Sunday was Rexday

Posted: December 18th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 35 Comments »

Rex Grossman came up big for us and beat the Giants.  Rex Ryan came up big for us by losing (and having his team look like crap in the process).  Thank you Rex.  Happy Rexday everyone.

The Eagles whipped the Jets, 45-19.  That means we scored 34 points on Rob and 45 on Rex.  Buddy can be proud of his Eagles, but maybe not his sons.  Lots of bad defense in the games.  And tons of rushing yards.

Shady had a big bounce-back game.  Last week he was 27-38 with 2 TDs.  Today he was 18-102 with 3 TDs.  He now holds the club records for TDs in a season (sorry Steve Van  Buren).

More importantly, Michael Vick had a good game.  He was 15-22-274.  He had a TD.  He threw one garbage INT on a Hail Mary at the end of the half.  Vick ran 5 times for 32 yards and scored his first TD of the year.  All in all, very encouraging.  The Eagles need Vick to play well to have a realistic shot at getting to 8-8.

The defense had a second straight good game.  The Jets had 241 yards and scored 2 TDs.  One TD came on a short field, the other came in garbage time (and on a short field as well).  The defense had 4 sacks and 4 takeaways.  The Jets came into the game as the #1 RZ team in the league, but only went 2 for 5 in the Red Zone.  We even had a RZ takeaway.  Oh yeah…the defense also scored.  Last week we got a safety, this week a TD.

Jason Babin had his 2nd 3-sack game in a row.  He’s the first Eagle to ever do that.  He’s got 18 sacks on the season.  Amazingly, the NFL sack record is doable.  He needs 4.5 in the final 2 games.  The whole DL played well, despite being short handed.  Phillip Hunt came up with his 2nd sack of the year.  Trent Cole was disruptive.  Mike Patterson had a FF.  Cullen Jenkins had a TFL.  Juqua Parker got some pressure and ran back a fumble for a score.

The LBs had a good game.  Jamar Chaney had a pick.  Keenan Clayton broke up a pass and had a good tackle.  Brian Rolle was his usual self.  Casey Matthews had a TFL and was in on the FF of Holmes.  Akeem Jordan had a good tackle on a screen pass.  The sum is better than the parts.

The secondary had another good game.  Asante had a pick.  DRC played well.  Nate Allen had 5 tackles and a TFL.  Kurt Coleman was terrific.  He forced the Holmes fumble that we ran back for a TD.  He almost picked a pass in the endzone, but Plax broke it up.  Kurt blitzed well and was active all game long.

Juan Castillo had a good game.  He once again mixed the base rush with some creative blitzes and rushes.  On some passing situations he had 2 down linemen and Cole and Babin would stand up.  They could rush inside or loop out wide.  Babin got one of his sacks this way.  Just as important, Juan is really using his personnel well.  He’s mixing in a lot of different players and getting something out of each of them.  Think about all the different guys on the team who are playing their best football of the year:  DRC, Babin, Clayton, Landri, Matthews, Hunt, Coleman, etc.  The pieces are coming together.

Some people have raised the question of Castillo returning as DC.  I still have my doubts, but the question isn’t as unthinkable as it would have been a month ago.  Let’s see how the final 2 games go.  There is a chance we’ll finish with 50 sacks and a Top 10 overall ranking.  Crazy.

I am happy with the progress we’ve made.  This defense was 32nd in Red Zone defense just 10 days ago, but has come up big in that area 2 weeks in a row.  We’ll have to see how far we’ve moved up the rankings.  Whether we make the playoffs or not, it has been good to see the defense show the potential we all felt was there.

Next week is going to be a huge game.  Dallas has a hot offense led by red hot Tony Romo.  We shut him down big time back at midseason.  Doing it again will be a major challenge.

The Eagles are 6-8.  We must win the final 2 games.  We need the Giants to lose Saturday to the Jets and then beat the Cowboys in the finale for us to win the NFC East title.  Not the most likely set of events, but at least there’s a chance.

Since the crappy 1-4 start we’ve gone 5-4.  That’s not ideal to be sure, but it does show some progress.  The 2011 Eagles are a team you can believe in.  At least for the next 5 days.

35 Comments on “Sunday was Rexday”

  1. 1 Anonymous said at 11:56 PM on December 18th, 2011:

    I’m starting to buy into the “the lockout screwed up the Eagles” theory.

    Tommy, is it as simple as “so goes Vick, so goes the Eagles?” Has there been a game this season where they’ve wasted a good performance by him or made up for a bad performance? I remember times with Donovan where he’d play great and we’d lose, or where the defense would pick up his off-day, but I can’t remember too many with Vick.

  2. 2 Anonymous said at 7:02 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    I really believe that with a healthy Vick we’d be sitting at 8-6 at least!

  3. 3 Matthew Butch said at 9:35 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    I agree certainly with the first point. Juan even said that players finally learned the base packages. This team is gelling- maybe too little to late. But he may be back next year.

    And the second point is also valid. He left both the first Giants and Falcons games with leads. And he probably would’ve helped win the Seahawks game.

  4. 4 Anonymous said at 8:36 PM on December 19th, 2011:

    I wasn’t even thinking of those but you’re right. He was also, allegedly, injured very early in the Cardinals game. Those are four losses right there.

  5. 5 Jason A Hines said at 12:39 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    I’ve been wondering about your opinion on Nnamdi. He seems to give up a TD every week, but the throws that are getting by him are some really spot on throws. Is it that he’s having trouble locating the ball or is just that better throws are beating some really good coverage?

  6. 6 Anonymous said at 12:51 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    Combination of things. Nnamdi is getting beat by good players and usually they’re only open by a touch. This isn’t like last year when the Giants ate up Dimitri Patterson and we had no chance.

    That said, Nnamdi isn’t supposed to get beat this often. He’s not playing up to his full ability. He’s dealing with small mistakes. I think he’ll be much better next year when he’s had a full adjustment period.

  7. 7 Anonymous said at 7:01 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    Show me one CB in the NFL who would have defended that ridiculous TD catch by Plax yesterday!

  8. 8 Anonymous said at 8:46 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    yup, sometimes the other guys are pretty good too.

  9. 9 Anonymous said at 5:04 PM on December 19th, 2011:

    How about this guy?

  10. 10 Anonymous said at 4:39 AM on December 20th, 2011:

    You mean Megatron?!?!

  11. 11 Anonymous said at 12:42 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    Juan is showing real growth as a DC, at this point if they finish with two solid games, would a new DC do any better next year.? He’s learning how to use his limited personnel, Chaney lacks instincts but can attack the run inside. Matthews is not a NFL MLB, he’s a blitzing LB who can read plays and attack quickly but can’t read and react well at MLB due to his athletic limitations. Clayton can’t start but is looking like a solid nickel LB. Jordan can’t cover but is a physical two down LB.

    Coleman is settling in at SS, and will be tough for Jarrett to move out. Allen played his best game in a month. Hunt, Landri make up for some draft misses. Though I’d like to see what Thorton can do.

    On offense, they used an old Eagle/AR playbook, no deep shots, balanced play calling, isolating the TE on the LBs, a ball control scheme that merely racked up 420 yards and 38 points. This wasn’t the Rams or the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Jets may have slipped, but they’re a legitimate defense.

  12. 12 Sjampen said at 6:34 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    I still think Juan should be gone, but I’m going to buy into the demotion thing now. I hope the Eagles bring in a relatively big name like Spags, Del Rio etc. and then make Juan the Assistant DC and lets him get into the groove. That might be the place for Juan to use his good coaching abilities and his hard work. Besides if the players still like him, that kid of role might be a place for him to be the guy on the staff they go to for a little pick me up and advice.

    I think Coleman is doing very good, but he will always be hurt by the fact thats his not the most athletic guy. I do like that we have a tough, mean player i the secondary. Coleman needs to develop that.

  13. 13 Steve H said at 1:09 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    sigh, if only we had 1 more win… man, if just one of those early crappy losses had gone the other way… we’d be sitting so pretty right now.

  14. 14 Anonymous said at 1:52 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    The SF loss kills us. 2 missed short FGs. Mac’s fumble late in the game. I think that was Ronnie’s “pass”. Ugh.

  15. 15 Anonymous said at 1:16 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    2 thoughts on the game:

    1) Maclin was solid as a blocker. He extended Celek’s long catch with hustle as well as several other plays.

    2) Speaking of blocking, the O-line looked good, particularly in pass-pro. Question on the scheme: do they plan a moving pocket for certain plays? It seemed like Vick would drop back, then do a secondary move into a new pocket by design, as if they were baiting the ends to take a deeper rush, then sealing them from behind…

    NOTE: If “baiting the ends” and “sealing them from behind” aren’t titles of adult films, they should be.

  16. 16 Anonymous said at 1:22 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    I have “Sealing Them From Behind 2” on DVD.

  17. 17 Anonymous said at 9:06 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    That’s the one with the famous blowing past the tight end to penetrate the backfield scene, right?

  18. 18 Anonymous said at 9:30 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    You’re disgusting!!! And right.

  19. 19 Anonymous said at 5:07 PM on December 19th, 2011:

    At least it wasn’t one of those where one side can’t take care of the ball and just sucks through the whole thing while the other side rams it down their throat all day. Those games are tough to watch.

  20. 20 Anonymous said at 1:23 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    I’ll check the game to see the plays. There are some plays where we pull a G or C and have them block the back side on pass plays. That could be what you’re talking about.

  21. 21 Andrew W. Cohen said at 7:25 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    It’s become clear that part of the Eagles’ problem this season has been a very hard schedule. The Niners and Pats are great. Atlanta and the Jets are good. The Seahawks, Cardinals, and Bears are .500, the last only because Cutler got hurt. The Bills were hot when we played them. Miami and the Rams are the only bad teams we’ve faced, and we clobbered both of them.

    And, of course, we lost all the close ones.

  22. 22 Eric Weaver said at 9:22 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    They only have about a .500 strength of schedule. Which is, obviously, about average in the league.

  23. 23 Andrew W. Cohen said at 10:35 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    A very fair point. I should have checked before writing. But:

    1) We’ve faced 10 teams that are .500 or better.
    2) The Bears were a likely playoff team when we played them.

    So let me amend. Many of the losses that seemed inexplicable at the time (i.e., the NFC west teams: SF, Pho, Sea) actually just reflected bad luck (or stupid mistakes) and the quality of the competition.

  24. 24 Anonymous said at 11:29 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    I’m sorry, but “strength of schedule” as being a significant reason of why we have had a rough season is a major stretch. We are playing in a division that might end without a single team having a winning record. Outside of SF in the NFC West, there is a distinct chance no team has a winning season. On top of that, the SF game we should have won considering we had something like a 23-3 lead in the third. Like Eric Weaver said, our strength of schedule was about average for the league. Of the 10 teams that are .500 or better, 5 of them are exactly 0.500. That’s not a tough schedule. Besides, if your a team that is supposed to be a perennial playoff contender, playing a team with a winning record shouldn’t mean an automatic loss. If anything, we have had a ton of luck this season in terms of schedule, injuries, and strength of division, and frankly, that’s the only reason we weren’t mathematically knocked out of the playoffs 3 or 4 weeks ago.

  25. 25 Andrew W. Cohen said at 12:19 PM on December 19th, 2011:

    The league is filled with 7-7, 8-6, and 6-8 teams this year. If the Eagles are in a stronger position vis-a-vis the playoffs, it’s because there’s no dominant team at the top of the NFC East, not because the division is especially easy. By any measure, the NFC is the third or fourth toughest division in football, behind the AFC Central, the NFC North, and perhaps the AFC East.

    Anyway, you’re deliberately missing my second point, which is that some of the head-scratching losses aren’t so surprising in retrospect. I don’t intend to suggest that we have an especially good team.

    As for luck, it’s hard to say that a team that has a bad takeaway-giveaway number and loses all its close games is “lucky.” We know from decades of statistical analysis that that stuff is fairly random. Plus, we lost our star quarterback and receiver for several games.

  26. 26 Anonymous said at 12:46 PM on December 19th, 2011:

    What is your basis for the NFC East being the third toughest division in football? Record wise, We are tied with the NFC West for 2nd lowest winning percentage as a division. At best, we will have one team with a record above .500. At worst, our division is worthy of the same debate from last year with the Seahawks about whether a team without a winning record should be allowed in the playoffs. In terms of passing the eye test, not a single team in the division looks like a legitimate superbowl contender or a team likely to get on any significant roll in the playoffs.

  27. 27 Andrew W. Cohen said at 3:29 PM on December 19th, 2011:

    “We are tied with the NFC West for 2nd lowest winning percentage as a division.”

    You think the NFC East is easier than the AFC West because they have a slightly better winning percentage? Look at the standings. There’s only one team in the AFC West with a positive point diff.

    As for the NFC West, NFC South, NFC North, and AFC East, the Eagles had to play teams from those divisions. Which was my original point.

    “This year, we had no devastating that were season-ending…injuries to key players. ”

    True. But you didn’t respond to my point about takeaways and close games.

    “Those teams are still bad teams that a decent team should be able to beat.”

    Well, that’s just opinion. Seattle has a positive pt. diff. and beat Baltimore. We also played them on the road after a short week. A good team would have won, but I’m no longer surprised that we lost.

    Anyway, I’m not making excuses for the team. I’m trying to understand how this happened.

  28. 28 Anonymous said at 9:22 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    Worst-case scenario: We finish 8-8, killing our draft position only to see Dallas beat the Giants in NY and make a run of their own. I really hope we lay down vs. Dallas if the Giants beat the Jets (we’ll know if the game has meaning by game-time). And by lay down, I mean use Dion Lewis and start Vince Young. Seeing Vick take all those hits when we were up 30 was terrible.

    Hey, at least Vince Young played most of the 4th quarter. Is Andy learning?

  29. 29 Anonymous said at 11:59 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    I don’t wanna see VY. I would like to see Kafka instead to get a better feeling if he’s a capable backup in this league!

  30. 30 FalKirk said at 12:50 PM on December 19th, 2011:

    “I really hope we lay down vs. Dallas if the Giants beat the Jets”-Kivin

    Sorry, but I don’t want my team to lay down. Ever. No matter how smart it would be or what the strategic import. In the long run, I think playing hard every minute of every game is far more important to the success of any team than some marginal increase in draft position.

  31. 31 Anonymous said at 7:37 PM on December 19th, 2011:

    Especially against Dallas.

    Duck Fallas.

  32. 32 FalKirk said at 9:56 PM on December 19th, 2011:

    Ducking Fallas is all I want for Christmas (Eve).

  33. 33 Anonymous said at 10:13 AM on December 19th, 2011:

    Philip Hunt is the Eagles’ best free-agent “scrap heap” signing since . . . well . . . Chad Lewis.

    That guy has a chance, with more time in the system and a chance to get stronger, to be a real player.

  34. 34 Anonymous said at 12:03 PM on December 19th, 2011:


    Nnamdi just admitted that the Eagles players didn’t have trust in Castillo’s playcalling at the beginning of the season:

  35. 35 FalKirk said at 12:54 PM on December 19th, 2011:

    As an aside, it’s interesting to watch how the Eagles always get stronger as the year progresses and the Giants always get weaker. I often dismiss these overblown “trends” because they’re based on statistically insignificant numbers. But in this case (and others), there’s a large enough number of seasons to show that these are genuine trends and not just coincidences.

    Reid deserves all the criticism he’s received this year. But there’s no arguing that he’s lost the team. His players play hard for him every single game.