Being 7-8 Sucks

Posted: December 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 60 Comments »

It is the final Friday of the regular season.  I’m used to the Eagles battling for a better playoff seed or sitting some starters to get ready for the postseason.  Not this year.  The team is 7-8 and there will be no playoffs.  2011 sucks, to put it bluntly.

Just because I don’t constantly wallow in misery (Fire Juan! DJax is a bum! Andy Reid is a fat loser! Etc.) doesn’t mean that I’m anything other than depressed by this season.  My expectations were through the roof.  I knew Juan Castillo would have ups and downs, but Michael Vick and the offense were going to be a juggernaut.

Well, I was right about Castillo, but wrong on Vick and the offense.  There was no juggernaut unit on this team.  The offense, defense, and STs all took turns making us wish the lockout hadn’t ended.  Heck, I’m pretty sure De Smith, Roger Goodell, and the female judge could all tackle better than Jarrad Page.

So now we’re about ready to wrap things up.  We’re going to put a bow on 2011, a turd of a season.  We host the Skins on Sunday with virtually nothing on the line.  So, what am I looking for?

* My fantasy is that we finally break through and get a shutout.  So close last week, but no cigar.

* I will be cheering for a win.  I know it hurts our draft position, but as some fan said here a while back…I just can’t cheer against the Eagles.  That’s not in my DNA.  I want to see the team win.  That said, I can immediately rationalize the benefits of a loss so whatever happens on Sunday will be okay with me.

* Do I want the defense to stay hot?  I don’t honestly know.  I really wish this game was against a good offense.  I’d love to know if we really turned the corner or if the team is just enjoying a hot streak.  A good showing will further complicate the Castillo Conundrum.  If Sexy Rexy lights us up for 350 and 28 points, it is a lot easier to flick the switch on the ejection seat.

* Shady wants the rushing title.  That would be great except he’s 128 yards behind MJD.  Catching him would be crazy.

* I would love to see us have a nice lead and then get some snaps for Mike Kafka and Dion Lewis.

* I will watch Jaiquawn Jarrett closely.  He’s starting at SS and it will be interesting to see what he can do.  He’s already got a game under his belt.  This game won’t define him, but it could offer some hints as to what to expect in 2012.

* We have 49 sacks on the year.  I’d love to see us get up to 54, but will be happy if we just get to 50.

* I’d love to see a LB (aside from Jamar Chaney) come up with an INT.  Brian Rolle came close last week.

* Let’s keep getting the ball to Brent Celek.  He’s been great in the last 10 or so games.

* Derek Landri.  Enough said.

That’s all I’ve got.

What’s the feeling with you guys?  I assume most people want the win.  What else are you hoping for?

* * * * *

Enough depression.  I stumbled on this not long ago and it’s great.  SI.com has up a gallery of Reggie White photos from UT, the USFL, PHI, and GB.  I absolutely love the pic of him and Buddy.  That’s about as big a smile as you’ll ever see from Buddy Ryan.

Without Reggie & Buddy, I’m not an Eagles fan.  I might be cheering for the Carolina Panthers or something like that.  Barf.  Thank god for Reggie & Buddy.  Yeah, we haven’t won a SB, but being an Eagles fan means something and not all teams can say that.


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Malone/1235880117 Joe Malone

    Granted, helping our draft stock is always a great thing. But as you said earlier, I just can’t root against this team. Even when all hope seemed lost after the Seattle game I wanted to win out.

    Someone on EMB also put winning this game into good perspective. Who would you guys rather face next year depending on if we get the 2 or 3 seed: The bears (if we get the 3) or the lions (if we get the 2). With that in mind, here’s hoping we win and get 2nd in the divison!

    • Anonymous

      Stuff like that is why I love the EMB. Some fan is really thinking ahead.

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

        I would rather face the Lions aswell, as Cutler got your numbers and even tho there O-line sucks, they always play very well against us

    • Anonymous

      This is absolutely awesome. I’m glad to have a reason to ignore draft positioning this weekend.

      And to carry that a little further – Falcons or Saints? I’d actually rather have the Falcons. And while I’d rather have the Cards than the Seahawks (they may actually be very good next year), I really just want a rematch with both those guys.

      • Anonymous

        The Falcons or Saints aren’t up for debate. According to the link below, we face the entire NFC South in the schedule rotation next year. Given that Cam and the Panthers are going to be pretty damn good pretty darn soon, not sure I like that.

        http://www.scgffl.com/nfl_schedules/2012_nfl_sched.htm

        • Anonymous

          Ugh, and AFC North too.

          Just more of a reminder of how we should have excelled this year. We missed the Steelers, Ravens, Saints and Packers in this year’s schedule, and we get three of them next year, plus perhaps real competition in the division.

          Gonna be a tough hill to climb but I’m looking forward to it.

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

    Not sure how realistic this is… but I want Babin to get the sack title this year!

    • Anonymous

      Agree with this.

  • Anonymous

    “Yeah, we haven’t won a SB, but being an Eagles fan means something and not all teams can say that.”

    Da’ Truth!

  • Anonymous

    I really want a 5-1 division record.

    Giants/Boys will be in the playoffs, but this shows that we really can be something when we focus.

    I’d really like to see Asante get a pick-6. He’s as good as gone, but he did do some really good things here. I hope he gets a standing ovation.

    Not sure if JP will be back. I hope he gets a sack or two.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

    I am really anxious to see our future DBs! However it is one of these things that, if it goes well, you could say “it was only against Rex and crappy WRs”. So they really have nothing to win, only A LOT to loose. I hope they do well, and keep me more calm about 2012!

    Other than that, I hope to see Watkins play better in pass pro. As mentioned before our O-line has a chance to be ELITE. A good finish should bold well for the future!

    And how about a Vick slide???

    • Anonymous

      I thought about the Vick slide as well. That would be good.

    • http://twitter.com/sjampendk Sjampen

      I think the DBs will benefit from the offseason. As much as i appreciate what Asante have done for us, i think it will help when he leaves. DRC is much better outside, and Asante clearly doesn’t want to be here. It will also be nice when we don’t have a CB that only wanna play one side, and can use Nnamdi to shut down the other teams No. 1 WR all the time. Let Marsh and Mmmbop battle for the slot spot.

      Nate Allen will really benefit with the break, so his knee gets 100 % healthy again. Jarrett will have a full offsets, to prepare.

      I think the whole defense will benefit from having a full TC to get to know the new system. Even if Juan is still the DC.

      • Anonymous

        Marsh is high cut with long legs very similar to DRC not sure he will do well in the slot.

      • Anonymous

        Marsh will be depth on the outside. Hanson and Hughes will be your slot guys. Hughes is much more stout that marsh. To be in the slot you have to have quick hips and be able to turn quickly Marsh is too long. He is an outside press corner. It would be nice to get a 3rd for Asante. Have a first, two 2nds, and two 3rds. That’s five quality picks, or in Howies eyes, trade back for 10 7th round picks!!

      • Anonymous

        Let’s temper the expectations for Marsh. I like him too, but one year ago, you could replace most instances of “Marsh” with “Lindley” and see the same expectations.

        I don’t believe Lindley caught on anywhere.

        Hughes is an interesting prospect as well.

  • Anonymous

    I want to see them dominate, Redskins just aren’t a good team, and beating them up would confirm the Eagles are for real, good team split with other good teams and feast on bad teams, one problem for this team is they blow too many games against mediocre teams early in the year and dig themselves a hole. So consistently beating teams that are less talented is a good sign.

    I would like to see a lot of young players get PT, like Marsh, Thorton, Vandervelde, and players get a bigger role, like Lewis, Harbor, Hunt. Give ‘em a taste to get them hungry in the off season.

    I’d like to see zero throws over 20 yards, and Vick executing quick passes flawlessly, getting rid of the ball, running out of bounds, and showing he’s a real QB, not a guy who runs around trying to make something happen.

  • Joe Hinchliffe

    I agree with what you said here about Derek Landri.

  • Anonymous

    I’d like to see a 6+ sack performance from the d-line. The redskins o-line is beat up. I’d like to see a dominant showing from them. I’d like to see some consistency out of the O through four quarters. And a win.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

    Just watched the segment on PE.com with Adam Caplan. They talked about the possibility of tag and trade DeSean Jackson, and what to do to replace him.

    Who would you prefer? The top receivers seem to be possesion guys. Caplan and DS thought that Maclin could become the deep threat. Can he? Or would you draft a speedster?

    I think Kendall Wright seems intriguing, but is he worth a 1st? I’ve heard some evaluators on twitter comparing him to Steve Smith of the Panthers – I would love him on our team, if that is true!

    IF Jackson is gone (and we get a 1st + more), and Asante is traded (for a 3rd or more) we are absolutely loaded in the draft! We would have 2 x 1st, 2 x 2nd, 2 x 3rd and 2 x 4th = Possibly 8! new players within the first 130 picks!

    • Anonymous

      There is no way in hell we get a first round pick for Djax. The teams in the upper half of the draft value their high pick more than him and teams later in the draft are obviously drafting late because they are doing something well. If we get a 2&4 I will be extremely happy.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

        Or something equivalent of a 1st. If you were a WR hungry team, wouldn’t you wanna pay a 1st for a proven young WR?

        Brandon Marshall netted Broncos 2 2′s…

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

          I think the falcon’s proved last year that a king’s ransom for a WR is not a great way to go.

          Someone or possibly more than one team should be willing to pay something good for him though.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

            I am not suggesting some team paying 2 1st, a 2nd and a 4th or whatever Falcons paid. However I don’t think Ryan complains about Julio Jones.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Coe/749860957 James Coe

        The first team that springs to mind who might be willing to drop a 1st on him is the 49ers. The thing they’re doing well is rushing and defence – they’re the number 2 seed in the NFC with the 29th ranked passing offense (only better than the Rams, Broncos and Jags). I think they’d be pretty stoked to get a legitimate deep-threat to stop defenders cheating on their already formidable running attack.

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

          Isn’t Vernon Davis basically their only deep threat… I was thinking about the 49ers too. I actually wanted to find a way to pair Crabtree and DJax on the Eagles during that draft.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

          Exactly!

        • Anonymous

          I’m pretty sure Alex Smith’s arm will fall off if he tries to throw a 50 yard bomb. And why give up your first for Djax when you can sign one of the 5 or so elite WRs on the market or draft a Kendall Wright or Joe Adams and pay him 2% of what you would have to give Djax

    • Anonymous

      It’s tough to do a franchise and trade, don’t be surprised if they just let him walk and sign another WR, or franchise him and draft a project to develop for one year.

      Deep threats are overrated, did you see the long throw to Cooper? Big WRs can be deep threats if they can locate the ball and go up for it (which Cooper can certainly do), Burress was a deep threat with 4.6 speed b/c he won the jump balls. The key to forcing safeties to play honest is the QB’s arm, b/c if a safety cheat, a full sized WR with average speed who beats him with a double move is off to the races.

      Moving on from DeSean is merely moving back to normal, Eagles scored more points in 2002 (Trash, Pinkston, Freeman), 2004 (TO, Pinkston, Lewis), 2006 (Brown, Stallworth, Baskett) than in 2011. This offense works best if it’s balanced, if DeSean were to return I want the DeSean we saw against Dallas, running 15-20 yard routes, not the 40 yard outs that end up with Vick trying to hold the ball and having to scramble or get sacked.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

        I agree that it would be difficult, but certainly not impossible to tag and trade him. Look at Cassel from NE to KC. Would you really just let him go? I don’t agree that deep threats are overrated. I’ve heard every commentator talk about how our deep threat makes safeties drop deep and leave the middle of the field wide open. Can you do that with possesion guys on the outside?

        I would rather have Maclin and Jackson/Kendall Wright on the outside than Maclin and Jeffery

        I don’t think the fact that we’re scoring less than previous years is because we’re not balanced enough. It’s more because of turnovers in my opinion.

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

          Yeah I think the fact that our deep threats don’t create more opportunities is because of the fact that our intermediate routes have (by mistake or design) been missing this year. I think a big body receiver paired with a healthy Mac is the way to go.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Coe/749860957 James Coe

        If we were to tag and trade him, does the trade destination get stuck paying him franchise money for the season, or can they negotiate their own contract? It might affect what we get for him in a trade if they’re stuck paying him $10m next season.

    • Anonymous

      I think this offense can function without DJax no matter who we bring in. I love what Jackson brings and am one of those people who thinks he contributes just by being out there, but if our offense was just Vick, McCoy, Maclin, Celek, Avant, et. al., there’d still be plenty of talent, and perhaps more balls to go to the players who need it fed to them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=47904149 Liam Garrett

    What’s the over/under on Jason Babin getting anywhere between 5 and 37 sacks on Sunday?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Coe/749860957 James Coe

      I’ll give you good odds on over 37…

    • Anonymous

      Have him get 8. That would give him the NFL record for a game and a season.

  • Anonymous

    Got to root for the Eagles to win. Getting a spot or two higher in the draft doesnt mean we’re getting the better player anyway (see: JPP vs Brandon Graham).

    Would love to see JJ play well at safety and DRC continue to play well on the outside.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

    Ditching games for draft position, the Football God’s have a way of taking care of that.

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

    * I’d like to see what Dion Lewis can do as a workhorse back.

    * I’d like to see what Clay Harbor can do as the #1 TE.

    * I’d like to see what Graham and Hunt can do as the primary DEs.

    * I’d like to see Cedric Thornton and Casey Matthews (MLB) start.

    * I’d like to see Curtis Marsh *NOT* screw up on special teams.

    * I’d like to see an end to the splash page cartoons. Enough.

    • Anonymous

      “* I’d like to see Curtis Marsh *NOT* screw up on special teams.”

      Great point.

  • hhaidari

    Tommy, what do you think of Shady and Jones-Drew, the NFL’s leading rushers, not even being in the playoffs?

    What about the Saints, Packers, and Patriots being in the basement of defense yet on the fast track to the Super Bowl?

    Who would have thought the Eagles would be a great rushing team and missing the playoffs in an NFL like this.

    • Anonymous

      Great RBs don’t guarantee anything in the modern NFL. Passing league.

      I wonder if NE, NO, and GB can overcome mediocre defenses in the playoffs or if they’ll get exposed. You normally need D to win in January.

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

        This year aside, WRs don’t guarantee much either. Top guys are the 2 Johnsons and Fitzgerald? Arizona had the SB appearance, but not much else. And until this year, Houston and Detroit were hopeless.

        Seems clear if you’ve got a QB, you’ve got a chance. Which makes me wonder about Vick.

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

        If you believe in sites like CHFF, FO, PFF etc, CHFF have showed its the team with the greatest defense in defensive and offensive passer rating there have won the SB the last several years.

    • Anonymous

      Part of the problem is the way McCoy gets his yards, 6.2 ypc when he’s not stuffed but leading the league in getting stuffed. That makes it hard to sustain drives b/c he’s either getting you a first down or putting you in 2nd and 3rd and long. McCoy has to learn to take what’s there and not try to bust every play open (same with Vick, hmm, maybe the OC is a bad influence?), 2 and 8 is much better than 2nd and 12.

      The other problem is that it’s just hard to put together 60-70 yard drives running the ball, you’re gonna have to convert 2 or 3 third and medium or third a long, and if you don’t pass as an integral part of your offense, you’re not going to consistently convert those plays. That’s why JJ designed his defenses to get stuffs, and play tight pass defense on 3rd downs, looks like that’s what they’re trying to get back to on defense, trade a 1st down rushing for a 3rd and long.

      Big plays excite fans, but long drives wear down defenses, keep your own defense off the field, and win games. Long drives require a balanced offense that can consistently hit the 1-20 yard pass and run off those passes, and run in short yardage situations. NE doesn’t have a receiver who can break 4.5 but those TEs give them big targets that Brady can hit before a pass rush gets to him.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_33FTQ3QUA6JVWLP7RC6WSPQTSY Furt

    “A Football Life- Reggie White and Jerome Brown”.

    • Anonymous

      Great show.

  • Anonymous

    I say Go Eagles! Lets have a little Eagle magic in this game and into an exciting off season. We have a lot to look forward to in 2012.

  • Anonymous

    Anything else than a 72-0 win will be highly disappointing…

  • http://twitter.com/akuatuta nathalie a

    how can you even put the words ‘enough’ and ‘derek landri’ in the same sentence ? are you already abandoning him ? how fickle of you.

    happy new year tommy. may 2012 be the one.

    ps thanks for the link to pictures. absoeffinglutely great.

  • Anonymous

    I knew Juan Castillo would have ups and downs, but Michael Vick and the offense were going to be a juggernaut.

    Castillo and his defense, Vick and his offense. I swear Marty’s real identity is Dr Daniel Westin.

    • Anonymous

      I had to look that up.

      The biggest problem with the offense wasn’t the playcalling, but rather turnovers. That’s on Vick more than Marty. I know you detest MM and I’m hardly his biggest fan, but player mistakes were a far bigger problem than anything he did.

      • Anonymous

        Kinda of, but in 2010 Vick throw over 20 yards 15% of the time, one of the highest rates in the league. This year it’s down to about 12%, most top QBs it’s more like 9-10%. One reason I don’t care if DeSean walks is I want to get away from the big play mentality on both MM’s and Vick’s part, how many games do they start off with a bomb?

        They need to develop the big intermediate area targets, Cooper and Harbor have potential, but they need to commit to them, and maybe bring in a veteran. Vick has the quick release and accuracy to make those throws all day, you see him do it with Celek the second half. You see this with Rodgers and Brady, they move the ball up and down the field, then when the DBs cheat, a double move and off to the races.

        DeSean scares people, but the Dallas game was the first time he consistently broke off the deep routes then made catches in traffic, without alligator arms. If he could do that consistently, he’d be worth the money he’s asking, but not sure he has the “radar” to play that role over 16 games and survive. Marvin Harrison made a HOF caliber career in that role, but Marvin always was able to duck in time, DeSean already has two concussions, two more and his career is over.

        • Anonymous

          I agree with you about Marvin Harrison, he and Brian Westbrook were the best two non-QBs I’ve ever seen at avoiding big hits. DeSean could be better at that.

          I think the Eagles’ success the first season under Vick was largely due to hitting on a lot of big plays, and they didn’t necessarily hit on those this year. They could stand to get away from the big play mentality, and for a lot of this season, they did, sustaining drives better.

          That’s one of the reasons I think they could survive without Jackson. They’d be forced to lean on McCoy more and use some of those guys that you mentioned.

          That said, I still like having DeSean in there as a weapon, on the reverses and punt returns and the fact that when he stretches the field, the middle stuff is there.

          I do think he’s made an effort to be a complete receiver in more than just games late this season. He could definitely stand to improve, and the Eagles could move him more before the snap to get him the ball quickly, so I’d still rather have him.

          I think though the offense could stand to assume the identity of a run-first attack, only because it seems like they’re so good at it. Success in one area makes the other more dangerous though, so I’d always rather have DeSean the weapon available. And I think he’s played himself into being affordable, although it only takes one asshat team to come in and overbid.

      • Anonymous

        It isn’t just this season, and we have discussed this before when on EaglesBlitz we talked about who in the triumvirate of 5, MM and AR was to blame for the failures in ’09. I do want to look into the stats more but I think you know me well enough to know that I’m not being irrational or in need of a reality check, but it does seem that he misses coming under scrutiny by the fans because of other factors. Always! Hence the moniker. I don’t detest him though, I do ‘Matt Schobel’ him if that helps.

        However, engage me if you will, should ‘Westin’ be shown the door, and I really believe there is a chance that he will, is there an internal hire ready to take the reigns or would we need look outside the organisation? I said this in an earlir thread, but I’d love to find the right coordinator to give the offense the ‘Bud Carson’ effect.

        • Anonymous

          Ha, Matt Schobel’s name popped in my head the other day. Probably my least favorite Eagle ever.

          There is virtually no chance MM gets fired.

          David Culley has been involved in gameplanning in recent years. I think he would be the internal guy to take over. Doug Pederson is still sorta new to the staff.

          Not sure about outside guys. I agree that it would be great to have the “Bud Carson effect” take place, but the situation isn’t likely to happen.

          • Anonymous

            Should you be right, what about a 3rd chef coming in a la Whipple a couple or 3 years back?

          • Anonymous

            Reid only hired Whipple because Cowher gave him such a glowing review. I don’t think AR was looking for help.

            In a way, hiring Mudd was bringing in some help. Howard’s blocking scheme has altered the running game.

            I’d be fine with mixing in a new set of eyes. Just doesn’t seem likely.

          • Anonymous

            This goes back to the theme of another post though … really the entire season. Most of the changing has already been done. This offseason might be the time to refine what we do, not start over again.

            I know that sounds like “scared money don’t make money” talk, but when it works, it’s the prudent thing to do, and I think it might be in this case.

          • Anonymous

            “Ha, Matt Schobel’s name popped in my head the other day. Probably my least favorite Eagle ever. ”

            Seriously? Over Jarrad Page, Sean Considine, Lorenzo Booker and Mike McMahon? (and those are just the off-the-top ones from the Reid era)

            Interesting.