Detailed Game Review – PHI 19, NYG 17

Posted: October 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 67 Comments »

Huge win. It wasn’t pretty, but it counts. The Eagles are now 3-1. The Giants are 2-2, 0-2 vs the NFC East. Nice, huh?

In the end, this felt like a game where the Eagles were saved from themselves. They had a 13-10 lead and drove down the field. A 20-10 lead might just put the game out of reach, but the Eagles have to settle for a FG. Did any Eagles fan on Earth feel safe leading 16-10? No way. Sure enough, Eli led the Giants to an easy TD and they led 17-16.

This is the 2012 Eagles, though, and they don’t fold. Michael Vick led them on a methodical drive down to inside the 5-yd line. A TD would be huge. Of course the Eagles come up short and have to settle for a FG. They now lead 19-17. The Giants get the ball back and march down the field. A legit penalty on DRC keeps the drive alive. A few plays later, a questionable penalty turns 3rd/10 into a 1st down and puts them in solid FG range. Oh, the humanity.

The Giants try to run, but Cullen Jenkins stuffs the play. 1 yard. 24 seconds. The Giants could run again or throw a safe pass. Instead, Eli Manning gets greedy and throws downfield. Ramses Barden does what he has to in order to prevent an INT. The refs make the highly unusual, but totally correct call of offensive pass interference. At that moment, O-P-I seemed like the greatest 3 letters in history. Some have questioned the call. Ridiculous. Barden had his hands around Nnamdi’s head. It looked as though Nnamdi was a bottle cap and Barden was trying to unscrew it.

That penalty moved the Giants back to the 36-yd line. They had to decide on kicking a 54-yd FG or trying one final play. Thankfully, they went with the kick. There was 15 seconds on the clock and they had no timeouts. They feared a mistake that would let the clock run out or a penalty that would move them out of FG range. Plus, no one misses long FGs vs the Eagles. We all know that.

And then Lawrence Tynes did miss. Wide. I started to celebrate until I realized that Andy Reid had decided to ice the kicker. In the name of god, why???? I hate icing the kicker. It has been proven not to help. Coaches do it. Dumb. At that point, I just assumed Tynes would nail the second attempt. Could he miss 2 against the Eagles?

Yes. Thank god, yes. Tynes made sure to get this kick straight and high, but it came up a yard or two short. The Eagles won, but it sure did feel like the Eagles were saved from themselves.

This was a typical Eagles-Giants game. The defenses dominated at times. The offenses dominated at times. There were big plays and small ones. There were turnovers, penalties, and just some odd moments. It really felt like a boxing match, where the teams were trading punches. The Eagles had chances to put the Giants away, but just couldn’t do it. This is the way most of the Eagles-Giants games go. Another classic.

And it was fitting that on the night that Dawk had his jersey retired, the Giants tried to get to 20 points, but were denied. The Football Gods knew that the number 20 wasn’t meant for the Giants on such a special night.      

COACHING

Back and forth with Big Red. The team was fired up and ready to go. They weren’t hanging their heads after the Cardinals debacle. The team was loose and aggressive. They were ready to deal with the Giants. That was good to see.

I had no problems with the initial gameplan. The running plays had worked last year vs the Giants. Unfortunately they had made adjustments and were shutting us down. Reid did adjust by the middle of the 2nd Qtr and he and Marty did good things from that point on. I didn’t love every play, but they did a good job overall. The offense looked worlds different than the group from the disaster in the desert.

Reid challenged a call after listening to DeSean’s pleading. This turned out to be a wise decision and we got the catch.

There were no critical 4th down decisions. I did like the fact that when a couple of drive stalled, Reid kicked the FG. Points were at a premium in that game. Don’t get overly greedy.

There were 2 things I hated. I detested the 3rd/GL call on our final drive. That rollout near the endzone just doesn’t work for us, but they call it over and over and over. If given a choice of curing cancer or having that play removed from the playbook…I’d have to seriously consider both options. That should tell you how much I hate that play. The other thing…icing the kicker. I can’t stand it. Shanny invented this back in 2007. It has worked a couple of times, but it does not work as much as coaches would like to believe. More than a few have been burned by doing this and seeing a bad kick or blocked kick go to waste. Just last week this burned the Dolphins. You only ice the kicker if you’re desperate. If he’s got a 32-yarder to win. That’s a gimme. Roll the dice. 54 yards? That’s hard as heck. Don’t ice that guy. Make him beat you. I was ready to kill Andy when he did that Sunday night. Thankfully, everything worked out in the end and I’m not headed to prison.

OFFENSE

-Plays-

3rd/13. Middle of the 2nd Qtr. We ran a QB draw. Got 12. Why do that on 3rd/13? Odd. Almost worked.

3rd/9. Late in the half. Shotgun. Pro set. Twins left. Celek and both RBs blocked. Only 2 men went downfield. DJax ran post corner and Mac crossed with him. That delayed Rolle maybe half a second, but left DeSean wide open. Vick made good read, accurate throw. Easy TD. Corey Webster really got burned more than anyone on the play. He was covering the post and never saw DJax make the break for the corner. Terrible coverage by a veteran CB.

1st/10. Opening drive of 3rd Qtr. I-formation, twins left, TE to right. Giants had 7 in the box and a S that snuck down basically in. However, we had good numbers on the right side of the O, left side of the D. Blocker for every defender. Evan Mathis had to seal the backside DT with a good reach block. Did a great job with that. Brent chipped the DE, then sealed the MLB. Todd got the DE. Danny & Dallas doubled the onside DT and put him on the ground. Havili got a kick-out of the OLB. Shady had a perfect running lane and hit it at full speed. Brent stuck with his block for almost 10 yards and that gave Shady a free run down the sideline. That play went for 34 yards.

1st/10. Very next play. Same formation, set by us. Giants line up in Wide-9. All 3 LBs are between the tackles. This time Brent goes upfield and seals the OLB. Todd engaged Tuck and controlled the edge. Havili flew around the edge with no one to block. Shady had a free run to the sideline. Havili blocked a DB. Shady made one DB miss about the 10-yd line and was tackled by Kiwi at the 1-yd line. Very good blocking by Evan, Danny on the DTs. Kept them from being involved in the play at all.

1st/GL. Dennis Kelly lined up at RT. Todd was beside him as a TE. Kelly got a very good block. There was some room to the right. Unfortunately Dallas was unable to get his hands cleanly on Rocky Bernard and he tackled Shady from behind.

2nd/GL. Same look. Another good block by Kelly. The guys to the right got some movement. Havili engaged a defender at the GL and was pushing him wide. Shady had a small area to Havili’s inside. There was a gap to attack. Unfortunately he decided to bounce the play wide and got stopped at the 1.

3rd/GL. Power set, but to the left. Shady tried to go wide. Giants pursued well and stopped him at the 1.

3rd/GL. Final play of last drive. 3 WRs (2 to left), split backs. Havili cut the LB to the left and Vick rolled that way, looking for Mac and Avant. Standard RZ rollout we’ve used for years. Didn’t work so Vick slid to keep the clock running. I hated this play to infinity. It is safe because it lessens the reads for Vick and gets him on the move, but is very low percentage as well. I would have gone 4 wide and spread the D, then run Vick behind Shady on a QB draw. No guarantees there, but the D isn’t bunched and chasing Vick. He’s got some holes to choose from and one mistake by the D can lead to a TD. Happened in the Ravens game.

-Misc-

* First series was safe, conservative. Poor execution, though.

* Only went 4 of 12 on 3rd downs.

* 1 of 4 in Red Zone. Not good. Almost cost us the game.

* Field position was a major problem. We had 2 drives start outside the 20 all game (our 30, our 44). Ugh.

* We didn’t punt in the 2nd half. Only had 4 in the game.

* No turnovers.

-Players-

QB 

VICK - Really good game. Was 19-30-241. Had a TD. NO TURNOVERS. That was huge. Most importantly, Vick played a smart game. He adjusted plays at the LOS. He used his hard count effectively. He made good reads and smart decisions. There was one throw into coverage that I thought was dumb. There were a couple of bad throws. Vick played with confidence. He trusted his blockers and his receivers. He ran the ball 6 times for 49 yards. He didn’t run for his life. He ran for 1st downs. The game slowed down for him and he looked good. This is the Vick that defenses fear. He can beat you with his arm or legs. He also used his head. He was aggressive, but not risky. If we see more of this, 2012 will be a good season.

* Used his hard count effectively a few times in the game. Smart.
* First highlight play came on 3rd/11 on 2nd drive. Vick did small roll to his left. Waited for DJax to come open and threw a good pass just as JPP was hitting him. Got 32 yards on the play and it got us out of terrible field position.
* Hit Celek with a laser on 3rd/2. Had to thread the ball between 2 LBs.
* Almost hit DJax for a 45-yd TD. Play was perfect, but S blitzed off the edge and had a free run at Vick. He still threw the ball and almost got it to DJax for the score, but the pass was about a foot or two too far.
* Had pass deflected by blitzing LB in the mid-2nd Qtr.
* Vick made 3 terrible throws all night. First was in the mid-2nd Qtr. Dropped back on play-action and had tons of time. DeSean was open. For some reason, Vick short-hopped the pass to him. Was he scared? Just a weird throw? Impossible to tell. Next one was in the mid-3rd Qtr. Real good play action fake. Had tons of time. Only 3 guys ran routes so he had limited options. Threw awkward pass in traffic that a Giant LB had a shot at. Dumb, dumb throw. Final head scratcher came on 1st/10 near the RZ in the early 4th. Vick had a clean pocket. Aimed for WR in the end zone, but the ball was closer to a pair of Giants than the WR. If he was just throwing that away, should have been safer and really thrown it away.
* Took a big hit from blitzing S, but got the ball off to Damaris and that turned into a gain of 17. Tough.
* Had a great Vick scramble on 3rd/4 late in the half. Got pressure from Osi, but he’d lost contain so Vick went wide and used his speed to blow by him and get upfield for 5 yds. Only Vick and RG3 have the speed to do that. Great acceleration.
* Ran for 18 yards late in the 3rd on what appeared to be a broken play. No one blocked Osi. Luckily Osi took a poor angle and Vick ran around him and up the field for a good gain.
* Ran for 1st down on game winning drive. Did go out of bounds at 4-minute mark. Would have helped if he’d slid, but I can’t be too angry with him being focused on avoiding getting hit since there were defenders closing in on him.

RB/FB

SHADY - Huge game. Started slowly, but that was due more to blocking than anything else. Had 6 carries for 2 yards at halftime. Finished the game with 23-123. Flat out great in the 2nd half.
Put an amazing move on Kenny Phillips on the second drive and cause Kenny to leave the game with an injury. His knee was not meant to bend like that. I’m pretty sure Shady sold his soul to the devil for that kind of cutting ability. Had an up and down night in pass pro. Got beaten by Stevie Brown (Phillips backup) on blitz. Brown hit Vick, forced errant throw. Tried to throw a screen to him in the mid-2nd Qtr, but the Giants were all over it – incomplete pass. Caught swing pass from the I-formation and got 12 yds on the play. That was his first chance to really get going in the open field. Caught short pass in space late in the half and S Brown made a great tackle of him for no gain. Really popped Shady.

In the 2nd half, Shady came alive. He used his speed to run wide. He was disciplined and also ran inside on some plays. He showed good vision on his cutback runs. The fact he did all 3 things kept the Giants off balance. They couldn’t sell out to take away the edge if he was going to cutback. Guys who did stay disciplined on the backside weren’t able to chase him down on runs that did go wide and up the field. Shady got greedy by the goal line and tried to go outside too much. Needed to find a small crease and attack instead of going wide.

B BROWN - Okay game. 4 carries for 5 yds. Never had a chance to get going, though. Had a couple of 1st half carries, but no room to run. Made effective cut block of DT on short passing play. Ran on 2nd/3 in the early 4th Qtr. Hit the hole hard and got 3.1 yds. Got carry on 2nd/GL late in game. Reid wanted fresh legs, bigger body. Giants stuffed the play. Brown got a yard, but that’s it.

HAVILI - Really good game. Had 2 carries for 15 yards and looked good running the ball. Caught one pass for 7 yards. Blocked well. Dropped short pass on the second play of the game. Wasn’t going to do much, but would have been nice to get the offense headed in the right direction. Highlight of the night was a 2nd Qtr pass play when Stanley got a chip block on JPP and knocked him to the ground. Got blown up by Kiwi on run play to open the 3rd Qtr. Apparently DE/LB types are bigger and stronger than FBs. Good lead block on Iso run. Engaged LB. Then pushed him to the ground. We need our FB to have a nasty streak. Legally required in PA. In the early 4th, he got the ball on a tackle trap and gained 8. Not a new play, but interesting wrinkle to give the ball to the FB. Talented runner. Has vision, can move. Gained 7 on another run in the 4th. Same play, other side. Put good move on Kiwi to get something. Lined up close to the LOS on 4th Qtr run and then pulled around the outside. Took out 2 guys with good cut block. Had good block of Osi on cutback run in the 4th. Knocked the ballerina back a couple of yards.

TE

CELEK - Had 4 catches for 57 yards. Added another long play to this year’s resume with his 27-yard grab. Celek is among the league leaders in catches of 20 or more yards. Caught short pass on 3rd/2 late in the 1st Qtr. “Sat down” between defenders and Vick got him a laser. Caught ball 6 yds upfield, then added 11 RAC yds. The long catch came in the mid-3rd. Good play-action pass. LBs bought the fake and Brent was wide open. 12 of those 27 yards were of the RAC variety. Huge when Celek can get a pass in space and then run.

Up and down night in blocking. Had good block of JPP on cutback run. Was just supposed to keep him from pursuing, but Shady cut to the right and Brent had to stay in JPP’s way to give Shady a chance. That play went for 13. Other times he was overwhelmed by defenders, on run and pass plays. Brent won his share of battles as well. You don’t run for 191 yds without some good blocks from the TE. Most interesting moment was when Avant and Brent double JPP on pass play. Was effective, but not pretty.

HARBOR - Quiet game as a receiver. Only targeted once, when he caught a 7-yd pass over the middle on 2nd/21. Only in the game for 19 snaps. Victim of us using the I-formation so much.

WR

MACLIN - Quiet game. Targeted 3 times, but only caught one pass in the game. Did come on the game winning drive and it did move the chains. I didn’t see Mac getting open all that much. I’m sure he’s not 100 percent. And give the Giants credit for doing a good job on him.

D JACKSON - Good game. Came up with gain of 32 on corner route early in the game. Made sure to slow down as he neared the sideline. Was able to make the grab and get both feet in. Made a terrific catch as he fell to the ground late in the 1st Qtr. Ruled incomplete, DeSean demanded that Andy challenge and he did. Replay showed that DeSean got his arm under the ball so that it did bounce, but off his arm and not the ground. Nice grab. moved the chains. Caught pass for 14 on opening drive of 3rd Qtr. Sat down between 2 LBs, got the ball, and then added RAC yards. No hesitation with working the middle or playing in traffic. Was actually mad at himself for not breaking it and delivering a huge play. Finished the game 6-99-1.

AVANT - Only had 2 passes come his way. Caught them both for a total of 30 yds. First catch came on final drive of the 1st half. Caught short pass on the right side, but hurt his wrist and left the game for a bit. Best moment came in the early 4th. Caught a pass over the middle and got 23 on the play. Had some good blocks in the game.

D JOHNSON - Lined up as RB for a play and got the ball. We were in a spread set, but the Giants knew something was up and kept everyone in the box. Damaris had nowhere to run and lost a yard. Caught one pass. Got a short throw on the right side, then put a good move on the DB and went upfield. Got 17 yds on the play.

OL

* There was confusion early. First play of game was a run. Giants had a 7-man front. We had good numbers on them. S came flying down at the snap and that blew up the play. Evan Mathis pulled out wide and had 2 guys to block. Who do you take? I think this is a case where you give the Giants credit for making the perfect defensive call.

* Early pass play…Watkins let guy go to the inside, as if expecting help. Reynolds was looking to his left. DT got big pressure on Vick. Not sure who was to blame on that.

BELL - Up and down showing. Got completely owned by JPP in the late 1st Qtr and that almost got Vick’s head taken off. Great elusive move allowed Vick to run for a couple of yards. Struggled on some run plays, both with Osi and JPP. I have to give Bell some credit. About halfway through the 2nd Qtr, he started to play with more confidence and did a better job. Failed to block Osi on 3rd Qtr pass play. Tried to help Mathis with DT. Osi came in free and forced Vick to run. I find it hard the play was designed for Osi to come free, but it worked well as Vick ran for a 1st down. Reid says the TE was supposed to chip Osi. Sloppy block on DL on 3rd/6 led to Vick getting hit and throwing errant pass. Stopped drive that resulted in long FG. Had good block of JPP on run. Play started away. Bell stuck with him. Shady cutback. Bell then got a good shot on JPP. Shady had good room to run. Had a great sequence on the next play. We threw a pass. Bell blocked JPP straight up. While engaged with him, a blitzing S tripped on Bell’s foot and gave time to Vick to hit Avant. Beat by Osi off the snap, but stuck with the play and rode him wide/deep. That gave Vick room to step up and get the pass off. Good block on run play late in game. Helped Mathis double the DT, then peeled off and got LB. Shady cutback and hit that hole. Bell’s block gave him room to get upfield and secure 1st/Goal.

MATHIS - Good game. Solid in pass pro. Generally controlled his guy. Wasn’t able to sustain block on DT on one play and his guy pressured Vick. Had some really good run blocks. Sealed off the backside DT on runs to the right side. That’s important because it gives Shady the freedom to cut back if he wants to. Great block on 4th Qtr run up the middle. Drove DT 3 yds off the ball and gave Shady room to run. That was an old school drive block.

REYNOLDS - Rough start. Beaten by Kiwi on early play and he pressured Vick. Got better after that. Didn’t seem to miss assignments. Was able to get to the 2nd level and block LBs. Helped Danny double team DTs on runs to the right (we went to that side a lot). Solid in pass pro. Good block of MLB on 4th Qtr run right up the gut. Moved the guy off the ball and cleared up space. Showing progress. He’s learning each week.

WATKINS - Up and down game. As always, pass pro is a bit of an adventure. The Giants don’t have the most athletic DTs so he did fine vs them, but blitzers caught him off guard a time or two. S Will Hill attacked his gap a couple of times and was able to get Danny off balance. Danny is very strong so that tells you he didn’t have his feet set and/or didn’t see the blitzer coming. Good block of LB on run play to his side late in the half. Got upfield, sustained it well. Walled off DT on Shady run up the middle in the early 4th. Pulled to the left on run play in the 4th and sealed Boley so Shady had running lane.

HERREMANS - Rough going early in the game. Had a holding penalty on run to his side when JPP got some penetration. Wiped out a nice gain. On next play we tried to run his way and JPP just shoved Todd out of the way and blew up a run. Called for completely bogus holding penalty in the 1st Qtr. Tuck was at DT and Todd was focused on the DE. Tuck hit Todd, causing him to fall. Tuck landed on top. The ref saw that and assumed Todd had pulled him down. Didn’t hurt us since the pass was dropped on the play. Got beaten to the inside by DE, who then hit Vick. Not sure what Todd was thinking. There was a LB near him, but you always block inside out. He let DE go for 1/2 second, then grabbed at him. Odd. JPP shoved Todd back and completely disrupted a run play to his side. That led to TFL. Ran to his side late in the half. Todd couldn’t get outside leverage on Osi and the run just went for a couple. Tough block. Had terrific backside block of DT on run in early 4th. That gave Shady room to cutback. Did a good job when dealing with Tuck, Osi. Had some good run blocks on the plays that came to his side in the 2nd half. Overall played well, but wasn’t looking good in the 1st Qtr.

KELLY - Played in some GL sets and looked like a good run blocker. Might have been too upright, but got some movement with good down blocks.

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DEFENSE

PLAYS

3rd/3. Giants were at our 15. Castillo made a good call here. Blitzed and wanted Eli to throw slant to Cruz, who was in the right slot. Boykin had coverage there. Ryans was closer to the middle of the formation. At the snap, Ryans was to buzz out wide and get in the passing lane, right where the slant would go. Play worked perfectly, except Ryans was a step slow. Looked like he hesitated for a moment. Cruz caught the pass and got in for the TD. Good idea, sloppy execution.

1st/GL. Giants had bunch set to the left. Kendricks took Pascoe in the flat. Nate covered Bennett in the endzone. DeMeco covered Cruz on short route. DRC stayed back in the endzone. Eli didn’t anticipate this. He threw the ball to Bennett, but instead it went right to DRC. There was some pressure on the play, but Eli wasn’t under duress. Bad read, dumb throw.

2nd/GL. Giants used bunch set from last GL series. This time someone screwed up. Pascoe went to the middle and no one covered him. Kendricks took Cruz in the flat. Nate took Bennett in the endzone. Ryans looked to be the one who was lost. He seemed to be undercutting Bennett. Easy pitch and catch for TD.

MISC

* Pass rush wasn’t great. Didn’t have any sacks. Still, it was effective in some ways. Giants were just 2 of 10 on 3rd downs. Eli had lowest completion percentage and QB rating of the season. Giants only scored 17 points. Did draw 2 holding calls. The guys up front had a big part in that even though they didn’t deliver a sack.

* Giants were 2 of 4 in the Red Zone, but we did have a takeaway.

* Held Giants to just 57 yards rushing.

* Had to call timeout n 3rd/2 in 1st Qtr due to some confusion.

* Field position was a problem for the D. The Giants had 4 drives start at the 39 or better. Amazing we held them to 17 points.

* Generally tackled well. Coverage was tight. There were only a couple of blown assignments.

PLAYERS

DL

COLE - I was disappointed in Trent. Had some good plays, but wasn’t a disruptive force. Had to deal with some chip blocks and other things, but I expect Trent to still make his presence more noticed. Helped to stuff the RB on the first run of the game by beating the TE to the inside. Got tackled on third down pass play and drew a holding call. Dove at Eli’s feet on 3rd down and affected pass that ended up incomplete. Came free on stunt late in the half and got a decent shot on Eli. Beat TE block in early 4th and was ready to level Eli, but the ball was already out.

BABIN - Quiet game. Got a lot of extra attention because their RT was a backup and only a so-so player. Beat the RT and hit Eli low just as he was releasing the ball on 3rd/10. Wasn’t able to affect the pass. Had a dumb penalty in 2nd Qtr. Got his hands in face of RT and knocked the guy’s helmet off. That penalty came on 3rd/long and extended a drive. Did hustle in pursuit.

LANDRI - Solid game. Credited with being in on 4 tackles. Hit Eli on the opening drive by beating the LG with a great spin move. Drove the LG back into Eli on pass play, but the ball was out by then. Hustled downfield to tackle RB on screen pass. Split dbl tm and tackled RB as he started upfield. Got in on tackle of RB 5 yds downfield on first drive of 3rd Qtr. Got pressure on pass play in the late 3rd, but Eli was able to dump the ball off.

JENKINS - Good showing. Very active game. Chased plays all over. Made tackle on dump off pass to RB on 3rd/long. Bradshaw wasn’t expecting to be hit from behind by #97. CuJo tried to rip the ball out, but Bradshaw held on. Got 1st Qtr TFL when he fired through gap and hit the RB. Used swim move to cleanly beat the LG on that. Came free on loop late in half and flushed Eli. Tackled RB on draw play, but we did give up 9 yds. Chased down Bradshaw from behind on pass play in the late 3rd. Eli couldn’t get hold of the snap on 2nd play of final drive. CuJo was close to hitting him as he picked it up. Had he gotten there, could have been a huge play. Good effort. Made a key tackle on the final drive. Got Bradshaw on run when Giants were trying to get 5 easy yds to help with FG position. Instead, they got nothing and the clock kept going. Credited with 4 tackles and the team’s only TFL. Played hard, made things happen.

TAPP - Quiet game. Wasn’t credited with any tackles. Didn’t stand out as a pass rusher at all.

GRAHAM - Played 10 snaps. Beat the RT on the opening drive by bullrushing him and then going to the inside. Brandon got into the backfield, which forced Eli to roll out wide. Wasn’t credited with any tackles. Looked okay when he was in there.

COX - Very good game. Got a hit on Eli on opening drive and forced throwaway. BG flushed Eli and Cox came off his block to close in and get to him. Got free up the middle on the next play and hit Eli again, also forcing an errant throw. Grabbed RB on play that started the 2nd drive and limited him to a couple of yds. Shed the RG to make that play. Got pressure on 1st Qtr pass play, but Eli threw a perfect pass before Fletch got in his face. Fought off dbl tm and helped tackle RB on inside run in mid-3rd. Blew up 3rd/1 run to his side. Drove the RG back, then got an arm on the RB as he tried to get upfield. Landri, CuJo helped. Got pressure on Eli on final play. There was a stunt and Fletch came free off the edge as Eli was moving to that side. Fletch made him throw on the move so that Eli couldn’t make some sensational pass. Had to throw it away. Credited with 2 solo tackles and a PD, but was much more productive than that. Strong night.

HUNT - Beat the RT and drew a holding call. Used inside move, quick burst to get pressure late in the half. Holding could have been called, but wasn’t.

THORNTON - Good game. Got upfield on run his way and tackled the RB for just a short gain. Shed block and tackled RB on play that came his way in mid-2nd Qtr. Credited with 3 solo stops. Pass rush needs work, but is becoming a good run defender.

LB

KENDRICKS - Quiet game. Had some struggles with overrunning plays early on. Missed WR Hixon out in space with diving tackle, but only cost us 2 or 3 yds. Got in on tackle of RB on play to his side in the mid-3rd. Made good tackle of FB in flat after very short pass. Made smart decision on final drive. On the play where Eli had to pick the snap off the ground, Mychal got into the backfield. Eli got the pass off and MK pulled up instead of hitting him. Don’t give the refs a chance to flag you, even if it would have been close. One of the concerns with Mychal was him covering the big TE Bennett. Got burned for 38 yards on early play, but holding call wiped that out. Giants didn’t isolate MK on Bennett like we guessed they might.

RYANS - Gamebook shows him with 2 solo stops, but had a more active game than that. Got blocked by OL on screen pass and the RB was able to get upfield for a 1st down. Tackled Hixon upfield on 3rd/long pass play when he got loose over the middle. Tackled Bradshaw on play to DeMeco’s left. Short gain. Lined up in a floating blitz look on 3rd down and Ryans was unblocked up the middle. Forced Eli to throw the ball away on 3rd down. Helped to stuff the 3rd/1 run. Fought off blocker to get in on the tackle. Stuffed 1st/GL run for minimal gain. Up and down night in coverage.

CHANEY - Got the start at WLB. Tackled FB on inside run play. Got in on tackle of RB on play that came his way. Missed chance for TFL in mid-3rd when RB put a good spin move on him. Helped Ryans stuff 1st/GL run. Solid showing. Credited with 3 tackles.

S

ALLEN - Pretty good game. Assignment sound. Made diving attempt for pass in the mid-1st, but the ball was on the ground before Nate could get to it. Had good coverage on deep ball thrown to TE Bennett. Nate jumped for ball, but it was too far out in front of them. Missed tackle of RB, but Kurt cleaned up for him. Nate tried to wrap, but the guy ran through it. Almost picked off downfield throw to Hixon where Nnamdi had good coverage. Nate couldn’t hold onto the ball as he went to the ground. Nnamdi hit him on the helmet a couple of times, as if to punish him for not making the INT. Made good tackle of Hixon after short catch late in the half. Made good tackle of Cruz on final drive of half. Tackled TE Bennett on next play. Couldn’t keep him from getting to the sideline. If the tackle happens inbounds, the Giants might not be able to get the FG unit out there. Finished with 3 solo tackles, PBU.

COLEMAN - Active in run support, although that proved costly at one point. Stuffed RB for short gain on 3rd Qtr run play. Bit on play fake in the early 4th and Eli burned him with pass to Barden for 31-yd gain. Got caught out of position on the very next play and Eli hit Hixon for a gain of 41. Ugh. Got away with an incredibly dumb act on final drive. On the play where Nam was called for PI, Kurt launched himself at the WR. The guy went low so Kurt didn’t hit him. You cannot launch at players anymore. That’s 15 yds. I have no idea what the hell Kurt was thinking. Take away the 4th Qtr and Kurt had a good game. Led the team with 6 total tackles. Solid in coverage. Tackled well. Made some dumb decisions in the 4th Qtr. Luckily, they didn’t cost us the game.

CB

NNAMDI - Gave up 1st down catch to Hixon. Perfectly thrown pass. Nnamdi had no chance to play the ball. Had good coverage of Hixon on downfield throw. Nate broke up that play. Left game in the early 2nd Qtr with eye injury. Took a finger to the eye from WR. Returned to game in 2nd half. Made real good tackle of RB in the early 4th. Guy had room to run. Beaten by Barden for downfield catch on next play. Kurt was supposed to help, but bit on play fake. Knocked ball away from Barden on pass play on final drive. Very close to being a catch, but Nam got the ball loose before Barden had full possession. The very next play was another pass to Barden. Pass was incomplete. Nam was called for PI. Ticky-tack call. Was there contact? Yes. Did Nam gain much of an advantage due to the contact? No. Had inside position on pass play down the sideline. Eli threw that way. Barden could have gone up and just knocked the ball away, but instead he decided to make sure it wasn’t going to be picked off by trying to twist Nnamdi’s head like it was a bottle cap. I don’t see how any sane human being with decent vision could have the least doubt about that being offensive pass interference. Barden had one arm pinning Nam’s arm to his side and the other arm on Nam’s helmet, in a tight, unpleasant fashion. This wasn’t light contact. That would be my idea of a dream date with Megan Fox.

DRC - Had short throw come his way in the mid-1st and tackled the WR right after the catch. Called for IC on 3rd/2. Legit call. Had his hand on WR for more than 5 yds. Dumb. Tackled RB on screen pass where the guy was lined up out wide. Short gain. Hixon beat DRC for long gain on final drive of 1st half. Good coverage. Great throw, good catch. Gave up short completion to Hixon along the sideline on the next play. Got burned by Cruz on 4th/1. Cruz lined up in slot. DRC was slow to turn inside as Cruz released that way. So quick. That created separation and it was an easy pitch and catch from there. DRC tackled him down at our 8. That proved to be a key tackle. On the very next play DRC picked off Eli in the end zone. Called for PI on 4th/1 on final drive. Good call. DRC was all over the guy. Had tight coverage of WR on final play and forced Eli to throw the ball away. Finished the game with 5 tackles and an INT.

BOYKIN - Blitzed from slot on opening drive. Was blocked, but I think his presence affected Eli and helped lead to errant throw. DT was free up the middle, but Boykin to the side gave Eli nowhere to run. Missed tackle of Hixon on 3rd/17. Hixon ended up getting 15 on the play. Can’t miss those guys in space. Had tight coverage of Cruz on downfield pass late in the half. Giants tied to burn him with a double move, but Brandon played it perfectly. Gave up completion to Cruz on sideline on next play. Really good catch. Gave up catch to Cruz on next play. Was once again in very good position, but just missed the ball by inches. Gave up 9-yd pass to Cruz on final drive. Gave up catches and yards, but overall was solid. Was in the right position. Does need to work on his tackling.

HUGHES - Good game. Took over for Nnamdi at about 11:45 of 2nd Qtr. Broke up downfield pass to Hixon on 3rd down. Played pass at end of half perfectly. Had inside position on Hixon. Eli shouldn’t have thrown the ball. Hughes got his hands on it and should have made the catch, but just couldn’t hold on. Hixon beat him for catch in mid-3rd with back shoulder fade. 2 tackles, 2 PBUs.

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

ST’s

MCBRIAR - Averaged 45.5 per punt. Had 2 downed inside the 20, but no touchbacks. No problems as the holder. Will Hill got pressure on a couple of punts, but I felt like McBriar was also acting and trying to get the roughing the kicker call.

HENERY - Great job on FGs. 4 for 4, including a long of 48. That was right down the middle. Hit GW kick inside the final 2 mins. Ball looked almost wide on TV, but that proved to be a deceptive angle. Kick was easily good. Kickoffs could have used better depth. No touchbacks. Only one had good depth.

KOR – Boykin has been a major diasppointment in this area. Averaged just 16.7 on 3 returns. Isn’t getting good blocking, but also isn’t helping matters. Looks a bit hesitant as he tries to read blocks. Just go!!!

PR – Damaris started shaky, but got better. Made FC at the 10 to start off. Looked like he had some room to run. Caught another punt at the 7. I know some people hate that. I think we need to find out if Bobby April says that is okay or he’s coaching Damaris not to do that.

MISC

* KO coverage was terrible. David Wilson was 6-217 (36.2).

* Brian Rolle missed a tackle on the opening KO. He struggled all night on KO coverage.

* Mardy Gilyard hustled to chase down Wilson and make the tackle on the opening KO. He made a tackle on KO in the 2nd half. The 2nd one might have saved a TD.

* Jon Dorenbos made the tackle on the first punt.

* Brandon Hughes made good tackle in punt coverage. He and Curtis Marsh were the gunners. Marsh can really fly, but isn’t as good at covering punts.

* Hunt made diving attempt to block punt and just missed in mid-2nd Qtr.

* Chaney, Marsh made tackle on 2nd Qtr punt.

* Casey Matthews chased down Wilson on KO late in the half and made tackle. Did the same thing in the early 3rd Qtr.

* There was a KO in the late 3rd where Casey, Chaney, and Rolle all got blocked to the inside with ease. Looked like the 3 Stooges out there. Ugh.

* Good coverage on KO in early 4th. Havili held his ground, affected Wilson. Marsh, Chaney made the tackle.

GAMEBOOK


  • T_S_O_P

    On Icing the kicker, I think HCs the league over probably think, “if he gets this I did nothing how will I feel?” Icing is the only thing in their power and even if it fails they feel “I tried”. Conversely, players hate it, probably because they realise it makes little to no difference.

    • TommyLawlor

      Agree completely. Coaches hate feeling hopeless.

  • http://twitter.com/PhiIs_Goodman Phils Goodman

    “This is the 2012 Eagles, though, and they don’t fold.”

    I’m wary of these essentialist statements based on such a limited sample of results. The 2011 Eagles were conceivably on their way to some thrilling last-minute victories, but they didn’t pan out because Jeremy Maclin was chased down by Justin Smith and fumbled a ball along the sidelines vs the 49ers, or dropped a 4th down pass from Mike Kafka vs the Falcons, or Jason Avant made a similar mistake against the Bills and forced the Eagles to give the ball back in a critical situation…

    Almost all of the skill players on offense involved in these game-winning drives are the same exact players as last year. I don’t think they’ve all undergone simultaneous inner transformations that cause them to “not fold” in the clutch anymore. They’ve simply made the necessary plays (and not gotten burnt on mistakes) in a small sample of early-season games, as opposed to last year when the opposite happened. I don’t think there’s much to it, but it’s a lot nicer when things go this way.

    • TommyLawlor

      Fair argument.

      However, you’d be surprised at how a team’s attitude can change and how that affects them physically. I do believe there is a different vibe to this team. DeSean Jackson is a much different player this year. Getting paid made a huge difference to him. That’s got to make the locker room more fun. Heck, the huddle isn’t as tense as it might have been last year after a play where DJax didn’t give max effort and it pissed off his teammates.

      You are right that I’m making a general statement early in the year and that could prove to be wrong over time, but this is a different team so far this year and they are making the clutch plays. That change isn’t random. It isn’t luck. There’s something to it.

      X-factors are Vick not missing a play so far and what that does for the team’s confidence and improved defense and what that does for the team’s confidence.

    • Adam84x

      100% agree – humans can find patterns in a random number generator; even a full season is a pretty tiny sample to work from.

    • http://twitter.com/tst69 Thomas

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. The main difference this year is the defense. Last year against Buffalo, the Eagles had a 21 point deficit in the 3rd quarter. They went on to have 3 scoring drives and had 2 other scoring drives (that were in FG range) fail because of Jason Avant fumbles.

      In fact, the only time they lost last year that didn’t involve an injured Vick or a WR turnover was against Chicago. Either Vick overthrew Maclin on 4th down or Maclin slipped.

  • Chris

    Hey Tommy,

    A few years ago we used to implement the “Elephant package” with Nick the bowling ball Cole as the FB. Would you be a fan of bringing that package back to help the O-line?

    • T_S_O_P

      Not if it meant bringing back Nick ‘bowling ball’ Cole. ;)

      • TommyLawlor

        Ditto.

        • Chris

          I hear that but we definitely have options at our disposal. I agree we should get creative around the goal line especially without having Peters moving the left side with ease. His loss really is noticeable in just how valuable he was before injury. Here’s to recovering quickly.

    • TommyLawlor

      I have wondered about them putting Derek Landri or Cullen Jenkins at FB. Derek played some RB in the past. CuJo is a good athlete. Both could do it. I’m all in favor of using your best players at the GL. Get creative. Heck, put Fletcher Cox at TE. You telling me that dude couldn’t block someone?

      • austinfan

        I think Herremans makes more sense at TE (with Kelly at RT). He actually knows how to block, unless Cox shows good hands in practice, since he’s fast enough to get down field and make a play.

        Hunt might make sense as a power FB, he’s an explosive athlete, and he’s around 255 lbs or so, watching him on STs he could actually get through a hole instead of clogging it up (something that Cole often did).

  • Noah_Becker

    “Aimed for WR in the end zone, but the ball was closer to a pair of Giants than the WR. If he was just throwing that away, should have been safer and really thrown it away.”

    If this is the play I’m thinking of, when the All-22 comes out I’ll be interested to see if this was an aimed pass, a throw-away or actual, mid-throw indecision. Vick had Avant wide-open at the first down marker. If he throws it to Jason, Jason ends up getting (at least) the 5 yard line. I think Vick might have noticed Avant at the very last second and that might have influenced that pass’s odd behavior.

    • TommyLawlor

      I hope that something like this is what happened. Vick played so well that an outright bad read doesn’t fit the rest of the game.

  • George Fischer

    If Andy had just blown all his timeouts earlier in the half like he usually does, there would have been no opportunity to try to ice the kicker.

    • TommyLawlor

      We can blame Andy for putting himself in a bad position. Isn’t that like a snake eating its own tail or something?

      • A_T_G

        You just blew my mind.

  • http://twitter.com/mleibert Michael Leibert

    Just glanced at the DGR… After the two plays where Havili ran the tackle trap I thought it looked like they were setting it up so they could fake the handoff to Havili and pitch it back to McCoy on the weak side for a big play. Obviously they didn’t, but is there any opportunity there in the future?

    • TommyLawlor

      There are some fakes off this. I’d need to re-watch the plays to see where he was aligned. What you’d love to see is Havili getting the ball on a standard FB dive from the I-formation. That would help set up Flip 90, where the FB is used for the fake and the RB does get the ball flipped to him on the outside.

      • Anders

        I wonder why we aint using the flea flicker any more. its was a fairly standard trick play when we had Mcnabb and Westbrook (same sentence where has the shovel pass and screen game gone?)

        • A_T_G

          You want to try to snap the ball to Vick twice in one play behind this offensive line?!

          Speaking of trickery, there was a play where Shady took the handoff and went right, started to cut off tackle, backed out and paused for half a beat before he tried to take it around the end. At first, I thought he was looking to throw.

          • Anders

            I just remember the flea flicker been an effective trick play for us and I havnt seen it used in the NFL for a long time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.stover.3 Jeffrey Stover

    Tommy there were a couple of times when Nnamdi would come up to press at the line of scrimmage but either miss his jam or not try and jam at all. Is there a reason why you would want to get that close and not even attempt to get your hands on the receiver? Also, did you think that McBriar’s punt routine was a taking a tick too long? It seemed to me that with a little more effort on the part of the giants they would have been able to block one.

    • TommyLawlor

      CBs like to mess with receivers to throw off their timing and mess with their heads. Nnamdi did fake like he was going to bump and then backed off a couple of times. I don’t mind a guy doing this. You want to keep the WRs from getting in a pattern or rhythm. If getting a clean release affects them, then it works.

      Not sure about McBriar’s punts. Was he slow or was he putting on a show to try and draw a flag. didn’t seem to me that the Giants were that close. I was more interested in drawing a flag than nervous about a punt getting blocked. Did you guys feel differently? Was anyone nervous that they were coming close?

      • iskar36

        I got pretty nervous about a blocked punt myself. I agree that McBriar put on a bit of an act, but some of those guys got a lot closer than I would have liked and I’m not sure I want my punter acting that much that it risks a block.

  • teltschikfakeout88

    Is Cox becoming our best DL…..hmmmm really impressive what he is doing (as he came out as a true JR) against grown men.

    • ICDogg

      He might already be.

    • TommyLawlor

      Cox is best DT. Still think Cole is best DL.

    • A_T_G

      It is really a shame that the camera angle obscures him so often. Every time we get to see him, he seems to be a force.

      (There is a joke in there somewhere… camera angle obscuring the view of Cox… maybe something about increasing female viewership, but I’m tired.)

  • ChaosOnion

    What should we think of Danny Watkins at this point? He is in is second
    year, his weakness is in pass protection and the Eagles throw often.
    He is not a road grater like the Big Kid was, but maybe that is asking
    too much. Is he living up to that first round draft pick?

    Hindsight is 20/20 and all, but I know someone will ask who the Eagles could have
    drafted instead. Jimmy Smith went 4 picks later. I could live with
    Jimmy Smith playing across from DRC.

    • ICDogg

      I think it’s only natural that we expect our first round picks to play to the level that we hoped they would be when we drafted them, but obviously it doesn’t always work out that way. That conceded, he is a good player for us, when not held to such a lofty standard.

    • TommyLawlor

      Is Danny worth the 1st round pick we spent on him? Right now, no.

      He can still get better. I don’t know if that will happen or not. He’s just started 16 games at RG (sat out month last year) so it isn’t like he’s 3 years in and completely done developing.

      I do think he’s better than last year. I do think he is at least an adequate starter. When we run the ball, he’s a good blocker. When we pass, he’s very hit and miss. It isn’t everyone that bugs him, just athletic guys. DTs with tremendous burst or great lateral agility seem to catch him off guard.

    • austinfan

      I think a little patience is called for with Watkins. People look at his age and forget how raw he actually is as a player. CC, then two years starting LT, then go to the pros and shift to RG, and to Mudd’s unique system. He was lost last September, passable by the end of the year, and now a talented but inconsistent RG. He’s athletic and tremendously strong, and should be a plus run blocker by the end of the year.

      His problem is pass protection, and I think that’s where the lack of experience combined with changing positions shows up. And it doesn’t help him to have Kelce injured, now he has a center who’s even more inexperienced. Watkins does have to do a better job of recognizing blitzes and moving his feet, but that’s exactly the kind of skill you develop with reps.

      Bobby Williams was a 2nd rd pick, sat for three years, finally got to start and was a plus run blocker but a liability as a pass blocker. Goes to Cincy as a free agent, struggles as a pass blocker there his first season, then by his 3rd year as a starter, was one of the top RGs for about 5 years until he blew out his knee.

      If Watkins doesn’t progress by the end of the year, well, he’s acceptable but a disappointment, but I wouldn’t jump to conclusions before then, he’s smart with a strong work ethic and a good teacher.

  • teltschikfakeout88

    Ohh yeah I friggin hate victor cruz and his weak sauce endzone dance. My impartial side says the dude is a very good player. My Eagles bias side thinks he is lucky scrub. While I admit that my bias would be the incorrect view of Cruz as a player, I just can’t admit that he is nothing more than a lucky scrub in light of all the film.

    • ChaosOnion

      Game broadcast salsa music: stay classy, NBC.

      • TommyLawlor

        Ha. So true.

  • iskar36

    “I started to celebrate until I realized that Andy Reid had decided to
    ice the kicker. In the name of god, why???? I hate icing the kicker. It
    has been proven not to help. Coaches do it. Dumb.”

    “The other thing…icing the kicker. I can’t stand it. Shanny invented this
    back in 2007. It has worked a couple of times, but it does not work as
    much as coaches would like to believe. More than a few have been burned
    by doing this and seeing a bad kick or blocked kick go to waste.”

    I understand having a preference against icing the kicker, but you said it has been proven not to help. Were have you seen that? This is a bit dated, so it certainly could have changed since then, but this study suggests that icing the kicker in fact does statistically make a difference in terms of successful FGs.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/26/sports/football/26kicker.html?_r=0

    Also, icing the kicker is something coaches have done for a lot longer than 2007. What I think you are referring to in terms of Shanny is the fact that instead of calling the time out early, before the FG unit had a chance to snap the ball, he called it immediately before the snap. The first time he did that, it worked brilliantly if I remember correctly because the FG was good the first time (which didn’t count) but missed the second time which was the difference in the game for the Broncos.

    I think it is unfair to use whether or not the first kick goes through as the way to determine the value of icing the kicker. Instead, you have to determine whether times where a team did not ice the kicker in a pressure situation are more or less successful than times where the kicker does get iced. To me though, I don’t know if it was a good or bad decision in this game (although I would argue it worked), but at least in games where the weather is cold or it is raining/snowing, I like the idea that you throw off a kicker’s routine and make them stand and wait to kick the FG. If they make it, oh well, but if not, it’s not like you can keep that time out at the end of the game, so you haven’t lost anything.

    • TommyLawlor

      Shanny invented the last minute TO. Clearly the standard version of icing the kicker has gone on for a while. I don’t know when/where that began.

      I don’t like the last minute TO. I didn’t like it prior to Sunday’s game. I didn’t like it last year. Or 2010. As your article suggests, it may have worked there for a couple of years.

      I did see a link off Twitter about how “iced” kickers now make more than they miss. Don’t recall the site.

      I have no problem with using the timeout if it is essentially a hopeless situation – short FG. I’d rather have a kicker trying a long one without getting a practice kick. You saw that Tynes was able to adjust after the first one. Don’t give him that chance. If there is crazy weather…that might be another reason, although then you let the guy go out and get used to the field and possibly clear his path.

      In the end…unless it is a FG under 40 yards, don’t ice.

      • http://twitter.com/tst69 Thomas

        I think that’s the first time Andy ever tried it. I loved the look on his face after Tynes had missed the FG.

        • P_P_K

          I loved the look on Coughlin’s face when he missed the 2nd try.

      • dropscience
      • iskar36

        If the article you are referring to does a good statistical analysis showing that it actually benefits the kicker, I definitely agree with you. I also certainly understand the argument of “don’t give the opposing team a practice kick.” But, at least between 2002-2007 (according to the article), icing was very effective. So with that in mind, at the very least, I would call a time out before the kick (and before the kicker gets a practice kick). Without seeing the data that says icing the kicker actually hurts the team though, I am not ready to say it is a bad strategy.

    • Tom33

      I think when the team has to rush out to get the kick off in time you are better off not to ice and take your chances. If they call a time out prior to kicking, maybe it makes sense to make the guy wait a bit longer. Only other time would be a rookie kicker or a guy with a couple of misses already in his head. Pro kickers aren’t going to freeze up on reg season games.

  • aceandson

    I thought the philosophy of the 3rd and Goal call was a good one – get Vick outside of the pocket, give him high percentage routes, if a running is open take it, if nothing’s there take the sack. Vick pretty much slid as soon as he saw there was nowhere to go (it shouldn’t go unnoticed that he made a veteran decision there).

    I’ll defer to your judgement on the history of that particular play, but I think the concept made sense.

    Overall, it seemed like this was one of those games where AR and MM showed how good they can be as offensive minds. It wasn’t a lot of flash, and they didn’t put up 40 points. They took what was given and exploited the little weaknesses in the Giants and most importantly KEPT WITH THE RUN (making smart adjustments) even when it wasn’t working.

  • Ark87

    DRC’s pick looked so ridiculously casual and effortless live, i thought Eli was a total dunce. NFL.com had a still up of that pick, DRC got ridiculous height on that jump and plucked it high. DRC did it so casually i SWEAR Eli hit him in the chest (while sitting down). It really would not have surprised me if Eli recognized DRC sitting there flat footed and underestimated his athleticism, tried to get it over his head.

    • TommyLawlor

      Good point. DRC did make that look so easy. Dude is incredibly talented.

  • http://twitter.com/RIPworms RIP Worms

    “3rd/13. Middle of the 2nd Qtr. We ran a QB draw. Got 12. Why do that on 3rd/13? Odd. Almost worked.” I mentioned this in another thread, but I think that play was at least as much about the rest of the game as it was about that drive. Marty would have loved if Vick picked up the first down, but I think the larger goal was to make the pass rush hesitate a bit to respect the Vick run option, even on obvious passing downs.

    • TommyLawlor

      You very well could be right. You just normally run the draw on less than 10, figuring you can get that. 3rd/13 is a real longshot. As you say, though…may have been a tactic to affect the defense.

  • http://twitter.com/tst69 Thomas

    OT:

    Why do QBs line up under the center on obvious passing situations? Why can’t the operate out of the shotgun? Why do they bother running play action?

    • TommyLawlor

      Under C — Could be to deal with crowd noise on away game. Could be the design of the play. Can’t have a RB directly behind you if you’re in the shotgun. If you put the RB to one side or other, that affects the defense. Have him in the middle and they don’t know how to read the RB.

      Weird play fakes — This is strictly a case where the offense likes a particular play and they run it, not caring if the defense buys the fake. The fake is part of the rhythm of the play so you leave it alone. See this all the time.

  • P_P_K

    Tommy, great review, as usual!

    I disagree on two points. First, even if the game wasn’t pretty, it was, well, kind of pretty. It was a typical Eagles-Giants game, an NFC smashmouth defensive battle. You have to think of these things from a Saturday night per perspective — the girls look a lot prettier when the bar is closing on Sat night than they might on Sunday morning. The main thing is to close the deal.

    Second, I did like the goal line play. Acendson said it well in his comment so I won’t repeat. There’s a lot to be said for the call. I also wouldn’t have minded the shovel pass at that point, but the Gnats D-line is so tough I can understand why it wasn’t used.

  • TheRogerPodacter

    1st/GL. Dennis Kelly lined up at RT. Todd was beside him as a TE.

    i wondered if we were doing something like this, but couldnt see. i wish the announcers would say something like “___ reporting eligible on the play”.

    • TommyLawlor

      Would be so helpful if they did that.

    • A_T_G

      Except they would feel the need to continue on to explain what that means, why teams do it, and talk about some memorable tackle-eligible touchdowns until the field goal unit is on the field.

  • http://twitter.com/JackfinBauer Jack Bauer

    Side note… Once they start rolling the tape out Tavon Austin is going to have AR and MM drooling..a smaller Percy Harvin

  • http://twitter.com/corry_k Corry Henry

    Trent Cole obviously knew about the odd statistic that when he gets a sack against the Gmen, we lose (0-3). When he doesn’t, we win (9-0). Trent Cole: Team player.

    http://www.csnphilly.com/football-philadelphia-eagles/eagles-talk/Eagles-better-off-if-Cole-idoesnti-sack-?blockID=780159&feedID=692

    • TommyLawlor

      That’s crazy, but awesome. I’ll file that away for the future.

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

      Even when he fails he wins

  • drichwine

    One quarter of the way in against a pretty good schedule of opponents, and the Eagles are just a hair behind Houston for the best defensive 3rd and 4th down conversion rate in the NFL. They allow opponents to convert 3rd and 4th down a combined 27% of the time, where the average is 37%
    With that kind of stoppages, we won’t see Trent Cole getting 15 sacks and we won’t see a whole lot of Graham and we won’t see as many interceptions and forced fumbles as we might think. When your defense gets off the field as quickly and effeciently as this unit, you don’t get as many counting stats.

    • A_T_G

      Is that why Vick was working so hard to get them back out there the first three games? Contract incentives? Yet another team player- move over Trent Cole.

  • ACViking

    Re: The “Icing TO”

    SNF’s camera shot during the 30 or so seconds leading up to the first kick — behind the uprights and the Eagles’ defense — showed an slightly indecisive and confused Giants team as they lined up, including the kicker Tynes.

    This wasn’t a 10-second drill scramble. The G-men looked uncertain.

    In that situation, let the kicker kick the ball. Don’t give him, or the team, time to settle down and gather themselves.

    I thought Reid’s decision to call a TO was so out of touch with what was happening on the field.

    In fact, the SNF’s side-line replay shot of Reid as he calls the TO shows a coach who’s counting the seconds. Not, IMO, getting a good sense for the Giants’ scrambling.

    But, as the poet once said (in a Columbia short), “oils well that ends well.”

    • A_T_G

      I had the same thought. You are giving up the advantage that the situation gave you.

      As a more general comment, I want us to have the coach that doesn’t ice the kicker, but doesn’t say so publicly. You know when a kicker lines up, he is wondering somewhere in his mind if this is for real or not. After we play the icing card, it is gone and the kicker can focus on the kick.

    • TommyLawlor

      Oils well that ends well? Never heard that one. That is definitely old school comedy at its finest (which is a good and bad thing).

  • Anders

    Tommy I wondered if you could write a post about why our screen game have gone to maybe been the worst in the NFL? I cant remember the last time we had an effective screen with McCoy. Maybe its because I became spoiled with Westbrook (I always think of the 2008 wild card game against the Vikes when I think our screen game), but it also seems when other teams use it against us, they always get a good gain (before this season because Kendricks seems to be really good against them)

    • http://www.facebook.com/jamie.parker.1044 Jamie Parker

      This might have something more to do with Vick being the QB and not McNabb, rather than the difference between Westy and Shady. Plus we have different linemen now and maybe they just don’t sell it very well up front.

      • GermanEagle

        I was not aware that Vick was supposed to be blocking for Shady on a screen play…

    • TommyLawlor

      I’ve been meaning to write something about screens. Good, but troubling subject. Just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Topic is on my list.