Truly a Happy Halloween

Posted: October 31st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 56 Comments »

Still enjoying the win over the Cowboys.  The sun is brighter.  The air cleaner.  Food tastes better.  The women of Modern Knitting magazine are even sexier.  Life is good.

I am not done with the DGR, obviously.  Sunday night games are brutal.  I do have some more thoughts to share, so here goes:

* I wonder what team will decide that Shady McCoy must be shut down and will play 8-man fronts, daring us to throw deep on them?  Playing the Safeties deep and focusing on DJax and Mac didn’t look so great last night.

* Jason Kelce played a heck of a game.  He was called for holding on Jay Ratliff, but that was a bad call.  Ratliff finished with 1 tackle and was largely a non-factor.  Remember the 2009 game when Ratliff dominated us?  He had 5 solo tackles, 2 sacks, and was a disruptive force all game.  We didn’t see anything like that last night.  Kelce has the potential to be a special player.

* I would rank Shady as the #2 RB in the NFL right now, behind only Adrian Peterson.  One thing that bothers a lot of people is the way he swings the ball when he runs.  That is an issue, but he’s not as careless as you might think.  When he gets in traffic, Shady does bring the ball in tight.  He’s vulnerable to someone catching him from behind and knocking it loose, but he has shown a lot of improvement from the first couple of years when he swung it wildy all the time.

* Quick note on the pass to Owen Schmitt in the Red Zone.  I have no problems with that play.  FBs are a very good weapon in the RZ, especially on play-action passes.  The problem is that Dallas had the right coverage.  Schmitt, like all FBs, are dangerous in the RZ because so much attention is focused on the QB, RB, and primary skill players.

* I’ve been hard on Asante at times recently, but he seemed to have a good game.  He played more press coverage than I can ever recall and he also got some jams on receivers as they tried to release off the line.  If Asante is willing to do that stuff, then he is a valuable guy to have on the field.

* Stat from Dave Spadaro:  Eagles are 3-0 with 2 or fewer turnovers.  0-4 with more than 2.

* I wrote the other day about the lack of chemistry between Vick and Brent Celek.  Those two clicked on Sunday night and I hope we see more of that.  TEs are critical to an offense like ours.  Plus, they are huge in the RZ.  Ironically, it was Witten and Romo who showed no chemistry.  There were a couple of plays where they didn’t seem to be on the same page.

* The Eagles put Jim Johnson and Eric Allen in the team’s Honor Roll at halftime.  I was a little worried about this.  Back in 2005 we had Reggie White Night and the team was beaten 42-0 by Seattle.  Seth Joyner was an honorary game captain for the Giants game earlier this year and we got beat 29-16.  I was very pleased to see the current team play well on the day that we honored part of the past.

* Merril Hoge said some nice things about the Eagles on SportsCenter this morning.  Miracles never cease.  Then he started talking about some adjustments in our run game.  I don’t think he’s right.  He showed the play where we pull the TE to the backside and have him take on the LB.  That’s a designed cutback run.  Great play, but we did that last year.  Hoge made it sound like it is something from the last 3 weeks.  Hoge annoys me and I’ll be glad when he goes away.

* For those who didn’t watch Eagles Live on Monday…there is some must see TV.  Andy Reid had his normal noon PC.  After that he sat down with Dave Spadaro for a short interview.  Since it is Halloween, Spads was wearing a wig (I think he looked like Juan Epstein).  Reid donned Sheldon Brown’s old Jason/hockey mask.  Here are the pics…

Spads

Big Red, psycho style

I’m sure PE.com will have the interview available on the site pretty soon.  Reid kept the mask on the whole time.  Bizarre.


  • Anonymous

    Tommy,

    I get it. I expect to see Hoge’s obit in a few weeks. Your secret is safe with me. Let me know if you need a driver…..

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

      Anyone who has had as many concussions as Merril Hoge obviously knows a lot about football.

  • http://twitter.com/EWeaver34 Eric Weaver

    I dislike him and Trent Dilfer immensely.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

    I agree Tommy, to which I say:

    Move over Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups…

    The Eagles have officially delivered this years greatest Halloween Treat.

  • Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      That is an interesting video. Hate Rob’s hair. Reminded me of Sean Connery in his first scenes from The Rock.

      Rob is letting his players off the hook too much. He did get out-coached, but there were times when defenders were in place and just missed tackles. Sean Lee and Keith Brooking both struggled with Shady.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LHFJFXII7VH2DWYBBXFKWQVZS4 ike

        Sean Lee is a bust. Period

      • Anonymous

        I just want to know do you like your haircut?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_L2JVA5WYEWBB2GEBMPY2S4F5NE Jon Blank

    It’s funny, if you would have told me before the game that Ware was going to have 11 tackles and 4 sacks, I would have told you the Eagles are screwed.

    • Anonymous

      More over, had you have been told that Ware would spend at least part of the 4th quarter chewing the fat rather than on the field of play you’d of thought well and truly screwed at that.

      When that stat flashed (I have just watched the game), I was trying to recount them. At least 2 came in rushing, rather than passing situations and though statistically sacks didn’t harm the team in the same way. However, his defense was on the field for so long he probably should have accrued more. :)

      • Kammich

        I saw that stat flash and literally did a triple-take as well. His impact had completely escaped me. It could’ve been the alcohol and ecstasy from the dominant Eagles performance just blinding any perception of positive Cowboys play, I guess. But I was stunned to hear how much Ware dominated. Didn’t come across that way live, at all.

  • Anonymous

    It looks more and more that the Eagles have found a true gem in Kelce. If our fire fighter continues to improve and if everyone can stay healthy we will have one of the most dominating O lines for the next half of a decade.

    Paired with the fact that Shady might be on pace to become the greatest RB in Eagles history (I still canno believe he’s only 23 years old!) we might have very successful times ahead, my friends.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LHFJFXII7VH2DWYBBXFKWQVZS4 ike

      McCoy is great. No question.

      At the moment, though, Westbrook was the best HB for Reid’s system because of his receiving skills. McCoy needs to develop the skills to be flanked as a receiver — like Westy did and Wilbert Montgomery, too.

      But the greatest Eagle RB ever? Steve Van Buren will be tough to beat — 3 straight NFL title games, 2 NFL titles.

      • Anonymous

        agreed. he needs to improve pass blocking too. not saying he’s *bad* at it, just nowhere near as great as westbrook was.

      • Kammich

        Westbrook was the preeminent weapon of the Reid era, definitely. However, I think Shady is the better back, system or otherwise. I feel like Westy being such a focal point of the receiving game was due to a severe lack of weapons on the outside. Right now, the Eagles have the best group of receivers that the team has had in well over a decade and a half. With such weapons on the outside and in the slot, its less imperative for McCoy to flash as a receiver.

        He is quickly becoming a “wow” player for me. Its not often, especially in the case of Eagles players–whom I watch week-in-week-out–where they consistently do things that make me say “wow.” And Shady never fails to wow me. Each week I feel like I’m becoming a witness to the rise of a very special player.

        • Anonymous

          Agreed. It was more important for Westy to be a receiver so that we had One receiver. Shady is on an offense that makes teams respect the pass in other ways.

  • Anonymous

    Spuds looks like Mark Zuckerberg (sp.?) and if that mask were red, I’d swear Reid was Vader from old school WWF.

    • Anonymous

      Good stuff. Hadn’t thought of those.

  • Anonymous

    It’s remarkable how comfortable Watkins looks given how terrible he was in pre-season vs. the Browns and the Jets. A totally different guy. The worst guy on the O-Line right now is Evan Mathis and he’s definitely not a weak link.

    We’re unstoppable between the 20s. We just have to be competent in the red-zone.

    • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

      Rather than “worst,” I would go with “least jaw-droppingly awesome.” ;)

      • Anonymous

        Now that is a wordsmith.

    • Anonymous

      A week or two ago PFO had Mathis as the best guard inthe league. If he’s the worst guy on the line, we ARE jaw-droppingly awesome.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mr.Boomy Boomy Wongwan

    Happy Halloween Tommy!

  • Anonymous

    I was blown away by Namdi’s comments on PE.com. He’s saying how Castillo has all these new pieces that are trying to fit into a new system and the new players and he have to adjust and on top of that Castillo is a first time D coordinator. So they needed to adjust to a whole bunch of things. So they just worked it out. No recriminations. No nothing but lets get to work. You can really see the benefit of trying to attract high character players and other personnel.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000462635892 Thorin McGee

    We’re going to know a lot more about this team on this coming Sunday. Dallas is a team we usually beat (not always, but usually, like the Falcons). Chicago is a team that I think usually beats us. We just have a hard, hard time with the way that team is built. Win that games and I’ll feel good about this season.

    But in the meantime, Juan did the only thing a new coach really has to do here in Philly: He Beat Dallas. Not only did we win the game, but Juan’s unit flat out pimp slapped them. That’s gotta be good for a couple notches off the hot seat dial.

    • Anonymous

      Chicago is a MNF game.

      2010 – lost 31-26
      2009 – won 24-20
      2008 – lost 24-20
      2007 – lost 19-16

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000462635892 Thorin McGee

        Lots of tough losses in there, and I remember those being really grinding games. The one win came when we went 11-5, which is pretty dam good. If we beat the Bears (and we play them every Fin year now) I know the season is going good.

        (Damn. I thought the following week was MNF, I have myself a scheduling conflict…)

      • Anonymous

        And how many of those games were played at Soldier Field, which is well known for it’s horrid conditions? A true home field advantage.

        Next week we’ve got them at home… Outcome should and hopefully be different.

  • Yuri

    Tommy, you forgot to add the opening game of last season where we honored the 50 years of NFL championship team… the Packers were not quite so obliging that day (though it did contribute to the eventual Kolb era in Arizona)

    • Anonymous

      Very good. I knew I left something off, but couldn’t for the life of me remember it.

      • Anonymous

        Not exactly the same thing, but we didn’t close the Vet or open the Linc particularity well either. We did beat Detroit when we wore the 75th anniversary throwbacks.

    • Anonymous

      Although, when we celebrated 75 years of the Eagles, we dominated.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LHFJFXII7VH2DWYBBXFKWQVZS4 ike

    Tommy:

    Since someone mentioned Nnamdi . . . would you mind explaining how he was a college safety at Cal?

    Is the d-coordinator of that team still employed. Or is he selling paint with Rich Kotite?

    Al Davis took Nnamdi with the 31st pick in Rd 1 of the 2003 draft (the “McDougle” draft). How was Nnamdi rated by the scouts coming out of college?

    What did the late Al Davis see that no one else saw to make Nnamdi a CB?

    • Anonymous

      I’ll have to see if I can find some old draft notes on him. I remember him at Cal, mainly because it took a while to get his name. Aso-mug-ha for those who need a shortcut.

      • Anonymous

        If he keeps up the level of play he showed last night, lets just go with Awesomeugha.

  • Anonymous

    Holy crap, he does look like Epstein. Get John Travolta on the phone. The sweat hogs are back!

  • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy

    Kelce played well, no doubt, but his big screwup wasn’t the holding call. It was this:
    http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/09000d5d823a0a1c/Kelce-loses-track-of-Vick

    As I said on Twitter: I realize Kelce is a rookie, but how much experience do you really need to realize if your QB is in shotgun or not?

    It was only 14-0 at that point, and a turnover could have really hurt. Plus, if Cris Collinsworth can’t stop laughing at a play of yours, it probably wasn’t good football.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

      It was a game where all the “bonehead” mistakes bounced our way. It just had that feel. Even a weird botched snap couldn’t stop us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/BoyboyACW Mike Roman

    One of the best treats from last night? The Eagles didn’t take the obligatory deep-shot one time. They usually throw it long a few times a game whether it’s covered or not. I used to think it was to keep defenses honest. Then I decided we just liked 2nd or 3rd and long situations. But alas, we ran the ball and took the short and intermediate throws that were there all game. Really….who stops the Eagles’ offense when they exercise patience?

    • Anonymous

      Vick answered this in his ‘prezzer’ and I’ll quote as best as I remember -’Did you see their safeties? (he grins) They were like 500 yards deep’

  • http://twitter.com/Jimmy_Beast Jimmy Kempski

    After the game, Kelce said Ratliff was by far the best player he’s ever faced. On paper you look at Ratliff vs 6th round rookie, and you immediate think “Ruh roh.” But Kelce’s quickness matches up far better with Ratliff than Jamaal or Nick Cole ever did.

    By the way, I saw where you posted a a few notes on Ratliff, about how he’s not just quick, but he’s also powerful. I asked Kelce about that. Kelce said it wasn’t so much that he’s one of the more powerful guys he’s ever faced – he said that Ratliff uses his speed extremely well to set up his power moves.

    • Anonymous

      Good stuff, dude.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anders-Jensen/748307140 Anders Jensen

      One have to remember that Ratliff was undrafted.

  • Anonymous

    I know it is pretty early to track this, but is anyone else excited that the Cards have the 4th worst record in the league right now?

  • Anonymous

    I’m a little torn because I was hoping Kolb would succeed, but a high 2nd round pick will be nice.

    • Yuri

      I have exactly the same feeling. I kinda root for former Eagles players/coaches.

    • Anonymous

      Ditto.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_L2JVA5WYEWBB2GEBMPY2S4F5NE Jon Blank

      Kolb can kick all the ass he wants in season 2 with the Cardinals.

  • Anonymous

    I bet we won’t see the 8 men in the box approach until the playoffs, or a critical late season game. Either from a team that has the talent to pull it off or a division team that thinks they know us well enough to gamble.

    • Anonymous

      i would be afraid of the team that goes 8 in the box just often enough to prevent our offense from getting into a rhythm, but switches it up with the deep coverages.
      the long balls are obviously a lower percentage play so opposing defenses may leave a few opportunities for them or try to disguise their coverages differently so that we dont know if they are going to cover that deep or not.

  • Anonymous

    The only teams I see having the balls/personnel to try that would be the other Ryan and BB himself.

    • Anonymous

      I think GB has the back 7 personnel to try it too

  • http://twitter.com/EWeaver34 Eric Weaver

    Tommy,

    Seeing Brady struggle so much against man coverage, is that encouraging for a few weeks from now?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_L2JVA5WYEWBB2GEBMPY2S4F5NE Jon Blank

      It seems like the Eagles have the personel to follow the Steelers blueprint from yesterday. Luckily it seems like the Giants do not.

    • Anonymous

      Definitely encouraging. That said…Brady and Belichick will make some serious adjustments. It was encouraging to see someone come up with the blueprint.

  • Mark Sitko

    “Hoge annoys me and I’ll be glad when he goes away.”

    hehe – love it Lawlor