Detailed Game Review – ARZ 27, PHI 6

Posted: September 26th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 57 Comments »

Bad live, just as bad the 2nd time around.    

Boy, was I wrong. I thought the Eagles were clearly the better team and could win this game comfortably if they played a clean game. The Eagles didn’t play a clean game and they got whipped. I still don’t fully buy the Cardinals as anything special. They got some breaks and took advantage of them, but I didn’t see a team that looked like a 12-win juggernaut.

The Cards had better gameplans. They executed them better. They had no turnovers. They won.

Field position was a huge factor. The Eagles only had 2 drives start beyond their own 25 and both came when the game was pretty out of hand. The Cardinals were just the opposite. They only had one drive in the 1st half that started inside of their own 35. I think the turning point in the game was Damaris Johnson’s fumbled punt return. It felt like the Eagles defense had seized control prior to that. All of a sudden the Cardinals were at our 38-yd line and they got a somewhat lucky TD a few plays later (should have been a Ryans INT). From that point on , there was no question about the better team. They whipped us.

There were times when I thought things might turn around. We had a good drive going in the late 1st Qtr that spilled over to the 2nd Qtr. We line up to run the first play, but for some reason the offense is late and the play clock is a factor. We have to call a timeout. That was coming off a TV timeout. What the heck happened? Then there was a false start. We’re back at 1st/15 and the momentum of the drive is gone. Vick fumbled a couple of plays later and that was that.

Cardinals ILB Daryl Washington was awesome. He was the best player on the field. That doesn’t mean I’d take him over Fitz or Shady or whoever. But, on Sunday he was the best. He gave Vick fits all game long and all over the field. Really amazing to see a LB cover that much ground and be that physical. He looked like vintage Patrick Willis. Maybe better.

COACHING

Yikes. Andy Reid did not have a good game. I didn’t like his gameplan, but I knew what it would be. We both saw holes in the Cardinals secondary from the Patriots game. The problem is that you need an OL to play well and a QB to find the open guy quickly and get the ball out quickly as well. Vick didn’t look comfortable from the opening drive. Andy made a good adjustment at halftime, but that was too little, too late. Needed to do that in the 2nd Qtr.

One of my big complaints with Reid is that he didn’t read Vick better. Vick was under a lot of pressure and just looked uncomfortable. Reid should have seen this and adjusted the offense. Keep throwing if you must, but make them short, quick routes. Go ball control instead of big play.

As for the decision at the end of the half. Bad. Theoretically, I have no problem with running a play with :06 left. Unfortunately, Vick was not having a good game. You don’t force him to make a quick read in the Red Zone. That’s pushing your luck. The prudent thing to do would be to cut your losses and go in down 17-3. Reid rolled the dice and they blew up in his face, big time. Suddenly we were down 24-0.

The 2nd half was odd. There were times when Reid played it very normal and other times when he was in comeback mode. I felt like he should have pulled Vick late in the game and gone with Nick Foles. Get the kid some reps. Reid used our timeouts when there was 4 mins left and we were about to go down 21. 3 possessions on a day where we struggled like that? Odd. I really hated the fact that on the final play of the game he handed the ball off to Shady. Meaningless play. Why in the hell would you risk something bad happening? Give the ball to Chris Polk and let him get his feet wet.

The defensive plan wasn’t much better. I wrote on Sunday that Juan Castillo had a chance to show us how far he’d come. Oops. Kevin Kolb can be a nervous QB. You must get in his face. I felt the smart thing was to blitz early and get him on his heels. Don’t give him easy passes. Make him work for everything. Castillo stuck with the base rush mostly. That’d be great, but the Cards called short pass plays which negated our rush. When we did blitz, it was a zone blitz. Ugh.

We didn’t press the slot receiver consistently. This meant the guy got a free release and could run his route cleanly, if not catch a quick pass easily. This burned us a few times. Dumb. Again, don’t give Kolb anything. There were times when Brandon Boykin was matched up with Larry Fitzgerald. I didn’t mind this. I didn’t like playing off Fitz. Don’t let him free for a second.

This was a week to be aggressive. Press and jam receivers. Run some risky blitzes. Attack and make Kevin Kolb help you out. Instead, we let him sit cleanly in the pocket way too much. The pass rush got him some times, but the quick passes limited what they could do.

MISC

* Cards were 6-15 on 3rd downs. We were 5-14.

* We were 0-2 in the RZ. Cards were 1 of 4. And that 1 should have been an INT. That’s a good sign.

* I think we benefited more from the replacement refs. Lots of holding went uncalled. Seemed like more by us. Got away with some other things.

* We put Vick under C several times when the shotgun seemed more appropriate. Not sure why. Might have been the fact we were in a noisy dome. Could have also been fear of a bad snap from Reynolds. Shotgun would have helped on some plays.

OFFENSE

Plays

Final Series of the half. 1st down. No one was open so Vick did the smart thing and threw the ball away. 2nd down. Harbor was to the left and came wide open over the middle. Unfortunately Vick was looking at DeSean on the right. Celek had a poor block of LB and Vick had to throw under pressure and never was able to look back at Clay. 3rd down. Slow developing play. Vick held the ball for 2 seconds and got hit. DeSean came open right as the DB hit Vick. Needed a play where Vick could make almost an instantaneous read. Great hustle by Damaris to almost chase that down. Shady did his best, but was fighting through blockers.

Players

QB 

VICK – Not a good game. 17-37-217. No INTs or TDs. 4-28 on the ground, with 2 fumbles. Vick was under a lot of pressure. He didn’t help matters. Held the ball too long on some plays. Didn’t hold it long enough on others. Just never looked like he was in a rhythm. Some short passes or a running game might have done him a world of good.

-Misc-

* We ran throwback screen to Avant. Well defensed. Vick should have just thrown the ball away. Instead, he held it and got sacked. That set up 2nd/ 22. Only had a moment to get rid of the ball, but he hesitated.
* Killed a promising drive with a fumble in the early 2nd Qtr. I didn’t understand the play design. Vick rolled left, but there were no obvious receivers to throw to. Maybe a blown route? Cut back to the right. Decided to get upfield and just settle for a yard, but fumbled the ball as he made contact with someone and the Cards recovered.
* Almost threw a terrible pick in the mid-2nd Qtr. Brent flared out in the left flat. Vick was under pressure and threw his way. A Safety broke on the play and nearly picked it off. Bad read, bad throw by Vick.
* Best run came late in the half when he exploded upfield and got us down to about the 15 yd line.
* Opening drive of the 2nd half…3rd down on the drive. Vick had a clean pocket. Sat there for several seconds. No one was within 4 yds of him but he eventually took off and ran for a couple of yds. Why run? Wait and see.

RB/FB

SHADY - 13-70 as a runner. Blocked more than he ran or caught the ball. Such a waste. Poor pass pro on Washington blitz up the middle led to sack. Tried to block Lenon (not McCartney or Trotsky?) late in the half and got pushed to the ground. Did have some good blocks as well. Gave Vick time to throw on several occasions. Looked good when he did run. Was close to breaking a long run a couple of times, but never got more than 14 yds. Caught 3 short passes.

B BROWN – Got regular snaps. Dropped short pass in the early 3rd. Wasn’t likely to get much, but needs to make that grab. Had his best NFL play, a 17-yd run. Hit the hole hard. Looked to be about a step from breaking it. Peterson tried to strip the ball as he made the tackle from behind. Bryce held on tight. Caught pass on 3rd/short out to the left and was able to move through traffic and get the 1st down. Finished 4-28 as runner, 1-8 as receiver.

HAVILI - Quiet game on offense.

TE

CELEK - Had one big play. Caught a 29-yd pass in the late 1st Qtr. That got us going. In retrospect, I should have booed when he failed to run it in for a TD. Took big hits on consecutive plays in the mid-2nd Qtr and wasn’t much of a factor after that. Caught screen late in the half for minimal gain. Finished 2-36. Blocked a lot. Mixed results. Very up and down in pass pro. Did a good job on our run plays.

HARBOR - Poor block of Acho on windback run led to play being held to short gain. Played surprisingly little, just 12 snaps. This was likely due to the fact I predicted he could have a big game. Reid loves to punish my predictions.

WR

D JACKSON – Solid gme. Best catch came late in the half. Caught a pass on the move and inside the 5. Braced for a hit and got us to the 1, but couldn’t get in for the score. Some say he could have sold out to score, but Rhodes was in good position and made a huge stop at the 1. Finished with 3 catches for 43 yds. Seemed to go deep a lot, sometimes as a target, others to simply stretch the defense. Was targeted 10 times, but the Cards had him well covered. Had one very deep ball go his way, but wasn’t open. Ran a downfield route another time and spent part of the time griping to the ref about contact. Didn’t make the catch or get the flag. There was contact, but it is the kind of stuff our guys get away with so I don’t like complaining.

AVANT - 3-33. First catch came late in the half and did move the chains. Best catch was a leaping grab in the 3rd Qtr. Helped to set up a FG. Blocked well on run plays.

D JOHNSON – Good game, as a receiver. 5-84. Best play came late in the half. Ran a drag route. Vick had good protection and hit him over the middle. Damaris used a spin move to get by a tackler and then upfield for a gain of 26. Also got out of bounds to stop the clock. Ran good routes and showed good RAC skills in the game.

OL

* Double A-gap blitz on late 3rd Qtr pass play. C, RG took one LB. LG took a DL. LB came free right up the middle. Either Mathis is at fault for not blocking down or Reynolds is at fault for not adjusting and getting the LB to his left. Could have been miscommunication. Worst part is that we had the bodies to make the block. Didn’t. Big sack.

* Later in the game the Cards were using a triple A-gap blitz. First 2 guys were picked up. 3rd blitzer chased Vick or hit him. Very aggressive tactics.

BELL- Held all game long. Got away with it a lot. Got called for holding in the mid-2nd. Had a good run block on outside run to his side. Got a false start to open the 2nd Qtr. Got away with hold late in the half when rusher used an inside move. That was actually a theme for the day. Didn’t handle inside moves well at all. Failed to make good block of LB on 3rd Qtr pass play and that guy got pressure, forcing Vick to make an errant throw. Held on 3rd/long, but didn’t get called for it. We schemed to help him quite a bit. Used Shady or TEs to block LBs and had Bell go to his inside on a lot of pass plays. Demetress had some success, but far more problems. Not a good showing.

MATHIS – Blocked 2 Cardinals on 2nd/GL play at the end of the half. Impressive. Overall, didn’t stand out as good or bad. Was playing between a couple of turnstiles.

REYNOLDS- Struggled big time with Campbell early on. Got beat and that led to a big shot on Vick. Got beat and that led to deflected pass that was almost picked off. Campbell beat him with a spin move and was in Vick’s face on downfield pass to DJax. Did have some solid run blocks. Beaten up the middle by 79 in pass pro and that forced Vick into taking a sack. He had to move up in the pocket and a LB got him. Quick moves really got the best of Reynolds. Got blown up by LB on run play and the guy got Shady from behind. The Cards attacked him in a variety of ways and had a lot of success.

WATKINS - Played his best game of the year. Solid in pass pro. Solid vs run.

HERREMANS - Played his best game of the year. Had a solid day in pass pro. Also had some good run blocks. One didn’t work so well. Tried to push aside the LB on draw play and then go upfield. Unfortunately the block didn’t work and the LB got a TFL.

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DEFENSE

* Used picks a lot on pass plays. Very effective.

* Most frustrating moment of the whole game for the D came when Ryan Williams ran for 1st down on 3rd/17 in the 4th Qtr. Defense had been lights out in the 2nd half prior to that. Got sloppy and he burned us for 25.

PLAYERS

DL

COLE - Had a solid game, but I’ll admit that I was disappointed. Figured he might dominate Batiste. Didn’t happen. Had 1/2 sack and a TFL. Came close on other plays. Hit Kolb on the TD pass to Fitz, but only after the ball was out. Blew by LT in the early 3rd for what should have been easy sack, but couldn’t get hold of Kolb. Almost like Kevin was covered in grease and Trent just slid off him. This led to big play that was called back by penalty on Fitz. The 1/2 sack came on an elaborate blitz where he rushed up the middle.

BABIN - Good game. Had 1.5 sacks and 2 TFLs. Played relentless football. Had great play on 3rd/14 when he blew by the RT and flushed Kolb. Jason chased him down and stopped him just short of getting the 1st down. Great, great hustle. Got a sack in the late 3rd, with some help. Came upfield and was on the outside of the RT. Saw Kolb and was trying to get to him. RG decided to hit Jason. He knocked him off the RT and right into Kolb. Odd play, but good result. Got away with a horse-collar tackle on LSH in the late 4th Qtr. Got a TFL on the play. Should have gotten a flag. This was also another game where his run defense looked improved.

LANDRI - Quiet game, I’m sad to say. TFL on run play to his side. Held his ground when they tried to run at him. They mostly kept Landri under control.

JENKINS - Solid game. Was getting some pressure. Problem is that Arizona was throwing quick passes so Jenkins didn’t get in his face. Blew by the RG on one play and forced Kolb to run and then throw the ball away. Not credited with any tackles.

TAPP - Best game of the year. Got robbed of a sack when refs made us accept strange penalty in the 2nd Qtr. Later shared half a sack with Graham. Looked very quick off the ball on those plays. Got part of TFL with Kendricks in the late 3rd. Flew around the field all game long. Might be the hardest working Eagle and that’s saying something when you think of Babin and Cole. Had 6 total tackles. Teams in need of a DE should watch this tape and call the Eagles about a deal.

GRAHAM - Rewarded for good play with extra snaps and delivered. Had 1/2 sack and 3 TFLs. Did a solid job on run plays that came his way by engaging the OT and forcing the runner to stay inside. The sacks came in the late 2nd Qtr. Used his hands to keep the RT off him and then blew by the guy to hit Kolb. Flew off the edge in the early 4th to get one of the TFLs. Played well.

COX - Quiet game. Left for a while in the 1st half due to migraines. Returned. Didn’t make any big plays. Blew up a 4th Qtr run by driving the RG into the backfield. Got part of a TFL late in the game.

HUNT - Played less than Graham. Played the run well. Didn’t seem to be on the field for many pass plays. Had 1 solo stop.

THORNTON - Looked like the best game of his young career. Got pushed to the ground on one run play when he got off balance. That seemed to fire him up. Had one run play where he fought off G and FB and then got in on tackle of RB. Got good push on pass play. Drove RG back toward Kolb. Drove the RG straight back on pass play where Tapp, Graham shared sack. It was Ced who collapsed the pocket and gave Kolb nowhere to go. Drove the LG backward in the early 4th and forced Kolb to run for short gain. Blew up 4th Qtr run by driving the RG back into the RB. Runner fought through traffic to get back to the LOS. Gamebook says just 1 tackle assist, but Thornton was our best DT on the night and played well. Fun to watch.

LB

KENDRICKS - Roughest game of his young career. Gave up short completion to TE on 3rd/2. Was in solid position, but there was enough space for Kolb to get the ball to his TE for the 1st down. Blew a coverage on TE Jeff King on 3rd/7. King caught the pass and got 15 yds on the play. Kendricks got confused and started to go with RB to the flat. Ryans had the RB. Kendricks pivoted and went back for King, but was too late. Costly mistake. Next play was the long TD to Fitz. Fought off block of OL and tackled RB for no gain to open the 3rd Qtr. Exploded upfield in late 3rd to blow up draw play. Shared TFL w/ Tapp. Got held for a second on draw play that went for long gain. TE then let go, but the RB was already by Kendricks. Finished with 6 tackles. Just didn’t play as well as the other games. Seemed thrown off by something.

RYANS - Good game. 6 solo stops. TFL. Had one costly play. Can’t call it a mistake, but not making it killed us. Cards had 3rd/5 from our 8-yd line. Kolb threw a pass to his right. Ryans read the play and got over there. He got his hands on the ball, but could not catch it. DRC hit him and the ball bounced into the air and was caught by Michael Floyd for a TD. If Ryans gets that, we’re down 3-0, but have the ball and momentum. Failed to tackle Roberts when chasing him on a crossing route. Just not quite fast enough for Roberts. Turned into big play. Got TFL of Williams on next play. Had a nice sequence in the early 4th Qtr. Tackled Fitz on WR screen. Held him to 4 yds on 2nd/5. Next play, 3rd/1, was toss play to the other side. Ryans flew over and put Williams on the ground before he could get the 1st. Got away with shoving Williams when he was out of bounds after long gain on draw play in the 4th. Should have been a penalty.

JORDAN - Left the game with a hamstring injury. Got in wrong gap vs run that came to his side and gave up 8 yds. Had great, but hidden play on other run. Stuffed FB on Iso run and then tackled RB for short gain. That is LB 101.

ROLLE - Played most of the 2nd half. Gave up completion to TE for 7 yds on 2nd/7. Guy just had a step on Brian. Got in the wrong gap on a couple of run plays. Credited with 2 tackles.

S

ALLEN - Somewhat of a quiet game. Credited with 3 tackles. Didn’t seem that the ball came his way all that often. Had good coverage of TE on one pass play thrown his direction. Ball fell incomplete. Took poor angle on the draw play late in the game. Wasn’t far off, but let Williams get wide of him instead of forcing him back inside, where the pursuit was. I do wonder if Nate was caught off guard by his speed. That was Williams first play where he really got going.

COLEMAN - Up and down game. Made a costly mistake. Bit hard on run fake on pass play when Kolb hit Fitz for 37-yd TD. Nnamdi expected help over the top on that. Good in run support most of the time. Did miss a tackle on inside run. Looked like Williams’ size may have caught him off guard. Stuffed Williams on inside run and held him to just a yard. Broke up short pass play to Williams in the early 4th. Got a good break on the ball and made a nice hit. Got gift TFL in the 4th when Williams fell down and Kurt just tapped him on the back. Finished the game with 9 total tackles, PD, and a TFL. Was good against the run and solid in coverage, but the one mistake really hurt us. Tackling was sloppy on a couple of plays. He hit, but failed to wrap up.

CB

NNAMDI - Gave up TD to Fitz. Pressed on the play. Ran tight with him for a bit, then seemed to get lost. Expected help, but I still think Nnamdi could have covered better. Very questionable effort on pass play in the early 3rd. Ryans was chasing Roberts on crossing route, but was a step slow. Nnamdi was 5 yds further upfield and watching. He was going 3/4 speed on the play. Roberts got by Ryans and started upfield. Would have been easy tackle if Nam had been going full speed. Instead, Roberts turned it into a huge gain that was called back by blocking penalty on Fitz. Nnamdi did hustle downfield after that, but never got in on the play as Roberts cut to the other side. Came up quickly in run support and got a good shot on Williams to hold him to just a 3-yd gain. Finished with 3 tackles, TFL. Did some good things in coverage, but the TD was troubling.

DRC - Good game. 3 tackles, 2 PDs. Broke up a pass that came his way on early drive. Made big tackle of Fitz on 3rd/26 play when Larry got loose in the middle of the defense. Broke up a shot pass to Roberts on drive early in the 2nd Qtr. Covered Fitz on 3rd/15. Good jam. Fitz got to the inside and caught pass for gain of 6, but had to go to the ground to get the ball and added no RAC yds. Good defense. Hustled to get downfield on play in early 3rd when Roberts got loose. Kept him from scoring. Good effort. Had one knucklehead moment. WR Floyd knocked the crap out of him on a run play, legally. DRC got up and shoved Floyd to the ground. Proved how tough he was, but drew a flag. Dumb.

BOYKIN - Brandon’s worst game so far. Struggled with Larry Fitzgerald. Played off coverage on him and had trouble tackling Fitz on a few plays. Brandon got his first taste of dealing with a 230-lb WR that can run. Covered Fitz 1-on-1 on pass play. Larry used quick, subtle move to get open and catch pass for 10 yd gain. Never looked confident, aggressive out there.

HUGHES - Played in the slot in some Dime sets. Tackled Fitz after very short gain at the end of the 3rd Qtr.

=============================================================

ST’s

HENRY - Very good game, statistically. Averaged 49.2 yards per punt. Question is whether he did what April wanted. Peterson was able to return several punts. One went for 17 yds. I wondered before the game what April’s plan might be. Never heard.

HENERY - 2 of 2 on FGs.

KOR – Boykin was okay, but still owes us a long KOR. Finished 3-66. Nothing special at all.

PR – Damaris had a huge mistake. Fumbled a punt return and gave ARZ the ball at our 38. Critical error led to a short TD and destroyed the momentum we’d been building to that point. Later fielded a punt at the 5. Not sure what April’s policy on that is, but Bobby probably wasn’t thrilled to see that. Averaged 8 yds on 2 returns.

MISC

* Phillip Hunt made a good tackle in punt coverage.

* Chris Polk played on STs. Got pressure on a punt.

* I don’t know if it was luck or what, but the Cards dangerous return game was very limited. There was a short KOR of 12 yds and just one long PR (17 yds).

GAMEBOOK

* * * * *

NFL Gimpy posted his new MAQB column.    He rips Jason Witten, shares some good stats, and gives you an update on the rookie QBs.

* * * * *

In case you missed it, I wrote a long piece on tying to understand Andy Reid.  Turned out pretty good I think.

* * * * *

Poet X over at BGN broke down the final play of the 1st half and offered some good thoughts.  Check out his work.

* * * * *

One part of the game I didn’t get into was the bizarre sequence where Andy was seemingly forced to accept a penalty he didn’t want.  Jimmy Bama covered that over at his site.

_


  • T_S_O_P

    Just read about McBriar, will the mean @Foles8 become no.8?

    • TommyLawlor

      I don’t think players can change jerseys midseason…if they are guys who fans buy. NFL doesn’t want fans to go buy Foles jersey in July and then turn around and feel need to buy new one in October due to number change. Would have to wait til March.

  • Anirudh Jangalapalli

    I have to wonder what he’s seeing from Vick in practice. Vick hasn’t looked great (or even good enough) in a year-and-a-half to handle the passing load AR/MM so frequently gives him. Vick has also never been known as a “Practice” QB; even the latest from TC this year talked about Vick looking rusty, etc. So how is it that Andy still feels confident that we can throw our way out of a slump or consistently build leads early and defend them late?

    Tommy, your previous post was enlightening in a lot of ways, but as you mentioned – it’s still mind-numbing at times just how stubborn the guy is.

    • TommyLawlor

      Vick did play well vs the Ravens. 23-32-371. Let’s not gloss over that.

  • GermanEagle

    Tommy

    when doing your DGR could you notice if the Eagles WR were open with Vick just being unable to make wise decisions.

    Or could our WR not get any separation for most of the game?

    • TommyLawlor

      It looked like the Cards did a good job in coverage. Need to check All-22.

    • poetx99

      they weren’t open, by and large. AZ played a lot of 3 underneath zone w/ combo of LBs and DBs, to take away the crossing routes that we love. peterson had desean pretty well locked up (although i think there was safety help over the top). being a copycat league, we WILL see that again. (although it will be less effective with the added deterrent of maclin. you really do need both maclin AND desean to make this offense work)

      a LOT of the routes were slow developing. and we max protected a lot and took other receivers out of the route (to no avail, b/c they are better at blitzing than we are at max protecting).

      add to that, we ran play action despite only running 4 times in the 1st half including probably the thing that irritates me MORE than any other andy-ism, running PA in obvious passing situations and 2 min.

      several times, vick came out of his play fake and a rusher or two was right in his fake and he had to run around JUST to be able to throw the ball away while getting hit.

      not too many obvious instances (from what i saw on eagle jake’s blog with the video cut-ups that tommy linked) of receivers open and missed. one, where vick made a bad decision to run (the 1st fumble), had harbor releasing late. MAYBE if vick did a favre jump ball kinda pass there, he can float the ball to him, but i think he was gun shy on throwing into traffic b/c of all the INTs this year. he ran for a yd and a fumble. :-/

      • poetx99

        i spoke prematurely. there were definitely plays where vick had receivers open. very very very rarely where there any quick passing options — these were down the field. but he definitely missed some receivers.

    • Sb2bowl

      German- you will be there Sunday night? Where are you sitting?

  • http://twitter.com/daniel_suraci Daniel

    Any idea why we cut Henry for McBriar? Henry has looked solid out there.

    • TommyLawlor

      I get the feeling that they weren’t focused on yardage so much as ball control. Better hang time, better directional punting. Almost all of Henry’s punts this year were returned. That will burn you over time.

  • Zachary Kaplan

    May not make a impact – but I think the Eagles need to defer from now on. The field position switched a bit in the second half if I remember correctly, when we let our defense go out there first. Would also potentially calm the offense down.

    Also if we don’t see some creatitvity on offense this week, Reid and Marty Ball should be canned on the spot. Seriously a ghost reverse or a flea flicker too much to ask for?

    • TommyLawlor

      They did have some interesting ideas Sunday, but the blocking was either terrible or Vick didn’t do his job.

    • TheRogerPodacter

      i dont know if creativity on offense is really the way to go. too many times AR/MM get too ‘cute’ with their offensive playcalling. IMO, our offense would be better if we could just execute simple plays very well.

  • eagles2zc

    The Ravens’ biggest mistake was not blitzing Vick much. The combination of Oline+Vick+Marty cannot seem to deal with pressure. The Eagles needs to get more creative using Celek. It’s a waste asking such a talent to block all the time. Plus, he’s probably our best answer for a short passing game

    • TommyLawlor

      Ravens had no one like Daryl Washington. That’s the chess piece that Andy and Marty could not account for. Someone who can chase Vick down and cover.

  • http://igglesblitz.com Sam Lynch

    I recommend reading Tommy’s work here in conjunction with Derek’s work over at IgglesBlog. Many of Tommy’s points are illustrated well.

    http://www.igglesblog.com/iggles_blog/2012/09/very-first-play-of-the-game-the-eagles-come-out-firing-qb-boot-left-off-play-action-three-receivers-open-except-vick.html

    • http://www.facebook.com/xbcsmith Brett Smith

      Maddening. I hate when my thoughts about the game (and T-LAWS points) are illustrated for me with little red and yellow lines.

      Derek made it apparent that I was not crazy and we had a really STUPID gameplan.

    • TommyLawlor

      Derek did great, great work on that. Absolutely must read material.

      • austinfan

        Watching Derek’s stuff, the one guy who was open who Vick didn’t seem to see was Harbor. Wonder if this is an outgrowth of MM’s downfield philosophy, if you practice mostly plays focused on your downfield receivers, and not spreading the ball around like with Childress, in a game won’t your QB, when uncomfortable, focus on the targets he’s always throwing to in practice. That is, if a QB has no confidence in his pocket (gee, wonder how that happens?), he’ll tend to get tunnel vision and take off early instead of relaxing and going through his progressions.

        Go look at Rodgers against Seattle in the first half, he looked a lot like Vick sans the fumble, 69 yards the first half, he certainly wasn’t finding open receivers.

  • mike

    One thing I haven’t seen talked about is how bad tackling Boykin was sunday

    • TommyLawlor

      He had a rough day vs Fitz, as I noted above. There were other plays when he was caught in odd positions and tried to make tackles, but didn’t work so well. I only criticize a guy if there is a play I felt he should have made.

      • http://twitter.com/Eagles301 Mike Perrie

        Fair enough.

    • P_P_K

      I”m going to cut him slack. A rookie going against Fitz is a tough assigment.

      • TheRogerPodacter

        at the same time, isnt that one of the things that we all (myself included) used as ammo to hate on Jarret?

  • Julescat

    now I’m really depressed! This has all the makings of another 8 – 8 season with a few meaningless wins strung together at the end for more false hope for next year.

    • TommyLawlor

      This was our first really bad game of the year. Opener was sloppy, but also had some good play. Team looked good vs BAL.

      Sunday was different. Bad game.

      • Julescat

        bad game? or a decimated O line that isn’t built for the offensive game plan? Maybe Herremans and Watkins looked good because the center and left tackle were getting pummeled?

        • ATLeagle

          now i am depressed. the O-line is so bad that they have lowered the bar. a good game can be had by sustaining a block for 2.5 seconds, as two other guys have already gotten the QB killed by then. PBR me please

          • A_T_G

            Exactly. Our Oline play now follows the “I don’t need to be faster than the bear, just faster than my slowest friend” law of camping.

      • iskar36

        I definitely disagree. The Ravens game we looked sloppy, but I was ok with it considering the opponent and how we played overall. Against the Browns, we were not a good team. This last game may have been our first REALLY bad game, but if anything, our biggest issue from last year (turnovers) has looked worse this season than last year. We have 12 turnovers in 3 games. 12! The defense is better, there is no question about that, but until we actually improve on our turnovers, it is hard for me to believe we are any better than an 8-8 team, particularly with our schedule.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-DiLeo/100000156792866 Steven DiLeo

    1. Kendricks had his worst game this year. There were several breakdowns in coverage for which he was responsible for. Most notably the 1st downs to Jeff King. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ebw2N2dCSXs&feature=player_detailpage#t=166s

    2. Boykin was playing for the deep pass 3rd and 8, I don’t understand why he would give up such a large cushion on 3rd down. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ebw2N2dCSXs&feature=player_detailpage#t=108s

    2. Vick’s pocket awareness was awful. How does he not notice that two defenders are charging directly toward him? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec_xUOQELSY&feature=player_embedded#t=59s

    3. Bell was atrocious

    4. Shady is a decent blocker, but he’s not someone that can sustain blocks against blitzers (not many RBs can). His decision on the screen pass made me facepalm.

    5. Back to point two. There was one play were Vick was sacked by two defenders on an attempted screen pass. What happened on that play? Were the receivers not open or did he simply not throw the ball in time?

    6. It seemed as though Vick had some wide open running lanes. It seemed as though the Cardinals didn’t game plan for that.

    7. Could that Eagles have spiked the ball with 17 seconds left? Why does Vick waste time floating the ball over the goal line when he can simply spike the football?

    8. The goal line debacle changed the game. The Eagles could have made it a 1 possession game heading into the 4th quarter.

    9. Either Vick is lost his touch on his deep passes or he is worried that he will get picked off.

    10. What happened to the screen game?

    11. The Eagles attempted 2 deep passes at the 9 yard line. If only Shady could have sustained the Calais Campell block a little longer. Vick would have gotten the 1st down plus more.

    12. Sometimes I forget that Jason Avant is on this team.

    13. If I could pinpoint 5 plays that changed the course of the game it would be:
    1. Andy’s decision to run a play on 3rd and Goal at with 6 seconds left
    2. Nnamdi and Coleman’s breakdown in coverage on Fitz TD catch
    3. Meco’s missed interception
    4. Campell’s sack on Vick at the 5 yard line
    5. Ref’s debacle on 3rd and 26.

    • TommyLawlor

      Lots of stuff there. As for the final 5 points…disagree with #5. That play was annoying but I don’t think it had a substantial impact on the game.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-DiLeo/100000156792866 Steven DiLeo

        It gave the Cardinals two chances at getting a first down. On the extra down they gained 22 yards. It put the Eagles in terrible field position, and after a 3-out the Cardinals got the ball back at the 50, and they scored a TD, making it a 2-possesion game.
        Agree to disagree?

        • TommyLawlor

          If not for the penalty they may have run that pass to Fitz on the real 3rd down. That’s why I don’t think you can say the penalty affected the game. The screen pass, good field position, and ensuing punts did affect things, but the screen pass may have worked on the correct 3rd down anyway.

        • Mac

          I agree with Tommy, but mostly because I would put the Johnson punt return fumble as my #1 and bump the other 4 down.

          • TommyLawlor

            Damaris fumble was the turning point in the game. Or maybe the opening KO.

  • poetx99

    tommy – many thanks for all you do, the info and insights. and especially thanks for the shout-out. much appreciated.

    also, phenomenal job w/ the article yesterday about the basis of andy’s coaching philosophy. it read like an X-Men Origins type deal –

    Confounding Eagles Issue #1: Enter THE PASSINGMAN!!!

    You only left out the part about him getting bit by a radioactive quarterback, but everything else was spot on.

    i wouldn’t mind the genius complex he and marty have so much if they just tempered it, somewhat. it is NOT capitulating to run the ball every once in a damn while.

    • TommyLawlor

      A radioactive QB? Interesting idea.

      They truly are their own worst enemy. If Marty/Andy would run a bit more they would help the offense out and would back a lot of critics off them. They’re just convinced that the passing game will deliver the big plays and that’s the way to go. So frustrating.

      • poetx99

        right. sheil’s take on the all-22 was showing just how little respect that AZ gave to the threat of shady running. that’s pathetic.

        and you have to think that vick, off of a career-worst string of INTs, is going to be extra gun-shy. he’s not trusting what he sees. so, instead of a run-heavy game plan which JUSTIFIES the play action as well as gets defenders to play honest, we air it out against a fast LB crew, one of the best young cover corners in the league and a hellafied pass rush. coaching malpractice, plain and simple.

        derek at igglesblog (started reading him b/c of you, btw), posted an equally depressing series of screenshots from all-22, showing the cavalcade of blocking assignments blown, long stemmed routes called and open receivers missed.

        *sigh*

        • P_P_K

          If this ongoing problem is so obvious to us, how is it that Reid can continue to operate this way to the detriment of the team? Doesn’t he have anyone on his staff, in the front office, or even a buddy, who can pull him aside and tell him what’s what. They need to pull an intervention on him. He can come back and admit, “Hi, I’m Andy, I’m a passaholic.”

  • poetx99

    tommy – many thanks for all you do, the info and insights. and especially thanks for the shout-out. much appreciated.

    also, phenomenal job w/ the article yesterday about the basis of andy’s coaching philosophy. it read like an X-Men Origins type deal –

    Confounding Eagles Issue #1: Enter THE PASSINGMAN!!!

    You only left out the part about him getting bit by a radioactive quarterback, but everything else was spot on.

    i wouldn’t mind the genius complex he and marty have so much if they just tempered it, somewhat. it is NOT capitulating to run the ball every once in a damn while.

  • Steag209

    Can that Purdue rookie be that much worse then Bell right now? It seemed like every play, even successful ones, he got beat, held, or just plain screwed up. Why not see what the kid can do

    • TommyLawlor

      I have wondered about shifting Todd to LT and playing Bell at RT. Depending on Sunday night, wouldn’t shock me to see the Eagles try something like that.

      • poetx99

        either that or have someone lay hands on dunlap’s hamstring. bell makes me want to trade a 2nd rounder to get winston justice back.

      • iskar36

        I know the better pass rusher will be rushing from the left, but would you not be terrified of Bell protecting Vick’s blind side? On top of that, Bell would be moving to the blind side having not practiced on that side at all plus Herremans (who you have pointed out has not played fantastic anyway in a few games) would be playing against better pass rushers and need to adjust to playing on the left side. To me, that sounds like it would be a recipe for getting Vick sidelined…

        Ahhh, now I get it. You are just pro-Nick Foles but don’t want the PR fiasco of benching Vick. I can support that…

      • austinfan

        In that case, just bench Bell and play Kelly at RT.
        Or play Watkins at LT (could he be worse than Bell?) and Kelly at RG.

      • Steag209

        I feel they need to do something, a veteran player should not look like a turnstile or be holding for an entire game. If it was Kelly or someone like Dallas who was in his first start, fine, but Bell has started in this league. I’m all for giving him time to learn the scheme and if it was miscommunication I would hope they figure it out but it’s not, he’s just getting embarrassed out there

  • iskar36

    I think this sums up my issues with AR:

    “The Cards had better gameplans. They executed them better. They had no turnovers. They won.”

    AR is an intelligent coach. More often than not, he will have the
    better game plan than the opponent’s coach. The problem with that
    approach is that he doesn’t ALWAYS have the better game plan. On top of
    that, sometimes the team is not clicking and despite a good game plan,
    it is executed poorly, or turnovers end up hindering any chance of
    executing our game plan. When things like that happen, AR is simply not
    as good as other coaches at adjusting accordingly. We win plenty of
    games because of his game plans, but when he is out-coached, he
    struggles to adjust and use the simple plan of “our guy is just better
    than your guy, and we will stop our game plan and simply prove we have
    more talent.”

    The biggest issue with all of that is while a good game plan on a
    regular basis will win you a ton of games usually, as you get into the
    playoffs and move forward, it becomes a lot harder to out-game plan
    opponents. On top of that, opponents are obviously usually more talented than the majority of teams you play in the regular season and are likely to adjust better to our game plan and disrupt it, whether that means creating turnovers, forcing it to be harder to execute, or simply putting us in more difficult situations. When all that happens, you need to be able to adjust and adapt and trust the talent you have on your team will be enough to outmatch your opponents even though your well-intentioned and carefully thought out game plan has to be abandoned.

    Stealing a line from AR, it is very difficult to get a win in the NFL. Game planning is clearly a very important part in getting a win, but when it isn’t working, you need to recognize that and rely less on a game plan and more on your players to pull out a win.

  • T_S_O_P

    I think we needed that game. Deal with the issues and move on. We can win ugly, but most of the time ugly leads to embarrisingly ugly.

    It has already cost Henry his head let’s see which way this plays.

    I thought Washington was amazing too, loved Jimmy Bama’s comment on him:
    I was blown away by how good LB Daryl Washington is. That’s assuming there aren’t two of him, in which case I’m only slightly less impressed.

  • SteveH

    I love games like these, where the its not just a guy or two who didnt play well but seemingly the whole team had a down game. It seems like we get at least a couple of these every season where it seems like a multitude of guys have their “worst game of the season”. Something to do with the teams chemistry, don’t know if its coming from the coaches, the players, or what, but something foul is in the air when this happens.

  • SteveH

    After reading Dereks post over at iggles blog, I have to say there were plenty of open recievers that Vick missed. Odd game for everyone involved.

  • Todd B.

    “I didn’t like his gameplan, but I knew what it would be.”

    I think that says it all. You’re good Tommy and you know your stuff and if you can say it, it is a good bet that after 14 years, DC’s across the league can say that too.

  • http://twitter.com/ezgreene ezgreene

    Don’t hate on the Zone blitz.
    http://www.grantland.com/print?id=8428129

  • SteveH

    http://www.phillymag.com/eagles/2012/09/27/mornhinweg-to-stay-in-attack-mode/
    Oh good, it would be so fitting for MM/AR to go down with the ship.

  • TommyLawlor

    He’s not doing the kick slide. He is moving his feet more laterally. That said, on some plays you can see him being more vertical. I didn’t keep track to know if those were obvious passing plays or vs a DE as opposed to LB. I’ll look into that if I have some spare time.

  • http://twitter.com/orbistertiusRS Robert Swanger

    it was rough. Here is an additional perspective. http://selectiveappeal.wordpress.com/