Cowboys, but mine have been trained since birth. One time we’re flipping channels and we go past the rodeo.

    My daughter, in an instinctive moment of brilliance, yells “booo Cowboys!”

  83. 83 Anonymous said at 12:31 PM on October 12th, 2011:

    I am Philly born and raised but live in Vermont now, surrounded by the smug Pats fans and their spoiled kids who think Super Bowl trophies are their birthright. My son wears his green gear with pride and learned to curse watching the Eagles-Cowboy games.

  84. 84 Anonymous said at 12:03 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    I am going to comment as I read your DGR, so I apologize in advance if I duplicate comments.

    RE: Ready to play
    I was glad to hear that, I didn’t see flat or uninspired, but I kept reading that.

    RE: End of half

    I had always wondered why teams didn’t run a play in situations like that. I figured these guys are pros, you can run a play and not have to deal with the possibilities of something going wrong on the kickoff. Never again.

    RE: final drive

    To be fair, Juan’s defense, even with Asante, DID stop them. I think the idea of a safety at corner and Clayton at safety is a great one, but apparently the key there was Asante should have been moved to Dline in place of Parker. Hindsight…

    RE: Vick

    I forgot about him not getting out of bounds in the ensuing chaos. I was shaking my head at the time. I really home he is calling audibles, that would add a dimension we have been lacking.
    “… to infinity. And beyond.” – I guess that makes up for giving me that link that made my kid puke.

  85. 85 Matthew Verhoog said at 1:26 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    How do the Bills coaches teach their players to tip every ball directly to their own players?
    Why doesn’t Juan teach our players this skill?

  86. 86 Anonymous said at 1:53 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    Did you know the Bills have 12 picks this year?

  87. 87 Matthew Verhoog said at 1:55 PM on October 12th, 2011:

    The only reason they beat the Pat’s was a couple tipped balls that landed in their own players hands. I bet that only 30% (or less) of tipped balls end up in a defenses hands, but for the bills it happens all the time. That will revert to mean, could you imagine how bad their defense would look without those tipped ball interceptions?

  88. 88 Mac said at 1:44 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    Do we have anyone on D-line who is tall enough to tip a ball? I think some teams teach like a “jump timer” they rush for awhile and then get ready to jump for balls. Also not many teams have Qbs who are less than 6′ tall… though I always wondered why Donovan had so many tipped balls…

  89. 89 Anonymous said at 1:56 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    I noticed something interesting in my fantasy football league. Defenses are outscoring kickers in our league. That never happens. Could the shortened off season be leading to sloppy play across the league? More turnovers and less sustained drives?

  90. 90 Anonymous said at 3:45 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    “I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.”
    Yep, that sums up the entire Castillo promotion nicely.

  91. 91 Anonymous said at 3:58 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    With all due respect, while Tommy is outstanding at all the X’s and O’s and player evaluations, if you really want to know what’s wrong here, read yesterday’s piece by Ruben Frank, “Has Reid Run Out of Answers?” over on

  92. 92 esteban winklevoss said at 4:26 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    i think they have to bench asante, and maybe even start avant over deshawn jackson. the whole two-hand-touch attitude has gotten out of hand.

  93. 93 Anonymous said at 5:04 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    Of course, the alternative is a small WR who takes on defenders and fights for extra yards. Avant and Maclin might not think that is always the way to go.

  94. 94 esteban winklevoss said at 4:37 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    i also think andy has lost his fire. firing a coach who lost his desire is not a bad thing. it happens to the best of them.

  95. 95 Deshawn Bentley said at 5:57 AM on October 12th, 2011:

    We need either Manti Te’o or Vontaze Burfict…

  96. 96 Anonymous said at 12:21 PM on October 12th, 2011:

    Great game review Tommy, Asante’s tackling is really becoming a problem when no one else on the team can tackle either. When its just him its less of an issue.

    Quick idea that I know I’d love to see in your game reviews. You sometimes summarise a players performance which sets the context for your play breakdowns really nicely, sometimes you don’t which may be for a good reason? I know I’d love it if you gave a summary for all the players who took a reasonable amount of snaps.