Okay, so I know it’s late. This is still 2011? Sorry for the delay in posting the Game Review. Did a bit of traveling over Christmas and also had some car trouble. That affected my ability to sit down and re-watch the game and take notes. I did re-watch it, but not in the lengthy way I normally do. Better late than never, right?
Saturday’s win over Dallas felt weird. We weren’t playing for the postseason anymore. But that was still Dallas. You always want to beat the Cowboys. Then we knocked Tony Romo out of the game. Dallas pulled Felix Jones. Suddenly the game had a really odd vibe. Once we got up 14-0, it felt like we had a 100-0 lead. Beating Dallas is always a good thing. I don’t care who is on the field or what the circumstances are.
We lost the shutout late in the game and that did hurt. I’ve been desperate for a shutout for more than a decade. Coming so close is painful. Atlanta scored very late in a 2009 game and I’m still going to therapy for that. A human being can only endure so much emotional pain. Right?
The Eagles didn’t play a perfect game, but I thought it was funny just how much better we looked than Dallas. Not having Romo was huge, but that team still had Witten, Bryant, Ware, Spencer, Ratliff, Lee, etc. Dallas isn’t a bunch of scrubs. For those who question how much Dallas wanted to win, go back and re-watch parts of the game. Jason Witten was furious a few times when things didn’t go right. DeMarcus Ware was playing his butt off. Jimmy logged the snap count over at Blogging the bEast. Dallas sat Romo and Jones due to injury concerns, but everyone else played. This wasn’t a case of them laying down.
There isn’t a lot to say about coaching. I thought both gameplans were solid. Nothing really jumped out to me. Andy didn’t have any huge decisions. I was happy he let Henery kick the long FG.
* 5 of 13 on 3rd downs
* 2 of 3 in the Red Zone
VICK — 18-32-279. 2 TDs, no INTs. Love games with no INTs. Makes winning so much easier. Vick played pretty well. I got frustrated with him a few times. There were some plays when I thought he should have just thrown the ball away, but he kept trying to make something big happen. My favorite throw of the game came when he hit DJax on a post-corner for a nice gain. Nothing dramatic, but a good timing pass. Had a Houdini play on opening drive. Spencer looped inside and came free. Got Vick by the facemask, but Mike never went down. He spun free and threw a downfield pass to Riley Cooper. You can argue that the play was aggressive, dumb, or both, but it did work out.
SCHMITT — We didn’t seem to run from the I-formation as much this week. I thought we should have done more of that based on the success we had last week and the fact Dallas would be onto our cutback running after the first meeting.
MCCOY — 13-35. No TDs. One ankle injury. Not his best game. Dallas did a good job on the cutback runs. Shady learned from Miami and didn’t keep making the same mistakes. Pass blocking was up and down.
BROWN — Another game with some touches. 8-33. Ran hard and had some success since the D was so used to dealing with Shady.
DJAX — Good game. 5-90 as a receiver. Had 2 carries for 27 yards. Those actually came on back-to-back plays. Nice touch running him right and then left on the next play. The D wasn’t expecting that. DeSean looked like the guy we’ve wanted all year. He got open and made solid catches.
MACLIN — 5-72 with a TD. Good game. The TD was impressive. Made the catch along the back line. Cradled the ball as he made sure his feet were in. Showed great body control on the play. Took a big hit after catching a pass over the middle. Went down and Spencer dove on him. Mac left the game, but returned quickly.
COOPER — Made circus catch on opening drive. Vick had to scramble and Riley went downfield. Jumped up over DB to snatch the ball. Came down really hard and was slow to get up. Finished the game 1-28.
AVANT — Had 2 catches for 35 yards. The first catch came in the Red Zone. Avant caught a short pass and then ran for the pylon. He extended for the TD. One problem. He let go of the ball before breaking the plane. Ruled TD initially, but replay showed it to be a touchback. Great effort, but can’t make that mistake, Jason. Late in the half he caught a short pass and then put a wicked move on a DB. Avant cut back to the middle of the field and sped down to the 6-yard line. Got 27 yds on the play. Best RAC move I’ve ever seen by Jason. Good block on Celek’s long screen pass.
HALL — Caught one pass, but lost 3 yds.
CELEK — Caught 2 passes for 52 yards and TD. The TD was a simple route up the middle for a 13-yd catch. Brent was wide open and made an easy grab. Got 39 yds on TE screen. Broke a couple of tackles and looked very good on that play. Struggled with blocking when he was up against Ware. DeMarcus was apparently not in the Christmas spirit.
HARBOR — Caught a short pass for 9 yds. Blocking was up and down. Did a good job on the move. Had outstanding blocks on DeSean’s 2 runs. Struggled vs Ware. Clay did his best, but Ware was a man on a mission.
PETERS — Good game.
MATHIS — Good game.
KELCE — Up and down. There were some times when he got pushed around by Ratliff. The good news is that Jason never gave up on plays and stuck with Ratliff even when initially beaten. Ratliff finished with 1 tackle and 1 pass deflection. No sacks, TFLs, or QB hits.
WATKINS — Solid game. Got driven back in pass pro a time or two, but did stick with the blocks.
HERREMANS — Good game. Had a great block on Celek’s screen. Todd blocked for him the whole way downfield. Good athleticism, great effort.
* Allowed 238 yards, just 3.6 yds per play.
* Dallas just 6 of 17 on 3rd downs
* 1 for 2 in the Red Zone
* Romo threw 2 passes and got knocked from the game. Backup Stephen McGee then got hit 10 times officially. He took quite a pounding. There were a couple of plays where he was slow to get up. Tough guy.
* Dallas didn’t have any plays of 20 or more yards. They only had 3 that covered 15 or more yds.
COLE — Good game. Played the run well and finished with 5 solo tackles. Got his 10th sack of the year when he cleanly beat Free. Got held a time or two, but no calls. Had a TFL when he blew up the Cowboys attempt at running Flip 90. RB had no chance.
BABIN — Sorta quiet game. Got pressure, but could not seal the deal. Credited with a pair of QB hits. His one impact play came on the opening drive when Jason looped inside and steamrolled Romo. That’s when Tony hit his hand on Babin’s helmet and left the game.
PATTERSON — Good game. Was in on 4 tackles and had a TFL. Helped create a sack for JP. Typical Patt game. Lots of dirty work and hustle. The more I watch this guy, the more I respect the hell out of him. Man’s man.
JENKINS — Good game. 2 tackles. One came when lined up at LDE on 3rd/2. Got the best of the RT and stuffed the runner for no gain. Disruptive interior presence.
PARKER — Didn’t play a ton, but got a sack and had a good shot on McGee on another play.
D TAPP — Had an impressive TFL. Stormed into the backfield and got RB for a loss.
LANDRI — Had a sack when he burned the LG with a good spin move. Tried to get a TFL on 3rd/short, but decided to let Trent make the play and pad his stats. Once again proved that greatness is contagious. Derek was on the field for all 3 sacks and several TFLs. Good things happen when he’s out there.
HUNT — Another strong outing. Had 1 QB hit. Drew a key holding call that stopped a good drive. Got pressure on a few plays. Also seems to be playing the run well. Is showing a good feel for when to fly upfield and when to look for the RB.
CHANEY — Didn’t make me scream out his name in anger even once. Actually had a couple of nice tackles. Finished with 3 solo stops. Was far from perfect, but at least showed some progress.
JORDAN — Had 3 tackles and blew up a run play that was close to being a TFL.
ROLLE — Good game. Stat sheet only shows 2 tackles / 1 TFL, but that hardly tells the story. Active game. Around the ball a lot. Almost had a pick-six in the early 4th Qtr. Jumped pass to Witten in the flat, but just couldn’t quite hang on. Had a wide open field ahead of him. Covered Witten well on a few plays. Very handsy. Always grabbing/shoving Jason and I’m sure that was really getting on his nerves. Brian was in the backfield when Trent got his TFL.
MATTHEWS — Got to play a lot and had a pretty good game. We were in the Nickel so that meant a lot of snaps for Casey. Finished the game with 6 tackles. Did a solid job in coverage. Tackling still needs to be cleaned up. Witten got Casey off balance a couple of times and got an extra couple of yards on those plays. Casey still got him down, just needs to do a cleaner job. Stuffed a RB after short catch and almost had TFL on that play. Playing faster and with a lot more confidence.
K CLAYTON — On the field a fair amount due to all the Nickel. Had 3 tackles, 1 TFL. He’s getting into a comfort zone. Clayton has great closing speed. Dallas threw short pass to RB and Clayton was several yards upfield. He flew into the backfield and got the RB for a loss of 2. That’s not something any other Eagles LB could do. That was DB speed. Did a good job in coverage. Spent some time with Witten and handled that matchup well. Finding his niche.
COLEMAN — Quiet game. Had 1 tackle. Got hurt and left the game.
ALLEN — Good showing. Had 3 tackles. Covered well. Flew upfield on a pair of short passes and helped to break them up with good hits. Broke up a downfield pass. Jumped the route, but couldn’t make the pick. Had tight coverage on Austin a couple of times downfield. Got knocked back by Sammy Morris on one run play, but generally hit/tackled well. Physical game.
JARRETT — Took over for Kurt. Credited with 2 solo tackles. Didn’t really stand out good or bad.
ASOMUGHA — Good game. Led the team with 8 tackles. Covered well outside and also got some snaps in the middle against Witten. Beaten on slant by Bryant on play in the 4th Qtr.
RODGERS-CROMARTIE — Got the start at LCB and played well. Looked much more natural in coverage out there than when playing the slot. Tackling was okay. Had a couple of stops.
HANSON — Solid game. Broke up one pass and it was in the end zone. Got beaten a time or two when he lined up on Miles Austin in the slot. Tough matchup for our guy MmmBop.
HUGHES — Solid showing. Gave up a slant to Bryant on 3rd down pass. Couldn’t make the initial tackle, but grabbed his towel and got back on him and helped make the stop.
CHAS HENRY — Averaged 42.7 yds per punt on 6 kicks. Didn’t have any downed inside the 20.
ALEX HENERY — Best game in the NFL? 2 of 2. Nailed FGs from 43 and 51. Distance wasn’t an issue at all with the 51-yd’er. Had another 5 or so yds of distance. Had some deep kickoffs, but a couple that were short.
PR — Chad Hall had his best PR game of the year. Busted one for 16 yds. Had room on another, but was tripped up by the 41-yd line. Hate that.
KOR — n/a
* Tom Nelson had a tackle and showed up on a couple of plays.
* KO coverage was an issue. Dallas had returns of 51, 34 yards. Not good.
* * * * *
My PE.com column covers the game and some more general stuff as well.
* * * * *
I’ll be putting up another, more timely post later today.